News

Audio Video at 50 Men who can Cook Fundraiser

Wow we had a great time. Congratulations Teresa and CSISD. Great event
Brett at Audio Video is the BCS Video Guru!

What to look for when buying a HDTV

The goal of every TV is to accurately reproduce the image that was captured by the camera. There are four primary factors that contribute to our perception of video quality.  Here they are, in order of importance:

  1. Contrast

    Brett at Audio Video is the BCS Video Guru!

  2. Color Saturation
  3. Correct color
  4. Resolution

Contrast – Also known as black level, contrast measures the difference between a TV or projector’s black and white light output and is measured as a contrast ratio of white light output to black light output and is one of the most important of the four factors. In a perfect world, we’d see zero light for black and very bright light for white. For example, a very high contrast ratio measured in a commercial theater might be as high as 300:1. We typically measure contrast with a black and white checkerboard pattern displayed on screen, and observe the differences between the white squares and the black squares.

I know you’re asking, what about TVs with advertised contrast ratios of 10,000:1, 50,000:1, or even 150,000:1?”  The answer to that simple: it’s marketing. While contrast is very important, you really can’t take a manufacturer’s specification of contrast ratio seriously. For the ultimate in contrast, it’s best to have your new TV or projector professionally calibrated by experts.

Color saturation – A TV or projector’s ability to reproduce deep, rich colors is called color saturation However, there’s something to be said for striking a balance between undersaturated and oversaturated colors–with the latter resulting an artificially bright image. And while some TVs are better at producing deep colors than others, perfect color saturation is something that can only be truly achieved by a professional calibrating expert.

Color correctness – The color video signal we see is actually made up of a combination of red, green and blue. When our TVs display the correct amount of these three primary colors, the image appears correct and natural. However, if the level of just one is incorrect, you will instantly see something wrong with the picture. Many manufacturers and retailers will increase red and blue levels in order to make a TV appear brighter on a showroom floor. While it succeeds in producing a brighter image, often times this tweak results in an unnatural, almost cartoon-like appearance. Proper color correctness can have a huge impact on your TV, and it’s something that is best to be left to the calibration experts.

Resolution – Simply put, resolution is the number of pixels the display can use to re-draw the image. The more pixels a TV can reproduce, the more detailed image it can display. Here in North America, there are five common levels of resolution:

  • 480i – 480 lines of resolution, interlaced scan (regular standard-definition TV)
  • 480p - 480 lines of resolution, progressive scan (DVD-quality enhanced definition)
  • 720p – 720 lines of resolution, progressive scan (broadcast HDTV – Fox, ABC, ESPN, etc.)
  • 1080i – 1080 lines of resolution, interlaced scan (broadcast HDTV – CBS, NBC, etc.)
  • 1080p – 1080 lines of resolution, progressive scan (Blu-ray Disc)

Of those, the last three HDTV formats are the ones that dominate the video landscape today, with 1080p coming into popularity as Sony’s Blu-Ray Disc technology gains market share. There are two factors at work in each of these specifications–the first is the number of lines the TV can draw (more is better), and the second is progressive and interlaced scanning methods. Interlaced formats such as 1080i draws even lines in one frame and odd lines in the next, which can sometimes lead to motion artifacting during action-packed scenes. Progressive scanning redraws the entire screen on every frame, which is why it’s the superior format, especially for live-action sports and other motion-intensive programs. And while resolution is an important factor when choosing a new TV or projector, most experts agree that resolution needs to be doubled for the human eye to discern a difference in resolution.

Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in 3D

Created by Klaus Obermaier, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring 3D will take place in Symphony Hall in Birmingham (UK) on 21 April 2011. Nine stereoscopic cameras will feed the on-stage movements of dancers into a computer that will generate and project 3D content on to a giant silver lenticular screen positioned above the orchestra.

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The sound will be relayed by microphones on instruments, helping to influence the form, movement and complexity of both the 3D projections and those of the dancers. Over 2,200 pairs of 3D glasses will help to immerse audience members in the live experience. Right Of Spring 3D is here on the web. Here under is a view of a control room similar to the one that will be used.

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J. Cameron will shoot AVATAR II at 60 fps

James Cameron himself said “we want to shoot the movie at 48 or maybe even 60 frames a second, and display it at that speed, which will eliminate a lot of the motion artifacts that I think are causing some people problems.”

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As Blu-Ray don’t support 48Hz, we guess Avatar 2 will be shot at 60 fps, a now-standard frame rate in the DCI spec document ruling D-Cinema encoding.

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tv

Why are TV commercials SO LOUD?

The TV station isn’t turning up the volume when the commercials run, but that’s not the complete answer. Otherwise, you wouldn’t need to reach for the remote to turn down the volume during the commercial break.

A TV program has a mix of audio levels. There are loud parts and soft parts. Nuance is used to increase the dramatic effect.

Blame advertisers! Most advertisers don’t want nuance. They want to grab your attention. To do that, the audio track is electronically processed to make every part of it as loud as possible within legal limits.

VUDU 3D video streaming on your PS3

The VUDU movie streaming service now supports 3D on Sony’s Playstation 3. Of course, you’ll need a 3DTV and 3D glasses to be able to watch the content in the glorious third dimension.

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VUDU is available as a downloadable movie streaming application on the PlayStation 3′s XMB, in addition to Netflix and Sony’s own movie purchase/rental service.The announcement is on PSU.

12 Must-Have HDTV Apps

Today’s connected TVs can deliver endless alternatives to the typical channel lineup.

Netflix

Dailymotion

Pandora Radio

MLB.TV

Explore 3D

Hulu Plus

AP News Ticker

Epicurious

VUDU

Flickr

Amazon Video on Demand

Skype



Universities plan experimental 3D pipelines

A group of universities from all over the world are planning to install stereo 3D production pipelines on campus sites to research techniques and produce new forms of 3D content. The initiative is being led by Germany’s Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, part of the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM).

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The consortia aims to research advanced stereoscopic 3D visual effects and animation filmmaking techniques, provide technical feedback to the industry and produce new forms of stereo 3D content.

Control4 Teams Up with Wolf and Sub-Zero

Control4 knows a thing or two about home automation and networking. Most of Control4’s customer base probably uses its products to control electronics or maybe a shade or a light switch. But, “the connected home isn’t just about consumer electronics gadgets—every appliance and service should be easily accessed and managed through any touch point in the house,” says Control4 CEO Will West. With that philosophy in mind, Control4 announced at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show a partnership with Sub-Zero (known for refrigerators and wine storage units) and Wolf (makers of ovens, ranges, and stovetops).

With Sub-Zero integrated into a Control4 system, users can maximize energy efficiency and set ice-making functions to different levels throughout the day. Adding a Wolf product to the system allows users the flexibility to receive updates on oven pre-heating and current temperature, receive alerts when the timer is finished, and get information on meat temperature from the oven’s internal thermometer. Wine aficionados will also benefit from a Control4 system—open-door alerts help ensure that prized bottles are properly stored and remain undisturbed.