Thursday, November 27, 2008

Is 3D the future for sports TV?

The upcoming Sports Broadcast Europe conference will feature key members of the team involved in the groundbreaking Six Nations Rugby 3D broadcast project earlier this year.

How will 3D make it to the home? What are the technical challenges now and in the future? What are the creative differences compared to 2D? Don't miss this case study, with Duncan Humphreys, director of Can Communicate and Andy Millns, director of Ignition.

Source: TVB Europe.

Friday, November 21, 2008


The Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7) is the European Union´s chief instrument for funding research over the period 2007 to 2013.

On November 19th, the European Union launched the Fourth Call for project proposals on Information and Communication Technology in FP7, with an indicative whole budget of 801 Millions of €.

More details on the CORDIS page.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ICIP 2009 CfP

Call For Papers/Special Sessions/Tutorials
2009 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing
November 7-11, 2009

Important Deadlines:
Special Session Proposals Due: December 15, 2008
Tutorial Proposals Due: January 9, 2009
Submission of Papers: January 30, 2009

Upcoming 3D movies

Walt Disney Studios has announced that the only full-length animated feature film to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture is being converted into Digital Disney 3D: the 1991 Beauty and the Beast will be re-released in 2010.

Like many other Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney plans to release (or re-release) several 3D movies in the next years, including the upcoming Bolt.

You can find a comprehensive list on the 3D Movies List blog.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Free access to ITU-T standards

Maybe not everyone knows that since September 2007 all the standards produced by ITU — ITU-T Recommendations — are available without charge.

The announcement followed a highly successful trial conducted from January−October 2007, during which some two million ITU-T Recommendations were downloaded throughout the world.

For instance, the famous Rec.H.264 "Advanced video coding for generic audiovisual services" (including the Scalable Video Coding extension) can be freely downloaded in PDF format at this link.

Flash goes mobile

Adobe and ARM yesterday announced a technology collaboration to optimize and enable Adobe Flash Player 10 and Adobe AIR for ARM Powered devices, ranging from mobile phones to set-top boxes, mobile Internet devices, televisions, automotive platforms, personal media players and other mobile computing devices. The collaboration is expected to accelerate mobile graphics and video capabilities on ARM platforms to bring rich Internet applications and Web services to mobile devices and consumer electronics worldwide.

The joint technology optimization is targeted for the ARMv6 and ARMv7 architectures used in the ARM11 family and the Cortex-A series of processors and is expected to be available in the second half of 2009.

Go to the press releases here and here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Technology & engineering Emmy Awards 2009

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the honorees for the 60th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards to be presented at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
  • In the Serial Interface and Protocols for Server/VTR control, awards will go to Harris Corporation and Sony.
  • The Delivery Confirmation Systems awards will be awarded to XOrbit and Scripps Networks.
  • Development and Standardization of File Formats for Video and Audio awards go to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and Thomson Grass Valley.
  • For Pioneering Development of MPEG-4 AVC systems for HDTV, the Emmys go to Tandberg Television and DirecTV.
  • For Pioneering RF Combiners for Adjacent Channels on Common Antenna Systems, the winners are Harris, Micro Communications Inc. (MCI) and Radio Frequency Systems (RFS).
  • For ongoing live global HD cinemacasting, the award goes to the Metropolitan Opera Association.
  • Lauded for their work in developing HDMI are Silicon Image, Thomson, Toshiba, Sony, Matsushita, Hitachi, Philips, Molex, Japan Aviation Electronics (JAE) and Intel.
  • Cited for helping with the Standardization of the ATSC Digital System are four organizations, the Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service, the Advanced Television System Committee, the Advanced Television Test Center and the Advanced Television Evaluation Laboratory.
  • Finally in the last Emmy category, the MPEG-4 AVC Standard awards go to Video Coding Expert Group (VCEG) and Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).
Go to the press release.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vidyo and Hitachi join forces on SVC

On November 3, Vidyo announced an agreement with Hitachi Communication Technologies that enables Hitachi to incorporate Vidyo technology into their personal telepresence products to deliver multi-point, HD quality video conferencing to room systems and desktops over converged IP networks.

Vidyo is the first company to offer OEMs the ability to license H.264/SVC based technology for use in building their future products.

Full press release available here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

YouTube to host MGM films

Reuters reports that YouTube has just signed an agreement with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to host full-length television shows and films from MGM's archives.

Just a few days ago YouTube surpassed Yahoo! becoming world's #2 search engine and today IMDB reports that YouTube will produce its first online show, to be presented on Nov. 22 and streamed internationally via a dedicated channel on the website.

MPEG considers the development of HVC

The 86th MPEG meeting was held in Busan, Korea from 13 to 17 October 2008.

In the press release MPEG highlights the results of the Workshop on New Challenges in Video Coding Standardization, at the end of which MPEG has determined the need of a next generation video coding technology named HVC (High-Performance Video Coding), which should be able to provide more compression than the High Profile of H.264/AVC for video beyond HDTV resolution.

As a consequence, a new ad-hog group has been created with the mandates to discuss vision, applications and requirements of HVC, to distribute Call of Test Sequences and to develop the first draft Call for Evidence.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bender's anti-piracy warning

Enjoy this short cartoon in which Bender, the robot of the popular series Futurama, acts as testimonial of the campaign against Internet piracy. "Downloading movies is like ripping a human heart", Bender says!

Besides the funny part, it is clear that Hollywood majors (Fox, in this case) are very concerned about illegal file sharing and they are fighting it as much as they can.

By coincidence, the famous P2P site The Pirate Bay just announced it reached the incredible number of 22 millions of connected peers.

Although many people still see P2P as an "evil" technology, it must be said that P2P could provide substantial benefits to legal multimedia delivery over the Internet. You may be interested to have a look at P2P-Next, an international research project founded by the European Community within the Seventh Framework Programme and aimed at the building of a "next generation Peer-to-Peer content delivery platform".

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

On2 VP8 outperforms H.264/AVC

On September 13th, On2 unveiled its new VP8 video coding format, reportedly able to outperform industry-leading H.264/AVC video coding standard by providing about 50% bit-rate reduction at identical objective video quality (PSNR).

In addition, On2 says that VP8 streams are less complex to decode than H.264/AVC ones, and that VP8 is more suitable for multi-core processing because of less cross-macroblock data dependency.

Plenty of detailed information on the company website.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

3D-HDTV - and no glasses

Times Online makes a good point on current 3DTV technology, especially about new 3D LCD screens by LG and Philips, reaching HDTV resolution.

Both manufacturers relies on lenticular technology, which allows to project different views of the same image at different spatial positions, without the need to wear special glasses to see the 3D effect.

The full article is available here.