Friday, March 27, 2009

Satellite live 3D-HD

Sat Expo Europe is an event dedicated to satellite applications and technology. At the Exhibition it will be possible to take part in the 3D-HD stereo shooting of a musical group that will perform on a set created specially for the occasion.

It will be a real concert that will integrally reproduce the conditions of a live event, and it will be shot using the stereoscopic technology elaborated by DBW communication and the contents will be transmitted via satellite with the technology activated by Open-sky.

For the demonstration the ATLANTIC BIRD™ 3 satellite by Eutelsat will be used and the contents will be received in the nearby conference pavilion, where the last supply chain ring will be completed, namely the three-dimensional projection in a film theatre that can be accessed by the public and which is equipped for this exclusive event.

See the press release.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

YouTube blocked in China

The New York Times reported that, according to Google, YouTube video-sharing Web site had been blocked in China. The instant speculation is that YouTube is being blocked because the Tibetan government in exile released a "particular video".

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Economy hurts 3D

Today from IMDb News:
DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, who, only a year ago, was forecasting that the animated Monsters vs. Aliens would open in around 5,000 theaters in 3D -- and had reduced that number by half only last month -- has now concluded that fewer than 2,000 theaters will be capable of showing it in 3D when it opens on Friday. In an interview with the Associated Press in Hong Kong, where the movie is about to have its premiere, Katzenberg pointed out that it costs about $100,000 to install 3D digital projection equipment in a theater. The problem is, he observed, "it's harder to get financing right now." He estimated that only about 15-20 percent of theaters that will be showing the movie when it opens on Friday are 3D compatible.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Silverlight 3 Beta

Microsoft Silverlight 3 Beta was unveiled at MIX09. New features include:
  • Live and on-demand true HD (720p+) Smooth Streaming. IIS Media Services (formerly IIS Media Pack), an integrated HTTP media delivery platform, features Smooth Streaming which dynamically detects and seamlessly switches, in real time, the video quality of a media file delivered to Silverlight based on local bandwidth and CPU conditions.
  • More format choice. In addition to native support for VC-1/WMA, Silverlight 3 now offers users native support for MPEG-4-based H.264/AAC Audio, enabling content distributors to deliver high-quality content to a wide variety of computers and devices.
  • True HD playback in full-screen. Leveraging graphics processor unit (GPU) hardware acceleration, Silverlight experiences can now be delivered in true full-screen HD (720p+).
  • Extensible media format support. With the new Raw AV pipeline, Silverlight can easily support a wide variety of third-party codecs. Audio and video can be decoded outside the runtime and rendered in Silverlight, extending format support beyond the native codecs.
  • Industry leading content protection. Silverlight DRM, Powered by PlayReady Content Protection enables protected in-browser experiences using AES encryption or Windows Media DRM.
It is interesting to know that YouTube is now using Silverlight for live video and audio streaming, as you can see here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Towards Real Virtuality

Towards Real Virtuality is a research cluster founded by EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the UK Government's leading funding agency for research and training in engineering and the physical sciences), which supports a year of activities (April 08 – Mar 09) to determine what is the state-of-the-art in the world with regard to capture/model – store/transmit – deliver the real world the "real virtuality" solution.

The cluster will enable effective collaboration between leading researchers and industry concerned with all aspects of stimuli presentation in respect of each of the five senses (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell) including cross-modal effects.

With this knowledge, they will be putting together a blue-print to develop over several years a novel multi-sensory “virtual cocoon” which will deliver real-world experiences to you in the comfort of your home.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SVC selected by Teliris and Kamakura

On March 5, 2009, Vidyo, the first company to deliver video conferencing solutions and technology built upon the most recent video compression standard H.264/SVC, announced that Teliris, a leading provider of immersive telepresence solutions, has licensed VidyoTechnology™ to enhance select elements of its product portfolio.

On the same day, Vidyo also announced that Kamakura Corporation, a leading provider of risk management information, processing and software, selected VidyoConferencing™ as a key component of the company´s communications with its global clients. Founded in 1990, Kamakura has been a provider of daily default probabilities and default correlations for listed companies since November 2002.

In addition to this news, Vidyo has also issued the announcement Vidyo Secures $15 Million to Expand Leadership.

Monday, March 9, 2009

EBU Best of 2008

EBU Technical Review has just published the "Best of 2008" edition, containing six of the best articles from 2008:

  • "Evolution of the BBC iPlayer", by Anthony Rose (Controller, Vision and Online Media Group, BBC)

  • "Open source Handhelds – a broadcaster-led innovation for BTH services", by François Lefebvre (Project Leader), Jean-Michel Bouffard and Pascal Charest (Communications Research Centre, Canada)

  • "SVC – a highly-scalable version of H.264/AVC", by Adi Kouadio (EBU Technical); Maryline Clare and Ludovic Noblet (Orange Labs, France Telecom R&D); Vincent Bottreau (Thomson Corporate Research)

  • "HDTV production codec test", by Massimo Visca (RAI) and Hans Hoffmann (EBU Technical), EBU Project Group P/HDTP

  • "EBU P2P media portal", by Franc Kozamernik (EBU Technical)

  • "Streaming audio contributions over IP – a new EBU standard", by Lars Jonsson (Swedish Radio) and Mathias Coinchon (EBU Technical)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hindawi open access publications

Hindawi is a rapidly growing academic publisher with more than one hundred open access journals covering all major areas of science, technology, and medicine, and a book publishing program that spans all scholarly disciplines.

Some interesting Hindawi publications on Multimedia subjects are:
  • Advances in Multimedia (link)
  • EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing (link)
  • EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing (link)
  • Journal on Computer Systems, Networks and Communications (link)

Monday, March 2, 2009

WD TV media player

The Western Digital's WD TV is an HD media player that, combined with an USB hard-drive or memory stick (sold separately) allows to play movies, songs or view photos on the home TV.

Two USB ports on the player let you connect two USB storage devices and access them simultaneously, whereas the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port lets you connect to the highest quality HDTV or home theater. Additional composite (RCA) outputs ensure compatibility with virtually all television sets.

The WD TV supports basically all the multimedia formats that you may need:
  • Music: MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV/PCM/LPCM, AAC, FLAC, Dolby Digital, AIF/AIFF, MKA
  • Video: MPEG1/2/4, WMV9, AVI (MPEG4, Xvid, AVC), H.264, MKV, MOV (MPEG4, H.264), MTS, TP, TS.
MPEG2/4, H.264 and WMV9 formats support up to 1920x1080p 24fps, 1920x1080i 30fps, 1280x720p 60fps resolution.

The WD TV, launched during 2008, is sold is at the very interesting price of ~
100 Euros (130$), which makes it a very appealing product in my opinion. Of course you have to add the price of an USB external hard drive, like in particular the Western Digital's My Passport series, but portable HDD's are becoming cheaper and cheaper day after day.