Tuesday, July 21, 2009

YouTube 3D experiments

TechCrunch reports that YouTube is currently experimenting with 3D videos. To have a demonstration click on this link, then you will be able to see a video and to select the "3D viewing style" you prefer.

EU digital dividend consultation

In a consultation document recently published and available at this link, the European Commission says consumers have high expectations for the future development of broadcasting, such as increased choice, high definition, and mobile television and broadband. To achieve this the Commission is proposing that all DTT receivers sold after January 1, 2012 should at least be as efficient as the current H.264/MPEG-4 AVC standard. The Commission believes that this measure would generate a critical mass of high quality TV equipment in Europe, in advance of the deployment of the related network infrastructure that will make full use of this increased transmission capacity. Taking into account an average renewal time frame for set-top boxes and TV sets of 5 to 8 years, such a coordinated move would also alleviate the typical "chicken and egg" issue that is encountered when Member States are migrating from the first generation of digital broadcasting networks to a more advanced one.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

LED backlight leads the way

Declarations of Bob Scaglione, Senior VP of Marketing at Sharp:

"We believe LED is the future," Scaglione said. "We have very aggressive plans to integrate LEDs (light-emitting diodes) in our entire HDTV product line. Sharp plans to be 100 percent LED. By 2011, the entire Sharp product line will feature LED-backlit displays."

"OLED is something we're watching very carefully," Scaglione said. "Although it won't be affordable for at least 5 to 10 years from now, all of the displays showing off the technology are beautiful. But based on price, it's prohibitive. OLED has an opportunity to be a contender, but for the foreseeable future, it's LCD with an LED backlight that will lead the way."

Read the full story on CNET.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Silverlight Smooth Streaming

The new version 3 of Microsoft Silverlight is already available, earlier than expected. Silverlight 3 introduces major media enhancements like out of browser support allowing Web applications to work on the desktop; significant graphics improvements including perspective 3D graphics support, GPU acceleration and H.264 video support and many features to improve development productivity.

One of the most interesting new features is the Smooth Streaming technology (see a demo here) 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. This provides support for Live and on-demand true HD (720p+) streaming.

The technical overview tells the following:
IIS Smooth Streaming uses the MPEG-4 Part 14 (ISO/IEC 14496-12) file format as its disk (storage) and wire (transport) format. Specifically, the Smooth Streaming specification defines each chunk/GOP as an MPEG-4 Movie Fragment and stores it within a contiguous MP4 file for easy random access. One MP4 file is expected for each bit rate. When a client requests a specific source time segment from the IIS Web server, the server dynamically finds the appropriate Movie Fragment box within the contiguous MP4 file and sends it over the wire as a standalone file, thus ensuring full cacheability downstream. In other words, with Smooth Streaming, file chunks are created virtually upon client request, but the actual video is stored on disk as a single full-length file per encoded bit rate. This offers tremendous file-management benefits.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

EBU technical review 2009-Q2

The new EBU Technical Review 2009-Q2 is available. The articles in this edition are:
  • Editorial : Innovation - a core activity of public service media organizations
  • DAB+ ... the Australian experience
  • Implementing receiver profiles - the evolution of modules for digital radio
  • TV displays - a progress report
  • Display measurement - a simple approach to small-area luminance uniformity testing
  • Why broadcasters should care about home networking

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


The Philips new Cinema 21:9 TV (2.39:1 aspect ratio) matches the original movie format used by directors, so you get no black bars or picture loss, just movies the way the director intended them to be seen! See a demo here.

Basic product specifications are as follows
  • Aspect ratio 2.39:1, 21:9
  • Brightness 500 cd/m²
  • Dynamic screen contrast 80,000:1
  • Response time (typical) 1 (BEW equiv.) ms
  • Viewing angle 176º (H)/176º (V)
  • Diagonal screen size (inch) 56 inch
  • Diagonal screen size (metric) 142 cm
  • Display screen type LCD Full HD UW-UXGA Act.matrix
  • Panel resolution 2560 x 1080p

GIPS announces H.264 SVC integration

Global IP Solutions, a leading provider of IP multimedia processing solutions, announced support for a Scalable Video Coding (SVC) implementation integrated inside GIPS video engines, which allows incredible video quality using the minimal bandwidth by adapting to each user's available capacity.

Using GIPS VideoEngine products with H.264 SVC, multi-party video conferencing can now allow different users to take part according to their bandwidth without downgrading any other participant's experience. In addition peer-to-peer video calls have greatly improved error resilience.