Video Technology Magazine November 2005               

3D Digital Cinema
Disney's Chicken Little is being released on 85 screens around the United States today in an updated, digital 3D technology.

The 3D projection technology is from a company, Real D. (see my Previous Article 3D Cinema)

Moviegoers will get 3D glasses that look like the character's eyewear

The new generation of 3D technologies is built on digital tools that promise a far better experience than in the past. But the industry hasn't yet settled on a standard.

All true 3D films require having a double image -- one frame for the right eye and a slightly different frame for the left -- in order to create the illusion of depth.

Old 3D films typically did this with two projectors. The new generation of digital projectors do it with just one machine, alternating rapidly between images meant to be seen by the right and left eyes. The Real D technology used in the Chicken Little film shows 144 frames per second, for example.

Normal Movies are 24 Frames Per second, but to hid the flicker, they shutter the image at (24 * 3) 72 time per second
To do the 3D smoothly, they shutter at 144, (72 * 2) where the movie is still 24 Frames per second, but plays each frame 3 times alternating the left eye view then the Right eye view.

In the case of "Chicken Little," the alternating left eye, right-eye images are projected with polarized light -- essentially meaning that the light waves carrying each image are lined up in an orderly fashion, but each side is lined up in a slightly different way.

For Disney this isn't a large stretch since it's been using this technology at it's Amusement parts, Disney Land and Disney World. This goes as far back as 1986 with Michael Jackson's Captain EO at Disney, and now with many of their "4D Attractions" at the parks such as "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience,", "Mickey's PhilharMagic", "It's Tough to Be a Bug!" and "Muppet*Vision 3D"

The Entire Star Wars Saga Scheduled For 3D Theatrical Release
In March, director George Lucas said he would release his movie Star Wars in 3D in 2007, to mark its 30th anniversary.

Plans are reportedly underway for the theater release of all six "Stars Wars" blockbusters in 3D format.

UPI cites Rick McCallum with saying: "As soon as we have enough digital screens out there -- 1,500 to 2,000 -- which will probably be around 2007, then we're going to go through this very pain-staking and expensive process of turning all the films into 3D."

"We did some tests last year and it's just so breath-taking. ... It just allows you to see the film in such a different way."

McCallum indicated that filmmakers Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis and Robert Rodriguez all have plans to release 3D movies.

"It's incredible," McCallum said, according to UPI "It's not for every film, but for certain big-event films, I think it will, hopefully, be the catalyst to get people back in theaters."

A different technique than the one used by Disney is being used by a company called In-Three, which Lucas has tapped to create 3D versions of the "Star Wars" films already.

In-Three is primarily focused on creating 3D masters from 2D originals, but it is also backing a technology using "active" glasses,(Like the 3D IMAX) in which each lens actually goes rapidly dark in turn using Electronic LCD Shutters. This may be easier for theaters to use, since it doesn't require installation of a special reflective screen. However, it does require a significant investment in glasses, which currently cost about US$20 a pair.

Other Big 3D movies

The Hollywood Reporter said the 3D version of King Kong was likely to be shown in cinemas in 2006, after the film's release next month.

There has also been speculation that Jackson wants to produce his Lord of the Rings trilogy in 3D.

Network DVR on a Chip
Formosa21 make a DVR solution called the VPON. From what I can tell is a Conexant Based DVR card solution. They have one feature that really differnetiates them. The chip based solution. This is really neat, but it's just Linux based software on a Compact Flash Chip that has been put into a an integrateed package, so it's nice and small.

VPON (Video Picture On Net)
Linux-Based DVR Chip

Most people aren't aware that Compact Flash actualy supports the PATA (Parrallel ATA ) standard also know as IDE. The neat thing is a CF Flash module can be wired straigh into the IDE connect with no electroncis, just a wiring adapter.

PC Engines
- CompactFlash to IDE Adapter

Provantage Sales Site


Past Articles
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GPL Video Source code Violations
Many of the best advances in video software are happening in the Open Source community, even the "patented" Standards such as MPEG4 happen withing the academic enviornments in a fashion very similar to an open source project. Some of this is Linux but these days much of this code is cross platform and Windows Only.

The guliverkli project that authored the Media Player Classic (MPC), an excellent open source Direct Show media player and alternative to the Microsoft Windows Media player is an obvious place to get working source code from. They accused XV30 who I have written about there java player is on Sourceforge of using there source code and commiting GPL Violations. as well as another media player, KMPlayer a free Binary only media player.

Video Codec Reference Source Code
Duing development of many of the video standards, Reference source code is often available in the public domain, although there are still patent issues, these reference sources codes are for development and educational purposes.

But I find this code very quickly get removed once the school or companies realises there is money in liscencing this code.

Anyhow, I have had so many requests for where to get video codec source code from I have put up links to the H.263 and H.264 reference source code. on

Yahoo's Hollywoodification
This is something I have been following for some time and reported on earlier VTM May 2005 - Yahoo's Big play

Lloyd Braun a former ABC television executive, is now the head of Yahoo's Entertainment and Media division (Yahoo! Media Group in Santa Monica, CA)since last November.

Yahoo's growth in there Santa Monica office has been so strong that I have heard from several other companies around them have been pushed out of offices to allow Yahoo to expand.

Back in May Yahoo hired (a friend of a friend) Longtime Fox exec Ira Kurgan to be Chief Business Officer, Kurgan will head all deal making, legal issues and partnerships as Yahoo! makes the plunge into Hollywood. Variety

Yahoo aquired MediaCode Dec 03. MediaCode was led by former Nullsoft engineers Ian Rogers and Rob Lord, and had software that lets people access their media libraries from multiple PCs. Rob Lord is now Director of Product Management for the Y! Music Engine team.

-- Another interesting thing I ran accross was in the google cache. A P2P system Founded by Rob Lord, Joe Johnston , Regis Nebor (WinAmp, and consulted for Yahoo.), with the board of advisors, Ian Rogers, Tom Pepper (SHOUTcast) and Jason Kay(Kay2 Ventures).

In July, Cyrus Krohn left MSN Video for the Yahoo Media Group. And Andy Beers, Director of Microsoft's MSN Video left earlier this summer to set up his own consulting firm; Yahoo is a client.

From cnet news -
Yahoo made waves in the industry hiring big guns from Hollywood to run the company and pushing its broadband and media business. Apparently, the moves are causing waves within the company as well. The hiring of Chief Executive Terry Semel from Warner Bros. and Media Group Head Lloyd Braun from ABC has sparked a culture battle inside the search giant, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.

"But as yahoo strives to enter the league of Walt Disney Co., Viacom Inc. and other media giants, success hinges on its ability to merge two inherently different cultures: the brash, flashy ethos of entertainment executives and the rumpled, brainiac realm of computer nerds," LA Times staff writer Chris Gaither writes.

For instance, while other executives work in cubicles at Yahoo and have no reserved parking, Braun converted a conference room with a patio into his personal office and reserved a parking space close to the elevators for his car, the article says. His top executives followed his example. However, Braun's request for a corporate jet was turned down.

The article also details a "widely recounted tale" in which Braun took an umbrella without paying for it from the Yahoo merchandise store on a rainy day and allegedly asked the clerk who requested payment "Do you know who I am?"

They do now.

Near-eye Microdisplays
Article here
Microdisplays are tiny, high-resolution displays designed for use with a magnifying optical system.

Alps Mini LCD's
It's finaly at the point where an advanced Hobbiest can hook up a PDA screen on there own.

I had worked on a Linux Based PDA project some time back using the NEC VR4181 CPU a MIPS Core based CPU that used this ALPS diplay, it's very bright and clear.

HSC Electronics a Silicon Valley surplus store has a special on them for just $40 each.

This link has some clear instructions on how to wire them up.
ALPS LFH8P4032B LCD Datasheet and Usage Guide

Anyone wishing to wire a few of these into a PC contact me. I'll go in on it with you.

Video: Meteor caught on tape
On 11/7/05 at approximately 3:28AM in northeastern Michigan, the Video recorder in a police car caught a large meteor entering the atmosphere
There is a video clip here

Video Feedback
Cute movie of Video Feedback. Yea I know it's not that high tech, but I do have Novice readers.
From Site: "I plugged the video-out port on my video card into the video-in port of my capture card. " Dude, I think you just blew my mind!
There is a video clip here

Tape It Off The Internet
I have been sugesting this a long time. P2P TV.
Tons of RSS, AJAX, Web 2.0, Ruby on Rails, Open API, P2P, Rich Media, Long Tail of TV, IM, Chat and VOIP, Gradients and Shadows ...did they miss anything? oh, Tagging and Mobile something.

While where at it check out ORB
Orb allows secure access to digital media from a home computer through a simple Web interface. Stream your live TV, photos, music and videos to any Web-enabled device.

Copyright © 2005, John L. Sokol
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