Christy Anzelmo from Foundry talks about new Virtual Production Pipeline and more

Christy Anzelmo from Foundry talks about new Virtual Production Pipeline and more

Foundry have been developing creative software for the Digital Design, Media and Entertainment industries for over 20 years. Foundry products are used to create breathtaking visual effects sequences on a wide range of feature films, video-on-demand, television and commercials. The company partners with others players in that field to solve complex visualization challenges and turn incredible ideas into reality. Senior Director Christy Anzelmo talks about the current products and new virtual Production Pipeline. The interview can be found on TL Network coverage.

Interview with Christy Anzelmo of Foundry

THX Certified EVOO Laptops: Games & Movies Have Never Looked or Sounded Better

THX Certified EVOO Laptops: Games & Movies Have Never Looked or Sounded Better

After purchasing a brand new TV or laptop, how many consumers out there do you think actually go through the trouble to calibrate and fine-tune the colors of their display to get the finest picture possible?  Probably not many.

The majority of users don’t even think about adjusting the display settings on their monitors or laptops, and just leave the factory default settings alone.   It never crosses their minds that they actually need to adjust and balance the settings if they want a better picture with better contrast or crisper and brighter colors.  The fact is, most of the companies simply do not calibrate their displays they package.

THX, known for the certification of movie auditoriums, as well as home theaters, car audio systems, and gaming consoles has just recently branched out to include personal mobile devices.  The latest lineup of THX certified EVOO devices were on display at the Pepcom show in San Francisco, which come pre-calibrated and tuned by THX engineers, who spend countless hours, guaranteeing the consumer get the best in sound and picture possible right out of the box. 

This is a big win for the consumer.

However, the really impressive news is that the EVOO gaming laptops will feature multi-dimensional sound utilizing “spatial audio”, where the sound not only surrounds you not only from the front, rear and sides, but also above and below you…basically a 360 degree field.  You can experience this through the built-in speakers from the laptop or just using headphones.  If you are a gamer or movie watcher, you cannot get better than this for a total immersive experience from any other mobile device.  If you prefer, you can always set it down to “stereo”.

The THX slogan of “the audience is listening” now can probably come out with a more updated slogan” “the audience is immersing”…

“We are pleased to help bring to market these exceptional new EVOO devices. With the EVOO Gaming laptops, gamers experience spherical multidimensional audio, putting them at the center of the action in video games, movies, streaming video, and music,” said Jason Fiber, senior vice president and general manager, mobile products, THX Ltd. ”Adding to this, our THX engineers worked diligently to calibrate the displays so the devices will offer a quality viewing experience with brighter, clearer colors and vibrant, focused contrast.”

EVOO Gaming Laptops – THX Spatial Audio and Tuned by THX: EVOO, a private-label electronics brand today announced three new Intel-powered EVOO Gaming laptops optimized for dedicated and new gamers. The EVOO gamer will have the option of enjoying THX stereo as well as THX Spatial Audio to experience three-dimensional audio immersion. This means the player may become fully immersed in an authentic game experience that transports them into the computer game environment with true-to-life acoustics that allows them to accurately locate enemies, avoid dangers, and detect threats with the precision and pin-point accuracy of advanced audio positioning. THX Spatial Audio may also help reduce ear and brain fatigue by moving sounds perceptibly farther away from the player in order to encourage mental sharpness enabling longer playtime. Recognizing that great content needs exceptional graphics, the EVOO Gaming laptops also feature displays Tuned by THX, resulting in a compelling and accurate viewing experience. THX engineers spend countless hours testing, tuning and adjusting a myriad of display parameters in order to provide exceptional, crisp display color and images for the best possible video experience from the time it is taken out of the box.

These three performance-series EVOO Gaming laptops, expected to be available in early November, include:

  • a 17.3-inch full HD screen with an Intel i7 9th gen processor, 16GB/1TB and Nvidia RTX 2060 ($1599 MSRP),
  • a 15.6-inch full HD screen Intel i7 9th gen processor, 16GB/512GB, and Nvidia GTX 1660ti ($1299 MSRP), and
  • a 15.6-inch full HD screen with an Intel i7 9th gen processor, 16GB/256GB, and Nvidia GTX 1650 ($1199 MSRP).
To 4K or Not to 4K?…That is the question…

To 4K or Not to 4K?…That is the question…

Funny how most consumers felt they were future-proofing their DVD player when they replaced it with an HD-DVD or Blu-ray player just ten years ago, just a few years after flat screen HDTV’s were initially introduced to the consumer market, replacing the traditional bulky CRT (cathode ray tube) televisions that hardly ever changed much since it was invented back in the Fifties.  Yet again, it seems history is about to repeat itself thanks to the advent of the latest Ultra HD technology or 4K.

4K “everything”, whether it’s Ultra HDTV’s, computer monitors, projectors, cameras, phones, media streamers, or Ultra HD Blu-ray players has become the hottest consumer trend in the market this holiday season.  It seems everyone wants a piece of the format.

In fact, according to the forecast by ABI research, they have predicted that more than a third of all households globally are anticipated to be 4K UHD TV’s by the end of 2021.  It will be very soon that the Ultra HD TV Market will be the new top-shelf standard of High Definition

Let’s face it, your standard 1080p HDTV that you bought is already looking drabby  compared with the latest technology.  Ultra HD TV’s or 4K televisions with its 3840×2160 lines of resolution has four times the pixels (as opposed to standard HD with 1920×1080 lines of resolution), translating into four times the sharpness. Not to mention, they are a dramatically thinner, lighter, and faster.

You get the picture?

The same obsolescence applies to Blu-Ray technology which has been the de facto standard for the last ten years.  Like Ultra HD TV’s compared to the standard HD TV’s, with the latest Ultra HD Blu-ray, you get double the resolution as standard Blu-ray, but you also get four times the sharpness.

Now with an ever-increasing number of UHD Blu-ray players out on the market today, is it worth upgrading your Blu-ray player to an Ultra HD Blu-ray player?

According to Victor Matsuda, the BDA Promotions Committee Chair, who was here promoting and representing the Blu-Ray Disc Association at the most recent Pepcom showcase in San Francisco; it certainly is and the HDR Side by Side demo at their booth clearly indicates his answer.  It is not just the number of pixels of resolution that makes it a “must own”, but it’s the contrast and color; the HDR (High Dynamic Range) and its WCG (Wide Color Range) that gives a whole gamut and spectrum of colors; from the darkest of darks and the lightest of lights with a higher bit rate which gives much more information. It’s much more immersive and realistic to the viewer.

Matsuda says that today’s consumer can become a “superhero” when they partner their 4K TV with an Ultra HD Blu-ray player. “You’re becoming a superhero for the family, but you’re not a real superhero for the family unless you get that super hero partner.”, Matsuda continued, “You have a Robin for every Batman, there’s a Tanto for every Lone Ranger, and that superhero partner for the 4k UHD TV is Ultra HD Blu-rays.”

The UHD Blu-ray player is the “Swiss knife for your entertainment center at home…it plays hard disks and plays all your streaming as well.”, Matsuda continued, “90% of the Ultra Blu-rays have HDR (the mandatory HDR-10 or proprietary premium HDR of Dolby Vision), but just make sure your 4K television supports HDR, as well. Pretty much all the major brands do support it: LG, Sony, Samsung, Panasonic…”

Matsuda explains; “Number, one, it’s the best quality that you can get for the TV, especially now that you have internet-based services and products…the disks are not reliant on any internet speed services.”  In other words, you don’t need a high-speed internet connection.  In order to stream and have a proper 4K experience with HDR you need at least 25mb per seconds as your internet speed to stream Apple or Netflix.

However,  currently only 20% of households have that as an average speed, though it is up from last year from 14%, and only 30% -35% have HDR on their internet-based product. With the future of 5G technology, this percentage is expected to increase dramatically.

In regards to Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog titles, as a general rule of thumb, studio movies that do well at the box office get released on the Ultra 4K format, however, Matsuda sites that there are three more factors that are helping bringing out titles. There is a demand for episodic television, such as “Game of Thrones”, and, older movies, such as the “Twilight” series which Lionsgate will be re-releasing. He also says that even smaller film studios are contributing to the mix.

Sales of Ultra HD Blu-ray players has seen a dramatic increase in year-to-year sales.  According to Matsuda – There has been a 66% increase from 2016 to 2017, as well as an increase in the number of disk releases; from 250 in 2017 to 430 titles in 2018.

“This is going to be the last format for Blu-ray players”, Matsuda remarked, which is itself a pretty surprising and bold statement coming from the Association that represents the technology. 

If you do have a 4K TV with HDR, or intend to buy one soon, maybe it’s time to future proof your disk player yet again, but this time, become a superhero for it.

Access announces NetFront Browser at IBC 2018

Access announces NetFront Browser at IBC 2018

At the IBC 2018,  after a demo presentation of NetFront Browser, Robert Guest, VP Product Management of Access Europe sat down with Editor Angel Scott to talk about the business case driving the product line.  All of us at Bright Blue Innovation are pleased to be a media sponsor of IBC 2018, premier broadcast technology and content creation technology event that was held September 12-16 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Nuance transforms the TV experience with voice

Nuance transforms the TV experience with voice

April 2016, NAB – Voice and language which is the most natural modalities we acquired since birth. No wonder that we are searching for communication with devices using our voice and language. Nuance Communications, has developed products that provide speech and imaging applications, is a leader in this area. If a customer uses voice commands to talk to automobile there is 99% chances that it is Nuance technology.

Kenneth Harper, VP, Devices & Ecosystem of Nuance talked to us about last advancements in transforming the TV experience with voice.  Nuance has been working for some time on specific solution called Dragon TV that is going to have huge impact on the TV experience.

The TV room is usually a complex multi-person environment where the commands are mixed with conversations making voice control is a big challenge. While you are watching TV, your kids are playing or your other devices are talking to you.  There are some advancements to solve that problem – said Harper. One of them is called signal enhancement.  Nuance is looking at audio that is being recorded, usually from two different microphones that, depending on set up, use an integrated technology and solution that we use that can sit in the remote control or set top box.  The technology trys to determine who is actually speaking in the living room. When we determine who that speaker is, we put what we called “a beamer” on that speaker. Then as a post processing task from all audio that was recorded, we enhanced that audio and suppress everything else. It called signal enhancement.

Accuracy matter in TV experience and Nuance making it work well.

TV is not one piece but multiple pieces. Nuance covers the entire spectrum for TV by providing the enabling technology to manufacturers and then integrate it this with specific hardware devices or specific solution. Now when the second screens are considered as TV as well,  a companion app is in use in that case. Sometimes it is at the set up box, sometimes inside the remote control. The customers have their preferences and Nuance follows their needs for both solutions– said Harper.

There is a difference between using TV and training Dragon for PC use to helping write an document or general input to a computer– mentioned Harper referring to our journalism work. TV uses mostly short comments that are fairly predictable. For TV there are certain things people going to do.

There are usually short commands, 5-6 unique words, we know the vernacular. Those are things that can be optimized – stated Harper. If a customer search for ‘movies with Bill Murray”. That’s how it all comes together.

The future of the living room is set. TV becomes the central hub of the home and voice is becoming the primary interface.