Last updateThu, 21 Dec 2017 2pm


Introducing – Tools for Cinema Quality Assurance


Cinema Test Tools for the non-Technical Manager – Post Installation Quality Assurance Has Begun

Cinema Test Tools is a free resource for the cinema industry, tuned most particularly for the non-technical manager. The tools include several DCPs, all with interesting means of testing the sound and picture quality for the interested by lightly trained staff. The lessons on sound and light are written to provide a foundation to communicate with the technician who must respond quickly and well to the information that they discover.

The key is a free Managers Walk Through Checklist that correlates with the many DCPs. It helps bring an understanding of the many nuances of the auditorium's situation in a straightforward way. 

Since we became our own secretaries, it seems that we have to know nearly everything these days.

Robotic Evolution

Rodney, you've talked about four goals that robot researchers should be aiming for. What are they?

Brooks: First, the object-recognition capabilities of a 2-year-old child. You can show a 2-year-old a chair that he's never seen before, and he'll be able to say, "That's a chair." Our computer vision systems are not that good.

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The Threat of Cyberwar Has Been Grossly Exaggerated

"If, on the other hand, we use the more measured language of cybercrime, we change the debate. Crime fighting requires both resolve and resources, but it's done within the context of normal life. We willingly give our police extraordinary powers of investigation and arrest, but we temper these powers with a judicial system and legal protections for citizens."

Thus begins Bruce Schneier's latest request that we accept some cyber-reality with our cyber-reduction of rights. The following paragraphs begin the article, but you should read the entire piece at:

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iPhone J.D, Site

For those with iPhones, a practicing lawyer in New Orleans, Jeff Richardson has a site that focuses on the iPhone for professionals—iPhone J. D.


Another Site: InfoWorld's Business iphone and ipad apps finder:
 The no-junk business iPhone and iPad apps finder - InfoWorld

Home 3DTV Realities

This article began as a reply to a post on CNET. It has turned into an article that will be added to for more technical content and links.

Minimalist, you've exposed many of the problems of 3DTV, but there are many more. There are also a lot of engineers out there solving them, including new standards. Most of the standards though, are dealing with compression and transmission, so expect a format war that will make the hardware choices difficult...and tend to making the choice of waiting the best one.

As is typical in cases like this, there is more than one technology for glasses. It seems that the more expensive shutter type glasses are becoming the favorite choice, even though they are more expensive. The other type, with the circular filters have the more expensive screen (the filter is difficult to apply and align correctly) but the less expensive glasses. In theory, both cause less light to come to the eye, but the filter technology would cause even less than the shutter type. Not a problem if you can kick up the gain smoothly during 3D watching, and back again for 2D material, but generally not a panacea. 

Because of the way that they work, the filter systems also deliver half the picture at a time, interlacing lines. In theory, this will make fast moving scenes stutter. TVs are now already being built with smoothing technology, the so-called 'Movie' mode to handle the 24 to 30 frame issues, but to some eyes that sucks resolution. 

There are going to be glasses for a long time. The problems of glasses-free designs may be solved eventually, but they are many. The company with the largest investment pulled out after spending a fortune trying to make it work, Phillips Wow technology. It can work, as long as one keeps ones head stationary, and level. Making it work for more people means less light to everyone's eyes, which is fine for a while, but still, no one can look at anyone to see how cool they look without glasses, without breaking up the 3D image. ...among other problems. Screens with 4K resolution (4 times what we have now) can solve some of this, but not all. The Digital Signage field will still be developing this technology for their purposes, but don't confuse their advances (or press releases) for Home3DTV advances.

Generally, the main ingredient for 3DTV is a fast TV, and most new TVs are above the refresh rate to handle 3D. Since 50Hz in much of the world, and 60Hz in the States can support good HD, and since half the signal has to be blocked half the time, one needs twice those speeds to make 3D work. Of course, if the technology can match it, even faster is better. Cinema screens get flashed 6 times per 1/24th of a second (3 times for each eye) when showing 3D movies. That explains what Sony is aiming for with 200Hz technology.

That makes other considerations important, like transmission and set-top boxes and what happens when 2D gets mixed with 3D. Sequential, being theoretically 2 full HD fields, needs more data to make a HiDef 3D picture, more than can fit into the HDMI 1.3 pipe. 1.4 is being presented in the market, so that is good, but there is a codec to match that, making everything easier in the future, H.264 MVC. That codec, among other technology, needs to get into the set-top box or into the TV.

Ultimately, home 3DTV is a fast moving field. It is probably not a fad. It is properly called Stereoscopy, since it isn't a real 3D hologram. But stereoscopy is one of the major clues we get in nature, so when it is done right on a screen, it can be very natural, pleasing and additive to the experience. It is probably not going to be as big switch as the switch to HD, but a lot of people are betting big amounts that it will succeed. 

We'll continue to add onto this article, with more technical and current data, as well as links. Eventually, it will be an FAQ. Any help will be appreciated.


RealD Gets Serious with IPO - UPdate

RealD Logo

It happened; Oversold is a bad thing on airplanes, but a good thing for RealD; Reuters reports that RealD's IPO raised 33% more than expected - 12.5 million shares are sold vs 10.75 expected, at $16 per share vs $13-$15/share range expected. 

The total therefore is $200,000,000 in, minus costs and minus the amount that shareholders were selling (which is 52% of the sale, of which the late Roy Disney's Shamrock Capital Advisors sold 1.4 million shares, according to Businessweek.

As chronicled later in this running diary, the original expectation when filing the S1 was for "up to $200 million" in sales, for a valuation of 1 billion dollars. So, in the end, a nicely managed IPO. 

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