Friday, June 26, 2009

Attach a mini LCD to your computer via USB

Set up two as rear view mirrors in a racing simulator?
Heck I don't know why it's useful, but it's cool. I have some embedded linux stuff with no display, so this could easily be attached to add a keyboard mouse and now screen to an embedded linux box. I don't think there are Linux drivers yet, But if I get one I can't imagine it would be too hard to write one.

The Mimo Mini 7 inch LCD monitor that attaches to your computer via USB. The max resolution is 800 x 480 and it can even rotate. It can be used as a separate display for your IM client, widgets, etc. $129.99. It’s available at ThinkGeek.

Only 1.3 pounds, means the Mimo monitor is ultra portable and cost-effective, as no expensive extra video cards are required. No extra power needed. The monitor is powered by USB.

NEW Tech: Biomimetics Display / MEMS-based Reflective Display

I guess that's what to call it, even the company Mirasol that developed it seems to lack a good name for the technology.

It can rival E-ink and Kent display the cholesteric LCD technology also commonly referred to as E-paper in terms of power efficiently.

"Qualcomm’s mirasol display technology is based on a reflective technology called IMOD (Interferometric MODulation), with MEMS structures at its core. This MEMS–based innovation is both bistable, meaning it is both extremely low power, and highly reflective, meaning the display itself can be seen even in direct sunlight.

By studying and mimicking nature’s processes and structures – a field of study called biomimetics – Qualcomm engineers have developed the nature-inspired mirasol display.

Humans view the world by sensing the light reflecting from various surfaces. As a result, a reflected image, from paper for instance, is more appealing and easier to view for the human eye, compared to a backlit image. Because of human perception, and mirasol displays efficient use of reflected light, the future of mobile devices is now."

Here is the link: Mirasol display

Here are the White Papers that were in there Press Kit, broken out from the HUGE zip file they had. It's a terrible web site.
Color Pixel Optimization 368K
Competitive_Display_Technologies 687K
Energy_Metrics 358K
Operating_Principles_IMOD_Drive 491K
Tech_Overview 665K
Value_Proposition 611K
I tried contacting then and they have not yet gotten back to me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Concrete Comparisons of Theora Vs. Mpeg-4

from SLASHDOT: Concrete Comparisons of Theora Vs. Mpeg-4
"With the upcoming Firefox 3.5 and HTML5 video, there's natural interest in Theora vs. Mpeg-4, but without much evidence either way. Here's clips encoded at various rates to provide concrete comparison between Theora and Mpeg-4. Theora performs decently, but requires more bandwidth than Mpeg-4 (although this is a 1.1alpha release of Theora and Theora has a much better license than Mpeg-4). The quality comparisons are very subjective, but you can try the clips yourself and see how it breaks down. There was an earlier discussion about this, but it lacked much concrete evidence. (Disclosure: it's my page.)"

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cute trick video, from Samsung

The tag reads

OUR CHALLENGE: GUESS HOW WE DID THIS. This clip was shot on an I8910 HD phone, a new camera phone just released by Samsung with an 8 megapixel camera that can actually record and output video in HD format. It was shot in one take, with no post production or special effects of any kind. Everything you see here was done "in-camera". Our challenge to you is to figure out how we did it. Hint: it's worth watching in HD...

It's definitely one the better pieces of web marketing.

YouTube HD Camera Trick Challenge

YouTube HD Camera Trick - Revealed!

Cute, right?

Friday, June 12, 2009

World's Smallest VGA Display

Kopin crafts world's smallest VGA microdisplay, with a planned 2k x 2k postage stamps up next!

You're looking at a full-color LCD with a resolution of 600 x 480 pixels (more than your iPhone's 480 x 320) that measures just over a quarter of an inch, diagonally--the world's smallest. Each individual pixel measures 2.9 x 8.7 µm (that's micro); for reference, the thickness of a human hair is around 100 µm.

But why? Kopin, the company that created the prototype, has the ultimate goal of creating a display with a resolution of 2048 x 2048 (4.2 million dots) that's smaller than a postage stamp--that's more resolution than a typical high-def wide screen monitor or television. They're hoping to use these ultra-high res, tiny displays to make sharp, high-end electronic viewfinders in HD video and still cameras, similar to the one already used in Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds G1 (which uses 1.4 million dots).

See there display products for more info.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Moon comes out tomorrow.

MOON // A Film by Duncan Jones

In theaters: June 12, 2009

It's almost Stanly Kuberesk

It is the near future. Astronaut Sam Bell is living on the far side of the moon, completing a three-year contract with Lunar Industries to mine Earth’s primary source of energy, Helium-3. It is a lonely job, made harder by a broken satellite that allows no live communications home. Taped messages are all Sam can send and receive. Thankfully, his time on the moon is nearly over, and Sam will be reunited with his wife, Tess, and their three-year-old daughter, Eve, in only a few short weeks. Finally, he will leave the isolation of “Sarang,” the moon base that has been his home for so long, and he will finally have someone to talk to beyond “Gerty,” the base’s well-intentioned, but rather uncomplicated computer.

It doesn't look this movie will be playing in Santa Barbara any time soon. Looks like I will need to drive to LA to see this one. Really crappy distribution on this film.

You know, even the Sony web site for it's hard to find, doesn't even come up in Google till like the 50th link. I would gladly pay $10 to download a copy to watch on my HDTV. If they were smart, they would make a premium download of this available on Netflix, blockbuster or Amazon.

Questions for Duncan Jones, Director of the Film Moon (With Video!)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lucasfilm uses Brocade to distribute movies

The artists and engineers behind the Star Wars and Indiana Jones film series rely on Brocade networking solutions to share bandwidth-intensive video files. The power and performance of Brocade solutions streamline file transfers across the entertainment company’s multi-building campus.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

YouTube Video Sends Guatemala Into Crisis
Slashdot | YouTube Video Sends Guatemala Into Crisis

Several have sent word that a YouTube video of recently assassinated lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg has sent Guatemala into a tailspin. The video of Rosenberg claims that if you are watching, he has been murdered by President Alvaro Colom with help from presidential secretary Gustavo Alejos.

"The video spread across the Internet after family members handed it out during Rosenberg's funeral on Monday. In the 18-minute tape, a seemingly calm Rosenberg, sitting behind a desk and microphone, alleges that Colom, the First Lady and two associates were involved in murder, corruption and money laundering. The group, he says, filtered public funds through a state-owned bank for personal gain and to finance drug traffickers. Rosenberg then claims that after Khalil Musa, a prominent businessman and bank board member, had learned of the Coloms' scheme, Musa and his daughter were shot to death in front of a shopping center in April. Rosenberg says the President signed off on the killings."

Akamai CEO: The Online-Video Tipping point is here

Akamai CEO: The Online-Video Tipping point is here.

How big of a game changer will the online video watching ultimately be for the television industry? And when will those changes really start to happen big time? According to Akamai CEO Paul Sagan, we're watching the tipping point occur right now and sweeping industry upheaval may come sooner and more dramatically then many imagine. Mr. Sagan was Keynote speaker at this week's Streaming Media East conference.

Tru2Way , DVR/DVD - Comcast and Panasonic

I was supposed to have published this back in January, some how it got lost in the bit bucket.

Tru2Way DVR/DVD - Comcast and Panasonic jointly introduced AnyPlay, a portable combo tru2way DVR-DVD. It looks like a regular portable DVD player and also a DVR that works like a Tivo. It sits in your living room by the cable box and then undocks and becomes a portable DVD player with recorded TV shows or other content.

Can Tru2way succeed where CableCard failed?

Other things you really should know about.

Open Cable


Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS)

DOCSIS Set-top Gateway (or DSG)

Triple play

Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

DTV switchover for seniors.

This is a test, I am trying to embedded my own flash video off my web site here.
This is also a really funny clip.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Dolby 3D Digital Cinema

Dolby's unique full-spectrum color-filter technology licensed from Infitec, enabled by the passive Dolby 3D Glasses,
The system provides realistic color reproduction and extremely sharp images.

INFITEC 3D is similar to polarised 3D with a few distinct advantages. Firstly, and most importantly, you don't need a silver non-depolarising screen, you can project 3D onto a standard white screen or even straight onto a wall if you want. Infitec is also not affected by viewing angles, so you don't lose 3D if you tilt your head!

According to the press releases the reusable glasses significantly reducing the cost per viewing and are environmentally friendly. The nature of the filters for each eye are much more expensive then plastic polarizers, but deliver a much better result.

They were using a glass or very hard plastic filters that were very high quality but it's not cheap. One theater operator I talk with said he was paying $38 per pair.

The glasses include an anti-theft RF tag.

Dolby 3D Digital Cinema technology, in conjunction with digital cinema projectors featuring Texas Instruments Digital Light ProcessingTM (DLP) technology, provides exhibitors with an efficient and flexible solution designed to deliver a superior 3D experience. Dolby 3D utilizes standard white screens, so exhibitors don't have the added cost or the quality compromise associated with the use of silver screens, delivering a consummate 3D experience from every seat in the house.

Infitec's 3-D technology was originally a research project of Daimler Chrysler for automotive design uses. Under the project title "wavelength multiplex visualization system" it was investigate the new approach to improving image quality and to enlarge functionally in Virtual Reality systems.

In July 2006 Infitec teamed up with Dolby Digital to produce 3-D cinemas. Jan 09 Infitec founded a new company for it's new technology Infitec Dualcolor3D.

Infitec uses a technique for channel separation in stereo projections based on interference of filter (In terferenz fi lter tec hnologie).

JDSU is the world's largest producer of optical coatings, developed the 3D filter wheel technology that is used and makes the lenses for the glasses.

Here the pictures for the left and right eye are projected with basic colors of different wavelength (wavelength multiplexing)

  • Left eye: Red 629nm, Green 532nm, Blue 446nm
  • Right eye: Red 615nm, Green 518nm, Blue 432nm

The channel separation of the projected images is done with a pair of of glasses that have selective interference filters for each eye.

Each lens filters the suitable wavelength triple with selective interference filters for each eye.

Infitec color-coding device
Dolby RGB filter color wheel

This has some advantages over the other 2 technologies that for 3D, polarization and Shutter goggles.

It has the advantage of the shutter goggle in that it can use a standard white screen rather than a costly silver screen.  A white screen cost ~$6000 while a same size silver screen can cost ~$16000.

It also has the advantages over the shutter goggle similar to the polarization systems (RealD and MasterImage) in that it's passive so there is not thing to fail. No batteries, connections or active electronics.

I suspect it's lower cost the the shutter goggles too.  

More info:
Dolby Digital 3D vs Real D / Master image systems.
Dolby® 3D Digital Cinema
Infitec - Infitec Dualcolor3D
Disney Digital 3-D™
Wavelength Multiplexing
JDSU and Dolby Deliver Premium 3D Movie Experience on the Dolby web Site
JDSU and Dolby Deliver Premium 3D Movie Experience On the JDSU web site.
Dolby 3D Glasses Training Video This is a fun video

Developers: Money For Nothing and the Codecs For Free

From SlashDot:

"In an in depth discussion on the codec industry, CoreCodec CEO and Matroska Foundation board member Dan Marlin shares his thoughts on the growing popularity of the MKV container, confusion in the marketplace between X.264/MKV and DivXHD and weighs in on a controversial decision by Microsoft to block third party filter support in future versions of Windows media player. His interview offers a behind the scenes look at an important piece of technology that is helping to power the P2P movement. It also raises the prickly question of whether or not Microsoft is abusing their OS monopoly, in order to rein in competition within the codec industry."

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Prince's new cloths.

A Hollywood movie producer friend of mine was telling me about some new holographic 3D technology that Prince Charles did a presentation with in Abu Dhabi.

I am always excited to learn about some new holographic or 3D technology, especially since I hadn't heard about this one. I felt I was taken off guard, being that I am working with real holographic stuff, I really should know about this.

A quick google search found this video on youtube.
Prince Charles Speaks in Abu Dhabi Via Hologram

Little more googling, looks like is was done by a UK company called Musion. Yup, is was done by them.

But further inspection reviled that this is neither 3D or Holographic!

When I read there requirements it didn't add up.
  • A video projector, preferably DLP with an HD card/minimum native resolution of 1280 x 1024 and brightness of 5000+ lumens.
  • For smaller cabinet installations, a high quality TFT Plasma or LCD screen can also be used.
  • A hard-disc player with 1920 x 1080i HD graphics card, Apple or PC video server, DVD player.
  • Musion Eyeliner Foil + 3D set/drapes enclosing 3 sides
  • Lighting and audio as required
  • Show controller (on site or remote)
Musions technology is based on the Peppers Ghost Illusion. Something that a very old theater technique. Literally the original "Smoke and Mirrors" effect. (Wiki: Peppers Ghost)

Plain old simple mono video shot on a standard camera.

There really isn't anything there that I see that is all that exciting!!!

It really wasn't much more then the Arther C. Clarke Events that I did back in 1997.

They do use a 20Mbps MPLS connection, so that mades it really easy for a rock solid international HD video stream to be sent, but there is nothing 3D about it, it's not cheap for that kind of pipe either.

Not that this isn't of some value but it is false advertising and just buzzwords to get the media's attention and the Media is all too mindless and just eat it up.

Now anyone who is doing real 3D and Holographic video has to deal with a fake competitor!

Maybe it doesn't sound all that bad, but when I ran my streaming company back in 96, we found our selves competing against all kinds of insane technological claims from .com start ups scams that just lied. They could never deliver, but it was enough to confuse investors and hold the market back. I had to spend countless hours trying to explain that you can't get full motion, TV quality video over a 36.6K modem and later and 56K.

Linux video applications

This isn't really much of an article as a link collection of Linux video apps worth checking out.

This isn't for CCTV or DVR use as much as consumer video.
  • xine - started as a simple mpeg-2 audio and video decoder, but it since became a full-featured DVD and video media player.
  • VLC media player / VideoLAN: a cross-platform video player and streaming solution. Video streaming over an ethernet network, and excellent standalone player.
  • MPlayer - another good player, it is also very robust against damaged streams.
  • movietime - still quite young, but it looks very promising !
  • ffmpeg - a nice audio/video encoder and transcoder.
  • Ogle - a good DVD player with menu support.
  • TCVP - video and music player for unix.
  • a52decX - a graphical interface for macintosh OS X.
  • bd4go - another graphical interface for macintosh OS X.
  • drip - a DVD to DIVX transcoder.
  • OMS
  • XMPS
  • GStreamer - a framework for streaming media (A real beast)
  • mpeglib - a video decoding library
  • Avidemux
  • ffdshow
  • GordianKnot
  • Handbrake: a multi-platform, multithreaded DVD to MPEG-4 ripper/converter.
  • LiVES
  • MeGUI
  • MEncoder
  • pspVideo9
  • RealAnime
  • StaxRip
  • TCVP