Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sony unveils prototype 360° 3D display

Conan's Punchline Is Final Cut Pro X

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Techdirt: Kevin Smith Continues To Innovate: Offering VOD Before Theatrical Release... But Also Offering Incentives To Go To The Theater

Fwd: License Plate Capture Camera From CCTVSTARS

This is an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Elva" <>
Date: Jun 29, 2011 7:32 PM
Subject: Re:License Plate Capture Camera From CCTVSTARS
To: "John Sokol" <>

Hello,John Sokol ,
Good day to you! Wish everything goes very well in your side.
Announcing!!  our Professional  License Plate Capture Cameras is coming now.
Capture images of the number plate 24 hours a day without any need for adjustment or re-calibration. This includes both bright sunlight and night-time operation.
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High-contrast imaging performance that delivers sharp, clear license-plate captures, even of vehicles at 25MPH, in bad weather, and in low-light conditions.

Powerful IR
Its powerful IR functionality and IR-corrected lens deliver perfect image captures and outstanding images all day long. It is also equipped with a high-power LED to help minimize energy usage.

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Its built-in 9-22mm lens captures a wide 2-15m field.

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The camera's rain guard and extendable sunshield minimize the effects of rain and sunlight on image quality.

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3D camera array effects

See the article on Hack-A-Day: Tesla coil bullet-time photography

Taking a cue from the Matrix movies, he bought a stack of Canon point and shoot cameras and constructed a bullet time rig in his workshop. In order to get the pictures just right, he flashed each camera with a customized version of the CHDK firmware that allowed him to trigger all ten shutters with a single button press. A few scripts help facilitate collecting all of the images for processing, after which he identifies the good shots and stitches them together. You can see the awesome results in the video below.

CHDK is the Canon Hack Development Kit

This is a similar rig to the used by DigiCave for there FreeViewpoint video.
Youtube video: Free View Point video 

Fwd: Security Dvr

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ayush sinhal <>
Date: Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 8:28 AM
Subject: Security Dvr
To: sokol

Hello Mr xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hi I am contacting you on behalf of Crystal Pvt. Ltd. . . We are a company in Telecommunication since 1981 in India . Presently we have started a new branch for Security Digital Video Recorder , we require hardware and software for Dvr. Please Contact me If you are still providing these services.

Ayush Sinhal

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fwd: hulu's as rotten as the others

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: B C

ps:  .... limited alternative lists  =

   Hulu is discontinuing McHale's Navy. Four seasons of 30-36 shows per, and won't allow copy....
or even discussion about how to copy/capture hulu shows for your own enjoyment. seems not available elsewhere, either.

One of my clients was on a PT Boat and really loves this discontinued show. I enjoy it because it's gentle, not in your face, broadcast.
Suspect it's being discontinued because it portrays the little guy, the individual, winning against the establishment, and the big powerful guy and or that government is stupid and needs to be circumnavigated ... all these types of shows are now removed and currently disappearing from the social consciousness " memories" ... people will soon forget this type of thinking, it's anti big brother ... shows like Blake 7 etc... will never be seen again...  even the prisoner remake is really, not the same, at all .....  FYI  .....  " Those in power are good and knows what's best for you "


Thread locked...

by John.Wilkinson Moderator - 4/2/09 7:53 PM

In Reply to: How to download Hulu shows by Slikkster

Pending a superior ruling, this thread is locked as a violation of the Hulu TOS:

-- Quote --
"The copying, downloading, stream capturing, reproduction, duplication, archiving, distribution, uploading, publication, modification, translation, broadcast, performance, display, sale, or transmission of the Content is strictly prohibited unless it is expressly permitted by Hulu in writing."
-- End Quote --


Fwd: Webinar Series: Projector Network Management Made Easy

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Almo ProAV Training Events" <>
Date: Jun 28, 2011 6:47 AM
Subject: Webinar Series: Projector Network Management Made Easy
To: <>

Learn online with the experts
Mobile users, click here to view this email online.

Almo ProAV Webinar Series



Learn how to manage your projector network with Christie PowerTools.


Wednesday, June 29

2:00 PM Eastern

Register Now

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Projector Network Management Made Easy with Christie PowerTools

Presented by Joel St. Denis Value-Add Product Manager, Christie Digital

Remote managment. Back-up and restore. Send group (or individual) commands. All of these concepts are essential in today's networked world with projection systems. How can you do all of this and more? Find out in this 45-minute, intructional webinar. You will learn how Christie PowerTools, a free client-based software interface, enables you to easily monitor and manage most Christie LCD , 1-chip and 3-chip DLP projectors on your network. Through a single user-interface you can:

  • Monitor through a 'tree-view' display
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  • Send commands to individual projectors, groups of projectors or all of the projectors on your network
  • Support any number of Christie projectors, regardless of their geographic location


Call to Order: 888.420.2566
:: View this message in your browser

Limited quantities available; offers valid while supplies last. No substitutions. This offer is valid only for the product(s) listed. Offer excludes prior purchases and cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Sales tax, shipping, freight and restocking fees will be additional. Almo Corp. makes no warranty expressed or implied with respect to the accuracy of the information, including prices or product specifications. All prices and offers are subject to change without notice, at any time.
Almo Professional AV is a registered trademark of Almo Corporation in the USA. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

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Fwd: Orad provides virtual ads and a permanent stereoscopic virtual studio

-------- Forwarded message --------

Press Release

June 28, 2011


Brazil's TV Globo extends virtual advertisement deal with Orad until 2017 

Orad Hi-Tec Systems Limited (Symbol: OHT), a world leading provider of real-time video graphic solutions has been chosen to provide its ADVision virtual advertising solution to leading Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo for the next 5 years. TV Globo is the largest TV station in Brazil and one of the largest in the world. TV Globo owns the rights to broadcast many sports events locally and internationally.


With Orad's ADVision virtual advertising solution, TV Globo will be able to precisely place virtual ads during their sport and other live events, including football, car racing, volley ball, the Brazilian Carnival etc.  As part of the new agreement TV Globo will be using ADVision in its Sao Paulo, Rio and other major TV Globo Branches across Brazil.


"This agreement is a result  of Orad's efforts to increase its dominance in Brazil and in sports broadcasts prior to the World Cup and Olympic Games in Rio"; Avi Sharir, CEO and President of Orad Hi-Tec Systems. "The current operations resulted in a substantial annual revenue for both TV Globo and Orad, and based on the extension of the agreement for additional site and the new capabilities that ADVision brings  we are  hoping  to increase our yearly revenues in the coming period. "


For more about ADVision, please go to:

Press Release

June 28, 2011


NEXT TV and Orad break new ground with permanent stereoscopic virtual studio


With Orad's innovative broadcasting technology, Polish broadcasters, NEXT TV have broken new ground by broadcasting from a permanent, stereoscopic, virtual studio.


By combining Orad's Virtual Studio and Stereographic solutions, NEXT TV can easily set up their stereoscopic production. NEXT TV's Panasonic cameras produce two 1080i signals for each eye. The camera data is then tracked by Orad's DVP which calculates the cameras' positions directly from the Panasonic camera. A single Orad HDVG is configured to produce and key internally separate 1080i left and right eye signals. Orad's' unique stereo controller then allows the operator to ensure an exact match between the stereo properties of the virtual studio and the real studio.


The end result is an accurate, real time stereoscopic production.


NEXT TV will also be using Orad's stereographic technology in its new TV station. NEXT TV will be producing 3 channels that will be in full 3D HD.


"NEXT TV is thrilled to implement such an advanced technology. We pride ourselves in providing our viewers with the most exciting and compelling broadcasts and with Orad as our partners we will continue to be on cutting edge of broadcast technology",  Karolina Szymańska, CEO, NEXT TV.


About Orad Hi-Tec Systems

Orad Hi-Tec Systems is a world leading provider of real time 3D broadcast video solutions, including; news, channel branding, sports production and enhancement, special events, virtual studios, and virtual advertisement. Orad's compelling solutions streamline production workflow, enhance viewer experience and improve production value.

Founded in 1993, Orad is a public company listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (OHT). For more information, visit


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US Congress To Use Skype For Video Teleconference - Slashdot

US Congress To Use Skype For Video Teleconference


"The US House of Representatives Committee on Administration has announced that Skype will be made available to the Members of Congress and their staff to improve efficiency and cut down on time spent travel

White Space Radio To Be Tested In Cambridge - Slashdot

Monday, June 27, 2011

A look at the new Google TV 2.0

On : A look at the new Google TV 2.0

Good article with a nice set of Photo's of the Fishtank Development system that's  Intel CE4100 running the Google TV 2.0 code.

Control Your Media - Coffee Table Touch Screen

From Lifehacker: Control Your Media From Afar with a DIY, Built-In Coffee Table Touch Screen

Based on:

XBMC Media Center (formerly Xbox Media Center) is a free and open source cross-platform digital media hub and HTPC (Home theater PC)

LIRC (Linux Infrared remote control)  LIRC - Linux Infrared Remote Control

Captcha cracking

I friend asked me yesterday if I could do the image processing needed to break Captcha. 

Captcha = "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart".

If your not sure what a Captcha is read:

I told him there were already libraries out there to break Captcha, and it's probably not worth my time, as interesting as a problem is it. 

PWNtcha - captcha decoder
PWNtcha stands for "Pretend We’re Not a Turing Computer but a Human Antagonist", as well as PWN capTCHAs.

Using AI to beat CAPTCHA and post comment spam

Gimpy, Breaking a Visual CAPTCHA

MegaUpload captcha cracking in JavaScript
This was certainly the last thing we expected to see today. [ShaunF] has created a Greasemonkey script to bypass the captcha on filehosting site Megaupload. It uses a neural network in JavaScript to do all of the OCR work. It will auto submit and start downloading too. It’s quite a clever hack and is certainly helped by the simple 3 character captcha the site employs. Attempting to do the same thing with ReCAPTCHA has proven much more difficult.
UPDATE: [John Resig] explained of how it works.
Captcha breaking sweat-shop with Web Service API

Cracking CAPTCHA with Padding Oracle attack

Video shows how to crack all CAPTCHA in a target website using only JavaScript hosted on a different machine. We do that by exploiting Padding Oracle and web browsers cross-domain information leakage vulnerabilities. One can easily turns this exploit into a distributed attack. Paper at for more technical details.

Social Engineering - involves manipulating people to get them to solve some problem for you. in the case of CAPTCHA, this can be easily done by providing bate such a free porn.  Solving and creating captchas with free porn. Now defunct.
CAPTCHA Killer is 100% focused on increasing accessibility on the Internet. There are over 1 Million Americans that suffer from blindness. CAPTCHA Killer can be used to automatically translate an image into the underlying text. (CAPTCHA Killer may only be used in accordance with the Terms Of Service of each website* - please read the agreements.)

For an overview on why visual captchas are a bad idea, see Matt May’s excellent presentation, Escape from CAPTCHA, as well as the W3C’s Inaccessibility of Visually-Oriented Anti-Robot Tests working draft.

More reading about Captcha

Cable Subscriber Rolls Fall Off - Again

From Multichannel News:
By Mike Farrell

Cable subscribers continued to fall in the top 15 U.S. markets in the first quarter, while telco and satellite-TV providers took up the slack, according to a recent report by SNL Kagan.

Cable subscribers fell about 4% in the 15 largest markets in the United States, from 24.1 million in the first quarter of 2010 to 23.2 million this year, according to Kagan. In the same time frame, satellite-TV subscribers inched up 0.1%, to 10.6 million, and telco TV customers surged 24%, to 4.4 million.

According to Kagan, satellite TV showed the most strength in midsized markets like Washington, D.C. (up 3.9%), Houston (up 3.8%) and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. (up 3.3%). Telcos had their biggest video gains in Los Angeles (51%); Chicago (49.5%); Washington, D.C. (30%); and San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif. (29.6%).

Cable operators saw subscriber declines in all 15 markets, with the bulk of losses in highly competitive areas like Atlanta (-8%); Dallas-Ft. Worth, Tex. (-7.7%); Chicago (-5.1%) and Los Angeles (-4%).

Overall, multichannel video subscribers were relatively flat in the period — down 0.1% to 38.2 million from 38.18 million in 2010. But some markets were hit harder than others.

Atlanta topped the list of multichannel defections, losing about 5.2% of its base; followed by Phoenix (-3.3%) and Detroit (-2.7%), with Seattle and Minneapolis/St. Paul also showing declines. In Los Angeles, multichannel video subscribers rose 3.9%, mostly due to increased telco and satellite efforts. Satellite-TV customers increased 2% and telco subscribers jumped 51% in L.A. during the period, off setting a 4% decline in cable customers.

While cable still dominates in total market share in big cities — Comcast tops the list with 11.6 million customers in the top 15 DMAs — telco market share is creeping up in major areas, Kagan said. The research house estimated that Verizon Communications’ FiOS has 23% market share in Dallas, nearly 20% in Washington, D.C. and more than 17% in Tampa- St. Petersburg and Houston.

Outside the top 15 markets, telco video market share is more than 23% in Baltimore, 20% in Richmond-Petersburg, Va.; and 15% in Providence-New Bedford, R.I.-Mass., all FiOS markets, Kagan said. The highest market share for U-verse is in Houston (17%), followed by 13% in Dallas.

Cable had its largest penetration rates — more than 71 % — in larger cities like New York, Boston and Seattle-Tacoma, but slipped to less than 50% in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Los Angeles, according to Kagan.

Atlanta is satellite’s most highly penetrated large market at about 44%, but it has even greater reach in mid-sized cities like St. Louis (47.1%); Nashville, Tenn.; (43.2%) and in Salt Lake City (50%). Nationally, DBS video share is highest in Springfield, Mo., at 63.8%, but lowest in Honolulu at 10.5%, Kagan added.

5 Technology Innovations Challenging Cable TV

From Multichannel News:

Industry’s Future Was on Full Display at 2011 Cable Show

By Todd Spangler -- Multichannel News, 6/27/2011 12:01:00 AM

Chicago -- When it comes to technical innovation, cable has had a reputation — not altogether unwarranted — of being slow off the mark. But the industry appears to be finally breaking free from the chains that have tied it down.

The future of cable technology was in full view at the Cable Show here earlier this month. Concepts crystallized into compelling demos and, in some cases, actual products. 

On-screen guides will be delivered from “the cloud”— and to any device. After being locked into digital cable TV technology, MSOs have a clear road for how they’ll deliver Internet protocol video to their customers.

At the same time, the network of connections is getting faster and smarter to be able to accommodate the coming multiscreen, all- IP-video future. Broadband and digital-cable equipment vendors demonstrated that MSOs will be able to fully tap into the 1 Gigahertz spectrum available over hybrid fiber coaxial networks, yielding multiple Gigabits per second of bandwidth.

“There was little that was truly new,” Sanford Bernstein senior analyst Craig Moffett wrote in a post-show research note. “But shows like this year’s may have the more lasting import, as they often tell us more about where we are going over the next five years.”

Here’s a recap of what was on display in the Windy City, grouped into five areas of innovation:


Cable’s move to cloud-based user guides will allow new features to be introduced much faster than with traditional interactive program guides that are tightly bound to set-top hardware.

The most high-profile advance: Comcast CEO Brian Roberts’ demo of the “Xcalibur” guide, which provides personalized features, integration with Internet services like Facebook and Twitter and advanced searching.

It’s all delivered over the network, dynamically, by the mpx video publishing system from Comcast’s ThePlatform subsidiary. Pace developed a hybrid digital video recorder set-top box with Tru2way, DOCSIS 3.0 and IP-video capability, running a media processor from Intel.

“TV services have historically been defined by infrastructure equipment, but that’s changing,” ThePlatform CEO Ian Blaine said. “Moving forward, cloud computing will play a defi ning role in enabling TV-service providers to innovate and differentiate.”

The Xcalibur demo exemplified ThePlatform’s strategy of trying to nab a seat in front of the living-room TV. It has hooked up with networking systems vendor Alcatel-Lucent to pitch pay TV providers on a jointly developed solution for distributing video over Internet protocol to a range of devices, including TVs, PCs, tablets and mobile phones.

Other developments on the “cloud” front: EchoStar Technologies debuted “Aria,” an offering comprising over-the-top VOD and HD user interfaces delivered to hybrid cable set-top boxes. The proposition with Aria: to let smaller cable operators deliver 12,000-plus VOD titles, an HD guide and Slingbox features to customers, without requiring a large capital outlay for infrastructure.

Interactive video-application vendor ActiveVideo Networks demonstrated how HTML5 applications could be delivered to set-top boxes or any video-streaming decoder. The company’s CloudTV platform takes content stored, processed and rendered in the network cloud and delivers it as an adaptable-bandwidth video stream to a device, which then passes back user key clicks from standard remote controls, smartphones or tablets.

Rovi debuted an advanced guide application that rides on top of its i-Guide IPG and provides HD graphics, advanced search, recommendations and poster art, delivered over IP. The TotalGuide Application for Set-Top Boxes application shows users what’s on their favorite channels, and lets them search and browse by programs, celebrities, cast and credits across linear TV, VOD and DVR.

Rovi executive vice president of products Corey Ferengul said: “Our customers said, ‘Make this work with i-Guide — give us a richer experience, but don’t make us make a massive investment in new hardware.’ ”


The push behind technologies for enabling “TV Everywhere” is in full swing.

Motorola Mobility showed off the Medios Xperience platform, which is supposed to let service providers deliver video content, social networking, games and Web-based content on “companion” devices. The software is designed to tie into operators’ existing video- on-demand and linear-TV services. The Medios Xperience platform includes three pre-built services: TV and VOD remote; TV and VOD streaming; and an enhanced user interface.

The TV and VOD remote lets a tablet, smartphone or laptop function as a remote control to browse an enhanced programming guide, choose a VOD or linear title, and launch that title on their device or on any TV in the home. In tandem with that, the streaming feature lets subscribers watch live TV or VOD on a device and provides menubased social-networking options.

The user interface — which can be part of a service provider’s branded site — provides search, navigation and discovery of content such as movies and TV shows on second-screen companion devices. The UI features personalized recommendations and a Netflix-like watch-list queue.

Avail-TVN expects to kick off trials starting in July of a service designed to let programmers and their pay TV affiliates deliver live TV and VOD across a galaxy of different devices.

The company’s AnyView managed multiscreen-video service will deliver video in MPEG-4 format. AnyView uses the Apple-developed HTTP Live Streaming adaptive bit-rate protocol that detects a user’s bandwidth and device capacity in real time to deliver encoded files at the appropriate data rate. “It’s really taking that TV experience from video-on-demand and linear and bringing it to connected devices,” Avail-TVN chief strategy officer Doug Sylvester said.

There are other roads that lead to IP video, too: Separately, Motorola touted “Televation,” a Slingbox-like device developed with Comcast that includes a CableCard and real-time transcoding capability to spray live TV over Wi-Fi to IP devices anywhere around the home. (Comcast said it currently did not have specific plans to launch Televation.) Unlike Slingbox, the Televation device for now is designed for only in-home use.


Who needs fiber to the home? Cable’s ability to deliver mega-high-speed broadband was highlighted in the Comcast demo of a souped-up cable modem rig blasting more than 1 Gigabit per second downstream.

Comcast used Cisco Systems’ DOCSIS 3.0 cablemodem termination system with the 3G60 line card and two prototype 16-downstream- channel modems to deliver a peak speed of 1.084 Gigabits per second, running over a dedicated coax network segment in its Chicago system.

According to John Chapman, chief technology officer for Cisco’s cableaccess business unit, the demonstrations show that DOCSIS still has many years of life left. “In short, it means that yes, DOCSIS does continue to scale — in a big way, and for a long time,” Chapman wrote in a blog post.

Arris showed its C4 CMTS delivering real file-transfer throughput of 4.5 Gbps of DOCSIS 3.0 downstream traffic, as well as 575 Megabits per second upstream to a single fiber node. The demo used 16 DOCSIS 3.0 modems with 8x4 capability — that is, eight downstream by four upstream — bonding an aggregate of 128 channels down and 24 up.

No operator would necessarily want to deliver that kind of bandwidth to an individual sub, Arris senior director of solution architecture and strategy Mike Emmendorfer said. “Peak speeds are cool,” he said. “But what we’re seeing is the need to maintain capacity to keep up with overall growth.”

According to Cisco’s recently updated VNI Forecast, average broadband speeds worldwide will jump from 7 Mbps in 2010 to 28 Mbps in 2015.

Focusing on the upstream, Aurora Networks touted its digital return-path solution that promises to double DOCSIS 3.0 upstream capacity, although an MSO would first have to reclaim analog TV channels to take advantage of it. The vendor’s Universal Digital Return module uses the 54 MHz to 88 MHz spectrum, which historically has been used for analog broadcast television, essentially doubling today’s standard North American use of the 5-42 MHz return path.

CommScope launched what it claimed is the cable industry’s fi rst universal edge quadrature amplitude modulation solution that can span the full RF spectrum — up to 1 GHz — with the ability to deliver 160 QAM channels on a single port.

Why this is a big deal: It will give an MSO the flexibility to put any service anywhere in the spectrum, as opposed to being locked into specific frequencies on dedicated QAMs.

“Getting to 160 QAMs per port is kind of a magical number because you have all 158 QAMs available in the 5-MHz to 1-GHz band,” CommScope vice president of advanced broadband solutions Shane Eleniak said.

The LxS-16016 QAM system, to be available this summer, was developed by LiquidxStream, which CommScope recently acquired. The system provides up to 160 QAM channels on each of 16 RF ports, delivering a maximum of 2,560 QAMs in a four-rack-unit-high chassis, which easily beats other solutions currently on the market on scale and density.

CommScope is positioning the product, which supports any combination of video and data services across all QAMs, as aligning with CableLabs’ Converged Cable Access Platform, which consolidates the core interface requirements of Comcast and Time Warner Cable for an integrated headend device.

In a similar vein, Broadcom privately showed what it claimed is the industry’s first fully digital “full-band capture” tuner chip — able to tune anywhere in the 50-MHz to 1-GHz downstream spectrum. That promises to provide a lot more flexibility in how cable operators deploy the next generation of set-tops, gateways and DOCSIS modems that include the Full-Band Capture tuner. Here’s why: With the “FBC,” any demodulator can tune to any frequency — using just one chip instead of nine individual tuners.


Operators are turning their attention to hybrid vehicles to provide a way to bridge the gap between the current quadrature amplitude modulation-delivered cable TV world and full IPTV.

Motorola Mobility cooked up a six-tuner IP video gateway — with 1 Terabyte of disk storage — for Time Warner Cable. The DCX3600M Video Gateway includes built-in transcoding capabilities allowing it to take a single QAM MPEG-2 channel and transcode it to MPEG-4 for delivery to mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, over a home network. It also includes a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with eight downstream and four upstream channels.

“It’s truly the anchor tenant in the IP-connected home,” Motorola Mobility senior director of marketing Buddy Snow said. “I think this box embodies the kinds of features we spent the last two years talking to the cable guys about.”

Motorola did not disclose pricing. Snow said gateways are cost-effective options because they reduce the cost of delivering video throughout the home, “especially when you talk about fourth, fifth and sixth outlets. You could use a PlayStation 3 as a client.”

The DCX3600M can be configured as a “headless” gateway — meaning it doesn’t have a front control panel or TV-video outputs — or as a “headed” gateway that functions as a traditional set-top.

Six tuners is the magic number for gateways: Arris also was showing its sixtuner gateway with 500 Gigabytes of disk storage and a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with eight downstream and four upstream channels. The IP-enabled gateway uses the Moxi guide developed by Diego, which Arris acquired two years ago.

Not wanting to be left out, Cisco provided select customers a closed-door demo of a hybrid cable video gateway, dubbed “Generation 8,” designed to give operators a pathway to a full IP-based video infrastructure.

The G8 gateway likewise includes six QAM tuners. It has the ability to stream up to 10 live or recorded video streams inside the home over IP and includes a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem with the ability to bond up to eight downstream and four upstream channels.

To deliver video to tablets and other non-set-top platforms, the G8 includes a transcoding engine to convert MPEG-2 into MPEG-4 H.264 format, with the ability to handle one HD stream or up to four standard-definition channels concurrently.

“You’re not going all-IP overnight,” Ken Morse, chief technical officer of Cisco’s Service Provider Video Technology Group, said. “This can extend your linear channels to IP devices and then provide the full lineup down the road. It’s a no-regrets investment.”


After years of talks and trials, advanced advertising is poking its head above ground.

Cablevision Systems touted the launch of Optimum Select RFI with e-mail fulfillment, which lets viewers click on an interactive 30-second spot and request more information via e-mail. Recent customers that ran ITV spots in the MSO’s New York metro service area included travel-promotions firm International Cruise & Excursions. The operator said Lincoln, Benjamin Moore and Adirondack Regional Tourism plan to begin RFI-toe- mail campaigns shortly.

On the VOD advertising front, SeaChange International and This Technology hooked up to combine SeaChange’s Infusion Advanced Advertising Platform with This Technology’s SpotLink software. The joint solution promises to let operators to use existing Internet ad servers for placement decisions for dynamic VOD ads.

Buzz at the Cable Show was that SeaChange has been in discussions about acquiring New York-based This Technology, according to two sources. (The companies declined to comment.) Meanwhile, SeaChange itself is an acquisition target, with Arris exploring a takeover of the VOD and advertising systems firm.

Meanwhile, Harris Broadcast Communications made its official entry into the VOD advertising space with its Targeted Advertising platform. An extension of its linear ad-management system, the software includes an integrated Campaign Manager module to handle the purchase and management of multiple advertising product types.

Among other developments on the advanced ad front: Black- Arrow, BigBand Networks and Nagra (in conjunction with This Technology) showed the ability to deliver targeted spots to handheld devices.

DVRs, Cable Boxes Top List of Home Energy Hogs

From Slashdot:

"Elisabeth Rosenthal writes that cable setup boxes and DVRs have become the single largest electricity drain in many American homes, causing an increase of over $10/month for a home with many devices, with some typical home entertainment configurations eating more power than a new refrigerator. The set-top boxes are energy hogs mostly because their drives, tuners and other components are running full tilt, 24 hours a day, even when not in active use. 'People in the energy efficiency community worry a lot about these boxes, since they will make it more difficult to lower home energy use,' says John Wilson, a former member of the California Energy Commission. 'Companies say it can't be done or it's too expensive. But in my experience, neither one is true. It can be done, and it often doesn't cost much, if anything.' The perpetually 'powered on' state is largely a function of design and programming choices made by electronics companies and cable and Internet providers, which are related to the way cable networks function in the United States. Similar devices in some European countries can automatically go into standby mode when not in use, cutting power drawn by half and go into an optional 'deep sleep,' which can reduce energy consumption by about 95 percent (PDF) compared with when the machine is active. Although the EPA has established Energy Star standards for set-top boxes and has plans to tighten them significantly by 2013, cable providers and box manufacturers like Cisco Systems, Samsung and Motorola currently do not feel consumer pressure to improve box efficiency."

From NY Times:  Atop TV Sets, a Power Drain That Runs Nonstop

"Those little boxes that usher cable signals and digital recording capacity into televisions have become the single largest electricity drain in many American homes, with some typical home entertainment configurations eating more power than a new refrigerator and even some central air-conditioning systems.

There are 160 million so-called set-top boxes in the United States, one for every two people, and that number is rising. Many homes now have one or more basic cable boxes as well as add-on DVRs, or digital video recorders, which use 40 percent more power than the set-top box.

One high-definition DVR and one high-definition cable box use an average of 446 kilowatt hours a year, about 10 percent more than a 21-cubic-foot energy-efficient refrigerator, a recent study found.

These set-top boxes are energy hogs mostly because their drives, tuners and other components are generally running full tilt, or nearly so, 24 hours a day, even when not in active use. The recent study, by the Natural Resources Defense Council, concluded that the boxes consumed $3 billion in electricity per year in the United States — and that 66 percent of that power is wasted when no one is watching and shows are not being recorded. That is more power than the state of Maryland uses over 12 months.

“People in the energy efficiency community worry a lot about these boxes, since they will make it more difficult to lower home energy use,” said John Wilson, a former member of the California Energy Commission who is now with the San Francisco-based Energy Foundation. “Companies say it can’t be done or it’s too expensive. But in my experience, neither one is true. It can be done, and it often doesn’t cost much, if anything.”

The perpetually “powered on” state is largely a function of design and programming choices made by electronics companies and cable and Internet providers, which are related to the way cable networks function in the United States. Fixes exist, but they are not currently being mandated or deployed in the United States, critics say.

Similar devices in some European countries, for example, can automatically go into standby mode when not in use, cutting power drawn by half. They can also go into an optional “deep sleep,” which can reduce energy consumption by about 95 percent compared with when the machine is active.

One British company, Pace, sells such boxes to American providers, who do not take advantage of the reduced energy options because of worries that the lowest energy states could disrupt service. Cable companies say customers will not tolerate the time it takes to reboot the system once the system has been shut down or put to sleep.

“The issue of having more efficient equipment is of interest to us,” said Justin Venech, a spokesman for Time Warner Cable. But, he added, “when we purchase the equipment, functionality and cost are the primary considerations.”

But energy efficiency experts say that technical fixes could eliminate or minimize the waiting time and inconvenience, some at little expense. Low-energy European systems reboot from deep sleep in one to two minutes.

Alan Meier, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said of the industry in the United States, “I don’t want to use the word ‘lazy,’ but they have had different priorities, and saving energy is not one of them.”

The Environmental Protection Agency has established Energy Star standards for set-top boxes and has plans to tighten them significantly by 2013, said Ann Bailey, director of Energy Star product labeling, in an e-mail. The voluntary seal indicates products that use energy efficiently. But today, there are many boxes on the list of products that meet the Energy Star standard that do not offer an automatic standby or sleep mode.

If you hit the on/off button it only dims the clock, it doesn’t significantly reduce power use,” said Noah Horowitz, senior scientist at the natural resources council.

Energy efficiency is a function of hardware, software, the cable network and how a customer uses the service, said Robert Turner, an engineer at Pace, which makes set-top boxes that can operate using less power while not in active use.

Sometimes energy efficiency can be vastly improved by remotely adjusting software over a cable, Mr. Turner said. In this way, Pace reduced the energy consumption of some of its older boxes by half.

Cable boxes are not designed to be turned completely off, and even when in deep sleep mode, it takes time to reconnect and “talk” with their cable or satellite network, though that time is highly variable depending on the technology.

Mr. Wilson said he routinely unplugged his set-top boxes at night and waited only 45 seconds for television in the morning. But Dr. Meier said that when he tried to power down his home system at night, it took “hours” to reboot because the provider “downloaded the programming guide in a very inefficient way.”

Cable providers and box manufacturers like Cisco Systems, Samsung and Motorola currently do not feel consumer pressure to improve box efficiency. Customers are generally unaware of the problem — they do not know to blame the unobtrusive little device for the rise in their electricity bills, and do not choose their boxes anyway.

Those devices may cause an increase of as little as a few dollars a month or well over $10 for a home with many devices. In Europe, electricity rates are often double those in the United States, providing greater financial motivation to conserve.

Cisco Systems, one of the largest makers of set-top boxes, said in an e-mail that they would offer some new models this year that would cut consumption by 25 percent “through reduced power used in ‘on’ and standby states.” There will be no deep sleep or fully “off” setting.

But Cisco said that taking advantage of the potential energy savings for a box would also depend on “how it is operated by the service provider.” Cable and satellite providers will have to decide whether the boxes can automatically go to standby, for example, and whether customers will be able to adjust their own settings. Currently, providers often do system maintenance and download information at night over the cable, so an ever-at-the ready cable box is more convenient for them.

Cable companies can become Energy Star “partners” if they agree to install or upgrade boxes so that 25 percent to 50 percent of the homes they serve have “energy star qualified” equipment. The E.P.A. merely encourages providers to use units that can automatically power down at least partly when not in use.

But as of Sept. 1, typical electricity consumption of Energy Star qualified products would drop to 97 kilowatt hours a year from an average of 138; and then by the middle of 2013, they must drop again to 29 kilowatt hours a year. Companies have fought the placement of the “Energy Star” seal on products and the new ambitious requirements, which may still be modified before enacted.

Mr. Wilson recalled that when he was on the California Energy Commission, he asked box makers why the hard drives were on all the time, using so much power. The answer: “Nobody asked us to use less.

The biggest challenge in reducing energy use is maintaining the rapid response time now expected of home entertainment systems, Mr. Turner said. “People are used to the idea that computers take some time to boot up,” he said, “but they expect the TV to turn on instantly.” "

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wheels of Steel DJ App Puts HTML5 Decks in Your Browser | Underwire |

Micropointing - Technilogy

Micropointing is a miniature pointing device, designed for use in handheld devices such as smartphones, navigating systems, and notebook PCs features technology uniting exceptionally small size with unprecedented user friendly control.
Micropointing’s “fingertip control area” is only one square millimeter.
  • Solves the challenge of added smart phone functionality while maintain ing small footprint, combined with superior usability and performance and an intuitive interface
  • Eliminates need for small fingers in operating cell phones and other devices and delivers robust durability with no moving parts, helping to reduce replacement parts costs
  • Offers improved functionality, high resolution, and exceptional sensitivity,

Encrypted Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMPE or RTMPTE)

Encrypted Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMPE or RTMPTE) from Adobe.

It is implemented in flash player 9.0.115 and some versions of Flash Media Server 3.

This technique is used by the Hulu desktop player. 

Streamed content is encrypted by the Flash Media Server "on the fly", so that there is no need to encrypt the source file (a significant difference from Microsoft's DRM). For transmission ("streaming"), a special protocol is required: either RTMPE or RTMPS.
RTMPS uses SSL-encryption. In contrast, RTMPE is designed to be simpler than RTMPS, by removing the need to acquire an SSL Certificate. RTMPE uses Diffie-Hellman key exchange and HMACSHA256, generating a pair of RC4 keys.

One of which is then used to encrypt the stream from the server , while the other key is used to encrypt any data sent to the server. RTMPE caused less CPU-load than RTMPS on the Flash Media Server.

The Adobe RTMPE algorithm tries to provide end-to-end secrecy in exactly the same way that SSL provides end-to-end secrecy,
but the algorithm is subject to man-in-the-middle attacks, provides no security, relies on publicly obtainable information and the algorithm
itself to obfuscate the content, and uses no authentication of any kind.


Wikipedia: Protected Streaming
Whitepaper by Adobe 

A usfull utility for working with these streams is rtmpdump.
It's a toolkit for RTMP streams. All forms of RTMP are supported, including rtmp://, rtmpt://, rtmpe://, rtmpte://, and rtmps://.

Strategies For Exceptional Video media Production

From Tricoya: Strategies For Exceptional Video media Production

Cable TV over Internet.

There are a number of sites offering Cable TV over Internet.  

Here is one from

This is getting hard to ignore.

  • Are these sites just pirated streams in flagrant disregard of copyright law?
  • Are they just organizing links to other people who are breaking laws by streaming copyrighted content?
  • Are they scams? 
  • Are they just a repackage of existing free streams?

I am not willing to actuallty give them my credit card and load this on any of my PC's.

If anyone tried this or similar service, please tell us in the comments or shoot me an E-mail. John 

Equation: The Formula Behind Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Bytes beat bricks

 From Fortune Tech: Bytes beat bricks

The tech boom of the 1990s was thought to spell the death of plenty of brick-and-mortar companies, but they coexisted with their e-rivals for years. It looks like those days are now coming to an end.

Medical imaging process accelerated in FPGA 82X faster than software

Use best practices to deploy IPv6 over broadband access

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Final Cut Pro X, Video Editors are not happy.

From my friend AJC:
Exit Final Cut "Pro" from the Pro Video Editing Biz.... FCPx is a failure, DOA in Hollywood, "iMovie Pro" for Barmitzva/Wedding cutters.... Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead! As a loyal AVID editor it's time for a tall ice cold glass of refreshing Schadenfreude....

From NYTimes:  Professional Video Editors Weigh In on Final Cut Pro X

By   June 23, 2011, 3:40 pm
In 10 years of writing Times columns, I’ve never encountered anything quite like this.
In Thursday’s paper, I reviewed Apple’s Final Cut Pro X, a professional video-editing program. It’s not an update of the existing Final Cut, which is by far the most popular such program; it’s completely new and radically redesigned. It looks different, its strengths are different — and after one day of using it, many professional video editors are running through the streets with pitchforks.

“This is Apple’s worst release in history,” seethed one in an e-mail message. 

“Apple has absolutely no clue what professionals need. There are so many missing high-end features that we need, it should be called iMovie Pro.”

I wrote my review from the perspective of an advanced amateur; I’m not a professional editor. I made four movies with Final Cut Pro X, including helping my son with a 20-minute final eighth-grade project. I found FCP X infinitely more powerful than iMovie, yet infinitely less intimidating than the old Final Cut.
But in this post, I’m going to address the concerns of professional video editors, one by one.
The “missing features” generally fall into three categories: features that are actually there and have just been moved around, features that Apple intends to restore and features that require a third-party (non-Apple) add-on or plug-in.
I’m not trying to be an Apple apologist; FCP X offers legions of amazing features that the old version didn’t have, but it doesn’t have all the features of the old one, either. It’s only fair, however, to separate what’s really missing from knee-jerk “It’s so different!” hysteria.
Complaint: There’s no multicamera editing. In the old FCP, you could import the footage from various cameras that covered an event (say, a concert) from different angles simultaneously, and then easily cut back and forth between them while editing. It was a star feature of Final Cut, and it’s gone from FCP X.
Answer: Apple intends to restore this feature in an update, calling it “a top priority.” Until it does, here’s a stopgap facsimile of multicam editing: If you drag two clips into parallel timeline tracks, you can choose Clip->Synchronize Clips. By comparing their audio tracks, the program aligns the clips exactly. Now, each time you select a piece of the upper video track and press the V key (“disable”), you are effectively cutting to what’s on the lower video track.

Complaint: You can’t share a project with other editors. In professional editing companies, editors routinely exchange projects. But in FCP X, “all of your project organization is now globally contained in the application rather than in your project file. You literally have to give that other editor your entire computer,” writes one blogger.
Answer: Not true. You can share your project, your files, or both.
If the other editors already have the raw video files, you can hand over the project file. The other editors can inspect the Project Library; on its Info panel, they can click “Modify Event References” to reconnect the project to their own copies of the media files.
If the other editors don’t have the raw files, the various commands in the File menu let you move the project file, the media files, or both to another computer on the network, to another hard drive or whatever.
Complaint: You can’t freely organize your media files. “There is no way to customize the organization of the project media,” gripes one blogger.
Answer: You can customize the organization freely if you’re willing to understand the new keyword tagging system. Dragging a clip into a folder essentially applies a new keyword to it.
Complaint: You can’t specify import locations. “When you import video files, FCP X puts them all into your User-> Movies folder, like iMovie does. Ridiculous,” says one reader in an e-mail.
Answer: Again, not true. In the Import dialog box, there’s an option called “Copy files to Final Cut Events folder.” If you turn it off, Final Cut leaves the imported files where they are.
Complaint: No Reconnect command when media is offline. When media is offline, you get a red screen with an exclamation point. There is no Reconnect Media command, as there used to be.
Answer: True. Then again, the old Reconnect dialog box got people into a lot of trouble; they often reconnected a project to the wrong files, or the wrong versions of files.
FCP X assigns a unique behind-the-scenes identifier to every single video clip. When you reconnect the missing hard drive, your project reconnects to its original files automatically, even if you have moved them around or renamed the hard drive. You can’t reconnect to the wrong thing.
Complaint: You can’t assign audio tracks. “We send all our audio files out for ProTools mixing,” writes one editor in an e-mail. “We always put narration on Track 1 and 2, interviews on Tracks 3 – 6, and so on. So our audio engineers know exactly what’s on which track. But FCP X’s ‘trackless’ design makes that impossible.”
Answer: For now, you can use a utility called Automatic Duck Pro Export 5.0 ($200 to upgrade) to create and manage these tracks automatically when you export to ProTools. Apple says  it will restore this feature to FCP X.
Complaint: No custom frame rates or custom frame sizes. Editors are complaining that you can’t specify unusual frames-per-second rates or frame dimensions.
Answer: Not true. When you create a new project, you can specify any frame rate or size you want, right in the Import dialog box. You can also change the frame rate or size when you export the finished product — if you’re willing to spend $50 on Compressor.
Complaint: No support for RED digital cameras. The RED camera is a favorite of filmmakers; it records incredibly high-resolution video directly to a hard drive. But FCP X can’t import its files.
Answer: Apple is working with RED to create a plug-in that will give native RED support to FCP X. In the meantime, you can set your RED camera to shoot and capture video in the QuickTime format, which FCP X imports just fine. Or you can use RED’s free conversion program, which converts its own files into the Apple ProRes format, which FCP X loves because it’s so much faster and easier to edit than the native RED files.
Complaint: No P2 support. Professional Panasonic cameras record onto special memory cards called P2 cards. Editors are used to inserting the P2 card into a card reader and importing its video directly into Final Cut.
Answer: FCP X imports files from P2 cards just fine. The trick is to use the Import From Camera command (even though it’s a card), not Import ->Files.
Complaint: No ability to pause or fork the Autosave. Final Cut Pro autosaves your work as you go. Editors complain, therefore, that they can’t save different versions of a project as they go along.
Answer: You can duplicate your project at any time, thus freezing it in its current condition. Just click it in the Project Library and choose File -> Duplicate Project.
Complaint: Can’t specify the scratch disks. In previous versions of Final Cut Pro, you could choose individual hard drives for storing your project’s render (preview) files. But if you didn’t know what you were doing, things could get messy. For example, you might store the project on one drive, and then render files on another; then, later, you would open up the project when the render-file disk wasn’t available. You would have to re-render the whole project.
Answer: In FCP X, the render files are stored on the same disk as the project, so they don’t get separated. You can still store your files on any drive; you determine that by where you store the project file.
Complaint: Can’t output to tape. Videotape is on the way out  — you would be hard pressed even to find a camcorder that takes tape anymore — so it’s not built into FCP X. This is one of several ways that FCP X is clearly a program designed more for the future than the past.
Answer: You can buy tape-deck control programs like AJA VTR Exchange and Black Magic Media Express. AJA and Black Magic are two major makers of add-on circuit boards for professional video editing. These apps work with their boards.
Complaint: Can’t export EDL files. These are Edit Decision Lists: a 30-year-old, ASCII-text, single-video-track export file format that can be moved from tape machine to tape machine, in order to continue working on a project on another computer. FCP no longer imports or exports them.
Answer: No solution in sight. Plenty of video-editing companies still traffic in EDL files, but Apple thinks these crude files should be retired. There are much better formats (read on).
Complaint: Can’t export AAF or OMF files. These formats are successors to EDL. They let you export your project to other programs, like Avid, Quantel or Pro Tools, for more sophisticated editing.
Answer: The old Final Cut didn’t export these, either, but you could get plug-ins to do the job. The same is true in FCP X. Automatic Duck ProExport 5.0 adds AAF and OMF exporting to FCP X. There will be other companies offering similar export plugins (including EDL, by the way), once Apple publishes its XML programming guidelines (API).
Complaint: Can’t connect an external monitor. Pros work with Final Cut on the Mac screen, but they prefer to view the actual edited video on a dedicated second screen. While Final Cut Pro X works just fine with a second computer monitor — you just choose Window -> Show Events on Second Display (or Window -> Show Viewer on Second Display) — there are complaints that it can’t connect to an external video monitor (TV), which pros feel offers better color fidelity.
Answer: Just as before, you need a Mac Pro with a video-output card in order to connect a TV monitor. Apple expects that the output-card companies will soon offer the necessary drivers for FCP X; AJA, one of the major makers of these boards, already offers beta versions of such drivers. Apple is working with Black Magic to offer drivers for its boards.
Complaint: Can’t specify QuickTime export settings. In FCP7, you could export your project as a QuickTime movie, with full control over the frame size, compression scheme, frame rate and so on. In FCP X, you have a few presets, but not the full range of control.
Answer: FCP’s companion program, Compressor, has a full range of compression schemes. It’s a separate $50 purchase, and its presets can be installed in FCP X directly.
Complaint: Can’t import old FCP files.
Answer: As I noted in my column, this is true; your old projects are stranded forever in the older FCP program. You’ll have to keep both programs on your hard drive, and edit the old projects in the old program. When you install the new FCP, your old copy is safely preserved.
The Bottom Line: Apple has followed the typical Apple sequence: (1) throw out something that’s popular and comfortable but increasingly ancient, (2) replace it with something that’s slick and modern and forward-looking and incomplete, (3) spend another year finishing it up, restoring missing pieces.
Professional editors should (1) learn to tell what’s really missing from what’s just been moved around, (2) recognize that there’s no obligation to switch from the old program yet, (3) monitor the progress of FCP X and its ecosystem, and especially (4) be willing to consider that a radical new design may be unfamiliar, but may, in the long term, actually be better.

Digital Signage is in Demand

---------- Forwarded message ----------
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Date: Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 3:01 PM
Subject: Digital Signage is in Demand--Learn More with this Free Download
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