Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Realtime 3D video

Update: Realtime 3D for you too!


3D Capture at 60fps from Kyle McDonald on Vimeo.

[Kyle McDonald] has kept himself busy working on 3D scanning in realtime. He’s posted a writeup that takes us through the concepts, tools, and assembly of a DIY 3d scanning camera. You should remember a preview of this method posted earlier this month, but now it’s time to build your own. You’ll need a camera, a projector, and some open source software to process the image data. Using these simple tools, [Kyle] turned out much better video than before. Take a look after the break to see his results from scanning at 60 fps using a PS3 Eye. The trick to this setup is getting the correct synchronization between the projector and the camera, something that could be improved with a bit of extra hacking.

Viacom Sued Google Over clips they themselves uploaded!


Copyright maximalists who hate the DMCA's safe harbors often claim that service providers can easily tell what content is infringing and which is not. This is, in fact, a key part of the argument made by Viacom in its lawsuit against Google over YouTube. It claims that YouTube must know that the clips are infringing and should be taken down. There's just one problem: even Viacom doesn't seem to know which clips are infringing and which are not. It turns out that, among the many YouTube clips included in the lawsuit, approximately 100 were uploaded on purpose by Viacom. Yes, you read that right:

Viacom sued Google over clips it claimed were infringing, that Viacom purposely uploaded to YouTube.

That alone should show how ridiculous Viacom's claims are in this lawsuit. There is simply no way for Google to know if clips are uploaded legitimately or not. Oddly, however, the court has now allowed Viacom to withdraw those clips, but lawyers like Eric Goldman are questioning how this isn't a Rule 11 violation for frivolous or improper litigation. But, more importantly, it demonstrates that even Viacom has no idea which clips are infringing and which are authorized. Given that, how can it possibly say that it's reasonable for Google to know?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Why Indie Directors Give Movies Away Free Online

Read the article here: Why Indie Directors Give Movies Away Free Online

Vuorensola released Star Wreck in 2005 online for free. Seven hundred thousand copies were downloaded in the first week alone; to date, the total has now reached 9 million.

"Releasing it for free is just good marketing," he says. "Whether it's through piracy or distribution your film is out there on the Internet, so we decided to harness this." And he has managed to make quite a bit of money out of it. Online sales of merchandise — including T-shirts and collector's editions of the DVD — have generated $430,000 on a film that only cost $21,500 to make, Vuorensola says. He and his team have also now secured a proper distribution deal with Revolver Entertainment in the U.S. and Britain.

HP computers are racist?

The face tracking feature of the HP web cam does not seen to recognize or track black faces.

This is awkward. It appears that HP's new webcams, which have facial-tracking software, can't recognize black faces, as evidenced in the above video. HP has responded:
We are working with our partners to learn more. The technology we use is built on standard algorithms that measure the difference in intensity of contrast between the eyes and the upper cheek and nose. We believe that the camera might have difficulty "seeing" contrast in conditions where there is insufficient foreground lighting.

Others seem to have had more success.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Using TV to exapand the reach of High Speed Internet

From the San Jose Mercury:
Looking to expand the reach of high-speed Internet, federal regulators look to the television.

WASHINGTON — Looking to pare the shrinking but substantial number of Americans without high-speed Internet, federal officials are considering taking advantage of a technology that practically everyone has at home: the TV.

The Federal Communications Commission wants to revamp the market for set-top boxes — the channel-switching devices that cable and satellite subscribers typically lease for $5 or $10 a month — and equip the machines with Internet-surfing capability.
The thinking is simple: 99 percent of households have a television, and 76 percent have a personal computer. So why not piggyback on the TV to extend the reach of high-speed broadband, which lawmakers and regulators see as a necessity for anyone to function in the 21st century economy?
If the commission is successful, it could usher in an era in which people use a single gadget to watch cable shows, download movies from the Web and surf the Internet — all on their TVs.
"If you had a set-top box that can access traditional cable but also get to the Internet, more people could start to see the value of having broadband," said Matt Wood, associate director of Media Access Project, a public interest law firm.
But beyond pushing high-speed Internet into more homes, advocates say the FCC's effort could spark a transformation of the basic set-top cable box into a high-tech, multiuse machine, much like the cell phone has been revolutionized by the BlackBerry and the iPhone. "We've seen a steady march of TVs and separate boxes that provide Web-based video," such as the TiVo and Roku devices, said Brian Markwalter, vice president of technology and standards for the Consumer Electronics Association. "When you can integrate that with the other pieces you're paying for" — cable or satellite programming — "it will spark all sorts of creativity."
The FCC has also signaled that it wants consumers to be able to use the same set-top box for any type of TV service — cable, satellite or fiber-optic — allowing them to switch from one carrier to another without obtaining a major new piece of equipment from the provider. That could spur more people to buy set-top boxes instead of leasing them.
"It's time "... to consider if there are better ways to open the set-top box market to greater competition and innovation," William Lake, the FCC's media bureau chief, said at a public meeting recently. To drive that point home, FCC officials pointed out that there currently are 14 set-top boxes that consumers can buy at stores vs. nearly 900 types of mobile phones.
The FCC is a long way from imposing any new rules for set-top boxes; this month it sought public comment on ways to spur "video device innovation," the initial step in what would be an extensive set of proceedings. But it is part of a broader undertaking of the commission under its new chairman, Julius Genachowski, to lower barriers for people to access video and other offerings over the Internet.
The effort could pick up steam with the commission's expected February release of its national broadband plan, which will propose strategies to make high-speed Internet available to the roughly one-third of American homes that lack it.
This would not be the first time the federal government has gotten involved in the set-top box realm. Prodded by Congress and the FCC in the mid-90s, the cable industry developed technology that allows customers to switch from one cable provider to another using the same set-top box. But that effort is widely perceived as a failure, in part because of shortcomings in the technology and in part because of the emergence over the past decade of noncable video service providers such as satellite and fiber-optic.
The stakes for cable and other video service providers of any potential FCC initiative are high. Making it easier for consumers to get Web-based video presumably would mean one less reason for them to pay for expensive channel packages.
In a filing to the FCC this month, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, which represents cable firms, said it supports the commission's look at why a vibrant retail market for set-top boxes hasn't developed. At the same time, the cable group questioned whether a market exists for set-top boxes that could cost hundreds of dollars and risk becoming obsolete as technology advances. The group cautioned that a mandate to require Web-enabled set-top boxes could substantially increase costs for consumers.
"To add full Internet capability to even the newest generation of set-top boxes would require more processing power, a browser, PC plug-ins (Silverlight, Adobe, etc.), media content protection clients, parental controls, virus and malware protection, and a remote keyboard and mouse, among other features," the association stated in its filing. "Most of the cost would be borne by the millions of (cable, satellite and fiber-optic) subscribers who already have a computer and who may have no interest in having Internet functionality added to their television sets."
Indeed, past attempts to integrate TV and the Internet — including WebTV and Apple TV — never gained much traction. Whether an all-in-one device that surfs the Web, accesses online video and broadcasts TV programming would have more appeal is an open question.
Critics suspect cable companies are raising doubts just to protect their turf.
"The incumbents are always going to raise excuses why it can't work," said Matthew Zinn, senior vice president and general counsel of Alviso-based TiVo. "The cable operators want to maintain a walled garden and keep consumers captive." 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Insurgents Intercepting Predator Video? No Problem

From Insurgents Intercepting Predator Video? No Problem
by Legendary Security expert, Bruce Schneier

 Contrast this with the additional risks if you encrypt: A soldier in the field doesn't have access to the real-time video because of a key management failure; a UAV can't be quickly deployed to a new area because the keys aren't in place; we can't share the video information with our allies because we can't give them the keys; most soldiers can't use this technology because they don't have the right clearances. Given this risk analysis, not encrypting the video is almost certainly the right decision.

Reverse engineering off-brand media players

From Hack-a-day:
Reverse engineering off-brand media players

[Marcan] picked up this device on the cheap and is working to reverse engineer the controller. This media player is an off-brand Chinese model that can be had for the low-low price of $33.97 with free shipping. That’s worth it just to scavenge the parts for other projects, but the challenge here is to hack the controller because a datasheet was never produced for it. Warm up your logic analyzer, check out the wiki, and you can be pounding away at this ARM926EJ-S based system in no time.
The call to arms comes from [Marcan's] blog. You may remember him as the guy who is working to solidify iPhone sync in Linux or… what else did he do?  Oh yeah, he had this little project called the Wii Homebrew Channel a while ago. Get involved and you can learn from some folks who really know what they’re doing.

VLC Team Announces Video Editor In the Works

I am looking forward to this.  Hope the use the SDL Library, then cross ports should be easy. 

From Slashdot: VLC Team Announces Video Editor In the Works on Wednesday December 23, @04:11PM

"Despite news that VLC might not have anyone to work on the Mac release, Lifehacker brings word of a video editor that the VLC team is working on dubbed VideoLAN Media Creator. It hasn't been released yet (git clone git:// but a pre-release is due out soon."

How to post videos online to a dozen places in just a few steps

From my buddy Mayur:
      How I post videos online to a dozen places in just a few steps

Tuesday, December 22, 2009



Opens Regional Asian-Pacific Office in Japan

Milan,  22 December 2008 – TVBLOB™ (, a software and services development company with a TV-centric platform that brings the power of the Web to TV, without a PC, announced the opening of an Asian-Pacific division and the appointment of Tre Zimmerman as VP Sales & Marketing. Targeting the Consumer Electronics industry, Mr. Zimmerman will bring TVBLOB's extensive software platform and integrated backend services to the heart of CE, making possible a new generation of hybrid TV - Internet devices and enabling new television business models that follow the proven successes of the Web.

Through a new kind of Internet set-top box called BLOBbox™, TVBLOB gives consumers new TV possibilities including blended DVB-T and WebTV access; HD video podcast subscriptions with automated BitTorrent® downloads; access to Web services such as YouTube®, Picasa®, and Miro®; consolidated PVR, time-shifting, and video archiving functionalities; and even TV-to-TV  content sharing and video communications, all using standard televisions and broadband connections.

For the CE industry, the TVBLOB software platform that underlies BLOBbox is already integrated on major chipsets and enables the fastest time-to-market for next generation TV devices. It offers several advantages including a fully W3C-compliant, Java-based Web browser able to support all current TV standards including MHP/DVB, Blue Ray, and Thru2way (previously OCAP); a range of Javascript extensions allowing developers to leverage the television platform

features; Client-side services including File transfer, Podcast, and BitTorrent® engines; Backend Services including box management, events recording, NAT traversal, and single user sign-on; as well as BLOBkit™ development resources and a Development Community (called “the BLOBforge™ “)to accelerate the creation of new TV services without a middleman, so that anyone can realize the next killer application on TV and become the next Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg.

“The appointment of Tre represents a critical step in our growth, as the heart of the CE lies in Asia-Pacific," said Fabrizio Caffarelli, founder and CEO of TVBLOB. "We have envisioned a new television world for sometime now and consumers expect this to come from CE. His notable experience in this market, managerial capacity, and drive are well adapted to our objective to work with CE manufacturers to bring forward a new range of Consumer Electronic devices for a new world of TV."

Mr. Zimmerman’s principal function will be to launch TVBLOB Asian-Pacific commercial operations and develop business with CE manufacturers, content producers and service providers. He has been in the digital technology industry for over 10 years specializing in mobile media & emerging technologies. Over his career, Mr. Zimmerman has served in a variety of senior management and corporate development positions at Nero, Extreme Media Pte., SID Information Technologies, and Gateway KK.

The TVBLOB Asian-Pacific office is located in Yamato-shi, Kanagawa, Japan. For more information, please visit

Friday, December 18, 2009


Rasterbator creates huge, rasterized images from any picture. Upload an image, print the resulting multi-page pdf file and assemble the pages into extremely cool looking poster up to 20 meters in size.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

BBC Lowers HDTV Bitrate; Users Notice

BBC High Definition service draws complaints

From Slashdot
"According to an article on the BBC website, BBC HD lowered the bitrate of their broadcasts by almost 50% and are surprised that users noticed. From the article: 'The replacement encoders work at a bitrate of 9.7Mbps (megabits per second), while their predecessors worked at 16Mbps, the standard for other broadcasters.' The BBC claims 'We did extensive testing on the new encoders which showed that they could produce pictures at the same or even better quality than the old encoders ...' I got a good laugh off of this, but is it really possible to get better quality from a lower bitrate?"

Doom-Like Video Surveillance For Ports In Development

From Slashdot:

Doom-Like Video Surveillance For Ports In Development
"A research and development group down under is working to develop an advanced video surveillance system for ports around the world that uses video superimposed onto a 3D map. With 16-megapixel high-definition cameras on a distributed (cabled) network and a proprietary system written in a variety of languages (C++, Python, SQL, etc.), the group from NICTA is aiming to allow security teams at the Port of Brisbane — which is 110km long — to monitor shipping movements, cargo and people. By scrolling along a 3D map, the security teams can click on a location and then get a real-time video feed superimposed onto the map. Authorities from around the world with the right permissions can then access the same system. The main difference from regular surveillance systems is the ability to switch views without having to know camera numbers/locations and the one screen view."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lack of Manpower May Kill VLC For Mac

From SlashDot:

Lack of Manpower May Kill VLC For Mac

"The Video Lan dev team has recently come forward with a notice that the number of active developers for the project's MacOS X releases has dropped to zero, prompting a halt in the release schedule. There is now a disturbing possibility that support for Mac will be dropped as of 1.1.0. As the most versatile and user-friendly solution for bridging the video compatibility gap between OS X and windows, this will be a terrible loss for the mac community. There is still hope, however, if the right volunteers come forward."

Live Flash Streaming - CoLo & Hosting

Live! Buckets (Live Flash Streaming)
Plan Name Monthly Cost Max Concurrent Live Viewers
Small $59 per month 250 Concurrent Viewers Max
Medium $99 per month 500 Concurrent Viewers Max
Large $159 per month 1,000 Concurrent Viewers Max
Most Popular! $199 per month 2,000 Concurrent Viewers Max
Huge x2 $398 per month 4,000 Concurrent Viewers Max
Huge x3 $597 per month 6,000 Concurrent Viewers Max
Huge x4 $796 per month 8,000 Concurrent Viewers Max
Unlimited monthly bandwidth included. No live stream bitrate restrictions (stream HD if you like).
Stream from two or more Flash Media Encoder instances from a single plan.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ask Slashdot: What Is the State of Linux Security DVR Software?

From Slashdot
StonyCreekBare writes "I am wondering what slashdotters have to offer on the idea of Linux based security systems, especially DVR software. I am aware of Zoneminder, but wonder what else is out there? Are there applications that will not only monitor video cameras, but motion sensors and contact closure alarms? What is state of the art in this area, and how do the various Linux platforms stack up in comparison to dedicated embedded solutions? Will these 'play nice' with other software, such as Asterisk, and Misterhouse? Can one server host three or four services applications of this nature, assuming CPU/memory/disk resources are sufficient?"

I also have a little written on this at

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cellphones to be main channel for TV & video?

Just some interesting articles here.

Cellphones poised to be main channel for TV, video

Mobile operators, broadcasters and content providers are looking at mobile TV as a vehicle to drive revenue and mobilize their brands. However, simply delivering TV content over the mobile device is not enough to drive adoption.

Alcatel-Lucent provided end to end interactive mobile TV solution to Optimus for Euro 2008 mobile TV coverage and live music concerts in Portugal
Paris, September 10, 2008 — Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE:ALU) today announce that it provided Optimus, the mobile operator owned by the Portuguese Sonaecom group, with two turnkey end-to-end interactive mobile TV solutions, which enabled Optimus to offer extensive mobile TV coverage of Euro 2008 --the UEFA European Football Championship series-- and live coverage of local concerts.

Filmmakers, advertisers rush to create content for cell phone screens

Automated 3D Photography Machine

This just came in my E-mail (spam-ishly), it looked kinda cool. Wonder how much it costs?

Photosimile 5000


Increase your image in 2010! Ortery's line of photography automation tools are the easiest, fastest and most efficient professional still, 360 and 3D imaging solutions available today. Give us a call or reply to this email if you require additional information or have further questions. We look forward to hearing from you.
Happy Holidays from the team at Ortery Technologies!

949-859-5580 - Ortery Technologies USA - 8 Hammond Ste 112, Irvine CA -

 Click on above image to enlarge.

New CCTV Cameras from EONBOOM

Hello John,

How are you?

This is alinna contacting you.

The following is our new designs, you can enjoy them with your readers.

If any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Have a nice day.


Eonboom Electronics Limited


Skype: alinna.ok

"Loud Commercial" Legislation Proposed In US Congress

From Slashdot: "Loud Commercial" Legislation Proposed In US Congress

"Have you ever caught yourself running for the volume control when a TV commercial comes on? Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) has, and is submitting legislation that would require TV commercials in the US to stay at volume levels similar to the programming they are associated with. From the article: 'Right now, the government doesn't have much say in the volume of TV ads. It's been getting complaints ever since televisions began proliferating in the 1950s. But the FCC concluded in 1984 there was no fair way to write regulations controlling the "apparent loudness" of commercials.'"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Voice over and narration

This guys pretty good.
Hello John,

My name is Duane Lawrence. I saw that you posted a video on your channel: SBG Lags Holographic Eye Adaptive Display HEAD.

I'm just doing a little networking. I want to let you know that I provided the voice over for the video. If you or anyone you know needs voice over for a project please let me know.

You can see other You Tube posts of my work here:

.... and my website hompage:



Friday, December 04, 2009

code-named: Keychest from Disney and Apple.

Disney Touts a Way to Ditch the DVD - Wall Street Journal
Purchase of a 'Keychest' Movie Would Allow On-Demand Viewing From Multiple Devices
The technology, code-named Keychest, could contribute to a shift in what it means for a consumer to own a movie or a TV show, by redefining ownership as access rights, not physical possession. 

This is in direct competition with DECE (Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem).

Supposedly, Keychest will use cloud-computing coupled with a physical product (e.g. a DVD), that will only require the person to pay for the rights so that it could be watched on any device.

"Dad has a Zune, Mom has an iPod, there's a Mac and a PC at home and a Roku box; right now, those devices don't talk to one another," the insider said. "We intend to blend those worlds."  from the Hollywood Reporter

Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (or DECE)

Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (or DECE)

based around a "rights locker" which will amount to a website where digital purchases will be stored -- we assume this is where VeriSign fits in.  (from article link below)

DECE founding members include: Alcatel Lucent, Best Buy, Cisco, Comcast Corporation, Deluxe Digital, Fox Entertainment Group, HP, Intel, Lionsgate, Microsoft Corporation, NBC Universal, Panasonic, Paramount Pictures, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung, Sony Corporation, Toshiba, VeriSign Inc., and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Disney and Apple are absent from the list and appears to have allied to set up a completing service called Keychest.

Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, the DRM of the future?

Best Buy - CinemaNow to stream first-run DVDs

Good article:
Best Buy partnering with CinemaNow to stream first-run DVDs to 'all web-connected devices sold' 11/3/2009

The idea here is simple: pay once for a DVD then eventually be able to play it on any device be it a television, Blu-ray player, PC, smartphone or some other connected device.

Best Buy already announced a streaming Netflix deal and partnerships with TiVo and Napster that will be launching early next year as well.

Hulu Doesn't play well with others.

Currently most high end Blue Ray players can stream content from Netflix, Blockbuster, YouTube and Pandora. Some also offer CinemaNow.

One giant in streaming media web sites is missing Hulu.

On Settopbox devices Sling supports Hulu but Roku does not.

Google Video, and are the few that seems to have Hulu distribution agreements.  

Boxee, and Rippol all have been forced to remove Hulu content from their sites and applications.

Roku Channel Store Opens, Hulu Is a No-Show  Nov 22,2009
Pandora, Facebook Photos, Revision3, Mediafly, TWiT,, Flickr, FrameChannel, Motionbox and MobileTribe, Netflix, and Amazon channels all now available on the Roku player

In Hulu's note to Rippol, the representative stated that "the only way for a company to legitimately embed our videos the way you do is to enter into a structured distribution relationship with us. However, we are currently entering into these very selectively."

According to Hulu:  Don't embed, Link instead

Bing Brings Hulu, YouTube and MSN Video
Describing it as a "new unified online video destination," Microsoft says Bing Videos will combine results from ABC, YouTube, Hulu and MSN Videos. Of course, such a product calls for a new homepage, which Microsoft has dutifully rolled out for Bing Videos. Isn’t Really A Hulu Competitor, But Does Offer Compelling Reasons To Make It Your Go-To Web Portal
SlingMedia run, a video portal similar to but with a few extra benefits.
NBC and Fox content is actually served from Hulu.  Sling and Hulu partnered up to bring that content to Sling users, so you’ll still see the Hulu logo and see the Hulu commercials.

Hulu is streaming using Adobe's Secure RTMP protocol. software can capture Hulu Video.

New Plugin from Google lets you Stream Hulu and Netflix videos with Frontrow 2/09

Understudy is a plug in for Mac OS X interface Front Row. Users can subscribe to multiple feeds and watch from Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, and the BBC iPlayer.

Email from Hulu to Rippol hours after they launched.
We saw that you launched today. We want to notify you that you are using our embeds in violation of our terms of service which state specifically that embeds are for personal, non-commercial use only. As such we will plan to block embedding from your site by 12/4.  Typically we disable embedding immediately but given that you just launched, we want to give you some time to transition. In the place of the embeds, we can offer you is a site map feed that links back to Hulu for video playback and includes several useful pieces of metadata in a feed. It includes video titles, descriptions, thumbnails, video type, duration info, season number, episode number, air date, expiration date, in addition to the video link on It is updated every few hours:

Rippol responded with they will never put ads in or around Hulu content.
Hulu responded:
Ad placement would be more relevant to the "non-commercial" part of the TOS vs. the "personal" part. While you may not plan to place ads near our content, Rippol is a commercial business in the sense that you plan to make money from the content service you create. Thus our content on your site is being used for commercial purposes, even if it is indirect (i.e. you attract users with Hulu content but only monetize other content).Note we are not singling out Rippol as we have transitioned other premium video aggregators to our site map feed.

From: Hulu Gets Ripped Out Of Rippol
When Hulu was announced in 2007, NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker said that Hulu would aim to have "ubiquitous distribution." The press release issued at the time said that Hulu "will actively seek agreements with a variety of additional distribution partners." The release also stated that each "distribution partner will feature the site?s content in an embedded player customized with a look and feel consistent with each site, making the offering organic to each destination."

Stats for video streaming.

Top U.S. Online Video Content providers by videos viewed
October 2009
% share
Google Sites
including Youtube
Microsoft sites
Fox Interactive Media
Viacom Digital
Yahoo Sites
Turner Network
CBS Interactive
ABC Television
from comScore Video Metrix

Hulu U.S. video streams soar almost 50% in October, Google’s YouTube flat

Download flash streaming web video content.  record/download/rip

You can capture Hulu videos, record Skype calls, Record Sirius™ and XM™ Radio, download streaming video clips from Windows Media™, Real™ and Flash™ formats.

They have 2 product of interest:
Replay Capture Suite & Replay Media Catcher

With Replay Media Catcher

Download media from Flash Video, Windows Media and Wowza servers, including any site that uses the HTTP, HTTPS, MMS, RTSP, and RTMP protocols. Replay Media Catcher does not support Adobe Secure RTMP Measures.
For capturing online video, you can download videos from millions of popular places, including:
  • YouTube
  • MySpace
  • Daily Motion
  • iFilm
  • Metacafe
  • TV Show sites.
  • Movie sites.
For a complete list see 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Inside Netflix

Some Stats for Netflix.

58 Distribution centers.
10 Million customers.
750,000 new customers in the "last six months" this was said around April 09.
46 Million DVD's in it's whole catalog.
2.2 Million movies every day get's processed.
$300 Million annual mail shipping costs.

It looks like it's about 1000 DVD per employee. 180,000 DVD average in the Fremont CA. distribution center, and 180 employees working there.

See video clips below:
Nightline on Netflix

USA TODAY Visits Netflix | Jefferson Graham
USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham visits Netflix's distribution center in Fremont, California to see how some 200,000 DVDs are returned, processed and shipped back out. Behind the scenes at a Netflix distribution center.

Netflix distribution center's look inside the Netflix Northwest distribution center.

Video Industry clips from ABC News.

This is almost not worth putting up here.
I was really looking for a segment where they toured the Netflix distribution facility.

From ABC News 5/21/2009:
Super DVD

A new model of DVD can hold up to 500 movies.
From ABC News 2/26/2009:
No More Red Envelopes for Netflix

The movie rental company will offer some streaming-only deals for users.

From ABC News 1/05/2009:
Netflix on TV

The rental company and LG are selling televisions that can stream movies. 
From ABC News 2/22/2007:
End of the DVD As Walmart Enters Download market -VIDEO
A downloadable movie may be the wave of the future that kills the DVD format.

Wonder what happened to this last one?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Final Call for Chapters: Springer Book on Intelligent Video Event Analysis and Understanding

------ Final Call for Chapters ---------------
Springer Book on Intelligent Video Event Analysis and Understanding

To be published in Springer-Verlag in the series "Studies in Computational Intelligence"

We are soliciting high quality chapter submissions for a book of Intelligent Video Event Analysis and Understanding.  Extended versions of the best papers from the VECTaR2009 workshop, as well as other high quality submissions will be considered


Detecting, interpreting and understanding various video events is one of the ultimate goals of the computer vision system. Despite rapid progress in this area, there are still a significant number of challenges that need to be addressed to enable an automatic video event understanding system. Those challenging include robust detection of event under motion clutters, event interpretation under complex scenes, multi-level semantic event inference, putting event in context and multiple cameras, event inference from object interactions, etc.
To address these and other outstanding challenges, high-quality chapter manuscripts are particularly welcome in the following areas, but not limited to:

o Motion interpretation and grouping 
o Human action representation and recognition
o Abnormal event detection
o Contextual event inference
o Event recognition among a distributed camera network
o Multimodal event recognition
o Spatial temporal features for event categorisation
o Hierarchical event recognition
o Probabilistic graph models for event reasoning
o Machine learning for event recognition
o Global/local event descriptors
o Metadata construction for event recognition
o Bottom up and top down approaches for event recognition
o Event-based video segmentation and summarization
o Video event database gathering and annotation
o Efficient indexing and concepts modelling for video event retrieval
o Semantic-based video event retrieval
o Online video event tagging
o Evaluation methodologies for event-based systems
o Event-based applications (security, sports, news, etc.)


This book aims to present state-of-the-art research advances of video event understanding technologies. It will provide researchers and practitioners a richful resource for future research directions and successful practice. It could also serve as a reference tool and handbook for researchers in a number of applications including visual surveillance, human-computer interaction, video search and indexing etc. Its potential audience will be composed of active researchers and  practitioners as well as graduate students working on video analysis in various disciplines such as computer vision, pattern recognition, information security, artificial intelligence, etc.
Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit chapter proposals before November 30, 2009. The chapter proposals should contain a title, an abstract, and the outline of the organization. The proposals will be considered based on the relevance to the book, contribution to the community, as well as the balance of topics. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by December 15, 2009. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by April 30, 2010.  All chapter manuscripts will be double-blind reviewed.

Authors should prepare their manuscripts by following the instructions in Springer-Verlag's author's guidelines for the series "Studies in Computational Intelligence" at

Submissions of chapter proposals and inquiries should be forwarded by email to the editors at

Important Dates:

Submission of Chapter Proposals November 30, 2009
Notification of Chapter Proposals December 15, 2009
Submission of Full Chapters April 30, 2010
Final Decision on Accepted Chapters June 15 , 2010
Camera-Ready Submission  July 31, 2010

Guest Editors:

Dr. Jianguo Zhang, Queen’s University Belfast, UK
Dr. Ling Shao, The University of Sheffield, UK
Dr. Lei Zhang, Microsoft Research Asia, China
Prof. Graeme A. Jones, Kingston University, UK
Contact email address:

About The Series

The series "Studies in Computational Intelligence" (SCI) publishes new developments and advances in the various areas of computational intelligence – quickly and with a high quality. The intent is to cover the theory, applications, and design methods of computational intelligence, as embedded in the fields of engineering, computer science, physics and life science, as well as the methodologies behind them. The series contains monographs, lecture notes and edited volumes in computational intelligence spanning the areas of neural net-works, connectionist systems, genetic algorithms, evolutionary computation, artificial intelligence, cellular automata, self-organizing systems, soft computing, fuzzy systems, and hy-brid intelligent systems. Critical to both contributors and readers are the short publication time and world-wide distribution - this permits a rapid and broad dissemination of research results.
Indexed by DBLP, Ulrichs, SCOPUS, MathSciNet, Current Mathematical Publications, Mathematical Reviews, Zentralblatt Math: MetaPress and Springerlink

Friday, November 20, 2009

Response To California's Large-Screen TV Regulation

From Slashdot:
"It's great that unelected bureaucrats in California are clamoring to save energy, but when they target your big-screen TVs for elimination, consumers and manufacturers are apt to declare war. CEDIA and the CEA are up in arms over this. Audioholics has an interesting response that involves setting the TVs in 'SCAM' mode to meet the energy criteria technically without having to add additional cost or increase costs to consumers. 'In this mode, the display brightness/contrast settings would be set a few clicks to the right of zero, audio would be disabled and backlighting would be set to minimum. The power consumption should be measured in this mode much like an A/V receiver power consumption is measured with one channel driven at full rated power and the other channels at 1/8th power.' This is an example of an impending train wreck of unintended consequences, and many are grabbing the popcorn and pulling up chairs to watch."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

E4 NYC Manufacturer Training Sessions

 I just got this in the mail. Maybe it's the flu I am suffering from today, but the more I read the less I understand what the hell these guys jabbering on about. Some sort of Free training on Audio and video gear I think.  These marketing guys need to be shot.
 You'd think there would be at least one line of clear english that explains what this is.

Looks like there are a few interesing talks, if someone read this and goes, please send me a scan of the handout and some summary of the talk please.

I am really interested in:
"Digital Signage Revenue Past the Install: NEC’s Revolutionary Business Platform for the Digital Out-Of-Home Market"


E4 AV Tour
E4 AV Tour Training
December 8, 2009 at the Millennium Broadway Hotel

Register Now
presented by Almo ProAV and InfoComm

Earn Infocomm RUs at our Free Classes
E4 AV Tour On Demand powered by rAVe Now

Register Now

E4 NYC Manufacturer Training Sessions

December 8, 2oo9 | 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
New York City | Millennium Broadway Hotel
presented Almo Professional AV & InfoComm
Get the inside scoop straight from the source. You’ll learn groundbreaking ways to build your business, succeed in untapped markets and make every installation smoother.

Get more info and register at

E4 NYC Manufacturer Training Sessions

Structured Wiring for The Classroom

presented by: Joe Cornwall, Business Development Manager, CablesToGo
CTS: 2 RUs CTS-D: 2 RUs CTS-I: 2 RUs Max: 2 RUs  RUs

Not All LEDs Are Created Equal: Exploring LED Technology

presented by: Scott Roche, Senior Field Marketing Manager, Sharp USA  
HDMI, Display Port and DCP in Commercial A/V

presented by: Dan Smith, National Trainer, Magenta Research  
Video Wall Basics: Technologies and Applications

presented by: Don Hickey, Product Engineer, Samsung Electronics
For more info, visit

More mail: DVR KIT promotion

Hi John,

Thank you for your time to read this letter.

Does DVR KIT sell well in your country?

Do you ever plan to import some such kits?

Now we have a great promotion on DVR KIT,it is only $157

Good quality as well as competitive price, i believe it will benefit your business directly.

Welcome to contact me for your information.

Thanks & warm regards!


Eonboom Electronics Limited
Room 5122, LianMing Commecial Center,
No.151 GuangYuanZhong Road,
GuangZhou, GuangDong China

Skype: alinna.ok

H.264 network DVR at $69

Wow, $69, I don't know how they can afford to do this.


Dear Valued Customer,

I would like to invite your attention again to our product.
Take your time to see what we have and how competitve our products are!
Trust us, we will be your most reliable supplier!

When choosing CANTONK, you will enjoy lots of advantages from us!
※Lead technology
※Guaranteed quality
※Competitive price

※OEM Service

Our product range: CCTV Cameras, accessories, DVRs & Rearview system
Our website:

Latest price list will be sent to you upon your request.
Sample order will be taken seriously as well!

 Should you need more information about us and our product, please feel free to contact me.
Marissa is here at your service!
My Email:;   
My Msn:
Skype: marissa.cantonk

Best Regards,
Oversea Sale Dept.

Cantonk Corporation Limited
CCTV cameras & accessories, DVR, Rearview Systems
Tel: +86-20-82168263 
Email & MSN

Skype: Marissa.cantonk


Monday, November 16, 2009

IR Water-proof Camera for sales at USD15.6/pc,UTP Video Balun at US$1.55/pair

I get this sort of stuff from China all the time, Anyone wanting to put together a group purchase let me know. 

John L. Sokol


Dear Purchaser,
Good day.

The below are Hawell November Promotion items. Believe you will find the price is quite attractive, right?

25M IR Water-proof Camera,1/4 Sharp CCD,420TV lines, 24pcs IR leds

For sale: US$15.6/PC (MOQ:50PCS)

Economical UTP Video Balun,Smart design

For sale: US$1.55/Pair (MOQ:100 Pairs)

Wanna to get it? Pls just contact me now.

Kind regards,

Shenzhen Hawell Advanced Technology Co.,Ltd

Tel:86 755 81706890
Fax:86 755 81706890
Skype: tarringhee

Address: The 5th building of the 2nd Industrial Park of Yousong
The 1st Road of Donghuan, LongHua Town, Baoan District
Shenzhen City, Guangdong, China

Hawell Newest Economical H.264 Stand Alone DVR

date Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 5:58 PM
subject Hawell Newest Economical H.264 Stand Alone DVR

Hi, dear Sirs,

Good day!
Welcome to inquiry about HAWELL NEWEST 16chs economical H.264 stand alone DVR  HW-SVR7216

Main feature :
1. H.264 SOC solution,  low power consumption
2. D1 preview resolution
3. 16chs video input, 4chs audio input; 1chs audio output
4. Support multi-users  ( Server and clients )
5. Support network connecting 
6. SATA HDD, USB/ CD&DVD-RW/network backup
7. Mouse /IR remote controller control, 1ch VGA output

If any doubt, just contact me freely.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Shenzhen Hawell Advanced Technology Co.,Ltd
Tel:86 755 81706890
Fax:86 755 81706890

Skype: tarringhee

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Time To Ditch Cable For Internet TV?

I can relate to this article from Slashdot:

"A flurry of announcements from YouTube, Boxee, Dell and Clicker on Thursday brought good news for anyone considering canceling their cable service in favor of internet TV. First, YouTube announced that within the next few days it will start offering full 1080P HD streams; better than your cable company can offer. Next, Boxee announced a 'Boxee Box' that promises to make it easier to get the content off your computer and onto your TV. Or you could hook up Dell's Inspiron Zino HD instead. 'This is an 8" x 8" PC running Windows 7 (with an option for Ubuntu) that you certainly could use as a desktop machine, but the form factor just screams 'Hook me up to your TV!' via its HDMI port,' says Peter Smith. And, last but not least in this roundup of announcements is the launch of Clicker, a programming guide for internet TV that aims to help you find what you want, when you want it."

Collaborate, promote distribute across The internet

This is a collage of small and upcoming video related web sites that I have run across.

Livestream (formerly known as Mogulus), the production control room was one fixed location, and all collaborators in the process had to be in the same building. Remote cameras for communication were possible, but also expensive since they required satellite feeds.

Older Mogulus commercial, very cool.

Livestream can mix videos from several sources such as web cams, video clips from YouTube, user content into your own live TV program in real-time and broadcast live.
A production team can be scattered in locations around the world, and still work together as if they were in the same room, a virtual news studio in a sense. Satellite feeds are obsolete, since remote cameras are now inexpensive and easy.
It also supports animated television graphics and can look like a major network broadcast using it graphics library that includes a ticker, bumper, lower third name, and logo bug.

Other live free flash based video streaming sites are:

Stickam offers live streaming video and claims to be the largest live streaming social network.


Other interesting sites are:

Qik is mobile application that allows you to stream live video from your cell phone and broadcast live.

AnyClip allows you to find any moment from any film, instantly.

SoundCloud is similar to Livestream for audio. It's online audio platform caters to music professionals enabling them to collaborate, promote distribute their music. SoundCloud provides a efficient and simple way for music professionals to exchange music they are involved with in private settings allowing for easy collaboration and communication prior to a public release.

From the Big Brother dept.

Affective Interfaces Uses a webcam and emotion sensing technology,  to capture customer’s facial expressions in response a product and can help uncover non rational influences affecting decisions of purchase and engagement.  It will apply statistical data gathering to bring some understanding of how people are feeling a  brand, products and messaging.

Analysis of network Blueray players. Don't blink!

Don't blink things are moving fast!  I can't believe how fast device manufactures are adopting Internet streaming and how many deals have been cut on the back end. So let me start with a particular arbitrary Blueray player and work backwards from there.

I have been reading through the Samsung BD-P3600 manual, not that I have particular reason for looking at Samsung first I just happen to hit it first in Google.

LG actually seems to be the most active in this area, and if I have the time I will go through their product manuals also.

I suspect most of the Blue Ray Profile 2.0 players are offering very similar functionality.

The Samsung Blueray players supports 4 streaming web sites:

For those not in the United States, they are the Largest Brick and Morter movie rental company. Starting with VHS and now mostly DVD and starting to offer BlueRay and rumors of SD and USB Flash Drives.   I will be writing an article on this next. 

When examining the Samsung manual I found a really interesting thing.

The images below was grabbed from the PDF of the Samsung BD-P3600 manual

Notice the little "Powered by Cinema Now" at the bottom right of the Blockbuster menu screen.

Wow! I must have blinked and missed this.

CinemaNow is interesting because they offer a Streaming movie rental service too.
They were aquired by Roxio some time back. Roxio does DVD creation software.

Seems a deal was cut in January of 2009
Blockbuster finally makes big online move with CinemaNow
Blockbuster is still looking for ways to compete with Netflix. With a new partnership announced today, the video rental chain will now offer online movie streaming through CinemaNow, but playing catch-up won't be enough to overtake its popular competitor.

Roxio is a division of  Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC;
Sonic Solutions was created in 1986 by former Lucasfilm employees who developed the SoundDroid digital audio editing system as part of the Droidworks project. (Another notable spinoff of the project is Pixar.)

In 2002, Sonic spun off their entire audio division as Sonic Studio, LLC, to concentrate solely on the DVD marketplace. With the acquisition of the Desktop and Mobile Division (DMD) of VERITAS Software Corporation in 2002 and the acquisition of Roxio in 2003, Sonic increased its focus on consumer media creation software

VERITAS ?!?! They make enterprise backup software NetBackup. What they heck are they doing here!

Sonic to Acquire CinemaNow  Nov 2008
Sonic's technology solutions and Roxio applications power the management and playback of Hollywood content on PCs and CE devices

This picture gives you some Idea of what the menu screens on the BlueRay player look like.
Sorry the manual was only in Black and White.

Next YouTube.
I hope you are all familiar with by now. You know now owned by Google.

Above is what YouTube looked like in the manual.


What is BD-LIVE, this is all they had in the manual.

From Wikipedia
The biggest difference between Bonus View and BD-Live is that BD-Live requires the Blu-ray Disc player to have an Internet connection (usually via a standard Ethernet RJ-45 network port) to access Internet-based content. BD-Live features have included Internet chats, scheduled chats with the director, Internet games, downloadable featurettes, downloadable quizzes, and downloadable movie trailers.[86][87][88]

Web site  What is BD-LIVE?

USE of Opensource GPL Code!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Netflix, Blockbuster and Pandora streaming are now being supported in Blueray players

Samsung's BD-P3600 is an example of the new Blueray players coming out with Internet capabilities.

the BD-P3600 comes with a standard Ethernet RJ-45 jack, and a Wi-Fi USB dongle.

It can stream media off connected PC although I am told it's setup is difficult.

But the interesting this is It now supports streaming movie rental from Netflix movie rentals and Pandora Internet radio.

You can read the manual for it here.

All Blueray players are required to support MPEG-2 Part 2, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, and SMPTE VC-1. The Samsung player also supports DIVX.
  • MPEG-2 is the codec used on regular DVDs, which allows backwards compatibility.
  • H.264/MPEG-4 AVC was developed by MPEG and VCEG
  • VC-1 is a codec that was mainly developed by Microsoft.

Newest Blue Ray players now support what's know as Profile 2.0 also known as BD-Live.

Despite Profile 1.1 also being known as "the Final Standard Profile", the newer Profile 2.0 is just starting to roll out.

The reason it's called BD-Live is that the major difference between profiles 1.1 and 2.0 is that Profile 2.0 requires that the player have an Internet connection, usually via an Ethernet port. Although some Profile 1.1 Blu-ray players have an Ethernet port, these are strictly for firmware updates or playing video from streaming video from users PC's and can't be used to access downloadable content across the Internet.

In addition to Ethernet connectivity, the other major requirement is 1GB of local storage capability. All that means is that the player has to have some way of adding storage to the player, which is where the downloadable content is stored. Some players use USB ports or SD card slots to fulfill this requirement, while other players have some built-in storage.

There is also a Profile 3.0, but it is an audio-only profile, intended to be used with audio-only Blu-ray Discs.

Wikipedia BlueRay Player profiles

Netflix has been working with a number of hardware vendors to make them "Netflix Ready"
List of Netflix Ready Devices
These include:
  • LG Blu-ray Players : LG BD370, LG BD390 
  • LG HDTV's : 55LH50, 47LH50, 42LH50, 60PS80, 50PS80  
  • LG Home Theater Systems: LHB953, LHB977

  • Roku and TIVO - HD Set Top Boxes,
  • Samsung Blu-ray Players Models: BD-P1600, BD-2500, BD-P3600, BD-P4600

  • Insignia Blu-Ray Player: NS-BRDVD3, NS-WBRDVD

  • Sony Blu-ray player: BDP-N460

  • PS3 and XBox360 game consoles.
In addition Samsung BD-P1600, BD-P3600, BD-P4600 and Tivo support Blockbuster On Demand a competing service to Netflix.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Motionbox , win a free Roku player.

from Lowell Dempsey
to john.sokol
date Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 11:48 AM
subject Following up on my last email

Hi again John

I emailed you last week about Motionbox announcing a new PRO service and I wanted to let you know about some more exciting news. Motionbox is giving away 3 brand new Roku players to 3 random people who sign up for a free account during the month of November, to celebrate Motionbox's upcoming featured channel on the Roku digital video player. We thought you might like to share the news of this giveaway with the readers of Video Technology. Please check out this microsite which explains everything - feel free to repost any or all of it:

There are now 3 levels of Motionbox service - Basic, Premium, and PRO. Motionbox makes it easy to share your videos online and is a great alternative to YouTube; better quality, more privacy settings and even editing features. If you are able to post or tweet about Motionbox please send me the link so I can share it with everyone. I am here if you have any questions.

Thank you so much,

Lowell Dempsey, Motionbox