Friday, May 28, 2010

Screen That Rolls Up While Still Playing Video

Read Article at:
Video: Sony Unveils Paper-Thin OLED Screen That Rolls Up While Still Playing Video

Just 80-microns-thick

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Head mounted camera tracks with your eyes

Read at:

Vudu online video rental service. offers a High Definition On-Demand Movie Service, similar to Blockbuster. This is a pay per movie with a 24 hour viewing time. This is different from Netflix which is pay one monthly price and all you can eat.

Vudu also work on a number of Blueray and TV's from Mitsubishi, LG, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp and Toshiba.

LG's BD390 BlueRay disk player

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nero Files Antitrust Complaint Against MPEG-LA

From Slashdot:
"German technology company Nero AG has filed an antitrust complaint against the MPEG-LA, the company that manages the H.264 patent pool. Nero claims that the MPEG-LA has violated the law and achieved and abused 100% market share, by, among other things, using 'independent experts' that weren't independent after all, not weeding out non-essential patents from the pool (in fact, it has grown from the original 53 to more than 1000), and retroactively changing previously-agreed-on license terms."

First Look: H.264 and VP8 Compared

 VP8 is now free, but if the quality is substandard, who cares? Well, it turns out that the quality isn't substandard, so that's not an issue, but neither is it twice the quality of H.264 at half the bandwidth. See for yourself.

Read at

Revenge of the Cable Customer

On Slashdot:

 "After years of poor service and poor reception, years of hoping the cable guy shows up sometime within that four hour window, years of constant price increases ... it may be payback time for cable customers. Cable TV companies are trying to treat customers better. Considering the industry has long had some of the worst customer satisfaction ratings of any industry, it may take a while to overcome that reputation. But they'd better succeed. Cable customers are switching to satellite and phone companies in droves. According to industry research, cable companies lost five million video customers from 2006 to 2009."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Technical analysis of VP8

Read: The first in-depth technical analysis of VP8 on Diary Of An x264 Developer blog

Overall verdict on the VP8 video format

Overall, VP8 appears to be significantly weaker than H.264 compression-wise. The primary weaknesses mentioned above are the lack of proper adaptive quantization, lack of B-frames, lack of an 8×8 transform, and non-adaptive loop filter. With this in mind, I expect VP8 to be more comparable to VC-1 or H.264 Baseline Profile than with H.264. Of course, this is still significantly better than Theora, and in my tests it beats Dirac quite handily as well.
Supposedly Google is open to improving the bitstream format — but this seems to conflict with the fact that they got so many different companies to announce VP8 support.  The more software that supports a file format, the harder it is to change said format, so I’m dubious of any claim that we will be able to spend the next 6-12 months revising VP8.  In short, it seems to have been released too early: it would have been better off to have an initial period during which revisions could be submitted and then a big announcement later when it’s completed.
Update: it seems that Google is not open to changing the spec: it is apparently “final”, complete with all its flaws.

Also a good read is:   Flash, Google, VP8, and the future of internet video

Friday, May 21, 2010

probabilistic computing could be faster, cheaper and lower power for video.

Read article: Professor works to revolutionize computer chips

 Krishna Palem began wondering how much a slight reduction in the quality of calculations might improve speed and save energy.

The first real-world test of the probabilistic computer chip which thrives on random errors, ran seven times faster than today’s best technology while using just 1⁄30th the electricity.

Just think: One need never again worry about draining an iPhone battery in a day or even a week.
“The results were far greater than we expected,” said Palem, a Rice University professor who envisions his chips migrating to mobile devices in less than a decade.

While Palem’s technology may not have a future in calculating missions to Mars, it probably has one in such applications as streaming music and video on mobile devices, he said.

Much as the brain automatically fills in missing words in incomplete sentences, Palem said, the brain compensates for a few errant pixels in a mobile phone’s video screen. “In effect, we are putting a little more burden on the CPU in our heads and a little less burden on the CPU in our pockets.”

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Command line video processing using FOSS

Daniel Paluska is getting away from the point-and-click by editing videos from the command line. Using the free open source software packages FFmpeg, Imagemagick, and Sox he produces new clips from multiple videos with effects like overlaying, slicing, and assigning each video to a different quadrant.

Read Article at:
The Broadcaster Project

Seagate confirms 3TB drive

Seagate’s senior product manager Barbara Craig has confirmed “we are announcing a 3TB drive later this year,” but the move to 3TB of storage space apparently involves a lot more work than simply upping the areal density.

The ancient foundations of the PC’s three-decade legacy has once again reared its DOS-era head, revealing that many of today’s PCs are simply incapable of coping with hard drives that have a larger capacity than 2.1TB.

To get past this you need  UEFI, 64-bit OS and new partition table

Google is set to introduce its Smart TV software

"The revolution we're about to go through is the biggest single change in television since it went color," Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini told analysts last week.

Google this week is expected to debut its Smart TV Internet-television software. The software is expected to be built into Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes.

A commercial launch date has yet to be announced. The initiative which involves major industry players Sony, Intel and Logitech -- will allow viewers to navigate among a variety of media formats, including TV, streaming content and home videos.

Google will release development tools for it in hopes that third-party software creators will build applications for Smart TV the same way they did for smart phones.

Read more at:Los Angeles Times

Best Buy is set to launch online video amid fierce competition

Best Buy expects to start renting and selling online versions of the latest video releases later this month, delivering the digital content over high-speed Internet connections. The new service from the consumer-electronics retail chain will face fierce competition from players including retailers Wal-Mart and Blockbuster and online enterprises such as Amazon and Netflix.
Read more at:  The Washington Post/The Associated Press

With new video player, Hulu goes with Flash over HTML5

Hulu has introduced a new online video player and opted to stick with Adobe Flash technology as opposed to the HTML5 platform that Apple has been championing. "When it comes to technology, our only guiding principle is to best serve the needs of all of our key customers: our viewers, our content partners who license programs to us, our advertisers, and each other," said Hulu Vice President Eugene Wei. "We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn't yet meet all of our customers' needs."

Read more at: InformationWeek

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cable Company Makes a Move on Internet Video

Good article on Wired:
Cable Company Makes a Move on Internet Video

“It’s a set-top box on steroids,” Balan Nair, chief technology officer for Liberty Global, told “The interface will be very intuitive and advanced and include features such as search and recommendation that will tie in a seamless way the experience of a using a DVR and a web search engine.”

Why I Steal Movies… Even Ones I'm In

Good article on Gizmod by Peter Serafinowicz
Why I Steal Movies… Even Ones I'm In

"Ownership" is starting to change its meaning. If you buy a movie from iTunes you "own" the right to watch it on certain devices within certain constraints. When you "own" a DVD, you have the right to watch it whenever and wherever you want. However: you must watch ten minutes of promos, trailers and anti-piracy threats. I'll take the download, please.
But often you can't do it legally: I recently wanted to show my son Disney's classic Jungle Book and intended to get it on iTunes. Unfortunately, it is currently incarcerated within The Disney Vault.  So I'm afraid I simply DL'ed a pixel-clear pirate copy which arrived in seconds. My moral justification for this? I once bought the VHS. It's your own vault, Disney!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

html5: see some..... non - flash videos

From William Wallace:

see some..... non - flash videos (using Ogg Theora and Vorbis format)  ....   from

..... anyway, I was looking into .... new rules for lexing and parsing  and came up with this.. info-spin-off ....

 Those (mostly apple, some linux and 386bsd), waiting for html5 instead of just going with flash videos,
possibility, will have a longer wait then to be expected, and it probably won't be worth the options pending availability,
a that point in time...because:  1.Codecs remain to be found that are not proprietary and browser engines will not co-operated enough with each other to make it a mainstream technology within a reasonable length of time. Google seems to, as usual, have the lead on this, as "Chrome" seems to be the only feasible player in the field, at the present time and with their acquisition of On2 , thereby getting VP8    

.... to be continued...later.... maybe ( opinion derived from ref: below) ....  


Why Apple does not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads.

Steve Jobs publishes some 'thoughts on Flash'... many, many thoughts on Flash -

Thoughts on Flash -

Adobe has repeatedly said that Apple mobile devices cannot access “the full web” because 75% of video on the web is in Flash. What they don’t say is that almost all this video is also available in a more modern format, H.264, and viewable on iPhones, iPods and iPads. YouTube, with an estimated 40% of the web’s video, shines in an app bundled on all Apple mobile devices, with the iPad offering perhaps the best YouTube discovery and viewing experience ever. Add to this video from Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ESPN, NPR, Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, People, National Geographic, and many, many others. iPhone, iPod and iPad users aren’t missing much video.

One in eight to cut cable and satellite TV in 2010

read: Article on CNN

NEW YORK ( -- Despite rising cable and satellite TV prices and easy access to streaming TV and movies on the Internet, few consumers have cut the cord. But that looks like it's about to change.
One in eight consumers will eliminate or scale back their cable, satellite or other pay-TV service this year, according to a new study released this week by Yankee Group.

The study, which was the result of a survey of pay-TV operators and more than 6,000 U.S. consumers, found that many will choose to drop premium channels or cut their service down to a basic package, while others will choose to cut off their service completely.
A cutting-the-cord trend has been the subject of speculation for some time, as networks have increasingly made television programming available for free on the Internet. But a combination of other factors, including a growing number of battles between cable companies and networks, soaring Internet video viewings and an increase in connected TVs and devices, suggest the trend is finally upon us.
"Admittedly, this is a small phenomenon now, but a number or recent transactions and new items point to a shift in consumer thinking," said Vince Vittore, analyst at Yankee Group and author of the study.
Going without cable or satellite is unthinkable to many Americans -- just over 90% of U.S. households subscribe to some form of pay TV. But just as mobile phones have replaced many customers' land-line service, Vittore said on-demand Internet video will soon whittle that 90% figure down.
Pay TV is getting more expensive
The biggest reason why customers will cut the cord, according to the study, is the growing cost of pay-TV service. Cable and satellite viewers pay an average of $71 per month, and they receive an average annual price hike of 5%, according to research firm Centris.
That annual price jump could be even higher if battles between pay-TV operators and networks continue.
Broadcasters like ABC, CBS (CBS, Fortune 500), Fox and NBC have traditionally cost cable and satellite providers nothing to retransmit, since they are offered for free over the air anyway. But lately, broadcast television networks have demanded -- and have received -- fees for their programming comparable to what cable networks like TBS, E!, MTV and Comedy Central have been charging.
Recently, Time Warner Cable (TWC) and the Fox Network, Cablevision and Disney (DIS, Fortune 500), and Sunflower Broadband and Hearst-Argyle Television have had high-profile spats, which have all resulted in significantly higher fees.
Ultimately, those fees get passed onto subscribers.
Vittore said that higher costs will ultimately drive more consumers to cut their pay-TV service -- especially for non-sports fans.
Though more live sports are becoming available over the Internet, namely CBS's coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament, and packages like MLB TV, most sports are still watched on television. And since sports programming makes up as much as 50% of a pay-TV provider's costs, customers who are not sports fans are essentially paying half of their cable or satellite bill on channels in which they have no interest.
Streams of online video are up
Meanwhile, free or cheap alternatives to pay-TV subscriptions are growing wildly popular. More than 180 million U.S. viewers watched 31 billion videos on the Internet last month, according to online data tracker comScore. That's more than double the 15 billion Internet videos that were watched at the same time last year.
Hulu, which is jointly owned by and shows programming from NBC, Disney and Fox, has more than quadrupled its viewership in the past year. U.S. viewers watched more than 1 billion free TV programs or movies on Hulu in March, up from about 250 million a year earlier, comScore said. That's nearly 27 videos per viewer, up from under 15 videos last year.
What's more telling is how much Hulu people watch. Viewers tuned into Hulu for an average of 2.6 hours in March, up a full hour from a year earlier.
Netflix's streaming service is rapidly gaining ground as well. The company said last week that 55% of its users watched at least 15 minutes of streaming video in the first quarter. Netflix (NFLX) has grown its customer base by 35% over the past year, and recently raised its 2010 subscriber forecasts by 1 million customers.
More devices are connected
Until recently, people had been watching Hulu and Netflix almost exclusively on their computers -- not the most desirable replacement for pay-TV service. But more devices are coming pre-installed with Netflix or Internet connections, so people can stream videos right onto their televisions.
Netflix is now available on a handful of TVs, just about any Blu-ray player, and all three major video game devices -- the Nintendo Wii, the Sony (SNE) PlayStation, and the Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) Xbox -- which appear in 43% of U.S. households. A growing number of new HDTVs are also Internet ready, and according to a study released this week by Nielsen, TV purchases are up by their largest amount since 2006.
Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) and Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) are also expected to launch streaming video devices this year.
"This is the key part of the equation," said Vittore. "Not just are these devices connected to the Internet, but they're coming prepackaged with the capability to connect to rich video sources. That really becomes a competitor to pay TV service."
Since the easiest devices to connect to the Internet tend to be video game consoles, and they tend to be owned by 18-34 year olds, Yankee Group expects that will be the group to cut their cords first.
"Just like with telephone land lines, it's going to become hard to sell pay TV to anyone under 30," Vittore said.

See also Slashdot thread on this.

Can We Legislate Past the H.264 Debate?

from Slashdot:

"We could solve the H.264 debate if a country's legislature were to mandate that any patents that contribute to an industry-recognized standard were unenforceable in the application of that standard. Ideally, each standard would also be required to have a 'reference design' that could be used without further licensing. This could also solve problems with a ton of other deeply-entrenched areas like hard drives, DRAM, etc. RAND tries to solve this strictly within industry, but both the presence of submarine patents and the low-bar required to obtain a patent have made an obvious mess. Individual companies also use patent portfolios to set up mutual, assured destruction. I'm not convinced that industry can solve this mess that government created. But I'm not stupid; this clearly has a broad, ripple effect. Are there non-computer industries where this would be fatal? What if the patents were unenforceable only if the standard had a trademark and the implementer was compliant at the time of 'infringement?' Then, the patents could still be indirectly licensed, but it would force strict adherence to standards and would require the patent holders to fund the trademark group to defend it to the end. In the US model, of course."

Saturday, May 01, 2010

No Netflix streaming for Linux

I just assumed that like Youtube, because Netflix was using flash streaming, and it would work on Linux.
Correction: It's using Microsoft Silverlight see comment.

Well It doesn't work on linux.

Below is the message I get from Ubuntu Linux.

Instant Watching System Compatibility

Watching instantly on your computer

Our apologies — streaming is not supported for your operating system.
Note that your current Internet browser is fully compatible with adding titles to the Instant Queue for later watching on compatible devices.

Complete System Requirements

To watch instantly, you'll need a computer that meets the following minimum requirements:
  • Windows

    • Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Vista or Windows 7
    • Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher; or Firefox 2 or higher
    • 1.2 GHz processor
    • 512 MB RAM
  • Mac