When you go to your local cineplex to catch a 3D movie, you are provided with glasses that isolate the left and right images for the corresponding eyes. I always assumed that the theater bought these glasses, resulting in higher ticket prices and an admonition to toss them into a bin on the way out so they can be reused. But Sony Pictures' announcement two weeks ago that, in May 2012, it will stop providing theaters with RealD glasseswhich are used in the majority of commercial 3D presentationsbelied that assumption.
This whole Panasonic plasma black-level thing really bugs me, and I'm not alone. Shoppers are shying away from Panny plasmas because they just don't know if the black level will increase significantly after months or years of use, and frankly, neither do I. In an effort to learn as much as possible about the phenomenon, I turn to you, our readers, for help. To anyone who owns a 2008 or 2009 Panasonic plasma, I pose the following question:
Another session in the Content Theater was presented by Julian Napier and Phil Streather, the director/editor and producer, respectively, of Carmen in 3D, the first live opera to be shot in stereo. Also on hand was Bob Mayson, president of the consumer-electronics division of RealD, which co-sponsored the project with the Royal Opera House in London.
My question is about "color" in sound. I hear audiophiles talk about this all the time. What is "color" in sound? How do you measure it? How do you remedy it? I'm kinda lost with the jargon. Please help me to understand how to tell if there's too much "color" in my system.
Today, I attended a couple of sessions on 3D in what is called the Content Theater. The material was displayed from a Sony 4K digital-cinema projector using a dual-lens RealD polarization system projecting different 2K sections of the imager for the left and right eyes. The polarization-preserving, perforated screen was from Harkness and measured 24x13 feet.
I know, I knowI'm a little late to the party. I just saw Despicable Me, even though it's been in theaters for three weeks. I rarely see a movie on its opening weekendI really hate waiting in line only to get a lousy seat right in front of a fidgety kidbut I don't normally wait this long for such a hyped 3D title. So how was it?
One of the clearest trends at NAB was the dramatic drop in the cost of creating 3D content, bringing this capability within reach of hobbyists and wannabe stereographers. Sony showed two inexpensive 3D camcorders, the HXR-NX3D1 ($3400, available this Summer, shown above) and HDR-TD10 ($1500, available end of April). Both record 1920x1080 in AVCHD format to internal memory (96GB in the NX3D1, 64GB in the TD10), and they have a dual-format slot that can accept Memory Stick or SD memory cards. They can also copy files directly to a hard-disk drive from a USB port with no need for a computer. The TD10 records at 60i (60fps interlaced), while the NX3D1 can record at 60i or 24p. The only other difference is that the NX3D1 provides XLR audio inputs and generates time code.
As I recount in my coverage of the world premier of Brave, it's the first movie with a soundtrack mixed for the Dolby Atmos sound system, which envelops the audience much more than conventional 5.1 or 7.1. But as a brand new technology, Atmos is currently installed in only 14 theaters around the country.
Do you live near one of them? If so, I strongly recommend seeing Brave there so you can experience the next generation of cinema sound. Here's a list of theaters with Dolby Atmos:
As digital television emerges as the home-entertainment medium of the new century, the convergence of audio/video broadcasting and the Internet is inevitable. After all, DTVs are nothing more than computers dedicated to A/V tasks; it seems a simple matter to include telecommunications capabilities as well. This convergence is made even easier with the increasing use of broadband cable modems, which access the Internet via the same infrastructure that brings television to roughly two-thirds of American homes.
Recently, UAV contributor Michael Fremer sent me a copy of an e-mail containing an e-discussion he was having with Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The topic of their e-conversation was a petition by the Consumers Union (CU), a non-profit organization that publishes Consumer Reports. The gist of the petition is given on their Web site:
We live in troubling times. Many people look at our society and see an increasing erosion of morality and civility, which leads them to yearn for the perfect suburbia as depicted in early television sitcoms such as Father Knows Best and Leave It to Beaver.
Most of the content on this Web site concerns how to get the most out of watching movies in a home theater. However, I readily admit that I spend most of my tube time watching television programming, both HD and SD. Now, don't get me wrong—I love watching a fine film from a high-quality DVD on a big screen with surround sound in cozy comfort. But I also love to watch TV, and a quality home theater system enhances this pastime as well.