By far the most important demo at NAB was presented by Christie, one of the foremost makers of digital-cinema projectors for commercial theaters. It was a comparison of the effect of shooting and displaying 3D movies at different frame rates24, 48, and 60 frames per second. The entire demo was created and narrated by James Cameron, who started by pointing out that digital cinema cameras and projectors are fully capable of shooting and displaying higher frame rates, which greatly reduces or eliminates the motion blur and stuttering endemic to 24fps.
Outside the Red Digital Cinema demo theater, I saw this 60-inch quad-HD (3840x2160) flat panel made by Planar. No one could tell me much about itthe Planar rep wasn't around at that momentexcept that it's an LED-illuminated LCD, probably edgelit. It did look mighty crisp and sharp.
Dolby was showing several items in its booth, including an update to Dolby Digital Plus for mobile devices as well as its LED-backlit LCD professional reference monitor with local-dimming control of each LED rather than larger zonesvery cool, but very expensive. What interested me the most was Dolby 3D, a new technology developed in collaboration with Philips Research and introduced at NAB.
And now for something completely over the topan autostereoscopic (glasses-free) 16:9 rear-projection display measuring 200 inches diagonally! This behemoth was developed by Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and consists of 200 small DLP projectors behind a special diffuser screen and Fresnel lens. Amazingly, you can walk around and see objects from different angles and even behind them, much like a true hologram. There was some obvious vertical banding in the 1920x1080 image, but I found no one who could explain why.
Epson had a small booth way in the back of the South Hall, and along with some commercial projectors was the Moverio wearable display. Inside the temple pieces of these glasses are tiny LCD microprojectors with a resolution of 960x540, and the image is directed through special diffusers to appear in front of each eye. The glasses are transparent, so you can see the surrounding environment with the video image superimposed over it.
Each year at NAB, NewTek, maker of the TriCaster video switcher, hosts a panel discussion about the future of television called Broadcast Minds. This year, the panel was moderated by Leo Laporte, head of the TWiT network that produces my Home Theater Geeks podcast among many others. Seen here in the center, he is joined by (left to right) Jeff Hawley, Director of Customer Experience for Yamaha; Bill Chapman, VP of Creative and Engineering Technology for Turner Broadcasting; Jeff Jacobs, Senior VP of Production Strategies for MTV; and Kevin Pollack, comedian, actor, and host of a popular podcast called Kevin Pollack's Chat Show.
In this special episode live from the 2012 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas, Leo Laporte and I walk the show floor, talking to representatives from Canon, Panasonic, JVC, and Sony about new technologies that will improve the consumer experience of TV and movies. Particularly interesting is the rapidly falling cost of 4K digital-video cameras from Canon, JVC, and Sony as well as a new 3D conversion technology from JVC. We also talk to Panasonic's Peter Fannon about the upcoming Summer Olympics in 3D and see 4K flat-panel reference monitors in the Canon, JVC, and Sony booths that look amazing even at relatively small sizes.
Are there any current or upcoming LCD, plasma, or OLED flat-panel TVs with a two-tuner picture-in-picture feature? Several years ago, many manufacturers offered this feature, but it seems to have disappeared. I do not choose to purchase another tuner device to obtain a PIP image.
As I discuss in my blog this week, I just saw the new 3D conversion of Titanic. I enjoyed it more than I thought I wouldand way more than the recent Star Wars Episode I conversion. I suspect this is largely due to the fact that writer/director James Cameron is a 3D fanatic, so he was bound to do it right.
How do you feel about converting existing 2D movies to 3D (assuming it's done well)? Is it worthwhile? If so, what movies would you like to see converted? Or do you think this is an abomination and all existing movies should be left alone?
Vote to see the results and leave a comment about your choice.
Last night, I saw Titanic in its new 3D release at an AMC ETX (Enhanced Theater eXperience) venue. Using two projectors and RealD passive glasses, the image was brighter than single-projector RealD and way brighter than Arclight's Xpand active-glasses system. So how was the 3D conversion?