All You Can See

The equipment exhibitions at the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) often seem to have themes. Two years ago, it was stereoscopic 3D. Before that, it was DSLRs. Long before HDTV became common, it was a theme at NAB conventions. And there was at least one convention at which the theme seemed […]  More

New Angles on 2D and 3D Images

Shooting stereoscopic 3D has involved many parameters: magnification, interaxial distance, toe-in angle (which can be zero), image-sensor-to-lens-axis shift, etc. To all of those, must we now also consider shutter angle (or exposure time)? The answer seems to be yes. Unlike other posts here, this one will not have many pictures.  As the saying goes, “You […]  More

The Alternatives

  At next month’s SMPTE/NAB Technology Summit on Cinema in Las Vegas, one session will be devoted to “Alternative Content.” What’s that? It’s complicated. One hundred years ago, the 1912 World Series was quite an event. In the history of baseball, it was the only best-of-seven World Series to have eight games. But the picture […]  More

Getting the Big Picture

  When did theatrical television begin? Would you believe 1877? On March 29 of that year, someone using the pen name “Electrician” described a device called an “electroscope,” some sort of image-transmission system — some sort of large-image transmission system. “Electrician’s” letter was published in The Sun the next day (the newspaper most famous for its […]  More

What It Was Was Television

  Did Thomas Edison predict television? According to some histories, the answer is yes, and the evidence is the image below, published on December 9, 1878 and captioned “Edison’s Telephonoscope (Transmits Light As Well As Sound).” The award-winning historian Erik Barnouw referred to it as a “startling prediction,” though he correctly attributed it to writer […]  More

Smellyvision and Associates

 What is reality? And is it something we want to get closer to? Take a look at the picture of a cat above, as printed on a package of Bell Rock Growers’ Pet Greens® Treats <http://www.bellrockgrowers.com/cattreats.html>. Does it look unreal? Distorted? Is it? At this month’s HPA Tech Retreat in Indian Wells, California (shown above in […]  More

Satellites Are Really Old

Here’s something to ponder: Why is Galileo called Galileo? Other great astronomers and scientists are known by their last names: Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, etc. Tycho Brahe is known by his first name, but he was Danish, and that was their style at the time. Galileo’s compatriots were known by their last names, but he wasn’t. […]  More

3D: The Next Big Thing?

The annual Tech Retreat of the Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) is where many new technologies get introduced. Sony reportedly “introduced” its F65 camera and SR-memory technologies at this year’s exhibition of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in Las Vegas in April; more than a year earlier, both were described for HPA Tech Retreat attendees. […]  More

The Blind Leading

Once upon a time, people were prevented from getting married, in some jurisdictions, based on the shade of their skin colors. Once upon a time, a higher-definition image required more pixels on the image sensor and higher-quality optics. Actually, we still seem to be living in the era indicated by the second sentence above. At […]  More

Y4K?

  What should come after HDTV? There’s certainly a lot of buzz about 3D TV. Such directors as James Cameron and Douglas Trumbull are pushing for higher frame rates. Several manufacturers have introduced TVs with a 21:9 (“CinemaScope”) aspect ratio instead of HDTV’s 16:9. Some think we should increase dynamic range (the range from dark […]  More