The E and Eye

“HDTV is ideally viewed at a distance of roughly three times the picture height.”  That’s the sort of statement heard frequently — as recently as at last week’s HPA Tech Retreat.  And there seems to be a basis for it. According to the eye chart commonly used to determine visual acuity, 20/20 vision can just […]  More

2D (not 3D) Glasses

We’ve all heard about 3D glasses.  There are so many varieties that Rainbow Symphony offers so-called “Ultimate 3D Glasses” (shown here).  They work with many, but by no means all, forms of 3D.  Here’s a link to their site: http://www.rainbowsymphony.com/ultimate-3d-glasses.html But, since January 11, I’ve been writing about 2D glasses, rather than 3D.  I’ve decided […]  More

This Thing Called 3D

It has been a heck of a month for 3D announcements.  Comcast carried The Final Destination in 3D on the day of its DVD release. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) seemed all about 3D.  The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) issued a report on 3D TV.  The program recently posted for next month’s Hollywood Post Alliance […]  More

Someone Will Be There Who Knows the Answer

The Oversight Executive for Motion Intelligence of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence is scheduled to be in the southern California desert next month.  So are the chief technology officers (CTOs) of both Panasonic and Sony.  So is the head of the Visual Space Perception Laboratory at the University of California […]  More

Sines of the Times

What I’d like to say is that edges don’t really exist.  And the point I’m trying to make affects everything from camera resolution to audio distortion to data transmission.  But I get in trouble when I make sweeping statements like that. My desired edge statement is something like Zeno’s most-famous paradox.  If I throw a […]  More

3DTV: Home and the Range

Most people don’t live in movie theaters.  That could be a problem for 3-D TV. It wouldn’t be the first time that TV offered an experience different from that of a cinema auditorium.  In 1961, NBC Saturday Night at the Movies began with the 1953 movie How to Marry a Millionaire, shot in an aspect […]  More

The Hole Thing

Take away a camera’s mount, viewfinder, electronics, optical system (including lens), and case, and what’s left? It’s not “nothing;” it’s a hole. Holes treat light very differently from the way nothing treats light, and the image business is very much involved with light. One of the key effects of holes on light is diffraction. Imagine a […]  More

Walkin' in a Camera Wonderland

If you want to see products that don’t appear in U.S. trade-press magazines, you need to go beyond NAB, SMPTE, and InfoCOMM. You need to go to the International Broadcasting Convention. IBC is my favorite trade show. I can leave work, catch an evening flight to Amsterdam, and take a train directly from the airport […]  More

Angry About Contrast

If you are looking at the above picture on a nominally sized screen at a nominal viewing distance, you probably see an angry man on the left.  What’s an “angry man”?  Me, when I think about technical descriptions of HDTV. Think about it.  Maybe you hear HDTV described as being 1080i or 720p.  Maybe it’s […]  More

Sports, News, Porno, and… Opera?

Electronic slow motion was invented for sports video. Tapeless camcorders were created for TV news. Pornography made streaming video successful.  But something else that seems to drive media-technology innovation is opera.  Really.  Opera. The European Digital Cinema Forum’s 2008 EDCF Guide to Alternative Content for Digital Cinema begins with a chapter on opera because opera happens to […]  More