IBC-ing the Future

This is what happened on Monday night, September 10, at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam: A crowd crammed into the large (1750-seat) auditorium to see the future–well, a future. They saw Hugo in stereoscopic 3D. The movie, itself, is hardly futuristic. It was released in 2011, and it takes place almost a century […]  More

The Light Fantastic

Here are some questions: Why is the man in the picture above holding radioactive sheets of music? What is the strange apparatus behind him? What does it have to do with Emmy awards given to Mitsubishi and Shuji Nakamura this January? And what is the relationship of all of that to the phrase “trip the […]  More

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