Elliot to Release 3-D Music Video

"Missy Elliott is going 3-D. Walt Disney Studios is creating a stereoscopic 3-D music video combining two of her songs featured in the studio's upcoming "Step Up 2 the Streets," which opens Feb. 14. MTV will premiere the video in 3-D on Monday during "TRL." Glasses for home viewing will be distributed via various promotions.

The video combines Elliott's songs "Ching-a-ling" and "Shake Your Pom Pom" and was directed by Dave Meyers, who helmed music videos for Elliott including "Work It," "Loose Control," and "Get Ur Freak On." Pace and posthouse Fotokem worked on the 3-D; they companies worked on production and post, respectively, for Disney's "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour," which opens Friday in 3-D digital.

In addition to the MTV premiere, the music video also will be shown in 3-D during a special screening of "Step Up 2 the Streeets" on Feb. 5 in New York, with Elliott scheduled to attend.

Additional 3-D presentations may be scheduled, and the video also will be shown in 2-D.

"It was a perfect fit," said Glen Lajeski, Disney's executive vp music, creative and marketing. "Missy always wanted to do a 3-D music video, and Disney has done a lot of movies in 3-D," he said, adding that he expects to see more of this type of project.

"It's specialized right now. ... We're ready," he said."

By Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter

TRIOVIZ Brings 3-D DVD Solution

French start-up TRIOVIZ will be present at IDIFF (International DIffusion Film Forum) in Paris, France from january 30 to february 1st 2008, with their revolutionary solution that easily allows 3-D movies to be watched and enjoyed on the ordinary television screens that are already in living rooms around the world.

TRIOVIZ is the only solution available on the market that allows people to enjoy 3-D entertainment on the DVD players and TV screens they already own, immediately, inexpensively, enjoyably and comfortably.

The TRIOVIZ solution can be used today on any movie or video that has been produced in stereoscopic 3-D. The original 3-D images are simply processed with TRIOVIZ's technology. The DVDs are then manufactured as usual and shipped with special TRIOVIZ glasses. Unlike the red-and-blue 3-D glasses of the past, the innovative yet inexpensive TRIOVIZ glasses render 3-D entertainment with beautiful, natural colors and sharp images, and without any "ghosting." There is no discomfort, fatigue, eye strain or headaches.

With TRIOVIZ, 3-D movies can be enjoyed on all LCD and plasma screens, all CRT and DLP television sets, and even any laptop computer. TRIOVIZ-processed films can be played on all DVD players, including HD-DVD and Blu-ray.

TRIOVIZ's patent-pending breakthrough technology is live, available today, and unique on the market.

Christophe Brossier, CEO of TRIOVIZ, points out the immense potential: "In the next few years, hundreds of millions of people will watch dozens of major Hollywood movies in thousands of cinemas equipped with 3-D digital projection technology – including highly anticipated big-budget movies from Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis and Eric Brevig; concerts from National Geographic "U2-3D" and Walt Disney "Hanna Montana-Best Of Both Worlds"; as well as animated pictures from Walt Disney, Dreamworks, ImageMovers Digital, nWave Pictures and Focus Features. The 3-D cinema release of a movie usually draws in three times more spectators than its 2-D version. Still, half of the total revenues of a Hollywood motion picture generally come from DVD sales. And until now, there was no way to release and sell a decent DVD version of a 3-D movie to the mass market. TRIOVIZ has solved that problem."

Following successful shows like IBC in Amsterdam (September 2007), MIPCOM market in Cannes, France (October 2007) and FITA (International Forum for Animation Technologies) in Angoulème, France (December 2007), Brossier (CEO) and Véronique Chalandar (Business Development) will be at IDIFF, demonstrating TRIOVIZ with a new 3-D showreel on an ordinary 46’’ HD LCD screen, on the DOREMI booth (#C2).

Microspace Achieves Significant Digital Cinema Milestones in 2007 and Expects Continued Growth in 2008

Microspace, the leading distributor of digital cinema via satellite, saw an exciting year of firsts and milestones in 2007. The company successfully delivered 11 feature films from five studios and grew its network to 1,000 screens with over a dozen participating theater circuits within the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The company’s success was in large part due to the industry’s move to digital movie distribution via satellite as an effective way to deliver films to theaters securely and reliably with the enhanced picture and sound that only digital can provide.

In 2007, the industry also began to embrace satellite delivered alternative content to exhibitors. Microspace delivered live sports to theatres. Microspace is convinced the delivery of sports, concerts, and other “live” events is becoming a more viable and attractive way for studios and theaters to generate additional revenue and reach new and different audiences.

The Microspace network is currently installed at 1,000 screens in 38 states with exhibitor commitments in place to expand the network to over 220 theatre locations connecting more than 2,200 screens by the middle of 2008.

Source: DCinemaToday

XDC and FTT Announce Partnership Agreement

Since 2005 in Germany alone, XDC and FTT have deployed over 100 2K DCI compliant screens, making a total of about 170 screens in total with Austria, The Netherlands and Poland. This represents nearly half of the 350 screens that XDC is presently able to service (XDC is also active in Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain and Switzerland).

Willing to provide a complete solution to their exhibition customers, and based on three year’s solid commercial digital cinema experience and partnerships with exhibitors XDC and FTT are now able to offer a fully integrated networked solution within the cinema. This solution includes one local Screen Management System per screen; one Theatre Management System in the cinema complex for the control of the different servers with a central library able to store up to 14 Terabytes of digital content; and a Central Advertising Management System. For the digital projection of advertisements, XDC and FTT are currently working with Rowo in Germany in order to use one single server in order to play out both advertisement and feature films using a single 2K D-Cinema projector.

Serge Plasch, XDC’s new CEO, said: “The partnership agreement we have signed with FTT allows XDC and FTT to move into the next phase of expansion, with pan-European large-scale digital cinema rollouts. Taking the individual local and/or regional market characteristics into account, XDC is able to embrace co-financing initiatives from the cinema industry or from any private or state sponsored entity. XDC is currently finalising the first agreements with Major US Studios in order to act as a Deploying Entity in the framework of the Virtual Print Fee (VPF) business model.”

Thomas Rüttgers, CEO of FTT, pointed out: “FTT is committed to fully support XDC in its negotiations with the exhibitors. Once a contract is signed, FTT will carry out a site inspection and survey, installation (including any related necessary infrastructure work and stereoscopic (3D) systems), on-site training, on-site annual maintenance visit and of course, if necessary, call-outs. The frontline/hotline and helpdesk for Germany and Austria is also completely serviced by FTT. For stereoscopic (3D), besides the supply and installation of the hardware, FTT provides the logistical services related to the provision of both passive and active spectacles.”

Source: DCinemaToday

Samsung Debuts the First 3D Ready Flat-Panel HDTV with its 2008 Entry-Level Plasma HDTV Line-up

"Samsung Electronics will unveil its groundbreaking new line-up of plasma HDTVs at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show. Taking a cue from the technology created for its DLP HDTVs, Samsung has developed the first 3D-ready, flat-panel HDTVs on the market with the Series 4 plasma HDTV. Engineered to be both adaptable and affordable, the entry-level Series 4 and Series 5 are the perfect choice for consumers looking to enter the plasma space with a cost-effective, flat-panel HDTV that can do it all.

Series 4 Entertainment Plasma HDTV
The Series 4 utilizes technologies and innovations previously available only in 3D-enabled DLP HDTVs to deliver the superb picture quality of a flat panel TV with enhanced 3D features. The Series 4 is using an advanced software algorithm to eliminate dither noise and false contour lines to reproduce clear images, including fast moving action scenes. The Series 4’s multimedia compatibility via 3 HDMI, and sophisticated picture and sound optimization tools makes it ideal for gamers and movie buffs alike.

The Series 4 Plasma HDTV will be available in March in both 42-inches and 50-inches model sizes (Model numbers PN42A450P and PN50A450P).

Series 5 Plasma HDTV
The Full HD (1080p) Series 5 sets a new standard for plasma televisions. Utilizing the same cutting-edge technology employed in the Series 4, it allows users to have optimized picture and sound quality via a variety of preset modes. It also takes picture quality one step further by employing a single-scan system. This system makes it possible for the unit to have only one driving board, as opposed to the usual two. The result is enhanced performance at a more simplified structure.

The Series 5 plasma HDTV will be available in March in both 50-inches and 58-inches (Model numbers PN50A550P and PN58A550P)."

Source: Yahoo Finance

SPECTRONIQ 3-D Introduces Pioneering 3-D HD LCD TVs

"Southern California-based consumer electronics innovator SPECTRONIQ 3-D will unveil its inaugural stereoscopic 3-D HD LCD TVs in Las Vegas as the focal point of the company's presentation during CES, January 7-10. Already a leader in the realm of high-end HD LCD televisions, SPECTRONIQ 3-D is ramping up for a groundbreaking summer 2008 nationwide retail launch for the 46" 3-D TVs under the SPECTRONIQ brand, the first mass market consumer roll-out of its kind.

At the vanguard of setting a new industry standard for the coming 3-D revolution in digital media, entertainment and gaming, SPECTRONIQ's 3-D HD LCD TVs deliver an immersive and riveting sensory experience. Visual elements appear to break through the screen's boundaries and the technology allows for a spacious 3-D viewing zone. Proprietary in both its methodology of combining diverse cutting-edge technologies -- universally compatible with all current 3-D formats -- and with its intuitive user interface applications, SPECTRONIQ 3-D has created a user-friendly product unprecedented in the marketplace.

SPECTRONIQ 3-D's CEO Leo Chen commented, "The impact of 3-D on consumer electronics is going to be the biggest paradigm shift in decades. It is an extraordinary feeling to be on the brink of introducing this technology and making it available and affordable, to home audiences for the very first time."

The sets were developed through a landmark alliance between SPECTRONIQ 3-D and Kerner Optical Research & Development ("KORD"), whose end-to-end 3-D Solutions form the SPECTRONIQ 3-D TV's primary technology suite. KORD is a spin-off of Kerner Optical, LLC, the former physical effects division of Industrial Light & Magic, a Lucasfilm Company. SPECTRONIQ 3- D's sophisticated consumer electronics design, production, distribution, and sales chain, together with KORD's brilliance as a disruptive technology incubator, positions both to lead the way in bringing breakthrough 3-D display technology and original content to the masses.

Based in Northern California on the historic former ILM campus, KORD's core team includes members of George Lucas' ILM start-up brain trust as well as noted stereoscopic 3-D experts. In addition to 3-D display technology, KORD and its affiliates have also developed an unparalleled 3-D camera rig where SPECTRONIQ 3-D is further collaborating with them on the development of exclusive content.

SPECTRONIQ 3-D has also announced other key strategic partners whose technologies are intrinsic to the viewing experience provided by their 3-D HD LCD TVs:

- An agreement was reached with SENSIO Technologies to incorporate the Montreal-based company's 3D high definition decoder technology featuring JVC's real time 2D to 3D conversion technology, into KORD's 3-D Solutions suite. This will be the first time it will be integrated into a television intended for the consumer market. SENSIO technology provides quality 3D technology with full resolution and colors.

- Technology firm RaisingSun Digital Video Technology Company is providing board systems solutions for the SPECTRONIQ 3-D television sets.

- It is expected that other key partnerships will be made public in the near future.

In addition to 3-D HD LCD TVs, SPECTRONIQ 3-D products in development also include a 3-D home theater PC for gaming and a laser HD television."

Source: Reuters

PassmoreLab and 3DH Patent Innovative Camera Alignment/Synchronization System for Stereoscopic 3D Video

"In a development that will revolutionize - and greatly simplify - the production of live-action stereoscopic 3D video, PassmoreLab, in cooperation with Atlanta-based 3dh Communications, has patented a landmark system for the precise alignment of multiple cameras, as well as time synchronization of multiple stereo channels. Continuing its advancement of technology for 3D imaging, the southern California-based company has addressed the problems associated with the time-consuming camera alignment process, and created a technical solution that will significantly reduce production time and expense.

The new, patented system utilizes a special target placed in front of the multiple cameras - essentially a digital "slate" - to mark the beginning of a shot. This digital cue is then applied during post-production through the application of proprietary software, which analyzes the target and automatically performs precise vertical and rotational alignment, thus eliminating visual conflicts between the multiple stereo channels. Significantly, the system can be used in conjunction with large camera arrays, such as the prototype 10-camera array recently developed by PassmoreLab, as well as simple stereo configurations.

To fully grasp the importance and potential benefit of this new technology, consider that using standard processes, in order to obtain accurate stereo alignment it is required that cameras be placed on precision mechanisms with all alignments being done manually, often demanding numerous incremental adjustments to achieve acceptable results. Understandably, this is a slow and tedious process that wastes time and resources. By contrast, using the new system it is now possible to simply place two cameras side-by-side on a table, complete an image capture, and in post automatically perform precise vertical and rotational alignment for superb results. In addition, if the interocular distance between the cameras is inappropriate for the subject, the software can apply a horizontal-offset bias for the scene - essentially allowing the user to adjust the apparent location of the screen plane - that will assist in making the video output more accurate and visually pleasing to the eye. Again, this was a problem that previously had to be corrected through manual camera adjustments and tedious trial and error. This should be great news to the entertainment and advertising industries, which now have a technology that can considerably lower production costs over time.

Another groundbreaking element of the patented system is in its application to specialized filming techniques, such as the use of helmet-mounted cameras and other camera configurations required for challenging location-shooting situations. Here, the difficulty arises in cueing the exact initiation of image capture between multiple cameras, as well as maintaining precise alignment in space. The new system utilizes a photographic flash unit, which is directed into the cameras' optics and triggered at the start of a shot. In post, the software uses this visual cue to time-synch the multiple channels, while also performing vertical and rotational alignment of the channels. It is now possible to essentially place multiple cameras in relative alignment and pointed at a subject, start each of them independently, and simply trigger a flash when the shot is ready to start. In post, everything is then precisely aligned in time and space. As noted previously, the system is applicable to bigger multi-camera arrays, accomplishing automatic alignment between large numbers of video channels. This makes it particularly suitable for the types of arrays needed to produce content for auto-stereoscopic displays, where up to 10 video channels may be used.

A further benefit of the new system is that it allows for the use of inexpensive, lower-end video cameras, which may be better suited for difficult or potentially damaging shooting situations or locations. Such applications would be extreme action sports, auto racing, skydiving, surfing, underwater shooting, or anywhere that the risk to high-end equipment would be prohibitive."

Source: Stereoscopy

Royalty Free MXF Implementation from Metaglue

"Metaglue has announced its new MXFplus SDK, which builds on the free open source MXFLib software and provides extra functionality through its additional libraries.

Adding royalty free MXF functionality to products is now made much easier through the software and support service that provides help, to manufacturers, exactly as needed. With finite staff resources, companies often look for external support on an “ad hoc” basis for specific projects of this type – which allows their own engineers to concentrate on company specific developments. But project budgets are limited and there is a need to keep admin to a minimum.

In response to this requirement, MXFplus provides service and support, requires no royalties, has no hidden or retrospective costs, includes all library source code and scales to your exact requirements.

Metaglue has contributed over 15 man years of expertise to the development of MXFLib, a free open-source software library which implements the SMPTE MXF file format efficiently and effectively on many operating systems. MXFLib software is currently being used by equipment manufacturers, major entertainment and sports media outlets, television networks, production and post-production facilities, and government agencies, for applications including data ingest / capture, annotation / logging, editing / packaging, distribution and archiving.

The MXFLib open-source code is currently downloaded 400 times per month by manufacturers, product engineers and in-house system developers who are keen to exploit the advantages of MXF. The uptake of MXFLib is growing at an annual rate of 50%."

Source: BroadcastBuyer

Gracenote & Philips Partner to Offer most Advanced Audio & Video Fingerprinting Technology

"Gracenote and Philips have deepened their existing relationship by combining their respective content fingerprinting technologies to provide extremely advanced solutions for video and audio content filtering and monetization.

The technology partnership combines Philips’ video fingerprinting and Gracenote’s audio fingerprinting technologies, and results in a comprehensive and viable system for content owners and service providers looking to control the use of and monetize copyrighted content across multiple platforms.

The expanded relationship between Gracenote and Philips deepens the ongoing partnership between the two companies started in 2004, whereby Philips audio fingerprinting technology was successfully joined with Gracenote’s global database and network services to create today’s largest and most comprehensive audio fingerprinting solutions deployed around the world. Examples currently in the market include Sony Ericsson’s TrackID service for mobile consumers, Nielsen’s Broadcast Data Service music monitoring solution, and Snocap’s digital music licensing and copyright management platform."

REAL D Names Renowned DVD Pionner Koji Hase, President of Worldwide Consumer Electronics

REAL D, the global leader in 3D experiences and technology, announced the appointment of Emmy award-winning pioneer of the DVD format Koji Hase as President of Worldwide Consumer Electronics. In his new position, Hase will be responsible for building upon REAL D’s successful cinema businesses by launching REAL D’s global business in 3D consumer/home products.

“I envision many opportunities for REAL D as the company leverages its unique experience in developing 3D technology, intellectual properties, and enabling platforms,” said Hase. “The growth potential in the 3D space is exceptional.”

Source: DCinemaToday

ITRI Launches µ-retarder

Not many people know that Taiwan started R&D efforts in 3D display technology 10 years ago. Although it seemed that Taiwan did not have the competence to develop advanced display technologies at that time—nor even manufacture LCD panels at the initial stage—the Image Optics System Division of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) pioneered in 3D display R&D. Now ITRI has launched the patented micro-retardation film (µ-retarder) technology, which it describes as the solution for achieving real 3D display at the lowest cost.

"3D display technology is usually divided into four parts: orientation, video processing, encoding/decoding and display technologies," said Tsai Chao-Hsu, project manager of the 3D display department under the Image Optics System Division. In orientation technology, ITRI started R&D of laser scanning technology 10 years ago, but shifted to 3D imaging display. Today ITRI is cooperating with Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, United States, on multiview imaging research.

Greatest achievement
ITRI began 3D display technology R&D nine years ago. "Our greatest achievement is the µ-retarder," said Tsai. Briefly, µ-retardation involves directing polarised light rays through a glass-based optical thin film, the retarder, consisting of horizontal or vertical stripes with alternating null and half-wave phase retardation. The light is split and the left and right eyes of the viewer receive complimentary images that combine to form a 3D image in the users' eyes".

Current technologies enabling 2D and 3D imaging presents a 3D image to a viewer wearing 3D glasses, and a 2D image to the viewer without glasses. This is a low-cost way to bring 3D technology to homes. Tsai said, "With slightly more cost, users can play 3D games and watch movies at home, with glasses. It seems the most feasible household 3D display solution currently." He added that "Although 'naked-eye' is the ultimate goal of 3D display, glasses-type 3D display will remain the mainstream technology for the next three to five years."

Rival technologies
Several 3D and video compression technologies have emerged such as Philips' 2D+Depth and the Multi View Coding technology from MPEG.org. "Iz3D, a joint-venture company established jointly by Chi Mei Optoelectronics of Taiwan and NeurokOptics of the U.S. has already developed a 3D display," explained Tsai. "But its product uses two LCDs, and the price for a 22-inch display is about Rs.39,420.51 ($999). Compared with such product, our solution is expected to provide a more competitive solution in terms of price, because our material cost is lower and we'll provide manufacturers a complete product consisting of a glass with a µ-retarder film."

ITRI is not the pioneer for using retardation technology, but it is the first R&D institute developing the µ-retarder for 80-inch displays, with the lowest cost and the most environmental protection features. Arisawa Manufacturing Co. Ltd Japan has developed a similar technology called Xpol. "However, they use chemicals where we use a laser," remarked Tsai. "Besides, Xpol can only be applied on displays smaller than 50 inches, but we have launched 42-inch products and are progressing toward 60- to 70- to 80-inch products in the future."

"We are in talks with display manufacturers for transferring µ-retarder technology. However, since they need to set up the whole production line for this new technology, it will take about one to two years before this kind of 3D display product will appear in the market," Tsai revealed.

Moreover, to enhance further the local technology in the field of stereogram display, ITRI has launched a development plan for video processing (including modeling and rendering), encoding/decoding and the interactive display technology covering video processing, encoding/decoding and display technologies.

Source: EE Times India