Analysts Blog

This blog contains posts from Chris Chinnock, the founder and President of Insight Media.  These posts reflect his opinions, commentary and non-proprietary information gleaned from work with clients and general industry interaction.  You can find additional blogs and subscription news content on Display Daily. Take a look.

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  • News Appetizers for Thanksgiving Yes, it is Thanksgiving tomorrow in the U.S. In thinking about a topic to cover for the day before Thanksgiving, I reviewed some recent news for ideas. Rather than expand on one of the topics, I thought I might summarize a few items I found of interest – and make some comments. For example, I saw conflicting reports that Apple would be starting low volume production of microLED watches by the end of the year vs. one that said Apple was down-sizing its Taiwanese microLED operations – maybe to bring some of that activity back to the U.S. I have no idea which ... Read more
  • Is Improved Scaling the Key to the 8K Content Void? I have been thinking more about 8K recently. Many will agree that the increase from 4K to 8K pixels will be of marginal benefit for those watching TVs at standard distances on 65” TVs. It will help a bit for larger displays and a lot if you are very close to the display – but that is not a TV watching mode. But I think 8K TVs will come anyway. There are two driving forces. One is the 2020 Olympics in Japan where NHK has been working steadily to produce, distribute and display in 8K. Their efforts have created a full ... Read more
  • Highlights from the 2017 SMPTE Conference As has been the case for several years, the SMPTE conference was held above the Dolby Theater in Hollywood California. There was a record turnout this year and because of the growth of the conference and exhibition, it will move to downtown LA next year. There are always a number of very good and very deep technical papers presented at the conference that I often need to study in some depth before writing about what they were about and why they were important (full coverage will be available soon as part of the subscription service). However, let me quickly summarize some ... Read more
  • My First Movie on an LED Cinema Screen I recently had the opportunity to go see a full length movie on the Samsung LED-based CinemaScreen in a commercial theater. This is the first one installed by the company in the Lotte World Tower in Seoul. I had seen a demo of the system at CinemaCon in Las Vegas last April and was very impressed. But how would it hold up watching a full length movie? The simple answer is “Extremely well”. While this is the first LED cinema screen in operation, a second screen just became operational in Busan, Korea and the company just announced that the Siam Paragon Cineplex ... Read more
  • Light Field Ecosystem Workshop Updates Streaming Media for Field of Light Displays (SMFoLD) workshop Oct. 3 Display Summit Oct. 4-5 Rockwell Collins facility, Sterling Virginia The workshop on Streaming Media for Field of Light Displays (SMFoLD) is set to take place on Oct. 3rd in Sterling, Virginia, followed directly by Display Summit on Oct. 4-5.  The workshop and part of Display Summit, is devoted to understanding the needs of non-consumer applications for advanced visualization, the methods for delivering these disparate data sets, and the displays to visualize the data.  The agenda is posted below: Company Speaker Abstract Insight Media Chris Chinnock Introduction to SMFoLD Workshop 2017 Avalon Holographics Matthew Hamilton Light Field Displays: From Current Developments to ... Read more
  • Advanced Technologies for Projection-based Training and Simulation A myriad of advanced technologies all come together to create a projection-based solution for training, visualization and simulation.  At Display Summit, some of these visual technologies will be discussed and explored. For example, increasing resolution is always a key factor in immersiveness and image fidelity.  To get there, one can add more projectors or increase the resolution of a fixed number of projectors.  The first solution usually adds too much cost, so increasing resolution on the projector is preferred. 4K and even 8K native resolution projectors now exist along with a class of projectors that use image shifting optics.  The merits or ... Read more
  • HDR/WCG TV Messaging is Going to be a Mess I had a feeling that the education and selling of consumers on the idea of HDR/WCG TVs was going to be problematic. After seeing what the major TV brands are saying about their TV products at IFA, it seems inevitable that confusion will reign. It’s going to be ‘alphabet soup’: HDR, PQ, HLG, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HDR400, HDR2000, wide color gamut, quantum dots, QLED, DCI-P3, BT.2020, color volume, static metadata, dynamic metadata – not to mention all the brand-specific names TV makers will be tempted to attach to these terms. Professionals in the industry can get confused by these terms ... Read more
  • How Will Advanced Display Technology Drive AR/VR Adoption? That is one of the key questions that will be addressed at the Streaming Media for Field of Light Displays (SMFoLD) workshop to be held on Oct. 3 followed by Display Summit on Oct. 4-5.  Both will be held in Sterling, Virginia and will feature leading technologists discussing the state and future of immersive displays and the infrastructure needed to deliver these compelling images. At Display Summit, we will be looking at component technology, headset designs and application requirements for AR and VR.  Most of the focus will be on non-consumer applications and trying to understand how advancements in consumer-facing products ... Read more
  • Focus on Light Field Displays and Streaming Light field displays, volumetric displays and eventually, holographic displays are all in development with the first commercial products coming soon. Such displays require a lot of image points (some call them voxels or volume pixels) and a lot of data. As a result, methods to format, encode and deliver these intense data streams are also in development. Two upcoming events will focus on commercial activities in these areas. At the Display Summit, for example, a company called SeeReal will describe their approach to a holographic display. One of the issues with holographic displays today is their limited field of view, resolution and ... Read more
  • Is New Leadership Needed for Next Generation Cinema? In a previous Display Daily, I claimed that the LED Cinema Era has Started. But what are the ramifications of this new technology entering a space that has so far been the exclusive domain of projection technology? The new LED screen technology will offer HDR capabilities and a wide color gamut. But there are no cinema specs to describe what HDR in cinema means – whether from a production/mastering point of view; from a display point of view or a distribution point of view Yes, Dolby Cinema offers a wider dynamic range and higher peak luminance than conventional theatrical content/projection, but this is ... Read more
  • 8K Connectivity is Ready Most industry attention today is on 4K and UHD/WCG, but the 8K ecosystem has been progressing over the year driven largely by NHK in Japan. The plan is to broadcast the 2020 Summer Olympics in 8K/HDR/WCG to special venues and even homes with 8K TVs. While we can certainly debate the value of more pixels in content capture and display, the big consequence is the need for bandwidth and moving all those pixels around. In this column, I want to talk about 8K connectivity in a production studio, professional or home environment. 8K images have 4X UHD and 16x FullHD pixels, but ... Read more
  • The LED Cinema Era has Started Last week, the first commercial DCI-compliant theater screen opened using LED instead of projection technology. The LED screens were supplied by Samsung for the high-end Lotte Cinema World Tower complex in Seoul. A 2K DCI-compliant version of the new Spiderman movie was shown on this 4K resolution screen, but we don’t believe it was mastered differently to take advantage of the high dynamic range offered by this screen –not yet anyway. This is an historic event. Only last March, at CinemaCon, Samsung stunned the cinema community with private showings of their new LED “CinemaScreen” technology in a specially outfitted theater. I ... Read more
  • Is it Time to Consider Measuring Displays in their Use Case Environment? Display performance is always measured in a very dark room, which is important if you want to know the limits of their performance. But display-based products are rarely viewed in real applications in a very dark room. Even cinemas and home theaters are rarely as dark as the testing environment. So, should we consider having additional spec sheets that detail performance in one or more ambient light conditions?  This would certainly provide a better indication of actual performance for the intended use case, but defining the environment for each application can be tricky. I am just back from helping to organize the QLED ... Read more
  • Christie Taking RGB Laser Projection to Mainstream Cinemas One of the more interesting pieces of news coming from CineEurope this week was the European debut of Christie’s CP-4325 digital cinema projector. This is the company’s first standalone RGB laser projector that it plans to offer for mainstream theatrical projection – not just the Premium Large Format (PLF) part of the market where RGB laser projectors have thrived so far. Clearly, getting the cost of an RGB laser projector is the key to moving the technology beyond the PLF market. So what has Christie done to get there? The big thing is moving from a frequency-doubled green laser solution to ... Read more
  • Nanosys Details the Future of Quantum Dots Quantum dot manufacturer Nanosys was at SID DisplayWeek speaking about quantum dots in the Business Conference, presenting papers in the symposium session and showcasing its technology on the exhibit floor while also revealing some future innovation in backroom discussions.  In all, the take away is that quantum dots hold great promise to provide a range of new innovations for displays in the coming years. Most of the quantum dots that Nanosys makes today are Cd-based.  These go into films produced by 3M that have shown up in TVs to date.  At last year’s SID, Nanosys introduced a hybrid quantum dot solution ... Read more
  • Location-based VR is the Right Next Step This is a feeling I have had for some time, but this was driven home today based on my tour of the brand new IMAX VR Center in New York. This is the second center and the first inside a multiplex (the AMC Kips Bay 15 venue). According the IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond (center in photo), who spoke at the event, eight more will be added before the end of the year in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, the Middle East, China and Japan. What was clear from the comments of Gelfrond and Adam Aron, CEO and President, AMC Theatres (left ... Read more
  • Which is Better: Higher Pixel Density or Wider Field of View? This is one of the key VR headset design decisions that product developers have been wrestling with.  So far, most have chosen a wider field of view leading to images that can look pixelated or have a “screen door effect”.  But with recent hardware advancements, it may be time to rethink this trade-off. In a recent Display Daily article, What’s the Definition of an Immersive Display?, I discussed a number of elements that can contribute to “immersiveness” in a VR or AR headset.  In this article, let’s explore one of these elements of immersiveness a bit more: pixels per degree. Pixels per ... Read more
  • First Metrology Workshop was Well Received Metrology is the art and practice of measurement and the International Committee on Display Metrology (ICDM) is devoted to developing display measurement methods. At the SID DisplayWeek in LA this week, the group organized their first all-day workshop on the topic. Over 90 people showed up, far exceeding the workshop organizers’ expectations. I asked a number of people what they thought of content and all agreed is was high quality and it was a worthwhile event. The day started with an introduction to light measurement basics by Ed Kelley, a former NIST staffer who was the editor behind the 500+ page ... Read more
  • What’s the Definition of an Immersive Display? I have been talking to people a lot about immersive displays lately. That’s because the next Display Summit will have this as a focus theme. Most people think of Virtual Reality when you say immersive display, but I think the definition should be broader than that. But what should the definition be? Certainly one aspect should be field of view. If it is wide, maybe 90 to 100 degrees, that is, more immersive than looking at a display that covers a small field of view or field of vision. Therefore, VR headsets qualify as immersive displays as would a TV viewed ... Read more
  • Samsung and Amazon Video to Rollout HDR10+ Video What is HDR10+, you ask?  It is the HDR10 standard augmented with dynamic metadata. In this case, Samsung’s dynamic metadata format as approved in SMPTE ST-2094-40. Three other methods for adding dynamic metadata to an HDR10 format are specified in the same SMPTE document. The four are: Dolby (Parametric Tone Mapping) Philips (Parameter-based Color Volume Reconstruction) Technicolor (Reference-based Color Volume Remapping) Samsung (Scene-based Color Volume Mapping) The HDR10 standard (ST-2084) only requires static metadata to be included with the HDR content. That means the following parameters should be attached to each piece of HDR content. Mastering display chromaticity primaries White point chromaticity primaries of mastering display Maximum mastering display ... Read more
  • Movie Industry Flat for 2016 Based on studio presentations at CinemaCon and the release of statistics from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), there were 718 films released in 2016 and the global box office reached $38.6B, an increase of 1%. The U.S./Canada market increased 2% to reach $11.2B, but attendance was flat with the slight increase in box office revenues due to a 3% increase in average ticket price to $8.65. The spin Hollywood put on this: that’s better than most predicted. The total number of cinema screens increased 8% worldwide in 2016 to nearly 164K due in large part to continued double digit ... Read more
  • LightSpace Back with Volumetric Display Some long time readers may remember the volumetric display developed by LightSpace Technologies.  The company never found a solid market for its product and went out of business.  Well, they are back with new models and improved performance.  Is the technology ready for applications now? To find out, we initiated a conversation with LightSpace Technologies, CEO, Ilmars Osmanis.  He started by explaining that in 2012, EUROLCD signed an exclusive agreement with the holders of the LightSpace Technologies IP portfolio.  If the technology looked good, they would then decide on further development.   The team decided further development was warranted so in 2014, ... Read more
  • Theatrical Trends from CinemaCon 2017 CinemaCon runs this week in Las Vegas, which is always a fun show to attend as there are free screenings and previews of upcoming movies – if you have time to see them.  The show highlights advanced audio-video technology to popcorn machines as well as the business aspects of the exhibition and movie industries.  I am writing this on my first day of the event, but already some key themes are evident. Trend one is projection technology.  Here, the major projector companies: Barco, Christie, NEC, Dolby and Sony all showed their newest RGB laser and laser-phosphor projectors.  These solutions are gaining ... Read more
  • Samsung’s TV Launch Event Samsung Electronics was planning a TV launch event in New York City on March 14. A major snowstorm forced the cancellation of the media-focused meeting, but they launched the products anyway with a virtual event. Apparently, the Samsung team had considered a webcast of the launch event, but getting people to the New York venue for the planned time was too difficult. As a result, the internal team did assemble later in the day at the 837 venue where they recorded video of speakers giving presentations as planned – but to an internal audience only. You can see the full 34-minute ... Read more
  • Philips to Focus ColorSpark Technology on home Cinema Segment About a year and a half ago, Philips Lighting debuted a new LED-based light source for projectors called ColorSpark HLD LED (High Lumen Density LED).  In 2016 this technology rolled out in mainstream projection products in the 3000 to 4000 lumen range.  For 2017, Philips is focusing on enabling projection customers to create new 1000 and 2000 lumen products within the “pocket screenless TV” projection segment that can offer compelling performance for home-based TV and video watching. The HLD technology was developed to address one of the big challenges with LED projectors – they were limited in brightness to around 500 ... Read more
  • TriLite’s Laser-based Engine Going to Mass Production Two years ago we told you about TriLite’s first demonstration of an RGB laser scanning system that it was targeting for large-area 3D without glasses in digital signage applications. (Giant 3D Displays from TriLite). At Photonics West 2017, the company showed a sample of the projector. In addition, they debuted a pico projection engine that they hope to work on with a partner, to service the AR and HUD markets. To review, TriLite has developed a tiny RGB laser source that they couple to a MEMS-based scanning mirror. These RGB laser beams arrive at the mirror as separate beams, but are combined ... Read more
  • Lars Borg Explains Dynamic Metadata SMPTE organized a webinar conducted by Lars Borg, a principle scientist at Adobe, but who was also very active in the development of SMPTE standard ST-2094.  In the webcast, Borg describes the various versions of dynamic metadata described in ST-2094 and why these will improve the viewing experience for HDR content. Borg started with some basics on High Dynamic Range (HDR), color volume and Wide Color Gamut (WCG).  He came up with a very nice way to describe these concepts in terms of current ITU standards and TV systems as shown in the graphic below. HD content has a slim color volume ... Read more
  • Sony Mobile Projector Review Sony asked if I wanted to review their MP-CL1A mobile projector so I said yes.  It is based on the Microvision pico engine which consists of an RGB laser source and a 2 axis scanning MEMS mirror.  Overall, I cannot say I would find this projector useful in any activities I might want to use it for.  The best application seems to be watching movie or video content in a dim to dark room where the viewer is not too picky about image quality.  My grandson would find this cool as he can watch YouTube videos on the ceiling in ... Read more
  • Ostendo Develops First Vertically Integrated RGB LED Most readers know Ostendo Technologies as the company that developed LED-based light field displays with significant support from the Air Force Research Labs (AFRL). That effort has not received additional funding from AFRL, but the company has continued to work on advanced microLED technology. Now, the company is reporting a bit of a breakthrough in microLEDs – a vertically integrated LED that can emit light from red to blue, including white – from a single LED device. Details of the research results were recently published in AIP Advances under the title “Growth of monolithic full-color GaN-based LED with intermediate carrier blocking ... Read more
  • A Visit to Trumbull Studios Movie visionary, Doug Trumbull, has developed an advanced capture and display solution called Magi. It is based upon images captured and displayed in stereoscopic 3D, 4K and 120 frames per second. It is a solution that can be used in many areas, not just theaters, and he has been working hard to develop the concept and gain advocates. It is a huge task to develop a whole new capture and display format and roll it out successfully. But he has done it before – with IMax, so maybe he can do it again. After seeing some test footage in his Magi ... Read more
  • TI Releases New 0.33-inch 1080p Pico Chipset If you thought pico projectors and related products were a small backwater in the projection industry, think again.  PMA Research projects sales to reach close to 3.5M units this year, which is not chicken feed in this market.  Mobile smart TVs, pico projectors, smart home displays as well as commercial and industrial products, plus AR and VR headsets and HUDs are all powered by pico class microdisplays.  Now, TI has announced a new 1080p chip set and engine development partners that will add additional momentum to this segment. The new chip set consists of the DLP3310 DMD and DLPC3437 controller.   TI ... Read more
  • DigiLens Secures $22M from Key Strategic Partners DigiLens, a provider of diffractive waveguide technology for Augmented Reality (AR) and Head-up Displays (HUD), announced they have closed a Series B round of investment to the tune of $22M.  “The round was oversubscribed and met our key objectives of securing investment from strategic partners in the market segments we are focused on, namely AR HUD’s for transportation, enterprise and consumer applications” said DigiLens CEO Jonathan Waldern in a phone conversation. Strategic investors include Sony, Foxconn, Continental, and Panasonic, along with venture investors Alsop Louie Partners, Bold Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners, and Dolby Family Ventures among others.  “Aside our contract and ... Read more
  • New White Paper Discusses QD vs. OLED TV Battle A new white paper from Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) provides an analysis of quantum dot (QD) TVs vs. OLED TVs. It discusses the technology trends of the two but adds some unique perspective on the manufacturing capabilities of the two technologies – which can indeed be a determining factor in establishing a leadership position. The paper also provides a forecast and can be downloaded for free HERE. In the paper, the authors looked at the manufacturing processes of each technology concluding that: “The impact of the more complex circuits needed for OLED shows itself in lower manufacturing yields”. “Samsung has ... Read more
  • Kopin’s New 2Kx2K OLED-on-Si Panel to Advance VR Image Quality At CES 2017, Kopin released a new 1-inch OLED  microdisplay panel, branded Lightning, with a resolution of 2048×2048 and a fast 120 Hz frame rate.  Both are firsts for the VR industry and will raise the bar on performance. I and many others have said for some time that resolution, frame rate and latency in VR headsets need to improve quite a bit to offer truly compelling image quality.  This new display takes a good step in this direction and should power high-end VR products. The display is an OLED-on-silicon type that uses a white emitting OLED material with RGB color filters.  ... Read more
  • Nanosys to Show Color Volume Demo at CES 2017 To get a jump on our CES coverage, we decided to have a call with Jason Hartlove, CEO of quantum dot supplier, Nanosys, to learn more about their activities, what they will show at CES and their expectations for quantum dot development. One of the key demos Nanosys will be showcasing in their suite in the Westgate will be a color volume demo. Many are now coming around to the notion that using color volume to describe an HDR display’s color performance as a function of luminance is a much better way that simply showing a two-dimensional CIE color gamut chart. ... Read more
  • Do We Need Better Names for Various Quantum Dot Devices? I recently wrote a white paper on the various types of quantum dot platforms being used for or considered for display devices (Quantum Dots will Power Display Products to the Next Level).  With all the varieties of potential solutions, that got me thinking.  How are professionals and consumers going to understand all these varieties?  As a result, I would like to put forth some names for these categories of device. In the market today are two types of quantum dot-based displays: those that use a film of sheet with quantum dots and those that place the quantum dots in a tube ... Read more
  • Kopin’s New OLED Microdisplay Foundry Model is Innovative Kopin has just issued a press release that states their intention to enter the OLED microdisplay market, offering panels that will serve augmented and virtual reality applications.  At CES 2017, they will announce more detail on the first panel and demonstrate it in novel optical solutions as well.  I will get a sneak peak at these devices before CES, but you will have to wait until January 2017 before I can say more. In the meantime, I can talk about Kopin’s path to get to this point and their new business model.  To learn more, I had a conversation with Kopin ... Read more
  • Samsung QD TVs Could be a Game Changer Samsung has not officially revealed any details about it TV plans for 2017, which they will unveil at CES.  But a news story in the ET Times of Korea and some info from other sources suggests the company’s new TVs will offer some impressive gains.  So impressive, I suspect their performance will be one of the hot topics of discussion at CES. The first clue came at IFA 2016 where the Samsung booth was all about quantum dots.  It would not be surprising if Samsung is “all in” on quantum dots at CES in 2017. According to the ET Times article, Samsung ... Read more
  • Rockwell Collins Shows Multiple AR/MR Demos Rockwell Collins showed several mixed reality (MR) and augmented reality (AR) applications at I/ITSEC 2016 that were good. In the mixed reality camp was a new product they call Coalescence. This is a commercially available Oculus rift headset and tracker system which has been enhanced with a small set of stereo cameras on the front of the headset. The cameras allow a view of the world in front including your own hands and feet, which is the definition of a mixed reality (MR) experience. To showcase the possibilities of this new tool, they had different demonstrations (at least two). In one ... Read more
  • IRYStec to Optimize Your Display to the Ambient Conditions A display’s performance is measured in a dark or dim room, but the display’s performance does not often account for the fact that it will be viewed in dark room, normal ambient illumination and in bright light.  For example, as ambient illumination goes up, the perceivable black level rises, darker tones are harder to see, colors become desaturated and overall contrast decreases.  IRYStec Software has come up with a solution to address these and other ambient-related shortcomings in a software platform they call Perceptual Display Platform (PDP). To learn more about the company, its technology and plans, we spoke with company ... Read more
  • Creating Derivatives from the 4K/120/3D “Billy Lynn” Master That was the topic of discussion I had with Ben Gervais, the technical supervisor on “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”, a film directed by Ang Lee and captured in 3D, 120 frames per second and 4K resolution. But the film will only be shown in this format on a few select screens, so for more mainstream distribution, derivative versions are needed. The question is: Can you maintain a similar emotional impact when showing the film in 2D, 2K and lower frame rates? We started the conversation by first asking where the movie will be screened in 4K/120/3D. In North America, only ... Read more
  • Is the Era of “CompCine” at Hand? The term “CompCine stands for Computational Cinematography, a term SMPTE Director of Engineering and Standards, Howard Lukk used to describe a new category of image capture at the recent Streaming Media for Field of Light Displays (SMFoLD) workshop held at the SMPTE conference last week. It describes a style of image capture that blends optics with image processing to enable new capabilities that conventional optical camera systems cannot achieve. Light field cameras are one type of CompCine device and they capture light from the scene from multiple perspectives. Light field cameras fall into three main types: plenoptic, camera arrays and moving ... Read more
  • BBC Describes Gamut Compression Method One of the important topics covered at the SMPTE conference was conversion from one color gamut to another. This is particularly important when content is encoded using XYZ or BT.2020 coefficients. Such content may be played back on displays with a variety of color gamut support so compressing the original content gamut to the particular display gamut is an emerging need. The simplest way to do this is to simply clip source colors that are outside of the display’s color gamut. That is, for color outside of the display gamut, the idea is to project the color of that point back ... Read more
  • First “True 8K” 120fps Dome Demo That was the headline that enticed me to fly to Toronto and the annual Giant Screen Cinema Association International Conference and Trade Show (GSCA). This event is all about the latest planetarium, IMax and other larger format curved screens – primarily in a dome or partial dome configuration. It attracts content creators, technology suppliers and operators of these theaters to see new content and discuss technology trends. The session that was held in the Ontario Science Center featured a temporary “True 8K” resolution installation in the existing 15/70 film-based OmniMax 24-meter domed theater. This allowed side-by-side comparisons of this new digital ... Read more
  • Are VRcades the Next Big Opportunity? There is mounting evidence that VR is not necessarily an isolating experience, but one which can and will become very social. Virtual Reality Arcades or VRcades may indeed be one of the next big ideas that drives VR into the mainstream. Clearly, the availability of reasonably-priced VR headsets from Sony, HTC, Oculus – together with smartphone-based devices, are creating a feeding frenzy around VR. Some see gaming as the major driver; others view short-form entertainment as the key to mass adoption. Less visible, but perhaps just as compelling, is the emerging VR arcade and theme park opportunity. Last July, a company called ... Read more
  • ASC Announces Plan to Evaluate Theatrical Performance Parameters Cinema technology is advancing rapidly including higher contrast, wider colors and higher frame rates (as seen in yesterday’s Display Daily – Ang Lee Shows the Future of Cinema Display). Solutions offering a range of these parameters are entering the market and will evolve. But from a creative point of view, where do these technical improvements have their limits in terms of human perception and for storytelling? For example, are projectors with a million-to-one contrast ratio needed, if normal lighting and reflections in the cinema reduce this level dramatically? What is a practical black level? How about peak luminance? What is the best ... Read more
  • What we Learned (or Didn’t Learn) from IFA Press Days The press day at CES is 1 day long – at IFA it’s two days. Bob Raikes and I attended this year and frankly, it is too much and the value is marginal. And even if something useful is revealed, it is high level or a summary of what is being shown in the booth. That may be fine for the mainstream consumer press, but our readers want more. That invariably means a visit to the booth/stand and a nice chat with the technical folks. These press conferences are more like brand theater. They all seem to follow the same formula ... Read more
  • HDR Production Needs Monitoring Tools – Tektronix has a Solution Capture and production of HDR content is a hot topic of discussion – and we expect a great deal of developments at IBC shortly. But how do you know you are capturing signals correctly?  That’s where waveform monitors and rasterizers come in – and Tektronix has two new models that support High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG). According to Mike Waidson, Principle Engineer, Video Test at Tektronix, SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) cameras are designed to capture 5-7 f-stops of dynamic range but HDR cameras need to capture an 12-15 f-stop range. If SDR-based waveform monitors are used to ... Read more
  • A Day with Charles Poynton I recently had the opportunity to attend a workshop with Charles Poynton, a renowned mathematician and video expert. The informal workshop took place in New York with just a few others, providing a great opportunity to listen and discuss hot button issue around High Dynamic Range (HDR). Poynton prepared a thick handout of content and had this prepared as slides to review – but we may have looked at a half dozen during the whole day. The time was spent with Poynton verbally explaining the topics and fielding questions along the way. This can be an effective learning technique, but it ... Read more
  • JDI Adopts New Backplane Simulator Tool from Silvaco We don’t often talk about Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools for displays, but they are essential to be able to model new designs and new processes.  Probably the premier supplier of backplane modeling tools is Silvaco.  According to Amit Nanda, the VP of Global Marketing at Silvaco, “one or more of the company’s modeling and simulation tools are used by 90% of the LCD industry.”  That’s a pretty high penetration. We recently had a chance to talk to Nanda about their latest tool and learn a bit more about backplane design for displays.  The new tool is called Clever LCD and ... Read more
  • Quested Provides Perspective on ITU-2100 HDR Spec The chairman of the ITU-R subcommittee responsible for the recent release of IUT-2100 is Andy Quested, who is also an employee of the BBC. We had a chance to speak with him recently to gain his perspective on the new document. We caught up with him while he was attending the London-based HPA Retreat event (We had a reporter at that event, so for more coverage see our report for subscribers – Man. Ed.). He noted that this was the first time the SMPTE-backed event had been produced in Europe. While he found the content stimulating, it was quite Hollywood centric. ... Read more
  • Incom Fused Fiber Optics Powers Lytro Light Field Camera Fused fiber optics provider Incom has told us recently that they are a key component supplier to Lytro and their new cinema light field camera debuted at NAB 2016. What are fused fiber optics and why are they important for a light field camera, you ask?  I was curious too, so I arranged a call with Michael A. Detarando, the president and CEO of the Charlton, Massachusetts-based company. Fused fiber optics are a bundle of tiny fiber optics that are extremely closely packed and then melted together. They are an optical grade element that is often used to transfer light from ... Read more
  • A New Way to Create Projected HDR? With High Dynamic Range (HDR) TVs offering 600 to 1000 cd/m² of peak luminance and various levels of black, many are concerned that the experience in the cinema is starting to lag behind the home experience. IMAX and Dolby offer HDR cinematic experiences, but a solution for mainstream theaters is needed, too. But a new approach may be possible – and Barco is the one that plans to nurture the technology via a recent acquisition of MTT Innovations. We spoke with MTT Innovations CEO, Anders Ballestad, to get his take on the deal with Barco. “The acquisition was actually initiated by ... Read more
  • Sony’s Canvas Display – Best of Show at InfoComm 2016? I can’t really crown Sony’s CLEDIS display my best of show winner, as I have only been here one day and have not seen all the cool stuff yet – but this one will be hard to top. It truly is a new display category, as it is the first commercial product using a new class of LEDs: microLEDs. The display (Sony Returns to Crystal LED With CLEDIS – subscription required) was officially unveiled in a press conference on the opening morning of InfoComm. Image quality is stunning. It is a tiled solution much like conventional LED modules, but there were only ... Read more
  • SID’s Display Week Opens with Lots of Quantum Dot News I have not had a chance to spend much time on the show floor or paper sessions, so I don’t have the full perspective of SID’s DisplayWeek yet. It is my turn to write a Display Daily column, however, so I will focus on one hot topic at SID: quantum dots. Quantum dot news is big here already with Nanosys, Quantum Materials and QD Vision making announcements and Nanoco giving a paper (that I have not reviewed). Nanosys, for example, has developed a “hybrid” solution they call Hyperion Quantum Dots, which mixes cadmium-free red and cadmium-based green quantum dots into a ... Read more
  • Display Summit China Identifies Projection Industry Successes and Challenges The Insight Media produced event, Display Summit China, has just concluded here in Yixing, China. I can’t speak for what the Chinese participants took away from the event, but I had some clear expected and not-expected take aways that I want to share below. Compound Photonics used the event to publicly describe for the first time some of the technologies and products they are working on. The company told us when we visited their Phoenix facility in March, the company is working to introduce a 4K RGB laser projector with 3000 lumens for the corporate market at price points that will ... Read more
  • Highlights of NAB 2016 I recently attended the Future of Cinema Conference and NAB to learn more about UHD, HDR, WCG, VR and more. And did I get an eye and ear full…. One of the highlights was the Lytro Cinema camera. This is a monster at nearly 7 feet long (>2m) that can capture 755 megapixels at 120 fps. But being a light field camera, it is also capturing the angle of light at each pixel allowing a post production process that can change the focus, depth of field, point of view, frame rate, shutter angle and more. The light field data can create accurate ... Read more
  • Technicolor and Vubiquity Lay Groundwork for HDR Channels in 2016 HDR content for consumers has so far consisted of a few movies and episodic TV content specifically mastered for HDR and delivered over a small number of OTT services and via the newly released Ultra HD Blu-ray format. But more HDR content delivered via conventional video delivery platforms is coming quickly as Technicolor and Vubiquity have now teamed up to accelerate this process. It might even mean the potential for the first HDR channel to surface in 2016. The two issued a press release yesterday on their plans and I also listened to a webinar presented by Technicolor and Philips about ... Read more
  • Aixtron Deposition Tool Enabling OLED TV Production To reduce the costs of OLED TV production, producers need to move to Gen 8 size substrates at a minimum. To get there, Aixtron has developed and is now doing demonstration runs on it new OLED deposition tool fully capable of processing Gen 8.5 substrates (2250 mm x 2250 mm). The tool set creates the OLED frontplane organic stack fabrication part, not the backplane – both of which are critical elements. The tool is massive yet has a compact footprint. As shown in the video link below, the Gen 8.5 tool set was installed in the company’s development facility in Herzogenrath (near ... Read more
  • Lattice and MediaTek Want to Drive 4K Video over USB Type-C USB is probably the most ubiquitous wired connector worldwide and the addition of the new Type-C version is opening it up to incredible new capabilities. With 24 contact points and 10 configurable conductors (see pin out diagram below), it can deliver 4K 60 fps video. This allows your mobile device to essentially become a set top box, PC or a game console, delivering content to your 4K TV or monitor. Now, Lattice Semiconductor and MediaTek have teamed up to offer a new reference platform design that will help speed adoption of this USB Type-C. We had a chance to learn more in ... Read more
  • Third-Gen Volumetric Display Coming from Holoxica Holoxica is a Scottish company which has just received €1.28million from the European Commission’s Horizon2020 SME Instrument to develop its third generation holographic display. It will be aimed at providing volumetric display of slice-based medical images from CT, MRI and ultrasound devices. Three years ago, we wrote about Holoxica’s second generation holographic device. This created three floating-image planes showing three sets of numbers that were imaged at different distances from the viewer (photo). The third generation device will increase the number of image planes and seek to integrate real medical image data into the display. The motivation for this type of display ... Read more
  • Sony Shows Latest HDR/WCG UHD TVs At a special Sony press and installer meeting in New York in early February, we had a chance to get some updates and demos of the latest Sony UHD TVs sets. Picture quality was compared in a nice side-by-side demo and pricing was released. The demo was nicely done. It consisted of Sony’s $30K RGB OLED monitor (BVM 4200) as the reference image (it can go to 1000 nits). Above it were three commercial UHD TVs – all getting the same signal. The TVs consisted of the LG EF9500 OLED, Sony 940D LCD and Samsung 9500 SUHD LCD – all in ... Read more
  • Laser Light Farm Concept Offers Good ROI, Says Power Technology Power Technology Inc. (PTI) has introduced a “laser light farm” designed to provide light to power multiple cinema screens (Power Tech Distributes Light). The light is delivered by fiber optics to each projector head from a central location, where all the RGB lasers are housed. It is an interesting concept that we discussed in more detail with VP of Engineering, Walter Burgess. The concept of a central laser light farm is not new and was first proposed by Bill Beck at the Projection Summit some years ago when he ran a company called Laser Light Engines. PTI is the first to ... Read more
  • HDR and WCG to Become Mainstream I spent almost the entire time at CES looking at the High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) ecosystem. One tutorial white paper on these technologies, along with a table of current and announced UHD TVs with these features, has just been published. A second report with the news on the HDR/WCG value chain will be ready next week. I am not done yet, but some conclusions are already clear. Here is what the industry seems to saying. Nearly every UHD TV in 2016 will support some the basic HDR-10 level of HDR. Most will have HDMI 2.0a connectors ... Read more
  • The Perception of Motorcycle HUDs May be About to Change New motorcycle Head-up Display (HUD) technology has just been introduced at CES that may indeed begin to change the perception of the utility of such devices. Driving this is new waveguide display technology from DigiLens that was debuted in a motorcycle helmet from BMW. BMW plans to commercialize the wide field of view device in about a year. The design is more like the HUDs in automobiles than the current crop of motorcycle HUDs, which is why the introduction is likely to get close scrutiny by the industry – and maybe change some minds on the utility of a HUD in ... Read more
  • Dolby Discusses Strategy in Analyst Meeting Dolby Laboratories invited a number of industry analyst to spend the day with them in San Francisco showing off technology and discussing their business. It was an open and informative day. First, Dolby is doing well. We met in the company’s new headquarters building on fashionable Market Street in downtown San Francisco. It is a 16-storey building (with three basement floors) with over 100 labs that brings together over 750 employees under one roof. A full-sized Dolby Cinema for 200 people is under construction for the site. Dolby also installed 36 unique pieces of art throughout the building to help inspire ... Read more
  • Displays Remain Vital for Training and Simulation I have just returned from the I/ITSEC 2015 trade show, North America’s big event for training and simulation. As expected, solutions continue to become more complex and more realistic, and displays play a key role – from collimated Level D flight simulators to virtual and augmented reality headsets. The other major element of great simulation is the database and Image Generator (IG) hardware. These synthetic databases can be constructed many ways and are increasingly being based around game engines. They build upon many different types of databases like Landsat data, road data, 2D photography and 3D models of buildings and other ... Read more
  • ITRI Reports Breakthru in OLED Lifetime Taiwan-based ITRI has reported the development of a new OLED device architecture that significantly increases the lifetime of RGB OLED displays. The new structure, called a Plasmon-Coupled Organic Light Emitting Diode (PCOLED), boosts the lifetime by 27 times, compared to the conventional blue fluorescent/red & green phosphorescent structure. The figure below shows the PCOLED architecture compared to the traditional one. In the conventional architecture, red and green phosphorescent layers are stacked on top of a blue fluorescent layer to emit white light. However, the blue fluorescent layer has poor efficiency and lifetime, which limits the overall device lifetime. The PCOLED replaces the ... Read more
  • QD Vision Discusses Developments and Competition Quantum dot developer QD Vision has received a new round of investment led by Tsing Capital and BASF Venture Capital totaling approximately $22 million from both existing investors and new investors. The funds will be used to advance R&D efforts and support commercialization of new products. Quantum dots are semiconductor materials. When designed for displays, they accept blue LED light and re-emit in the green or red range. The size of the quantum dot determines the peak wavelengths and the distribution of sizes determines the Full Width Half Maximum (FWHM or the ‘peakiness’ of the output). To learn more, we had a ... Read more
  • We Need a Definition for a High Dynamic Range Display I am at the SMPTE Fall Conference in Hollywood, where I am learning all about the ecosystem for High Dynamic Range (HDR), Wide Color Gamut (WCG) and High Frame Rate (HFR), among other topics. That means ways to capture, process and produce, encode, deliver and display such content. This of course, is a hot topic and there are rapid developments happening almost on a daily basis. But lots of definitions and standards are still evolving. Let’s just focus on the definition of an HDR display, for example. Here is a tentative partial definition, which mostly follows the definition put forward by ... Read more
  • TI to Bring 4K DLP to the Masses Texas Instruments has had a 4K 3-chip DLP solution for some time, but it’s a big, 1.4” device that allows high brightness 4K projection at a hefty price. Meanwhile, Sony has made great headway offering a line of 4K projectors at more reasonable price points for the home and commercial markets. At CEDIA 2015, TI finally revealed its answer to a more affordable 4K solution. Insight Media and other special guests were invited to a demo presented by TI in a meeting room in the nearby Omni hotel. TI’s Roger Carver showed us the current DLP 4K chip and then he ... Read more
  • SpectraCal Seeks to Solve HDR Monitor Evaluation Need A number of companies in Hollywood and beyond are already developing High Dynamic Range (HDR) content. But do they have accurate and calibrated HDR displays to master on? That’s the problem that SpectraCal is seeking to solve with its latest display evaluation software, CalMAN v5.6. To be clear, CalMAN v5.6 is not just for HDR displays – it can be used to evaluate, calibrate and certify any reference monitor. In a recent conversation with SpectraCal President, L.A. Heberlein, we learned more about the needs of HDR monitor evaluation. First of all, new HDR content also includes a wider color gamut than the ... Read more
  • Masterpiece Paintings Reproduced with Incredible 3D Printing Process Canon held their special EXPO in the Javits Center in New York last week. Over 9,000 people attended the cavernous exhibit. There were so many different aspects of Canon on display, it was a real tour de force. The event is held once every 5 years and is a showcase for current and future products and technology. After you enter the main expo area, you have about a dozen different zones to explore, with each zone having multiple aspects to it. We did not get to see everything in our one day on site, so we will have to focus on ... Read more
  • 3M to Propose Changes to New BT2020 Color Standard at SMPTE Fall Event The new UHD TV specification calls for an expanded color gamut called BT2020. But no current TVs can meet the specification because the red, green and blue primaries are specified without a tolerance. And, since they are located on the spectral locus, only laser sources can produce the full color gamut – but with speckle, which is unacceptable. At SID’s DisplayWeek, 3M showed the results of testing it had done to look at the range of tolerances around these 2020 primaries to find out how much these primaries can move to be “visually indistinguishable” to an observer. This work has been ... Read more
  • Business as Usual for Sharp Professional That’s the message that Gary Bailer, Sharp’s Director of Product Management, Information Display Products told us in a phone interview.  “It is important to communicate this message to our customer base following a lot of misinformation that has spread as a result of the acquisition of the Sharp assembly plant in Mexico by Hisense. On the professional side, the sale will have no impact whatsoever,” noted Bailer.  “In fact, there may even be a silver lining because some Japan-based resources will now become available to help us on the B2B side.”  The news of the sale broke last week with Hisense ... Read more
  • Netflix has Very Ambitious Plans Netflix has grown by leaps and bounds from a distributor of DVDs to a major content creation and distribution powerhouse. It is leading the pack in the distribution of UHD content and now looks like it plans to become the largest producer of content, powering past rivals HBO, Showtime and others. The transition to UHD content is probably going to have more of a disruptive effect than the transition from standard definition to high definition. Not only does the transition require new content capture, infrastructure and distribution investments, now there are new OTT rivals that will seriously challenge the incumbents. Netflix is ... Read more
  • Infocomm Issues Draft Standard for Contrast on Direct View Displays – But is it Right? InfoComm has issued (July 9, 2015) a new draft standard called “Direct View Display Image Systems Contrast Ratio”. It can be reviewed here. But some believe the system contrast specification for watching movies is just plain wrong – and they have posted a video showing side-by-side examples to prove the point (see videohere). You should take a look and weigh in on this debate if you care about image quality. The new standard from Infocomm is based in large part on the Projected Image System Contrast Ratio (PISCR) standard released about 5 years ago. This standard uses the ANSI 16-zone (4×4) checkerboard ... Read more
  • White Papers I am extensively using your white paper on color accuracy, contrast and brightness during customer and channel partner meetings/presentations. This white paper provides a very good and fair analysis of what image quality is about.        Emmanuel Herbreteau, Texas Instruments France SAS Measuring Resolution in a New Way Understanding 4K Resolution in Projection Systems Understanding Trade-offs in Microdisplay and Direct-View VR Headset Designs Streaming Media for Field of Light Displays Workshop Summary Quantum Dots will Power Display Products to the Next Level The Importance of Color in the Home Theater Market Key Trends in the Training and Simulation Market Comparing Dolby Vision and HDR10 Visual Resolution of ... Read more
  • AptoVision is the Silicon Driving New 4K AV over IP Products Ever noticed that development of key communication silicon leads to whole new categories of connectivity?  Consider Silicon Image (now Lattice Semiconductor) and the HDMI and MHL interfaces.  How about Valens and the HDBaseT ecosystem?  Now we have AptoVision providing FPGA-based chipsets to drive video, audio, Ethernet and more over conventional IP switches. AptoVision calls their FPGA solution BlueRiver NT.  As shown in the figure below, the idea is to use standard Ethernet infrastructure and equipment to move audio, video, control, USB and even Ethernet signals from source to sink.  To do this, each source must have a transmit box to encode ... Read more
  • SID Wrap-up Interview on TWiT TV Scott Wilkinson interviews Chris Chinnock from SID to get a summary of key innovations introduced or demonstrated at the event.  Topic covered include quantum dots, electronic holographic displays, light field display, high density displays, AR, VR, wide color gamut, cutting edge displays, etc. http://twit.tv/show/home-theater-geeks/258   Read more
  • “Internet of Display” …Are you Viewing Your Information Through a Straw? Most of you have probably heard of the term Internet of Things (IoT) which refers to the fact that millions and soon, probably billions of devices will be connected to information via the Internet.  Recently Andrew (Drew) Jamison at Scalable Displays has been chirping about what he calls  the “Internet of Display” (IoD).  Since reading his article introducing the concept, I have been having spirited debates with a number of people about this concept – and trying to decide if the term has merit and if so, a concise way to describe it.  In this article, I will lay out ... Read more
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) is Coming, but How Will it Impact Your Business? By now you have probably heard the buzz about high dynamic range, or HDR.  But you may also be wondering if this is something you need to know more about, how it might impact your business and when.  This article may help a little in answering these questions. First of all, what is HDR?  In simple terms, most would agree that it is an expansion of the contrast of an image and the display coupled with a significant elevation of overall image brightness.  When done correctly, it means that the peak luminance of the display expands while the black level decreases ... Read more
  • New Technologies Driving Innovation in Professional Display Markets HDR, BT2020, VR, AR, LED, Laser, Laser-Phosphor, QD, HLD, UHD, 4K, 8K.  If you know what are these terms mean and how they will impact your business – you are ahead of the curve.  If not, then you have a great opportunity to learn all about these technologies and how they will reshape professional markets by attending the Display Summit (www.displaysummit.com). Produced by Insight Media in cooperation with InfoComm, this is a pre-show thought-leader event that focuses on the cutting edge technologies that will drive new products, markets, applications and opportunities.  Display Summit focuses on the entire pixel pipeline from pixel ... Read more
  • Options for Wired Infrastructure Multiply Creating New Opportunities It used to be that organizations would set up multiple wired infrastructure networks to handle phone, data, video, audio, control, security, KVM, etc. Now, multiple options are emerging that can allow one or two networks to do all the stuff of multiple networks in the past.  That is creating lots of new opportunities for hardware, software and installation providers and offering real benefits to end users. Multiple networks are not uncommon in broadcast, government, control centers and corporate environments.  Each can require its own hardware, software and dedicated technicians to maintain, upgrade and operate the network.  Audio guys don’t talk IT ... Read more
  • Can LEDs Challenge LCDs for Indoor Signage? Indoor stand alone and video wall displays have been dominated by LCD technology having successfully vanquished CRT and Plasma display options.  But now, fine pitch LED in tiled or modular formats under 2mm are in the market today and offer compelling images – even up close.  Can LEDs make a chink in the LCD armor?  Can OLEDs or light rejecting projection solutions gain a foothold? Many have bet against LCDs and almost all have lost.  Can it be different in this market segment, in particular as high resolution LED flat panels with interactive capabilities vie to compete?  The logical answer is ... Read more
  • 360-Degree Capture of NBA All-Star Game Thought the capture of 180- and 360-degree video content was a recent phenomenon driven be the capabilities of the Oculus Rift and Samsung GearVR?  BigLook360 did their first production way back in 1999 and just recently shot the NBA All-Star game in the format.  Content should be ready for viewing on the GearVR at the Samsung Milk VR web site in the March/April time frame. In talking with Founder/CEO Lance Loesberg of BigLook360, he explained that they got started when General Motors asked them to shoot a 360-degree video as an experiential marketing tool that would be a traveling show going ... Read more
  • Digital Cinema Market Innovating to Stay Relevant The cinema has represented the highest quality movie experience for a long time, but can it maintain this dominance going forward?  Large flat panel TV and home theater projectors offer stunning images and sound quality, so how can the theater differentiate the experience enough to entice consumers to leave the conform of their home? One big card to play is the engagement window, meaning movies debit in the theater and you have to wait to see them at home.  This wall is starting to crack however, as the windows tighten and experiments are underway to do simultaneous day and date releases ... Read more
  • Corning’s New Iris Glass to Enable Thinner TVs In the flurry of news from CES, we did not get a chance to delve deeply into an announcement of a new glass called Iris that was revealed by Corning (Corning Stays Ahead in Display Glass). In a conversation with John Bayne, general manager and vice president, Corning High Performance Displays and Advanced Glass Innovations, we had a chance to learn more. The new glass is intended to enable LCD TVs that can be routinely less than 10 mm thick with some as thin as several mm. That’s thinner than most smartphones, so very thin indeed. At CES 2015, Bayne said ... Read more
  • The End of Privacy I read an article or saw a news report on this topic the other day and it just sort of hung around in my brain, fermenting to generate an editorial elixir. That probably sounds more intoxicating than what you will read below. The premise is that our expectation of privacy is becoming not only antiquated but increasing difficult to expect.  The devices we own invite sharing at an unprecedented scale while criminals are intent on taking this information and using in ways we don’t want.  The problem is that all of the conveniences we say we want invite the loss of ... Read more
  • A Look at the FX (Visual Effects) Industry While not a display-centric industry, visual or special effects are in all kinds of media we consume today, so I recently took the opportunity to take the pulse of this industry in a conversation with FuseFX CEO, David Altenau. First of all, I thought the terms special effects and visual effects were synonymous, but according to Wikipedia, “visual effects refers to digital post-production and special effects refers to on-set mechanical effects and in-camera optical effects”. FuseFX is a visual effects house that works on movies, TV, commercials and games. To better understand how visual effects are used on these platforms, you have ... Read more
  • Changes in the Digital Signage World Digital Signage is an important part of the display industry with many installations around the world. One of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about digital signage is large screens. Actually the bigger the better. And yes, these displays still exist and boast not only high brightness but also longer run times for 24/7 operation in high demanding applications. There are some displays with super high brightness for outdoor installations and some with touch input for interactive applications. From the display industry perspective this market segment was a small but profitable one that had only to fear competition from better and ... Read more
  • Chaos and Opportunity in the Entertainment Industry  The term “Evolve or Die” may have even more meaning today than when uttered to the broadcast industry some years ago by the FCC Chairman. Things are so ripe for rapid change now that we are likely to look back on this period someday and gasp at the changes set in place that reshaped the way content is created, distributed and consumed. That may sound like hyperbole, but let’s consider the trends and see if you agree. At a recent SMPTE industry luncheon, Sinclair Broadcast Group VP of Advanced Technology Mark Aitken tried to ring a cautionary bell. In his speech, titled ... Read more
  • Touch Gesture Motion Advancements The Touch Gesture Motion Conference held October 28-30, 2014 in Austin, Texas, exemplified how far human computer interaction has come and revealed new prospects for the future of user interfaces.  The conference organizers stated that the 2014 Touch Gesture Motion (TGM) event was the tenth similar event covering these topics.  The initial and subsequent TGM events came on the heels of the June 2007 launch of the Apple iPhone that popularized multi-touch user interface technology. The iPhone was not the first handset to incorporate a capacitive touch display – that would be the LG Prada mobile phone first announced in December ... Read more
  • Rooting for the Roots – Taking the Right Route Many among us consider today’s rapid changes and significant number of high end innovations in entertainment and entertainment technology, among other businesses and industries, to be in a state of upheaval and disruption. That is not necessarily a bad thing. In particular, we are seeing growth in the ways that content is produced and distributed, and how, where and when it is viewed across many platforms. Such technologies as over the top (OTT), virtual reality, display devices, broadband connectivity and all manner of cloud computing and storage systems, mobile data, mobile payments, the commoditization of voice calls, wearables and many more are ... Read more
  • A Shift is Upon Us While the world of content creation and distribution is going through a major upheaval, it is the way we interact with it that will signify the most profound change in the coming years. If the proposed Comcast – Time Warner Cable or the AT&T – DirecTV deals are approved or if what may occur between Sprint and T-Mobile moves forward, it will affect the way we access and store content in the cloud. Voice and gesture technologies are going to continue to grow in their ease of use and reliability as the world moves closer and closer to a ubiquitous internet of ... Read more
  • Augmented Reality is Eying Vertical Markets When we take the term ‘Augmented Reality’ at face value it describes a device or service that ‘enhances reality by adding something to it’.  In our CE-driven world of mobile addiction, most associate the term augmented reality with a method of providing additional visual information to the user by means of a head mounted display, typically embedded in some version of eyewear.  Of course the broader definition would also include head-up displays as they are used in airplanes and automobiles today.  As a matter of fact it would also include all those audio devices that are used in museum and ... Read more
  • Is Home Theater Coming Back? The traditional home theater market served by the custom install community has not been a very happy place for a long time as the great recession really was not good for business.  But new signs of life are now emerging to suggest a turnaround may indeed be underway or possible in the near term. One of the key indicators is the involvement of new and major players: For the first time, Christie Digital has launched a new Home Entertainment Division with a range of 1-chip and 3-chip DLP projectors plus new flat panels, audio and control solutions. Barco has re-entered the cinema space ... Read more
  • Mobile Displays and their Effect on the Industry   Mobile devices have, to a large degree, been carrying the positive development of the CE industry in recent years. The high consumer demand for mobile devices offset the lackluster needs for PCs and TVs. From a display perspective that meant that large size displays where replaced with many more smaller displays. Unfortunately one 40″ display panel yields roughly one hundred 4″ displays. In 2012 and 2013 the TV unit sales dropped by roughly 15 million units. This equates to roughly 1.5 billion 4″ displays or 300 million 9″ displays. While the sum of tablets and smartphones may have grown significantly in ... Read more
  • The End of ITO Dominance is in Sight Indium Tin Oxide, or ITO, is a key material for making displays.  It is a transparent conductive material that applies voltage to the clear aperture in the LCD and provides the transparent electrodes for touch screens as well.  Alternative solutions by a number of companies are in development, and these are now seeing success in the market.  In fact, their success is already starting to impact the cost and adoption of ITO in a range of applications beyond just displays.  According to a new report from Nanomarkets (Transparent Conductor Markets: 2014-2021), revenue from ITO sales will increase for a few more years ... Read more
  • Neuroscience Altering the Way Moving Images are Produced One of the human factors that has always been extremely relevant to display technology is the way that images are  perceived in the brain. In addition to the art and technology of producing static and moving pictures, the neuroscience of perception has slowly caught up in film and video production. Recent studies, however, may accelerate our understanding of how the brain processes images. Filmmakers and scientists gathered together this summer to explore the science of how movies are perceived in the brain, with an examination of how modern film making affects the mental and physical responses of the audience. Held in ... Read more