Blackmagic Design announced that multiple Blackmagic Micro Cinema Cameras and Video Assists were used to shoot the web movie for new Lexus car, LC500. It was shot by Kei Takahashi, a cameraman and founder of Tokyo-based KID Co. Ltd., on location on and above the highways of California.
With power and comfort, the LC500 was born as a luxury coupé which symbolizes Lexus’ next generation. To bring out the attractiveness of the car, the production shot the car driving along the stunning Angeles Crest Highway in California. Shot using a number of cameras, including six Micro Cinema Cameras, the movie captured the intense nature of California and the LC500 powerfully running through the curvy road from various angles. Along with the Micro Cinema Cameras, Takahashi used two Video Assists for monitoring.
Takahashi said: “We temporarily blocked about 4 km of the road for the shoot, and let the LC500 run the 4 km. When the car came back to the starting point, we started shooting again. We repeated this several times. It took 15 to 20 minutes for each round, and we only had one day to shoot the entire movie. And since we were at an external location, we had to finish while the sun was out. It was a very tight schedule, so we wanted to capture as many angles as we could.”
The Micro Cinema Cameras were set using a single pipe across the car with grips. Tripod mounts were installed via the grips, where three Micro Cinema Cameras were mounted. Another Micro Cinema Camera with a suction cup was stuck to the window on the driver’s side, while the last was installed near the driver’s foot. With this setup, Takahashi was able to shoot five angles such as the speedometer, the driver’s hand, gas pedal and a number of other specific features of the car in action. Takahashi used another Micro Cinema Camera to shoot a vertical size movie.
“The director and I were thinking that it would be interesting if we put the Micro Cinema Camera rotated in 90 degrees on top of another camera when shooting the LC500 from the camera car. The idea just came up and we decided to shoot the vertical size movie in case we could use the footage for something,” said Takahashi.
Also, DaVinci Resolve was used for on set grading, with the final postproduction process completed in Japan.
“The Micro Cinema Camera’s advantage is its compact size. It can be installed where regular cameras cannot fit. The main advantage that allowed me to shoot the vertical size movie was that it can be rotated in 90 degrees. As the schedule for this project was very tight, it was very beneficial to shoot many angles at a time”
The Video Assists were used to set up the Micro Cinema Cameras. Takahashi talked about Video Assist: “It’s easy to connect and easy to see. It’s easy to use and compact and I like that I can use the Canon battery. The Video Assist is versatile.”
“I work with Murakami, the director of this project, for other projects. The Micro Cinema Camera has become a real stable for us for use on car related jobs. For car commercials, small cameras are often used by installing them in a car like this project or mounted on a head. However, the picture quality of those cameras usually did not look good, and is missing richness in the picture. We are shooting something luxurious, so we want the image to match that. The Micro Cinema Camera, on the other hand, can capture a rich image and is easy to match with other cameras,” concluded Takahashi.
- Friday, Sep. 22, 2017
Blackmagic Design announced that multiple Blackmagic Micro Cinema Cameras and Video Assists were used to shoot the web movie for new Lexus car, LC500. It was shot by Kei Takahashi, a cameraman and founder of Tokyo-based KID Co. Ltd., on location on and above the highways of California.
- Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2017
SMPTE®, the organization whose standards work has supported a century of advances in entertainment technology, has announced the approval of the first standards within SMPTE ST 2110, Professional Media Over Managed IP Networks, a new standards suite that specifies the carriage, synchronization, and description of separate elementary essence streams over professional internet protocol (IP) networks in real-time for the purposes of live production, playout, and other professional media applications.
“Radically altering the way professional media streams can be handled, processed, and transmitted, SMPTE ST 2110 standards go beyond the replacement of SDI with IP to support the creation of an entirely new set of applications that leverage information technology (IT) protocols and infrastructure,” said SMPTE president Matthew Goldman, senior VP of technology, TV and media, at Ericsson. “Our Drafting Group worked diligently to complete the first documents of this critical standards suite. The formal standardization of the SMPTE ST 2110 documents enables a broad range of media technology suppliers to move forward with manufacturing and meet the industry’s high demand for interoperable equipment based on the new suite of standards.”
With SMPTE ST 2110 standards, intrafacility traffic now can be all-IP, which means that organizations can rely on one common data-center infrastructure rather than two separate facilities for SDI and IP switching/routing. The foundation for the first SMPTE ST 2110 standards came from Video Services Forum (VSF) Technical Recommendation for Transport of Uncompressed Elementary Stream Media Over IP (TR-03), which VSF agreed to make available to SMPTE as a contribution toward the new suite of standards.
SMPTE ST 2110 standards make it possible to separately route and break away the essence streams — audio, video, and ancillary data. This advance simplifies, for example, the addition of captions, subtitles, and Teletext, as well as tasks such as the processing of multiple audio languages and types. Each essence flow may be routed separately and brought together again at the endpoint. Each of the component flows — audio, video, and ancillary data (there may be multiple streams of each type) — are synchronized, so the essence streams are co-timed to one another while remaining independent.
The new SMPTE ST 2110 standards are a primary focus of the IP Showcase at IBC2017, where SMPTE is joining with the Audio Engineering Society (AES), Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA), European Broadcasting Union (EBU), IABM, Media Networking Alliance (MNA), and Video Services Forum (VSF) to support the event. The IP Showcase features the latest advances in IP technology for the professional media industries and demonstrates how SMPTE ST 2110 standards add value. Numerous interoperability demonstrations assist broadcast/IT engineers, CEOs, producers, and others in understanding how they can leverage the benefits of ST 2110 standards.
More information about SMPTE ST 2110 standards is available here.
- Sunday, Sep. 17, 2017
What was it like in a Nazi concentration camp? How did you survive? How has it affected your life since?
Technology is allowing people to ask these questions and many more in virtual interviews with actual Holocaust survivors, preparing for a day when the estimated 100,000 Jews remaining from camps, ghettos or hiding under Nazi occupation are no longer alive to give the accounts themselves.
An exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City called "New Dimensions in Testimony" uses hours of recorded high-definition video and language-recognition technology to create just that kind of "interview" with Eva Schloss, Anne Frank's stepsister, and fellow survivor Pinchas Gutter.
"What we've found is that it personalizes that history," says concept designer Heather Smith. "You connect with that history in a different way than you would just seeing a movie or reading a textbook or hearing a lecture."
The project is a collaboration between the Steven Spielberg-founded Shoah Foundation, which has recorded nearly 52,000 interviews with Nazi-era survivors, and the Institute for Creative Technologies, both at the University of Southern California. First conceived in 2009, such exhibits have been put on in different forms at other museums, using technology to pull up relevant responses to questions about life before, during and after Adolf Hitler's murderous Third Reich.
Like Anne Frank, Schloss and her family went into hiding in Amsterdam but were betrayed and sent to Auschwitz. She was eventually liberated by the Russian Army in 1945. The 88-year-old Schloss, whose mother married Frank's father, Otto Frank, in 1953, lives in London and has told her story in talks to schoolchildren and in books including "Eva's Story: A Survivor's Tale by the Stepsister of Anne Frank."
Asked about Frank, whom she knew as a child before both went into hiding, Schloss' image says, "Anne was really a very sophisticated little girl."
Both Schloss and Gutter sit in red chairs and speak from large flat-screen monitors.
The on-screen Gutter, who in reality is 85 and lives in Toronto, was asked "What do you do for a living?" during a museum visit last week. He answered, "At the moment I am retired. I do a lot of community social work. I'm a cantor in my synagogue. I visit people in hospitals. .... basically I do community social work as a volunteer."
Asked about surviving a Nazi death march, he said, "We marched for two and a half weeks. And only half of us arrived at Theresienstadt. The rest were either killed or died on the road."
Gutter will also sing a Jewish liturgical song or tell a Yiddish joke if prompted.
Smith says that, for now, the virtual Gutter is better at answering questions than the virtual Schloss because his database contains 20,000 questions to her 9,000. But she says the virtual Schloss will likely improve when asked more questions.
Smith said the material could eventually be presented in a variety of formats including holographic technologies still in development.
"The vision was to ultimately have a classroom of kids or one child or one adult actually in a room and sitting across from a Holocaust survivor and I wanted them to feel as if it was as real as possible," she said.
Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, chief curator of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, said she visited the Gutter-Schloss exhibit and she hopes that future technological advances don't overshadow the survivors themselves.
"However innovative the technology is, it is not at the foreground of the experience, and it shouldn't be," Kirshenblatt-Gimblett said. "What's beautiful about this installation is that the survivors are front and center, they are charismatic and what they have to say is utterly compelling."
AP Investigative Researcher Randy Herschaft contributed to this report.
- Friday, Sep. 15, 2017
Avid® (Nasdaq: AVID) has launched an unprecedented rollout of major new products at its largest-ever unveiling at an IBC Show. Driven to solve the industry’s most pressing challenges through a globally connected platform and cloud infrastructure that throws open the doors to a new world of media performance and profitability, Avid has expanded its portfolio with a new production suite and user experience for MediaCentral®, the new AvidFastServe™ next-generation 4K/IP video server family, and the extended Maestro™ graphics family, among other announcements including new cloud-based solutions, tools and services.
“At IBC2017, Avid is delivering on the promise of the cloud, laid out just five months ago at Avid Connect 2017, to help our customers and the industry at large better manage the disruptive forces that have been bearing down on them for far too long, and achieve new heights in creativity, efficiency and flexibility,” said Avid chairman and CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. “Coming full circle with all of our introductions this week at IBC, this is precisely what we had envisioned after thousands of industry professionals crystallized their priorities through the inaugural Avid Customer Association vote to guide our strategic priorities. Thanks to their collective voice, Avid is innovating faster than ever to help them solve their most pressing needs.”
Empowered by Avid tools, services and the MediaCentral platform, Avid customers move from closed to open environments, from linear to dynamic workflows, from point products to integrated solutions, and from siloed operations to connected creative teams. Visitors will experience a host of Avid innovations during IBC2017 (Hall 7, Booth #J20) including:
- Next-Generation Media Production Suite: MediaCentral -powering the simplest to the most complex workflows for news, sports, and post production to connect every user in a completely integrated workflow environment with a unified view into all their media.Completely customizable and modular, the MediaCentral production suite features groundbreaking cloud-based user experience; workflow modules and apps for editorial, production, news, graphics, and asset management; and a wide array of media services and partner connectors.
- MediaCentral | Cloud UX - an easy-to-use and task-oriented graphical user interface that runs on virtually any operating system or mobile device, and is available to everyone connected to the platform.
- Certified cloud service offerings onMicrosoft Azure for news, post, and asset management.
- New Media Composer® innovations including MediaCentral | Panel for Media Composer, Media Composer I Cloud VM and Media Composer | Cloud Remote for greater deployment flexibility.
- Integrated Microsoft Cognitive Services, which applies the latest machine-learning algorithms to content libraries, automatically indexing content to extract streams of time-based metadata.
- Sibelius® | Cloud Sharing service (included with Sibelius 8.7) - enabling composers to share music scores to their own personal cloud space, embed scores in a webpage, and invite anyone to flip through pages and play compositions using any device.
- Avid FastServe Video Server Family -building on the rich heritage of industry-leading AirSpeed® and PlayMaker™ video servers, the Avid FastServe family is tightly integrated into the Avid MediaCentral platform as part of the industry’s most comprehensive UHD/4K workflow.
- Maestro Graphics Family - a more unified and powerful graphics product line-up that has deeper integration with Avid MediaCentral enabling content creators to work faster and more efficiently, and helps them to distinguish their brand to set themselves apart from the competition and build viewer loyalty.
- MediaCentral Solutions for Post Production - enabling small and mid-sized creative teams to enhance collaboration and deliver their best work faster, as well as working more efficiently with 4K and other demanding formats.
- MediaCentral Solutions for News - enabling broadcasters to deliver breaking news firston every consumer platform, and accelerate every aspect of their media production workflow.
- MediaCentral Solutions for Sports - arming sports broadcasters and venues with tools to streamline delivery of content in UHD with 2D and 3D graphics on TV and the broad range of devices sports fans now use to follow their teams.
- Avid Artist | DNxIV™- peripheral offering a wide range of analog and digital I/O to plug into today’s diverse media productions, working with a broad spectrum of professional Avid and third-party video editing, audio, visual effects, and graphics software.
- Avid NEXIS® | PRO– storage now scaling to 160 TB –twice its previous capacity –giving small post facilities the ease-of-use, security, and performance advantages enjoyed by larger Avid NEXIS customers.
- Avid NEXIS | E2 - storage now supporting SSD drives to deliver the extreme performance required when working with multiple streams of ultra-high-resolution media in real-time. Additionally, Avid NEXIS Enterprise systems now scale to 4.8 PB of raw storage, leveraging new 100 TB Media Packs.
- Friday, Sep. 15, 2017
Rosco, a manufacturer of lighting solutions for the entertainment industry, has acquired LED specialist DMG Lumière. The deal represents a “win-win” situation for customers of both companies, as well as the businesses themselves, through increased customer-driven innovation, expanded global product support capabilities and greater in-house expertise. Rosco will incorporate DMG Lumière’s technology and talent to further develop its LED lighting product range, while DMG Lumière will benefit from Rosco’s established international sales and marketing, distribution and customer service. It means that customers will now be able to easily access both companies’ products worldwide.
DMG Lumière was founded by the de Montgrand brothers; Mathieu, Nils and Jean, and their partner Nicolas Goerg. The partners include an LED lighting developer, a gaffer and a cinematographer; together creating a team who are perfectly suited to develop customer-driven LED solutions for film production and broadcast lighting. The versatile Switch range is recognized for its impressive power to size and weight ratio, making it ideal for use in filmmaking where lighting tools need to be as mobile, robust and power-efficient as possible. This acquisition will make it easier for customers to access the Switch range of LED lights, leveraging Rosco’s established worldwide distribution channels, as well as giving them greater access to Rosco’s comprehensive support network.
Since its start in Lyon, France in 2014, DMG Lumière has experienced great success and grown quickly. Recent business highlights include its SL1 Switch LED panels being used to light Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and Ken Loach’s BAFTA-winning I, Daniel Blake.
“DMG Lumière is the perfect partner as we look to grow our business, and we’re delighted to welcome them into the Rosco family,” said Rosco CEO Mark Engel. “With both companies focusing on delivering customer-driven solutions, we share similar values in terms of a dedication to innovation, a passion for encouraging our customers’ creativity and a commitment to support and develop our talented people. The chemistry between the two businesses was evident as soon as we met, and by combining our expertise, vision and technology, we will be able to offer our customers a wider, specialized range of LED lighting to better bring their creative visions to life.”
DMG Lumière’s general manager Nils de Montgrand added: “This is a very proud moment for our business, and it gives us a great opportunity to move forward quickly and further develop the advantages that our LED technology can bring to lighting film and television sets. Rosco has been a world leader in color and lighting for more than a century, and we have total admiration for its history, brand and market position. It’s rare to find a partner that has such a similar ethos when it comes to technology, developing products that solve customers’ needs and cultivating its people.”
Both Rosco and DMG Lumière will be showcasing the latest LED technology at IBC2017 in Amsterdam from Sept. 15-19. Rosco will be exhibiting on booth 12.E45 and DMG Lumière on booth 12.A40.
- Thursday, Sep. 14, 2017
When watching sports in virtual reality, it's best to remind yourself that TV wasn't born in a day. Early television was mostly radio with pictures. It took years — even decades — for producers to figure out the right camera angles, graphics and instant replays to deliver.
Sports is going through a similar transformation. VR holds the promise of putting fans right in the middle of the sporting action — on the 50-yard line, say, or in a ringside seat, or standing behind the catcher as the umpire calls strikes.
But today's VR sports have an empty and distant feel to them. Watching through a headset sometimes feels like being there in the stadium ... by yourself, absent cheering fans, hot dogs and beer. And it doesn't get you close enough to the action to compensate.
For now, the zoom lenses of television cameras do a much better job of showing a pitcher's intensity or a free-throw shooter's concentration.
Yet Intel, NextVR and other companies are working to bring a variety of sports — boxing, golf, soccer, you name it — to VR. Major League Baseball has delivered a free game in VR every Tuesday (subject to blackouts of hometown teams); next week, it's the Colorado Rockies playing the Giants in San Francisco.
To enjoy it, it's best to think about what VR could be, rather than what it is now.
THE TROUBLE WITH VR
Start with some of the weird artifacts of VR. Many sporting productions don't actually give you a full 360-degree view, one of the main attractions of the medium. Instead, they often black out what's behind you. The reasoning is obvious — you're focused on the game and not other fans — but even television has cameras pointed at the stands.
Worse, VR camera placement is often downright odd. During the March Madness college basketball tournament, for instance, a coach or another camera operator would sometimes stand right in front of the VR camera, blocking the game play. The VR camera was also at floor level, which leaves you feeling as if you were watching while lying down by the court.
A VR camera in a baseball dugout should offer a unique perspective on the game — but in practice, what you often see are players' legs as they walk by. Any competent sports cameraman could have framed the shot better. (Intel Sports executive David Aufhauser says those blemishes add realism, much the way people can walk in front of you at a stadium.)
In Intel's baseball coverage, in fact, some of the best views come from a standard camera that captures the pitcher, batter and catcher in one shot. It's sequestered in a box within the virtual environment — which itself is sometimes just showing the catcher's back from behind home plate.
VR AS A SUPPLEMENT
Maybe it's best not to think of VR as a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, television.
Baseball does this well with its At Bat VR app , which requires a subscription starting at $87 for the season (discounted to $8 now that the season is almost over). Instead of VR video, you get a perspective from behind home plate, with graphical depictions of each pitch. A colored streak — red for strikes and green for balls — traces the ball's trajectory, using sensors in place at all major-league stadiums.
You're getting more information than you would with regular television, without missing out on what TV does best — the close-ups. The TV coverage appears on a virtual scoreboard in the outfield.
You need an Android phone and headset compatible with Google's Daydream system. The app isn't available on iPhones or Samsung Gear VR headsets, though Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Note 8 phones work with Daydream headsets. (On the flip side, Intel's baseball coverage works just on Gear VR with Samsung phones — not Daydream.)
WHAT'S TO COME
Some of what VR does really well comes in the form of highlight videos and player profiles. These are usually just a few minutes long.
And because these were produced during practice and other non-game settings, the VR camera can take you to more interesting locations. For a series on up-and-coming baseball players, one camera was just in front of second base, and another was in the bullpen during a pitcher's warmup. It feels as though you're getting access you wouldn't get on television or in person.
So why couldn't a VR camera show relief pitchers warming up during games, too? In an interview, Aufhauser says Major League Baseball and the individual teams will need to get more comfortable with VR before expanding camera access. For now, he says, producers look for other places that won't get in the way, such as the swimming pool near center field at Arizona's Chase Field or the tall "Green Monster" wall at Boston's Fenway Park.
And forget about placing cameras in the middle of the field. Instead, Intel has alternative technology that integrates footage from dozens of cameras surrounding the field to depict how a play would have looked to a player. Television networks are using this now to show as instant replays. Computers aren't powerful enough yet to do this live — but Aufhauser says that's the hope one day.
- Thursday, Sep. 14, 2017
Due to the success of its daylight viewable monitors, SmallHD introduces its brightest, full-featured 17” reference grade monitor ever made, the 1703-P3X. Double the brightness of other 17” reference monitors, it is at home in full sunlight, and covers 100 percent of the DCI-P3 and Rec 709 color spaces. The 1703-P3X features a 1500:1 contrast ratio and a 179° viewing angle, along with SmallHD’s Pagebuilder OS toolset. The new monitor is being unveiled at IBC (stand 12.E65).
“This monitor is both bright, extremely color accurate, and offers true reference grade cinema color,” said Wes Philips, SmallHD co-founder. “Covering 100% of the DCI-P3 color space, it’s the perfect monitor for DIT’s on-set or location and for mastering in post.”
Designed to serve the demanding color display requirements of both on-set and post production color grading professionals, the 1703-P3X comes pre-calibrated for DCI-P3 and Rec 709 for both broadcast use and cinema mastering. Covering 100% DCI-P3 with a Delta E average of <0.5, it offers easy installation of the user’s own 3D LUT calibration with advanced color management solutions like Light Illusion’s, LightSpace CMS, or SpectraCal’s CalMAN.
The 1703-P3X features one HDMI and two SDI inputs plus one HDMI and two SDI outputs. The fast and intuitive operating system allows ganging of on-screen tools like HD waveform, vectorscope, false color, focus peaking and 2x zebra bars simultaneously. Its Dual View function allows users to monitor two input sources simultaneously with side-by-side viewing.
The new monitor’s bright display supports any LUT workflow through SmallHD’s ColorFlow 3D LUT Engine which enables 3D LUT support, allowing previously created look-up tables to be used on-set. LUTS can be applied via the monitor’s full-size SD slot. This information can also be pushed downstream to other monitors. A LUT altered on-set with third party software, such as LiveGrade, can be viewed on the monitor and/or downstream monitors, and uploaded to an SD card for reference in post.
The 1703P3X is constructed of rugged milled aluminum to withstand the rigor of production. It features numerous ¼-inch and 3/8-inch threaded mounting points, a VESA mount and RapidRail accessory mounting system. The monitor can easily power wireless accessories like Teradek with built in 12V 2-pin LEMO auxiliary power. It can be powered via 4-pin XLR by optional V-mount and Gold-mount battery packs for wireless operation.
MSRP for the 1703-P3X is $3,999.
- Wednesday, Sep. 13, 2017
At IBC2017, FilmLight is celebrating the formal release of Baselight 5.0, as well as exhibiting the 5.0 color tools across its entire product range.
Offering over 50 new features, version 5.0 has been comprehensively put through its paces over the last year on a variety of real projects with complex workflows. Baselight 5.0 has been at the heart of blockbusters, high-end television series and commercials.
One of the key features in version 5.0 is Base Grade, a new primary grading environment for modern color workflows and HDR.
“Base Grade makes you so much faster in matching and creating stunning looks--in a single layer,” said Philipp Horsch, sr. colorist and CEO at BFS Entertainment GmbH Munich. “The new subdivision of dim/dark shadows and light/bright highlights, each with its own pivot and falloff, basically gives you four keys already integrated in the layer.”
Version 5.0 aims to make grading for HDR even easier with the addition of color space “families,” and the new Gamut Compression tool. It makes moving between color spaces simple and seamless.
“The new color space families make delivering diverse masters really easy,” added Horsch. “With 5.0 I can now concentrate exclusively on the creative job and don’t have to worry so much about the color science.”
“Gamut Compression is so useful, especially when dealing with car commercials, where the LED brake lights often push the saturation too far,” added Mick Vincent, sr. colorist at The Mill, London. “Baselight 5.0 has been so exciting already, and there are so many more tools to try out--we have a great year ahead of us with this system at our fingertips.”
The addition of many new creative features--including Grid Warp, Paint, Perspective Tracker and Texture Equaliser--have also proven to be very popular.
“Baselight 5.0 has made finishing projects much faster and with less hassle--which is key for television content with a demanding production schedule,” said James Perry, editor/colorist on The Dr. Phil Show. “Instead of having to send shots to our graphics department for wire removal or general touch-ups, I can fix them easily in Baselight.”
Martin Tlaskal, lead developer at FilmLight, added, “These are just a handful of many comments from talented colorists, who have collaborated with us on the testing and refinement of version 5.0. It is extremely gratifying to know that our ideas have proven so valuable in practice among the creative community.”
With Baselight 5.0 now launched, the new features will soon be deployed across FilmLight’s other BLG-enabled products; Daylight 5.0, the dailies and media management platform, as well as Baselight for Avid 5.0 and Baselight for NUKE 5.0 in the Baselight Editions range, will enter beta after IBC, with Prelight 5.0 to follow soon. FilmLight is showing all of these products at IBC2017 (9/14-19) on stand 7.F31.
- Tuesday, Sep. 12, 2017
"One more thing." With that phrase, Apple paid homage to its late co-founder Steve Jobs for the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone on Tuesday when it unveiled its latest — and, at $999, its most expensive — new version of the device, the iPhone X.
CEO Tim Cook called it "the biggest leap forward" since the first iPhone. ("X" is pronounced like the number 10, not the letter X.) It loses the home button, which revolutionized smartphones when it launched; offers an edge-to-edge screen; and will use facial recognition to unlock the phone.
Apple also unveiled a new iPhone 8 and a larger 8 Plus with upgrades to cameras, displays and speakers.
Those phones, Apple said, will shoot pictures with better colors and less distortion, particularly in low-light settings. The display will adapt to ambient lighting, similar to a feature in some iPad Pro models. Speakers will be louder and offer deeper bass.
Both iPhone 8 versions will allow wireless charging, a feature thought to be limited to the anniversary phone. Many Android phones, including Samsung's, already have this.
STEVE JOBS HOMAGE
This is the first product event for Apple at its new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino, California. Before getting to the new iPhone, the company unveiled a new Apple Watch model with cellular service and an updated version of its Apple TV streaming device.
The event opened in a darkened auditorium, with only the audience's phones gleaming like stars, along with a message that said "Welcome to Steve Jobs Theater." A voiceover from Jobs, Apple's co-founder who died in 2011, opened the event before CEO Tim Cook took stage.
"Not a day that goes by that we don't think about him," Cook said. "Memories especially come rushing back as we prepared for today and this event. It's taken some time but we can now reflect on him with joy instead of sadness."
The iPhone X costs twice what the original iPhone did. It sets a new price threshold for any smartphone intended to appeal to a mass market.
Apple's latest Watch has built-in cellular service. The number on your phone will be the same as your iPhone. The Series 3 model will also have Apple Music available through cellular service.
"Now, you can go for a run with just your watch," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer and in charge of Watch development.
Apple is also adding more fitness features to the Watch, and says it is now the most used heartrate monitor in the world. Now, Apple Watch will notify users when it detects an elevated heart rate when they don't appear to be active. It'll also detect abnormal heart rhythms.
The Series 3 will start at $399. One without cellular goes for $329, down from $369 for the comparable model now. The original Series 1, without GPS, sells for $249, down from $269. The new watch comes out Sept. 22.
APPLE TV GETS UPGRADE
A new version of the Apple TV streaming device will be able to show video with sharper "4K" resolution and a color-improvement technology called high-dynamic range, or HDR.
Many rival devices already offer these features. But there's not a lot of video in 4K and HDR yet, nor are there many TVs that can display it. Apple TV doesn't have its own display and needs to be connected to a TV.
Apple said it's been working with movie studios to bring titles with 4K and HDR to its iTunes store. They will be sold at the same prices as high-definition video, which tends to be a few dollars more than standard-definition versions. Apple said it's working with Netflix and Amazon Prime to bring their 4K originals to Apple TV, too.
The new Apple TV device will cost $179 and ships on Sept. 22. A version without 4K will cost less.
- Monday, Sep. 11, 2017
FOR-A Corporation of America, a manufacturer of video and audio systems for the broadcast and professional video industries, has promoted Ken Truong to president. He previously served as chief technical officer for FOR-A.
Truong’s career with FOR-A has spanned 18 years, during which he served as technical cirector and then CTO.
“With our overall product integration tighter than ever and FOR-A’s commitment to a comprehensive IP and 12G-SDI infrastructure, this is an excellent time for me to take on this role,” said Truong. “We have a long-held tradition of creating the industry’s most innovative and rock-solid technology. Continuing that tradition in a way that meets our customers current and future needs is my top priority as the new president of FOR-A Corporation of America.”
Truong replaces Hiro Tanoue who has been promoted from president of FOR-A Americas to general manager, Planning Division, FOR-A Company Limited. Tanoue will now be based in the company’s Tokyo head office.
Truong will continue to operate out of FOR-A’s West Coast office in Cypress.
FOR-A’s product line includes video switchers, routing switchers, multi-viewers, full 4K high-speed cameras, IP encoders/decoders, multi-channel signal processors, 8K/4K/HD test signal generators, color correctors, frame synchronizers, file-based products, character generators and video servers.