Here are some very efficient (low-administrative-cost) relief organiza= tions (all have four-star ratings from CharityNavigator.org): <http://www.americares.org/> <http://www.redcross.org/donate/donate.html> <http://www.directrelief.org/index.html> <http://www.hopeww.org/> <http://www.mercycorps.org/splash/> Americans may also call the Red Cross at 800 HELP NOW (800 435-7669). Sorry about the delay. Once again, I was on the road and couldn't collect = ads. I hope to get to them in next week's memo. FYI, there will be no mem= o the week of the 27th, in honor of the solar eclipse. - Follow-ups: - ***The Technology Retreat***, February 21-24 in Rancho Mirage - Well= , it happened, and, from all accounts I've heard, it was pretty spectacular= (I think so, too). I mentioned the seminars in the last memo, with Charle= s Poynton noting that LED illumination could solve many LCD problems, incre= asing contrast ratio, reducing motion issues, and increasing color gamut. = But in the displays supersession, Martin Euredjian of eCinema Systems pooh-= poohed the idea (he also suggested that SED was being held up by legal issu= es). I was particularly taken by the presentation of Jed Deame of Teranex i= n the displays supersession. He presented test signals and good and bad re= sults for a huge range of issues having virtually nothing to do with color.= He's offering the signals on a DVD for a nominal fee. Panasonic's Peter = Fannon dispelled myths about plasma TVs (and noted that in 2005 slightly mo= re HD models were sold than ED, a reversal of the previous year), and Sony'= s Gary Mandle pointed out that the tiny liquid-crystal cells in LCoS system= s don't suffer the long switching times of larger, direct-view LCDs, so the= y can offer frame rates on the order of 200/second, making alternate-mage 3= -D easy. He also noted that 4K imagery is already available (more on that = later). The Technology Year in Review noted that this was the first since the = introduction of the VTR in 1956 -- 50 years ago -- without a new videotape = format being introduced. It also noted that, for the price of Jed Deame's = DVD ($29.95), you can buy a complete camcorder at a CVS drugstore. The cam= era discussion ranged up to the Red 4520 x 2540. There was also a presenta= tion of relative visual sizes for everything from a movie screen to a mobil= e phone, which led to a discussion of why Fox created an original version o= f "24" for the latter rather than repurposing the broadcast version. =09The broadcasters panel had Richard Friedel of Fox showing the problems o= f overscan even in this era of fixed-pixel-grid displays (he also noted tha= t the next mobile-phone version of "24" will star Kiefer Sutherland (the fi= rst one didn't), and it's episodes will last three minutes rather than one.= Then came a period when the station people praised the networks and the n= etworks praised the station people until ABC-affiliate KESQ general manager= Bob Allen was asked how he felt when he learned that ABC was making "Despe= rate Housewives" available for downloading and responded "like my wife was = sleeping with an engineer." Azcar's Tom McDonough gave an overview of technology for TV over mobil= e phones, concentrating on the two broadcast systems being offered in the U= .S., Modeo's DVB-H and Qualcomm's MediaFLO. Then MPAA CTO Brad Hunt did an= update on content protection, including the MovieLabs work on preventing c= amcorders from working in movie theaters and the Coral Consortium plan to a= llow different rights systems to interoperate. He noted that Toshiba's $49= 9 HD DVD player might be superseded on the low end by Sony's Blu-ray-equipp= ed PlayStation 3 for $399. He discussed both the interim and longer term A= ACS agreements, the latter of which calls for no analog HD outputs after 20= 11 and no analog outputs at all after 2013 (but no digital-only is allowed = in the interim agreement). A lively discussion of "no analog HD" after his talk led to an unsched= uled presentation the following day of what 960 x 540 compared to 1920 x 10= 80 actually looks like. The pictures were posted to the participants' web = site, along with other presentations (keep checking; more presentations are= being added all the time). We then barged into the demo area to see such = treats as the Olympus Octavision camera (3840 x 2160 with 2/3-inch imagers,= shoulder mountable), Genoa Color Technologies' five-primary LCD (which can= show Salem cyan and Kodak gold) and their processing for more ordinary dis= plays, Panasonic's 2K processor for D-5 and their HVX200 camcorder, Sony's = XDCAM HD, the Cine-tal and Iridas LCD monitoring system, Clarity Image's de= monstrations of lip-sync issues, Blu-Laser Cinema's optical-disk-based libr= ary (which appeared in stories about the retreat on the local ABC and Fox n= ews), Fujinon's new half-inch and 1/3-inch lenses (as well as their new ran= ge of 2/3-inch), Neural Audio's stereo/5.1 converters, For-A's dual-link HD= -SDI (4:4:4) switchers, and much, much, MUCH more! As usual, Thursday began with loud argumentative breakfast roundtables= . I sat in on the rights management one, which ranged from plugging the op= tical hole (shooting a TV screen with a camcorder) to different filters use= d to make down-rezzed 960 x 540 most restorable to 1920 x 1080. Then came the spectacular acquisition session, with Olympus describing= their 4K camera and NHK their 8K camera and display (with 16 times the num= ber of pixels of 1080-line HD). The imager's 4.2-micron-squared sensors le= d to a discussion of the relative merits of resolution and dynamic range. Sam Nicholson of Stargate Digital showed how even relatively low resol= ution imagery can be stabilized and combined to form ultra-high-resolution = virtual backgrounds for compositing (he demonstrated with HDV-shot footage = in a Moscow subway station serving as a background for actors in Montreal).= That was followed by a panel covering the history, present, and future of= 3D, explaining what costs more and what isn't so bad. Then came the luncheon seminar on small-format acquisition with extens= ive discussions of diffraction (1/3-inch HD imagers are limited to 75% red = MTF at even f/1.8) and lenses (smaller format imagers require HIGHER lens q= uality for equivalent MTF). One image, superimposing an MTF curve on an in= verted contrast-sensitivity function, flabbergasted at least one of the hig= h-ranking engineers in the audience. Next came the digital-cinema sessions, with many speakers dedicating t= heir presentations to the late Dick Stumpf, who was, indeed, worthy of all = the praise. In the digital-cimema packaging session, Wade Hanniball noted = that Universal has no plans to release in 4K or 96 kHz audio and won't encr= ypt its trailers, but Paul Saccone described Warner Bros. 4K distribution t= rials in Japan. Tom DeFanti showed pictures of a 200 megapixel display (19= 20 x 1080 is two megapixels)! The Compact team (headed by one of the largest players) beat both Regu= lar and Large (headed by one of the smallest players) to win the Fenway Par= k championship. Topless pictures were shown at the registration desk. After more argumentative breakfast roundtables on Friday (I sat in on = one on A/V storage using a distributed-data principle quite different from = RAID), Dow, Lohnes attorney Jim Burger covered everything going on in Washi= ngton from the analog cutoff date to the Grokster decision. Then Universal= 's Jerry Pierce offered an amazing presentation. He played a "Saturday Nig= ht Live" commercial spoof he had downloaded and got the audience laughing s= o hard they were gasping for breath; then he pointed out that what they had= just seen on the giant screens was just 320 x 240. After an extensive tutorial on long-GOP editing, perhaps the two most = important (and most embarrassing to the industry as a whole) presentations = followed. Graham Jones of the NAB showed how to use the active format desc= riptor to FINALLY solve the mixed-aspect-ratios problem. Producers can spe= cify what is to be done on a field-by-field basis and can even indicate wha= t portions of the image (if any) they wouldn't mind a viewer's losing. The= n Bill Hogan and Michael Smith gave a presentation on a problem less close = to being resolved: lip-sync. At one point, Hogan showed a photo of images = with burned-in time code being displayed on CRT, LCD, and DLP-based screens= ; when the source was frozen, three different numbers appeared on the scree= ns fed from the same source. And there was more! I especially liked the i= dea that carrying grain through from pre-compression to post-decoding can a= llow a much lower bit rate to provide comparable subjective quality. Gary = Demos, who was recently awarded the motion-picture Academy's Sawyer award (= <http://tinyurl.com/zlfga>), polished up with a tutorial on layered lossles= s coding. I've left out most of what was there, and I apologize to those I've om= itted. I offer only the thought that I might have been paying too much att= ention to you to take good notes. Here are some views from others who were there: <http://www.studiodaily.com/filmandvideo/currentissue/6121.html> This next one is from Shoot: <http://tinyurl.com/kbhez> This one concentrates on Brad Hunt's presentation: <http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060228-6290.html> I'm pretty sure there will be more: <http://www.hpaonline.com> - The FCC's Video Competition Report has finally been released. I hav= en't had a chance to look it over completely yet, but one interesting tidbi= t is that multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) have claimed m= ore than 85% of TV households since June of 2004, which means the old analo= g cutoff date at the end of this year might have worked. Cable's percentag= e has finally dropped below 70%. Only direct-broadcast satellite has grown= among MVPDs: <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-11A1.pdf> - DTT-related U.S. legislation other than analog cutoff - Broadcasting= & Cable says it's unlikely that everything stripped from the budget bill w= ill get considered this year: <http://tinyurl.com/n2pwe> The "broadcast flag," however, is said to have a good chance of being = approved: <http://tinyurl.com/hnyv8> There was extensive discussion of authorized copying not being allowed= on the OpenDTV Forum this week: <http://www.freelists.org/archives/opendtv/02-2006/msg00335.html> The thread name changes here: <http://www.freelists.org/archives/opendtv/03-2006/msg00001.html> - Blu-ray and HD DVD - - Warren Communications News went back and forth about whether a = firmware upgrade was or wasn't required for HD DVD interactivity and whethe= r or not it mattered. - They noted that image-constraint (960 x 540) labels would be re= quired under AACS for any disks that have that and, later, that four major = studios have sworn off image constraints (perhaps after seeing the pictures= at ***The Technology Retreat***). None of the stories are still on the site: <http://www.warren-news.com/> - Here's information on the Blu-ray launch on May 23. The story = is from Reuters: <http://tinyurl.com/jduuk> - Here's a story on recent business developments: <http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/26/business/26disks.html> - And this more-technical article is titled "Sub-Par Wars": <http://edn.com/contents/images/6309108.pdf> - Pre-NAB announcements: - Panasonic: <http://www.videography.com/articles/article_13953.shtml> - Harris: <http://televisionbroadcast.com/articles/article_1200.shtml> - Snell & Wilcox: <http://televisionbroadcast.com/articles/article_1202.shtml> - Grass Valley offering financing of equipment and services (this= story is from Broadcasting & Cable): <http://tinyurl.com/zp5dj> - Grass Valley's products: <http://www.tvtechnology.com/dailynews/one.php?id=3D3760> - More dueling surveys - - According to a Scripps Networks survey, "Women would pick an HD= TV set over a toaster, a day off or a new pair of Manolo Blahniks" (shoes).= Only a weekend getaway (choice of 42%) beat an HDTV (29%). This story is= from Broadcasting & Cable: <http://tinyurl.com/gah8d> Meanwhile, a Jupiter Research survey found 52% of consumers would swit= ch providers for a better price, but only 6% found HDTV to be a desired fea= ture: <http://www.cedmagazine.com/toc-IP_Capsule/2006/20060301.html> <http://news.designtechnica.com/article9611.html> - RBC Capital Markets asked 100 wireless-service and content prov= iders what consumers wanted to do with mobile devices; 63% said watching TV= or movies, and 72% said consumers would put up with ads for reduced fees. = But RBC's survey of 1,001 consumers said only 23% wanted to watch TV on a = mobile device, and only 20% would put up with ads to lower costs: <http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6312769.html?display=3DBreaking+News= > - Flash memory capacities - Warren Communications News reported that 4= GB Memory Sticks were shown at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) show. = The story is no longer on their site: <http://www.warren-news.com/> At the same show, Sony introduced the HDPS-L1 viewing device with a 72= 0p output: <http://www.twice.com/article/CA6310472.html> - May 1 -=20 - Neither the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) nor the Nat= ional Association of Broadcasters (NAB) updated their lists this week. - Doug Lung's RF Report notes that the FCC CDBS database listed 8= 67 licensed U.S. DTT stations as of February 21: <http://www.tvtechnology.com/dlrf/one.php?id=3D1180> - While that 867 figure is finally more than half of the 1722 the FCC has b= een using for DTT, it's still less than half of the number of full-power U.= S. analog TV stations. The FCC just released figures for those through the= end of the year: - UHF commercial 782 VHF commercial 588 UHF educational 254 VHF educational 126 total 1750 - Then there are low-power Class A: UHF 484 VHF 108 total 592 - Then there are other low-power: UHF 1643 VHF 502 total 2145 - And, finally, TV translators: UHF 2714 VHF 1823 total 4537 - That adds up to a grand total of 9024 U.S. analog TV transmitters. <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-263922A1.pdf> - The FCC is requesting $500,000 (out of $302,542,000) in its fiscal 2007 b= udget to educate consumers about the DTT transition: <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-264102A1.pdf> - In New York, the co-owned Fox and UPN DTT outlets have been carrying each= other's programming, but now the ABC affiliate in Bowling Green, Kentucky = will be carrying Fox programming on its DTT station, and I don't think owne= rship has anything to do with it: <http://tinyurl.com/r3yt4> - International news: - DVB is studying a next-generation DTT system, DVB-T2: <http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=3D181500390> Their next generation satellite system, DVB-S2, has been very successf= ul. Another study, according to the article, is about satellite-to-mobile-= devices service. - Here's an overview of HD in Europe: <http://www.hdtvuk.tv/2006/02/europe_goes_hd.html> - More than ten million Freeview receivers (integrated and set-top com= bined) have been sold in the UK, and the service is now said to be in 6.4 m= illion homes. This story is from Reuters: <http://tinyurl.com/p4c43> - Here's the latest look at UK household penetrations (similar to the = FCC competition report) from regulator Ofcom: <http://www.ofcom.org.uk/research/cm/feb06_report/> - Here's the latest from Russia from RedOrbit: <http://tinyurl.com/kl29c> - Here's the latest from South Africa: <http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/companies.aspx?ID=3DBD4A159979> - Here's the latest from Malta: <http://www.timesofmalta.com/core/article.php?id=3D216162> - Maybe New Zealand will get a Freeview-like service: <http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=3D1&ObjectID=3D10369998> <http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/article/ds29690.html> - Toshiba is said to be dropping CRTs and analog tuners: <http://www.engadget.com/2006/02/21/toshiba-killing-crts-and-analog-tuners/= > - Netgear has equipment for carrying HD over power lines: <http://www.cedmagazine.com/article/CA6310177.html> - Based on figures from CEA, sales to U.S. dealers of non-H/DTV television = sets for the first five weeks of 2006 were down 20.2% from the same period = in 2005; my ten-week running average was down 22.4%. For the first six wee= ks, they were still down 20.2%, but my ten-week running average was down 23= .6%. It's still too soon to judge anything from the 2006 figures. Sales of so-called non-flat-panel "Digital Televisions" to U.S. dealer= s for the fifth week were 125,155 units, for the sixth 131,549, and for the= first six weeks 874,087, revised, again (compared to 1,378,878 for sets no= t called "digital" by CEA). Based on CEA's new system, the "digital" figur= es now include flat-panel TVs. "Digital Televisions" (most of which still appear to be HDTV displays = without DTT-reception capability) accounted for about 35% of the TVs sold t= o U.S. dealers through the fifth week this year and 38.8% through the sixth= week. It may be worth noting here what that means. About 61% of the TVs = sold to U.S. dealers in 2006 were still plain non-H/DTV direct-view TVs wit= h picture tubes. To qualify to CEA as a "Digital Television," a display need only be ca= pable of dealing with at least 480p; it need not be capable of either recei= ving digital signals or displaying them. It is now a requirement that all = new TVs 25-inch or up imported or shipped interstate have DTT reception cap= ability. CEA says about 82% of the "digital televisions" sold in 2005 were= HDTV. - DVD news: According to CEA's figures, sales of DVD players to U.S. dealer= s for the first five weeks of 2006 were UP 22.4% from the same period in 20= 05; my ten-week running average was up 4.6%. For the first six weeks, they= were up 34.6%, and my ten-week running average was up 12.7%. The 2006 num= bers are still too few to show any solid trend, but the ten-week running av= erage seems to indicate a second wind for DVD players. - S. Merrill Weiss will receive the NAB Television Engineering Achievement = Award this year: <http://www.tvtechnology.com/dlrf/one.php?id=3D1172> At the Technology Retreat, it was disclosed that, among his many other= accomplishments, he programmed a UNIVAC as a kid. - Upcoming Dates (DTV and non-DTV): - March 9, Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, HD Expo <http://ww= w.hdexpo.net/>. - March 15-16, International Trade Center, Washington, D.C., CEA Enter= tainment Technology Policy Summit <http://www.ce.org/events/event_info/defa= ult.asp?eventID=3DHDTV06>. - March 21-23, Loews Coronado Bay Resort, San Diego, DisplaySearch fla= t-panel display conference <http://www.displaysearch.com/usfpd2006/>. - April 6-7, Las Vegas, IEEE International Symposium on Broadband Mult= imedia Systems and Broadcasting <http://www.ieee.org/organizations/society/= bt/index.html>. - April 9-11, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, the National Sho= w (NCTA2006) <http://www.thenationalshow.com/?ref=3DnctaMenu>. - April 22-27, Las Vegas Convention Center, NAB2006 <http://www.nabsho= w.com/>. - April 28-30, Early Television Museum, Hilliard, Ohio, 2006 Early Tel= evision Convention <http://www.earlytelevision.org/2006_convention.html>. - *May 17, Film Row Cinema, Columbia College, Chicago, HD Expo <http:/= /www.hdexpo.net/>. - May 20-23, Porte de Versailles, Paris, 120th AES convention <http://= www.aes.org/events/120/>. - *June 5-9, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, Albert= a, Canada, WABE/SAIT Broadcast Training Seminar <wayne.watson@xxxxxxx>. - June 7-9, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Infocomm <http:/= /www.infocomm.org/>. - June 27-29, Javits Center, New York, Entertainment Technology Allian= ce <http://www.etaexpo.com/>. * - new or revised listing TTFN, Mark PS Permission is granted to forward this or any other Monday Memo. Next w= eek's memo will be late. Again, there will be no memo the week of the 27th= . Have a question about the memo? Before contacting me, please try the FAQs = and glossary in the second postscript to the January 5 memo: <http://www.digitaltelevision.com/mondaymemo/mlist/frm02213.html> ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.