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Thursday, October 08, 2015

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Dolby Announce Collaboration on Dolby Vision 4K Ultra HD

Wed, 07 Oct 2015 15:20:38 -0400

Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: DLB) and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) today announced plans to use the new Dolby Vision™ mastering process for the release of 4K Ultra HD titles by a variety of home entertainment distribution partners, delivering high-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging with a wider range of contrast and more vibrant colors. The availability of SPHE titles in Dolby Vision for home entertainment platforms marks a revolutionary step forward for enthusiasts and content channels worldwide.

Dolby Vision, a complement to 4K Ultra HD, is a new imaging technology that helps content creators deliver a dramatically enhanced visual experience—astonishing brightness, incomparable contrast, and captivating color—and also bring the next wave of innovative entertainment to consumers via next generation physical disc and digital distribution platforms.

“We continue to be enthusiastic about the growing consumer appetite for next-generation 4K Ultra HD content. With Dolby Vision imaging technology, we can now master our movies with the highest-quality visual experience for distribution to consumers’ homes,” said Richard Berger, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Digital Strategy and Advanced Platforms, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

An end-to-end solution, Dolby Vision can be incorporated from content creation to distribution and playback, and has already received support from others in Hollywood, including A-list directors, executives at major studios, and OTT service providers.

“Dolby Vision shines a bright new light on Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s compelling new releases and distinguished catalogue” said Curt Behlmer, Senior Vice President, Content Solutions and Industry Relations, Dolby Laboratories. “Consumers who purchase SPHE movies that have been mastered in Dolby Vision are able to feel the full visual drama of lifelike images unfold in the comfort of their living room, exciting their senses with an entirely new entertainment experience.”

SPHE plans to release a growing slate of Dolby Vision 4K Ultra HD titles in the coming months.

Sleep Technology Owners Report Improved Sleep, Better Overall Health According to New Research from National Sleep Foundation and CEA

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 17:28:49 -0400

Sixty percent of sleep technology owners say they’re more aware of their sleep patterns, according to the results of a new consumer research study released today at the inaugural Sleep Technology Summit & Expo in Santa Clara, CA. Conducted jointly by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, Consumer Awareness and Perceptions of Sleep Technology explored consumer satisfaction and interest related to the growing sleep technology segment.
In addition to being more aware of their sleep patterns, 51 percent of sleep technology owners say they’re sleeping better knowing the technology is helping them and 49 percent say they feel healthier since they started using the technology. Nearly sixty percent of sleep technology owners say they’re satisfied with their devices, according to study results. That's an encouraging number for a still nascent technology, says David Cloud, CEO of NSF.
“We’re at the very beginning of this sleep technology wave,” said Cloud. “The pace of innovation in this space is astounding. The devices are getting better and better, as is the value they provide to healthy consumers looking to improve their sleep. We expect that as people learn more about sleep technology and how it can benefit their overall health, they’ll be convinced to give it a try.”
“Health and fitness technology has advanced considerably in recent years, thanks in large part to the wide deployment of sensors and ubiquity of smartphones—and the progression of sleep technology is no different,” said Chris Ely, senior manager of industry analysis, CEA. “Led by the popularity of sleep tracking abilities within most wearable fitness activity trackers, our research with NSF shows sleep technology in its various forms is having a positive impact on users’ sleep.”
Indeed, according to the study results, forty-six percent of those who use sleep technology say they benefit from the technology. However, the research also revealed a contingent of non-users who don’t think they need it, with only 27 percent reporting that they believe sleep technology will help them be healthier.
“It’s a misperception that you need to have a sleep disorder to benefit from sleep technology,” added Cloud. “Sleep is a vital sign of health and wellness, even more so than diet and fitness. In NSF's most recent Sleep Health Index, more than 40 million Americans reported that poor sleep or lack of sleep impacted their activities at least once in the previous week. Everyone can benefit from better sleep. This represents a significant—and achievable—education and marketing opportunity for the sleep technology industry.”

The study results also illuminated another education opportunity made possible by engaging healthcare providers. While nearly 60 percent of survey respondents said a recommendation from their healthcare provider would be important in their decision to use sleep technology, only 18 percent of users reported they received such a recommendation. Given the significant health benefits of better sleep, from improved mood and memory to the ability to maintain a healthy weight, support from the healthcare community could have a critical impact on user rates.

2015 NAB Marconi Radio Award Winners Announced

Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:23:01 -0400

Winners of the 2015 National Association of Broadcasters' (NAB) Marconi Radio Awards were announced Thursday night at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show held at the Radio Show in Atlanta.

Established in 1989 and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. This year's NAB Marconi Radio Award recipients are:

Legendary Station
KYW-AM, Philadelphia, PA

AC Station of the Year
WDUV-FM, Tampa, FL

Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year
Steve Harvey, Premiere Networks

CHR Station of the Year
KQMV-FM, Seattle, WA

Major Market Personality of the Year
Eric & Kathy, WTMX-FM, Chicago, IL

Classic Hits Station of the Year
KONO-FM, San Antonio, TX

Large Market Personality of the Year
Gene & Julie Gates, WRAL-FM Raleigh, NC

Country Station of the Year
WUBE-FM Cincinnati, OH

Medium Market Personality of the Year
Dan Potter, KRMG-AM, Tulsa, OK

News/Talk Station of the Year
WSB-AM Atlanta, GA

Small Market Personality of the Year
Brian Byers, WSOY-AM, Decatur, IL

Religious Station of the Year
WPRS-FM Washington, D.C.

Major Market Station of the Year
WTOP-FM, Washington, D.C.

Rock Station of the Year
WDRV-FM Chicago, IL

Large Market Station of the Year
KSTP-FM, St. Paul, MN

Sports Station of the Year
WFAN-AM New York, NY

Medium Market Station of the Year
KRMG-AM, Tulsa, OK

Urban Station of the Year
WBLS-FM New York, NY

Small Market Station of the Year
WLEN-FM, Adrian, MI

Noncommercial Station of the Year
WKAR-FM East Lansing, MI

Marconi finalists were selected by a task force of broadcasters, and the winners were voted on by the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy. The votes were tabulated by an independent firm.

The NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show also featured a performance by Grammy nominated singer and BMI songwriter Gavin DeGraw. Top-rated syndicated radio personality Rickey Smiley served as the host.

SMPTE, HPA Finalize Consolidation Plans; Women in Tech Luncheon Set for Oct. 26

Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:13:05 -0400

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) have finalized plans to consolidate. The partnership between SMPTE and HPA gives both organizations the opportunity to extend their reach, while better serving the industry as a whole; from engineering and technical professionals to the creative community.

smpte_hpa-merger“This is a monumental occasion for both SMPTE and HPA, two leading professional organizations serving the media and entertainment industry,” says Robert Seidel, president of SMPTE. “The new relationship between SMPTE and HPA presents many exciting possibilities, including fresh occasions for interactions and dialog, broader educational opportunities, and even richer contributions to standards development.”

SMPTE and HPA are already collaborating on two upcoming events as HPA Women in Post and SMPTE are presenting the Women in Technology Luncheon. The luncheon will take place in conjunction with the SMPTE 2015 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2015) at the Loews Hollywood Hotel at the Hollywood and Highland Center at noon on Monday, Oct. 26, and will feature a conversation between Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), and Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter. Also in conjunction with SMPTE 2015, the organizations are launching the SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival on Tuesday, Oct. 27 following the Opening Night Reception for the conference.

“HPA and SMPTE have long been collaborators in enabling the creative and technical communities to address the challenges and opportunities afforded by a rapidly changing media landscape,” adds Leon Silverman, HPA board president. “Formal approval of our consolidation plan by the SMPTE Board of Governors and the HPA Board of Directors represents a major milestone in our relationship, and one that signals great things to come for the communities both organizations serve — within Hollywood and around the world.”

Wendy Aylsworth, SMPTE past president and former senior vice president of technology at Warner Bros. Technical Operations, will serve as the SMPTE-designated member on the HPA Board of Directors. While this partnership establishes closer ties between SMPTE and HPA on many levels, from the executive to the administrative, each organization will maintain its unique brand and culture.

25th Season of Notre Dame Football on NBC Brings Big Production Enhancements

Thu, 01 Oct 2015 17:06:30 -0400

footballIt has been a quarter of a century since the University of Notre Dame and NBC Sports forged their groundbreaking television partnership, and, today, production of Fighting Irish football has never been more technologically advanced.

“What started off as a 3½-hour programming window has grown to nearly five hours,” says Rob Hyland, coordinating producer, NBC Sports. “The production levels have also increased significantly since my first season [in 2009].”

In this 25th season, NBC Sports will deploy upwards of 25 cameras, including a new RF Steadicam on primetime telecasts. There is also a new cable-suspended aerial camera system provided by Skycam called Wildcat (which is also used on Sunday Night Football), which Hyland says provides a greater fly zone and more-dramatic imagery than the original Skycam system.

Working out of NEP Broadcasting’s ND6, the production crew will also add specialty Sony Super Slo-Mos to fill out the camera complement. An onsite crew of approximately 105 staffers will deploy 43 microphones and 11,250 ft. of fiber throughout the stadium.

Also new this season will be a permanent rules official, Doug Rhoads, in the booth alongside on-air talent Dan Hicks and Doug Flutie. Rhoads, a former ref and ACC coordinator of officials, will wear a broadcast headset and will have the ability to open his mic and speak when needed, although Hyland expects that Rhoads will likely offer most of his communication off-mic to clear up any on-field controversies.

NBC also will continue its commitment to bringing the viewer deeper into the Fighting Irish football experience with all studio shoulder programming hosted onsite at Notre Dame Stadium. On camera, Jonathan Vilma has joined the broadcast team as a pregame/halftime/postgame analyst, slotting in with veterans host Liam McHugh and analyst Hines Ward.

Markertek Video of the Week:

Daily Tech Term Sponsored By Laird.

Aspect Ratio

Ratio between the width and height of a video image.
NTSC, PAL, ATSC (standard definition) and DVB (standard definition) use a 4:3 ratio, almost square. ATSC and DVB high-definition formats use a 16:9 format, which means the width of the image area is almost twice its height. Movies, which are usually shot with a wide-angle lens, typically have an aspect ratio of 16:9.

Audio Technica ATW-1701 Camera-Mount Receiver - ATW-T1001 UniPak Transmitter
Rock Solid Performance!
Audio Technica System 10 Camera-Mount Digital Wireless System is a digital wireless system designed to provide rock-solid performance along with easy setup and clear, natural sound quality. Featuring a compact design, the system is available in handheld, lavalier and body-pack configurations. Operating in the 2.4 GHz range, far from TV and DTV interference, this system offers extremely easy operation and instantaneous channel selection. Up to eight channels may be used together without any frequency coordination problems or group selection issues.System 10 offers high-fidelity digital wireless for performing musicians and pres...

Atomos Ninja Star Pocket-size Apple ProRes Recorder & Deck
Star Power!
The Ninja Star is a must have for people who need to "Record Apple ProRes on Board" camera rigs, such as Drones, RC Helicopters, extreme sports and Reality TV.The Ninja Star is the next break through in external HDMI recorders based on core technologies that have made Atomos the leader in camera mounted solutions. Its small, self contained size and flexible mounting options allow DP's and cameramen to mount it to just about any POV set-up and offer edit ready format recording with ProRes.Since the company was founded in 2010 Atomos has broken new ground in the design and functionality of recording, monitoring and playback dev...

Atomos ATOMPWS001 Power Station Photo

Continuous Dual Battery PowerThe Atomos Power Station Photo is a compact continuous power supply that is capable of powering up to 4 devices (2DC, 2USB) simultaneously with a maximum power output of 4 amps at 8.4 volts. Fast charge technology provides a 3x faster charge cycle than traditional NP style battery chargers. Simple LED indicators on the Atomos Power Station Photo independently display the status of both 2600 mAh batteries allowing plenty of time to hot swap depleted batteries. The Power Station's slim form factor allows for easy mounting to your equipment with simple 2.1mm barrel D...

Blackmagic CONVMBSQUH4K2 Mini Converter Quad SDI to HDMI 4K
4K Today!
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CAIG Labs K-FO79 Fiber Optic Cleaning Kit
Keep it Clean!
CAIG Laboratories Fiber Optic Cleaning Kit is made in the USA and gives the technician everything needed to clean fiber optic connections and prepare fiber for splicing. Works with LC, SC, ST, and Neutrik OpticalCON fiber connectors. All of the accessories are lint free and the CAIG Fiber Cleaning Fluid is fast to evaporate and leaves no residue. Uniquely, this kit also includes CAIG's Precision Air Duster that facilitates removal of any loose debris and other contaminants at the outset of cleaning. The multiple sizes of swabs and cleaning sticks, and the polyester cellulose wipes included in the kit allow for the cleaning of the...

ScopePrepared By The Markertek Engineering Department...

What is the maximum SPL of a dynamic microphone?

It is a common saying that dynamic microphones just have no maximum SPL.

This saying is not technically exactly correct but for every day use use of dynamic microphones you will not find gain limitations. At SPL levels above 160 dB some mechanical problems might occur (for example the voice coil might crash onto the magnet) but these SPL levels are very hard to find in real world.

Sennheiser uses dynamic microphones for distortion measurements on loudspeakers at very high sound pressure levels. Sennheiser has measured the SPL and THD inside a large 2" driver/horn combination with a MD 421. The max SPL this combination was able to produce was 150 dB and the THD level recorded by a MD 421 was below 1% (produced by the driver not by the mic).

So as a conclusion we can state the MD 421 has no maximum SPL limitations for practical use. However if using dynamic microphones at high SPL levels a user should be aware that the very high voltage (up to several volts) delivered by the microphone might cause problems when connected to mic preamps.

Sennheiser MD 421

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