Trends in mobile TV (my presentation at Rose d’Or in Lucerne)

I did a presentation at Rose d’Or (also know as the Golden Rose) in Lucerne at tuesday. “Trends in mobile TV”, at Grand Casino, Casineum 7. May from 13.00-15.00.

The Rose d’Or (or Golden Rose) is a highly prestigious television award, given annually since 1961 at the Festival Rose d’Or in spring each year. Since 2004, the festival has been held in Lucerne, Switzerland. Before the festival was held in Montreux, Switzerland, thus the Golden Rose of Montreux.

(from Wikipedia entry on Rose d’Or)

The festival also has seminars and presentations on different subjects. This year monday is internet day, tuesday mobile day, and wednesday covers “How to create and produce world class entertainment televison?” and “Scripted formats: A new era”.

Rose d'Or

My presentation

I will also post from other interesting presentations at Rose d’Or. Come back here for updates later this week.

Feel free to contact me in Lucerne. I’ve made a Rose d’Or group at Facebook. And guess what: No one else has joined. Heh. Now how could that be? TV-people don’t use social sites like Facebook? 😉

Pictures

Christian Lorenz Scheurer

I’ve put up pictures of the other speakers at Flickr. I will post about their actual presentations too, as soon as I have typed everything and sorted my pictures. Some very interesting days.

NRKbeta is on the air

If you’re Norwegian, head over to NRKbeta to see posts about gadgets and techonolgy. NRKbeta is NRK’s (NRK at Wikipedia) new technology site. Our tagline: “NRKs sandkasse for teknologi, duppeditter, nye medier og alt annet som er viktig i livet.”

In English, that would be something like “NRK’s new “sandbox” for all technology, gadgets, new media and other important things in life.” Have a look or subscribe to the NRKbeta feed.

I’m the daily editor, so if it sucks, I’m the one to blame. Feel free to tell me if it does (also if it doesn’t I might add…) We’ve just started so expect things to speed up the next weeks, it’s a little slow and thin at the moment. But hey, it’s a beta!

Make your ads so cool that people would want to see them

“FireTreToEn” is the new ad for Norwegian bank DnB NOR. It’s made like a movie trailer, with lots of action and some of the most popular actors in Norway, Pia Tjelta and Nicolai Cleve Broch. It’s open ended at leaves with some questions. “We don’t know what happens”, “We don’t know if the woman in the window jumps”, “Because this is not a movie”, “It’s advertising”. “And we don’t know what happens”, “Just like in real life”.

Pia Tjelta

Vi vet ikke hva som skjer.
Vi vet ikke om gutta kommer levende fra det.
Vi vet ikke hvem som kutter tauet.
Vi vet heller ikke om hun i vinduet hopper.
Vi vet ikke hva som skjer.
For dette er ingen film.
Dette er en reklamefilm.
For DnB NOR.
Og vi vet ikke hva som skjer.
Akkurat som i livet.

(Nowegian text at the end of the movie)

Very clever. I’m curious to see if they are brave enough to NOT show it on tv. Just use the site and the viral world to spread it.

Why? Because TV advertising is STINKING expensive. And why hassle people with ads on tv if they come to see it on your site because they WANT to see it?

Just when you thought HD was the next big thing, then comes 3D HD

3D HD is THE next big thing. And it comes to sports and music first. NBA (the National Basketball Association in USA), plans to shoot some of their games in 3D HD. In a session called “Winning Ways to Wow the Sports Broadcast Viewer” (must be an advertising guy who cme up with that title…), NBA and Pace will show the All-star game in 3D HD.

Special invited guests saw the NBA All-star game in 3D HD on February 18th, and now attendees to the NAB exhibition in Las Vegas, get to see the game and hear about the advanced technology behind it.

“Thomp”, at NowPublic saw the All-star game. And is convinced this is the new thing:

…made me feel like I paid 6,000 dollars to sit among the stars on the floor of the hardwood court. The up close FUSION 3D HD action made me forget I was miles away in a theater wearing 3D glasses and the sound was to as if I sitting at courtside. I felt I was so close that when Jay-Z bent over to whisper to Beyonce, I wanted to tap his shoulder and say she with me! Action seemed so close that when a loose ball flew in to the crowd, several people in the theatre (including me) put our hands out to catch it!

He also has some thoughts on the future of the system:

In summary I can see this technology being a big hit in the future especially to the common folk like me who can not pay the large sums of money to partake in these events live. PACE should not limit itself to major sports events like the Super Bowl or the NBA. This technology can be used to see high priced concerts or highly publicized Las Vegas shows. This can be another viable revenue stream for artist and promoters. Instead of booking a plane and hotel ticket, you can jump in your car, drive to your local IMAX Theater and save a couple of thousand dollars.

And – saving the planet while having a great time, I might add.

How is it done?

The technology behind this is exciting. James Cameron is shooting both his forthcoming movies with the same 3D cameras. The $200 million “Avatar” (2008) and the movie adaption of the manga series “Battle Angel Alita”, called “Battle Angel” (2009), are both shot in 3D HD. Cameron and Vince Pace are the founders of Pace 3D technologies that makes the special versions of the camera. Vince Pace is also director of photography, second unit on both movies.

The cameras are customized versions of the US$115,000 Sony HDC-950, in a specially designed rig. The camera sensors are placed 70mm apart to capture left-eye and right-eye imagery seperately. Pace is also developing the camera system to include the newer Sony HDC-1500 HD cameras.

NBA used six Sony cameras to capture the All-star game:

These camera feeds were distributed via fiber to a portable HD fly-pack system (provided by Bexel) in the arena that included a Sony MVS 8000A switcher and an EVS XT[2] server.

The Sony switcher includes a feature that allowed the director to aggregate multiple camera feeds and lock them together. The director then switched the multicamera production as he would a typical game broadcast; but, to get the full 3-D effect, he often held on shots longer than usual. Instant replays and graphics were also presented in 3-D, using the EVS server.

The output of the switcher (two uncompressed HD signals at about 3Gb/s) was sent to the Mandalay Bay ballrooms via fiber cabling. The larger ballroom was set up in a stadium-seating configuration, on risers to give the full effect. The smaller space was standing room only. Images were displayed with two stacked Sony SXRD 4K projectors in each room on 47ft and 30ft screens. The projectors were fitted with a special polarizing filter supplied by 3-D specialists Real D. Audience members wore special polarizing glasses to get the full 3-D effect.

Sports and concerts

Both Marilyn Manson and Gwen Stefani has used this new technology for music videos, and Universal Music Group’s Interscope Record has signed a deal with Pace to use the technology for concerts. Expect to see Dr. Dre, Eminem, U2, Gwen Stefani, 50 Cent, Sheryl Crow and Pussycat Dolls doing their things in 3D at your local cinema soon.

That is, if your local movie theatre can show 3D. Only 700 of 37 000 US movie theatres have 3D projection screens (I have not been able to numbers for the rest of the world). But Sony do of course want to change that:

“We are ready to roll into any theater with the two-projector system.”

…said John Kaloukian, director of Sony Electronics’ professional display group to Reuters (note: Some Reuters articles only stay up for three weeks so this link may go dead after some time).

Most of 700 movie screens with 3D projection, are delivered by Real D, which even has a blog with interesting articles like this one about “Composing for Stereo: The Filmmaker’s Point of View”:

The other concern I call the strength of the stereoscopic image. That is determined by two interrelated factors. One of them is completely new to the stereoscopic cinema, and has no direct counterpart in the planar cinema – and that is the distance between the spacing of the cameras or the camera lenses. Whether we’re shooting live action, or we’re in a CGI virtual space, the distance between the camera’s lenses is a critical factor. We’re going to call whatever we’re shooting with a stereo camera. A stereo camera, unlike a conventional camera, captures two perspective viewpoints. So we’re not going to refer to stereoscopic cameras. We’re going to call it a stereoscopic camera, and we’re going to say it has two lenses – a left lens and a right lens.

The distance or the spacing between the two lenses is called the interaxial spacing – that is, the distance between the lens axes. If you think about it, if the lenses are superimposed – in other words, if the axes had zero spacing – you’re shooting a planar movie. The farther apart the lenses go, the deeper the image looks. The use of this control is closely related to the focal length you use. Wide angle lenses tend to stress perspective, because objects that are closer to the lens appear to be proportionately larger, and the background appears to be smaller. The stereoscopic depth sense, which is technically known as stereopsis, is weighted or scaled by extra-stereoscopic cues – that is, by non-stereoscopic or monocular cues. One of the strongest of these is perspective – and perspective is often determined by the choice of focal length. So it turns out that with wide angle lenses you can use a reduced interaxial, and for telephoto lenses you can use a larger interaxial.

New tools = New ways of thinking! This also may be technology that take people back to the cinemas. If you have a 50″ plasma/LCD screen at home, a blu-ray or HD-DVD player, a great chair and your kitchen nearby – why go to a movie theatre? With 3D HD you have a new reason, as I don’t think there will be a home version of Sony SXRD 4K projectors anytime soon. Not to mention the players delivering the actual movies.

Editing?

I’m curious, how do you edit this? HD with two seperate cameras, one for each eye? What are your options for post processing? Do you need special software or do you edit in “normal” tools like FCP or Avid systems? Feel free to comment below if you know!

Update

Camcorderinfo.com made a video from the Sony/NBA event at NAB, as seen below (you may have to click through to brilliantdays.com/3d-hd too see the video if you read this in a newsreader).

It’s epidemic – soon your tv will have a zillion channels

52 channels and nothing on? Soon you’ll have millions of channels and the traditional tv-channels will be in BIG trouble. I totally agree with what Eirik writes today:

When the internet really starts to shift the flow of money in the media industry we are up for some groundbreaking change…

I’m not sure that the flow of money needs to change before the groundbreaking change. Two things have happened the last days that gives a hint of the change to come:

Evidence #1: iTV

Apple does something very un-Apple: Talking about a product before you can actually buy it. The name will change, but it is a box that takes videos and music from your computer and plays them on your tv screen (and plays the sound on your tv or stereo). MacWorld explains:

Enter the iTV, which connects to your television and stereo and provides the remote-control-driven interface of Front Row without the keyboard-and-mouse issues of a full-fledged computer. Once it’s hooked up, the iTV connects to the network in your house and displays, right on your TV, a menu of options, all geared toward letting you play back digital content—stored on a computer in your house or somewhere out on the Internet—while sitting in your living room. That content includes movies, TV shows, and music downloaded from the iTunes store; other audio and video content you’ve loaded into iTunes; movie trailers from Apple.com; and perhaps other kinds of stuff that Apple hasn’t talked about yet.

So the videos don’t have to be stored on your computer. They can be streams from websites. And this is where your head is supposed to go “bing!!!”. This means that you’ll have thousands, maybe millions of channels available from day one. In no time there will be channels for every single interest, hobby, subject or event imaginable. The adult industry will of course be running ahead of all the others, but then you’ll have video streams with knitting, kittens, collecting stones, hybrid cars, wool socks and klingon language classes. And as always when the revolution comes: The ones who starts first will get the best seats. So which traditional tv-companies will get this first? And deliver their quality content via the web? Formatted for this kind of “television”? And compete? I’m not sure if they will understand it at all in the beginning. They’ll just notice that their younger audience is disappearing.

tv - by horrortaxi
(TV by Horrortaxi)

There are reports that Apple and Google already are negotiating about putting Google Video on the iTV from day one. Which means that when you turn on the iTV in your living room, you’ll have everything on Google Video available on your tv-screen with a remote. Think about it.
Continue reading It’s epidemic – soon your tv will have a zillion channels

BBC gets it

BBC will redesign their site, bbc.co.uk, to focus on three concepts: Share, find and play.

The site should be bulit up around usergenerated content like blogs and videos, hoping to become the public service version of MySpace.com. BBC also plan to their entire programme catalogue online.

Ashley Highfield, BBC director of new media and technology says the new site will allow users to “create your own space and to build bbc.co.uk around you”, according to Guardian Unlimited.

At any time you will be able to download any programme from the eight BBC channels and watch it on your PC and, we hope, move it across to your TV set or down to your mobile phone to watch it when you want.

Either the BBC plans a new clever DRM model, or they simply drop the whole DRM thing and let their users do what they want with their programs. If the latter is true, it will be a whole new way of thinking from a major broadcasting company. And a way of thinking that will challenge other public service channels and also commercial channels.

See what other quality sites say about this at TailRank.

Search

BBC today also unveiled a search engine with everything they made: Their own words: “Info about every single BBC programme, ever. It’s a vast catalogue, but it’s not comprehensive. A guarantee of accuracy. We’re very proud of it, but we know there are mistakes.”

Creative future

Now, imagine if all DRM and copyright rules were dropped for one month. All over the world.

Just copying others work and selling it would still be illegal. But making your own versions… Editing it. Adding. Subtracting. Changing. Mix. Fix.

What would happen?

The world would see the most creative month in the history of the world.

Yes, lots of money would be “lost” for the people holding copyrights.
Yes, it would be impossible to change the rules back after a month. Because the results would be mindboggling.
Yes, it would the legal mess the size of Jupiter.

But if I’m elected “One ruler of all humans and planets orbiting the sun”, I would gather the wisest women, men and dolphins on the planet and have them think how this can be done – letting creative people still make lots of money. And at the same time let you and me explore and find new ways to use all the signals surrounding us.

Star Wars x 100

When I saw the first Star Wars movie I heard that George Lucas were going to make nine movies. He ended on six, so he is three behind. Now Lucas is catching up, making a 100 episode tv-series! Great There’s nothing about it on Starwars.com yet…

Update

The TV series spin-off of the Stars Wars film franchise will run to at least 100 episodes, according to producer Rick McCallum.
He told BBC Radio 1 the writing team would soon be meeting to start on the project, which would begin filming in 2008 and be ready the same year.

BBC has more here and here. Seems like each episode will be an hour.

The series will be set between episodes three and four of the film saga. It would cover the 20 years in the life of Luke Skywalker growing up that remains a mystery to most film-goers.

What if every video was tagged?

Basketball blog True Hoop writes about Synergy Sports Technology, a company that will record and tag every miunte of NBA basketball played. The C|Net article they refer to, has an interesting point:

In an e-mail interview, Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner and the co-founder of Broadcast.com, said he has been impressed with Synergy but was “only surprised that it took this long” for a service like this to emerge.

True. Why did it? The concept of tagging things is amazingly simple and still very effective. Now coaches in NBA teams can search any tag and combinations of tags and get video of their team up on their screen. Find “3-point lastminute leftside” or whatever.

Tagging tv

Now let us take this a step further. What if you could search for anything a broadcaster (like NBC in the USA, or BBC in the UK) broadcasts? Search for “laughter” and you get every good joke that made people laugh, in a talk show, a movie, a sports programme etc. Search for “shot”, “goal”, “kiss”, “man”, “woman”, “joke”, “sad” and so on.

Is it possible? Is there a business in this? Why would someone want to do this? Sales? Reuse of material in new programmes? I just find it fascinating, and I would like your comments on what this could be used for.

Tagging movies

What if videos had a system where people could tag them? Ok, let’s say that IMDB.com (Internet Movie Database) made a system where every scene in a movie were listed under the movie. And the movie companies let them do this. They were not to whow the actual movie, just a picture illustrating the scene. Then people could add tags to that scene. “Carchase”, “man”, “sun”, “orange”, “horse”, “Kim Basinger” etc. I’m pretty sure that lots of people would tag their favourite movies in no time.

What could we use these tags for later? Sales? Rentals? Dating? Any ideas?

This database then could be used for rentals, and soon internet downloads. Amazon.com has added tagging of the products they sell, but you can only add tags to the whole product. Would it be useful if you could tag chapters in books?

Apple owns your living room

With the access Apple will no doubt get to Disney (Research)’s vast library of movies and TV shows, iTunes is about to get a huge boost toward becoming the front end for our digital TV and movie experience too.

“What happens when you can beam shows from your computer or iPod wirelessly to your TV?” he asks. “You have a Tivo (and a music player) that you can take anywhere.” IPods and TVs don’t have that ability yet but they will soon, he believes. “iTunes will be the software that runs your living room.”

Fred Vogelstein of Fortune thinks Steve Jobs already owns your living room:

Skeptical? Talk to Jeff Zucker, the new CEO of NBC/Universal. In an interview with Newsweek he said that iTunes had generated $2.5 million in download revenues just in the last three months. He also said it was helping him decide what to air. Because of the unexpected popularity of one show, “The Office,” on iTunes, TV viewership shot up and it won a coveted Thursday night prime time slot.

I wonder how long it takes before Scoble comments on this…

Promax BDA newsletter

Promax is a worldwide organization for people doing promotion and marketing in electronic and broadcast media. BDA is an association of broadcast and multimedia designers. Together, Promax BDA has over 4000 individuals or organizations as members. So I take it as a big honor that the latest newsletter use on of my so-called amazing circles to illustrate an article.

promax-bda-newsletter.jpg

In the newsletter Pamela Robinson continues her series on successful interviewing, and also answers questions from readers of the newsletters. Like this answers from a woman thinking about how having a baby could influence her career.

If you are in the creative arena, there is more of a tolerance and acceptance of kids… in fact many of the creative execs, writers, & directors bring their children to work at times, and have the flexibility to take time off when needed – for a doctor’s appointment or a soccer game. However, the more corporate positions (on the business side) tend to be less tolerant of catering to the children’s needs, and of course this varies from company to company.

I think she is right. In the creative arena, where I work, there IS a bigger tolerance of kids. And their parents! And exactly that is why many of us are so creative. Yes. It’s as simple as this: People who spend a significant amount of time with kids get a new way to look at things. And also learn that there is no need to take themselves so seriously all the time. Not to mention perspective: After washing poo or nursing a fever sick child, you do think differently the next time you sit down with your Wacom tablet. Taking your small kids to work also helps you see things that you didn’t think about at all before: Why did you put that thing over there? Why do you have to do it like that?

I even let the kids make promos with me. They loved it, the result was excellent, and my boss was happy. And the show got lots of viewers.

How to make amazing circles

You make your own amazing circles, the full instructions are here. And do post them on the Amazing circles group at Flickr.

Promax members – upload your pictures!

Promax BDA has conferences all over the world, in cities like Vienna, Dubai, Jakarta, Mumbai and New York this year. If you’re attending on of these conferences, take pictures and upload them to the Promax group at Flickr. So far there are only pictures from Promax Athens 2005, so find those pictures and upload them! See my post about sharing your Promax BDA pictures.

Brand therapy 3

The picture is from a presentation by Carlos Ferreyros, Creative Director of ca square, USA. The slide reads “Vision without action is daydreaming. Action without vision is a nightmare.” I think it is a Japanese proverb. Do you know?

Update: The picture used in the article is also at Flickr, here.

Battlefield 2 Live

NRK2, one of the channels of Norwegian Broadcasting is airing the Battlefield 2 final tonight. It’s a rerun from the Scandinavian finals aired on NRK’s web-tv earlier this year. Since everybody is coming with their predictions for 2006, here’s mine:

Live broadcasts of gaming on national tv will be huge in 2006..

Yes, tv channels will air live games, with the top gamers of the world playing. With commentators, experts, statistics and interviews.

Battlefield-2.jpg

There are so many reasons for this:

1) Some of the best customers for advertisers play games: Males in the age 15-45, and lately also lots of woman in the same age. Which will make advertisers wanting to have their advertising around these shows.
Continue reading Battlefield 2 Live

Fake, fake, fake again

I wrote about a Swedish campaign back in March 2005:

Excellent campaign from the Swedish government. On Flicka.gov.se you can read about how we are being surrounded by messages. About retouching, video effects, clever advertising slogans.

Today it’s on Boingboing. Good thing. This is important. Not because of the Photoshop work done, but because young people need to be shown how they are manipulated thousands of times a day.

Television executives don’t get it

Thomas Hawk thinks greed trumps innovation in the TV industry:

This is what is going on with downloadable television at the moment. Although PVR ownership is growing there is still far too much money on the table for television executives to offer us anything compelling. Why innovate when there is still tons of dough to make in commercials and DVD sales? To offer us a truly compelling service would mean disrupting their current rich, but declining, revenue streams and they are still too lucrative at this point for them to do this. Unfortunately.

So what do they do instead? They offer us a bunch of very limited crap alternatives that people won’t end up using to pay lip service to the idea of video on demand. And whether it’s the crappy “start over” service from Time Warner (hey, it’s great, people can’t skip the ads) or a download service from Apple (but with expensive sucky low res versions of shows) or these two latest offerings from NBC (NBC’s service will only work with DirecTV DVRs, uh hello McFly) and CBS (their service will contain commercials), these are all stupid offerings that have no or limited appeal at best.

Dvorak is Tired

He has been boring for 10 years now. And still is. Boring.

As big and as important as Microsoft is, the coverage of the company is quite mediocre. This is particularly true in the mainstream press. The reason for this is that today’s newspaper and magazine tech writers know little about computers and are all Mac users. It’s a fact. This is why when Microsoft actually does have a good idea, people look to trash it out of hand. With 90 percent of the mainstream writers being Mac users, what would you expect?

Continue reading Dvorak is Tired