AFL fans should get ready to enjoy a wild slather of live broadcasts, as Channel Seven, Foxtel and Telstra today announce that they have joined forces to broadcast every match live all over the country through a variety of media. The most notable is the inclusion of a digital streaming inclusion that will see all matches streamed live over NextG to mobiles and tablets.
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One of the biggest hurdles for the upcoming release of 3D televisions in Australia is the lack of content. Sure, there'll be a handful of 3D Blu-ray discs, but Foxtel aren't planning on doing anything until next year, and the free to air networks are struggling enough with the concept of high definition, let alone 3D. Except that last part may not be true... According to Lara Sinclair in the Australian, SBS is looking into the possibility of broadcasting the FIFA World Cup in 3D later this year.
The NAB has been battling white spaces networks for years, but the technology that repurposes unused TV spectrum as a Wi-Fi signal is finally getting a trial period in Claudville, Virginia.
From the outside, it looks like a regular truck: Your typical Isuzu chassis with a van on the back. If you drove past it on the road, you'd barely notice it. But when you step inside, it's a wonderland of dials, knobs, screens and buttons – a technological nerdgasm – and it's what makes your coverage of live sports events so entertaining. And yesterday at SMPTE09, I got to take a look inside two custom trucks built especially for Thoroughbred Racing Productions (TRP).
As most of you know, commercial analogue TV in this country will become all but extinct on February 17th 2009. However, the digital revolution begins today in Wilmington NC. Basically, the town and its 197,760 TV-watching households will serve as guinea pigs for the nationwide rollout. The town has been bombarded with information about the switch, but the powers that be will be watching closely to see what unfolds. Will throngs of old people run screaming into the streets when Wheel of Fortune goes black? We will just have to wait and find out.
In case you didn't already know, broadcasters can slip "flags" into TV shows telling your DVR to not record it or to delete it when it hits an expiration date. TiVo users last had a run-in with the auto-delete flag a couple years ago (Media Centre users had a more recent taste), but it looks like it's back and haunting Star Trek fans.
Steve Jobs didn't mention video features for the iPhone 3G or the new iPhone OS 2.0 but, thankfully, developers are working hard on it. Flixwagon has now created the first-ever video broadcast client for any iPhone. Just open the application, point the camera, and start transmitting video over the web.
Last week, courtesy of NBC, people with a Windows Media Centre DVR setup got a rude reminder that broadcasters can flip a switch (called a broadcast flag) to tell DVRs not to record a show. Here's the thing: Honouring the flag is actually optional for software and hardware makers, after courts smacked down the FCC proposal to make them mandatory. But Microsoft has confirmed that they do whatever the broadcaster tells them, again, even though they don't have to. NBC hasn't confirmed yet whether or not the American Gladiatorsflag was intentional, but their history doesn't give me a fuzzy feeling.
Recently, some Windows Media Center owners were blocked from recording American Gladiators and Medium because of an incorrectly set broadcast flag from NBC. What's the deal here? The broadcasters (NBC, ABC, HBO) can turn on a flag in their data stream that tells whatever DVR machine on your end that it's NOT alright to record a show, protecting Pay-Per-View or premium channel content from being archived. This has actually been around for years.
With vital measurements of 1.6-inches cubed and 65 grams in weight, Toshiba's IK-HD1 waltzes in to easily steal the "Smallest HDTV Camera, Ever" title. Packed to the miniature eyeballs with three CCD chips, the 1K-HD1 can capture video at broadcast-quality at 1080i, but it won't be making its way to your camcorder anytime soon. The tiny marvel is actually intended for professional broadcasting, and needs to be hooked up to a rather sizable control unit, which can be placed up to 90-feet away. It appears Mr Professional Broadcasting wins again. Dammit.
Gather around, class. I said, shut-up fools! Recess is over and I'm gonna tech you suckas a lesson. See this picture? That's Verizon FiOS streaming a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in HD. Mr. T likes those Red Hot Chili Peppers and Mr. Anthony Keidis with his long, flowin' hair. And Mr. T doesn't mind pointing out that Mr. Anthony Keidis has quite the bicep at 17.73 Mbps.
Holophone was displaying a pair of new surround sound mics that looked more like alien spacecraft than microphones. The H3-D pictured here is the follow-up to the $6K H2. But dang, these things aren't cheap. The company's managed to get the price point down to a more palatable $1600 by using its own microphones inside this bulbous enclosure.
But those prices are no big deal to the pro broadcasters who'll be using the things—they're primarily designed to be used for recording crowds at sporting events and concerts. They're described by their makers as the easiest way to capture surround sound.
The yet-to-be-released H4 Super Mini is designed to be used as a camera-mounted mic, runs for five hours on four AA batteries, and comes with an analog-to-digital converter. Pricing for that one should be around $2600. – Charlie White and Curtis Joe Walker
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Sitting on their own outside was a collection of satellite trucks, news vans, remote location vehicles; basically, a car show for broadcast geeks.
Varying in size from Hummer H2 all the way up to semi-truck sized rigs, we were shooed away when the subject of pricing was broached. "If you have to ask, you can't afford it." Well, maybe if we blog really really hard, Santa will bring us one for Christmas. – Curtis Joe Walker and Charlie White
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