Philips Cinema 21:9 Display

picture-4Philips just announced a 21:9 display promising to “[let] you enjoy movies as you would in the cinema and just as the director intended.” This seems interesting, but none of the math works out here. According to their press release:

Cinema 21:9 boasts a 56” screen that is shaped in the 21:9 aspect ratio, so movies in the 2.39:1 format completely fill the screen – exactly as you experience at the cinema.

Now, I’ve never seen a 2.39:1 film, I’ve seen 1.33, 1.66, 1.78, 1.85, 2:1, and 2.35 (if you want to go back to Cinemascope, then also 2.66). More than that, 21:9 actually comes out to 2.33, not 2.39. Though I’d guess they were rounding since 2.35 really equates to 21.15:9.

Now, while I’m a gadget-geek and this definitely piques my interest, I really have to doubt the appeal of a 2.35 (or 2.39 or 2.33, whatever it ends up being) screen. While it is clearly aimed at the “movie lovers,” how will people feel about watching HD content pillar-boxed? What about all the content that still is 4:3?  And moreover, since there is no HD standard that supports a native 2.35:1 aspect, will the device simply scale up and crop the stream (is the display actually 1920×817)? I have a feeling the display really doesn’t offer increased resolution, just a large, cropped 1080p display.

Call me a nay-sayer, but I just don’t see this catching on.

[via PromoMotion]

Jobs Takes Medical Leave from Apple

My Twitter feed was ablaze starting about an hour ago with variations of the above headline. Many news agencies are also reporting the same. The report is that he’ll be gone through June. But I’m not sure. I agree with Ryan Block:

Jobs finally stepping down (even if only for a few months), huh? I dunno, something in my gut tells me he might not be back.

We’ll see what happens over the coming months. Bot one thing can be certain: nearly every day most, if not all, of the tech blogs will be speculating and looking for information from their “sources” about Jobs’ health.
I just hope the man can get some peace.

JVC’s Newest Camera with Quicktime Support

Just a quick note. JVC apparently announced the GY-HM100 at the FCPUG Supermeet at Macworld last night. The camera looks to record XDCAM-EX inside Quicktime to SD cards. This would mean going directly from camera to post with no transcoding/re-wrapping.

Scott Simmons has some details from JVC’s Japanese site. We should be hearing more today.

Update (8:56am CST): The link is up on JVC’s English site. [via editblog]

25th Estate – This Is Where We Live

An amazing stop-motion piece by Apt Studio & Asylum Films for the Fourth Estate (blog) 25th anniversary. The attention to detail and simpe (yet encompassing) aesthetic have me watching it several times and still seeing something new.

For more information, visit (I especially recommend the videos page), the 5th Estate blog (not a typo), and the Apt portfolio & blog.

Without further adieu, 25th Estate (full screen recommended):

This Is Where We Live from 4th Estate on Vimeo.

[shoutout to Tim H on Facebook]

Upgrade your iPhone Camera Lens

789_iphone_t_mobile_g1_htc_phone_wide_angle_lens_1USBfever is selling 2x telephoto, 0.7x wide-angle macro, and fish-eye lenses for the iPhone. They attach with a magnetic ring with a self-adhesive backing. Now, it’s no secret that the iPhone camera sucks, but they are so prevalent that some have managed to get better-than-mediocre pictures.. At US$16.99 each ($19.99 for the fish-eye), it might be with it to pick one up. Throw in Camera Bag (App Store), and you have a nifty little toy camera!

[via core77]

Good read on FCP-L

A lengthy but interesting thread popped up on FCP-L. What started out as a simple off-topic post about the new Canon 5D-MkII evolved into tapeless vs tape, digital vs film, and even the evolution of nonlinear editing. At some point I will probably go through and pull out my favorite posts, but for now, I just wanted to get the link up. It’s definitely worth scanning through.

Online Video Attention Spans

We all know attention spans diminish rapidly once content moves online. With traditional mediums such as theater, television, and radio, you have a relatively captive audience (though I believe lessening as you go down that short list). True someone may get up during a TV show, but they’re still mostly just sitting there with the sole purpose of watching the program on the box.

Online entertainment is a different story, especially for video-based content. Personally, I believe it is a combination of the “snack mentality” and multitasking. In the former, people just want a little bit of something. They usually don’t go online with the sole intent of watching this video or that, they go online to be entertained or gather news & information. The specifics usually aren’t that important ((Notice I say “usually.” Sometime people fire up the YouTube for a certain video. Also, research is also a pretty targeted task. One doesn’t often say “You know, I think I’m going to research… something.”)).

More to the point, TubeMogul recently posted a study in which they tracked how long users would watch a video. The results aren’t really surprising: Roughly 90% of people watch more than 10 seconds, while fewer than 10% will watch more than five minutes, which a fairly strait drop-off as you move between the two. Though there is a slightly larger dip once the one minute mark is passed.

Though, as with all statistics, the numbers make little sense without context.

For a two-week period, we measured viewed-seconds for a sample of 188,055 videos, totaling 22,724,606 streams, on six top video sites

So we know it’s from a variety of sites and (likely) a variety of different videos. The thing I believe is missing is context, namely the type of videos. For example, I have a fairly low tolerance for for shaky cell-phone footage of some dude wiping out on his bike. However, I will often watch most narrative (and the more traditional documentary) pieces through to the end, provided they are intriguing & interesting.

Many times at work, we are constantly talking about this magical “two-minute threshold,” where if a video is longer than two minutes, it’s often too long. However, I tend to disagree. I don’t think there is a hard threshold. If something is engaging, people will watch, provided the have the time. There’s just a difference between watching someone else’s antics and being told a story.

For the sake of argument, many on-line videos are just images of something that (generally) regular people are doing. Dropping Mentos in Diet-Coke, someone’s kid doing something silly, high-school students left to their own devices with a camera ((If you’re a high-school student and reading this, just put the camera down, seriously. Just think about what you are going to be documenting. Chances are, it’s really not a good idea… at all.))… I, and I believe many people, just don’t have a high tolerance for any lengthy video in that category. I believe this is the reason for the rapid fall-off in the TubeMogul chart. Those videos just aren’t worth our attention when our time is finite.

What I would be curious to see is a break down of types of videos. I firmly believe that people will sit down and watch more of an online video if it is narrative or  a more traditional documentary. But I could be wrong. It’s been known to happen once-in-a-while.

[via korrejohnson]

[update: also posted this on the All About Face blog.]

Apple Leaving Macworld after 2009

Apple has announced 2009 will be its last year at Macworld. I’m surprised, yet not at the same time.

Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers.

This follows the trend Apple started (I believe) when they pulled out of NAB 2007. I will be interested to see what Macworld will become without a Stevenote ((This we’ll actually see this year as Phil Schiller wil be delivering the keynote.)) or Apple booth.

[via Ryan Block]