Category Archives: equipment and technology

DIY Video Production

Production Directorate Managing Director Jonathan Smith was recently interviewed by music & social media guru Dan Maierle about getting good video results on a budget.   The column is aimed for aspiring music artists, but it has some useful observations for anyone looking to get sharp results.

Check out An Artists’ Guide to Video Production: 5 Questions for a Pro at Music, Marketing and the Social Web.

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The line between TV and Web gets blurrier in HD.

Wired has a good review of some of the latest gadgets on the market that stream media without discriminating between online and broadcast.   Google TV may have had some launch hiccups, but its arrival (and that of peer competitors) seems to be nudging the technology along.   In the Wired review, Logitech’s Revue set-top box with Google TV comes out on top… but at $300, it will take another generation or two of technology before reliable, widespread adoption takes place.    Of course, in tech, a generation gets shorter and shorter every day.

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Big, big camera technology news

Small, relatively inexpensive, lightweight ‘prosumer’ cameras like the Sony PD150 and Panasonic DVX series brought a sea change to the world of film and television production.    They made it possible for one person to shoot and maneuver without attracting much attention in situations normally requiring a crew and a lot of equipment.

The RED One camera was a game changer for the film industry for somewhat different reasons — it makes an astonishing amount of firepower and a gorgeous image available for less than what it would otherwise cost (still very expensive by most standards).   Production types like us have been salivating over the idea of these two trends overlapping to create a lightweight, inexpensive prosumer RED camera.    It seems that day has finally arrived with the advent of the RED Scarlet.   TechCrunch has a review here.

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The revolution around the corner…

…is about a lot more than just “apps” and “smartphones.”   When buzzwords get to critical mass, it’s natural for people to start to tune them out.   In this case, the technology behind the terminology — more precisely, the implications of the technology — really are nothing short of astonishing.   It’s more than just “the internet on a phone,” and there’s a good reason media people like us are paying such close attention.   Printing presses, telegraphs, radios and televisions were all disruptive technologies in their day.

For a sense of what’s on the horizon (and for a sense of why this relevant to a lot more than the media business), check out this Wired writeup about Google’s thinking about Android.  An excerpt:

“I don’t think people figured out how much more powerful the mobile devices would become than desktops,” [Google CEO Eric Schmidt] said, referring not to their processors, but for their ability to keep a user connected to the net everywhere and use location to customize the net.

 

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Smartphones are the gamechanger — Android will make it universal

Apple established and still controls the most important marketplace for smartphones and app technology. They built the road and proved the concept, but Apple’s interest is not in operating a massive twelve-lane interstate highway system to take everyone anywhere they want to go… but that’s what the market wants and what it can sustain.

Android may be the second fiddle technology for now, but it won’t be for long. Check out this snapshot of smartphone trends in Wired’s Gadget Lab to get a sense of where things are headed, “One in Five Mobiles Sold Are Smartphones (One in Four run Android)

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Not since Moses has there been such excitement over tablets…

Will Apple’s tablet save print media?   Not sure.   Do we love Apple and depend on its splendid products for our very survival?  Yes of course.   Are we reluctant to add one more entry into a blogosphere running wild with Apple tablet fantasies?   And how!

Enthusiastic speculating creates delicious buzz for Apple, but it seems a little premature in the absence of a product and verifiable facts.   The theme of Apple’s new tablet doing for print media what iTunes did for music pops up a lot, and we’re interested to see if it becomes the game-changer the industry needs.   Here‘s a good Wired.com article on that question.   To quote:

Apple’s goal is to offer a new platform for content creators to reinvent books, magazines and online content — in addition to offering a new avenue for content producers to make money. That platform will likely be far broader than just a tablet device, and will extend to every device or computer that iTunes touches.

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DIY Diffusion

Drawer liner as cheap, effective diffusion.   Great idea: http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Gary-Fong-Lightsphere/

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