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HD is King

Or so you would believe from this year's IBC exhibition in Amsterdam.

Today I got to get the real work done. I got to see the new HD set top boxes from Amino, and I managed to get hold of the last pieces of the IPTV puzzle we have been building.

The real bling for me was the ranges of camera equipment being shown by Sony and Grass Valley. They had both set up and lit a complex set, with each camera showing the resulting HD above it. The crispness of detail in the HD pictures was stunning.

More fun stuff was the HD virtual set being being shown off by Orad, called Proset. They demonstrated their system live, with a news presenter in a combination real and chroma key studio, inserting all the graphics that are usually seen overlaid on top of the screen into the scene itself. The cameras were free moving, but motion tracked using sensors on the cameras and in the studio. TV graphics are cheesy at best though, now the cheese is part of the set.

The big showcase of the day however was the screening of Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man's Chest on a Christie 2K DLP Cinema projection system. Digital cinema technology, being called D Cinema, has come about in response to the rise of HD, and as a solution to the high cost of film print distribution. The 2K refers to the number of lines on the screen. It was impressive stuff. The only flaw I picked up that may have been caused by the projector, was that the end credits didn't scroll smoothly for some reason - there seemed to be a slight amount of jitter. Still, at data rates of 250Mbps, D Cinema is impressive.


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