Thursday, March 30, 2006

CinemaTech: Days look numbered for Sony's UMD

We at Video Thing love obsolete video formats. Betamax, LaserDisc, Ced discs, you name it. Now it looks like Sony's cute lil' UMD's are going the way of the dodo due to Licensing fees:
The latest proprietary media format to fizzle? Sony's Universal Media Disc format, developed for its PlayStation Portable. Anyone who wanted to produce movies on UMD had to pay Sony a license fee, and the movies only played in that one Sony device.Now two studios, Universal (coincidentally) and Paramount seem to have stopped supporting the format, according to this piece from The Hollywood Reporter.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A filmmaking robot

Not sure what exactly makes this guy's remote cameras "robots", but the idea is compelling... sort of like automatically-generated, artsy, surveillance-films.
This robot makes short films based on its visual experience. Its eyes travel about the city on buses while the body sits in a gallery. The eyes collect snippets of video, and transmit them to the body when their buses come within range of a Cafenet wireless internet node. The robot body splits the video into individual frames and analyses each one, obtaining twenty numbers reflecting the arrangement of colour, shape and detail within the frame. These numbers are treated as coordinates in a twenty dimensional space, in which distance is somewhat related to visual difference. For twelve hours a day the robot traces a zigzagging path through this space. This path passes through a series of images, which become a video sequence. Visitors to the gallery can see this video, called variously the robot's 'dream' or 'stream of consciousness'. At the end of the day the robot looks over its days work and joins the best parts together as a finished film. The robot uses neural networks and heuristic rules to choose waypoints for its daily dream, but the finished film is mainly selected for the smoothness of its movement through the space. The robot will remember everything it sees until it has five million images in its mind, after which it will replace its least favourite images with new ones. In addition to getting images from the eyes, the robot creates false memories by combining and manipulating well-liked and overused images.


Monday, March 27, 2006

Winter Forest

A truly amazing piece of motion graphics by jake Portman and Bill Sneed.
Thanks Nick! Found Via

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

MythTV on Mac x86

Via Make: The MythTV 'homebrew' PVR project has a promising Intel Mac OS X build coming along. More info and background on the project here. Could be very promising on an intel Mac Mini.

RES Magazine: 3d video from a couple of iSights

The January/February issue of RES Magazine has an interesting article on how to make 3D videos with a pair of Apple iSights. We'll post a link when the article gets archived, otherwise, grab yourself a copy!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Video Thing eBay of the day: Anti-Lust Machine ( circuit bent video synth )

Well, I can't really check out the web site this guy refers to since I'm at work, but the description alone won the "Anti Lust Machine" a VT eBay of the day post:
Up for sale is a circuit bent video synth created by Corneilius Brown in 1999. It was originally designed to control the sexual stimulation of large crowds or individuals. It accepts customized slides and projects them onto any video screen. (TVs, video projectors, etc). It also displays colorful geometric shapes that change with the control unit. The two video sources combine to create a very strange phenomenon. [...] I made a website dedicated to Corneilius (no not 'Cornelius') Brown. I put most of the pictures on there because I'm not sure if ebay would accept them or not due to their sexual nature.
PLEASE visit the website as it has more pictures and info...

eBay: Anti-Lust Machine ( circuit bent video synth ) (item 7399443155 end time Mar-26-06 09:23:02 PST)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Video Sampling Paintbrush & Canvas

Easier to see than explain- Painting from video sampling. Imagine the coolness of Painter (the paint program) hooked up to a digital camera.

Watch this MIT demo to see one possible future of "live" art.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sony decides against downsampling on analog HDTV

This is the first good thing I've heard about any of the competing HD media formats: Sony decides against downsampling on analog HDTV.
Initially, both the HD DVD and Blu Ray specs included DRM that required an HDMI connection in order to play HD out to a TV. So if you were one of the many people who purchased an HDTV before the industry had picked its poison and started sticking HDMI jacks on the sets, you were screwed. The players were going to downconvert your HD signal to standard def if you used the (then standard) component connectors. Looks like maybe Sony is coming around after all their horrible DRM "rootkit" debacles (at least on this issue) and to be honest, as a non HDMI set owner, it was the biggest issue to me.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Movie Cards

We-make-money-not-art has a post about another tangible movie editing interface for kids, this one is based on cards that are arranged in a sort of storyboard style.
we make money not art: Tangible movie editing for kids

Monday, March 06, 2006 New study questions mobile TV and music hype

For some reason I keep getting pegged as a mobile media guy, and people are often surprised when I say that I'm not too interested in cellphones as content delivery devices. I think that treating networked handheld devices as little televisions is a mistake. It might be ok for ipods (which can output to televisions, etc and hold tons of music, movies, and pictures), but it's really ignoring the strengths of a cellphone. A cellphone's weakness is it's tiny screen and speaker. Its strengths are the camera, your address book of contacts, its network connection. As devices they beg for something more complicated than one-way traditional media. I think they are awesome as content aquisition and blogging devices, and I think there's a huge opportunity for some new, crazy networked games on them.

According to a survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets, about 75 percent of roughly 1,000 people polled said they had no interest in watching TV on their cell phones. And about 70 percent said they didn't see themselves using their cell phones for musical entertainment.

Image found via: notes from somewhere bizarre

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Karl Klomp

In the pomp tradition of Reed Ghazala, Karl Klomp calls his video glitch art "hyperkinetic audio visuals". They are pretty cool though, and moreso is his list of circuit bent video devices.

Found Via Data is Nature