This week, Scott Wilkinson is at the "THE Show" (The Home Entertainment Show). Scott says it's a stereo home entertainment show and it's amazing just how popular stereo is. THE Show is at the Hotel Irvine and it's all about speakers, preamps, and power amps. There are also tube amps, which many love the sound of. Tube amps are very retro but the sound is fantastic. They aren't as powerful as solid state amps, though. It's all about a high resolution audio movement, which effects us more emotionally than mp3s.
Scott attended a meeting that indicated that virtual reality is the next great trend in cinematography. It's in its infancy, but cinematographers should start experimenting with shooting in VR by using cheaper cameras like the Ricoh Theta S. Leo says that may be true, but he prefers to be told a story, and told what to look at. When you're looking around, if you think about it, the story teller has failed in telling that story.
Leo does say that Virtual Reality is great for gaming though.
So the Jungle Book came out and Leo says it's fantastic. But they made the deliberate choice to make a combination live action for the human actors, and then CGI for the rest of the animals in the Jungle. The reason is something called "the uncanny valley," which states that as humans, we are so fine tuned to how a human being should look and if it's the slightest bit off, we instantly see how fake it is. We don't get that with animals or other animated characters. So in the Jungle Book, it completely works.
Scott is back from NAB and he went early to attend the "Future of Cinema" conference. He saw a film by Ang Lee that was shot in native 3D on a pair of Sony F65 Cinema Cameras at 120fps. 5 times more than standard 24p. Scott says that for showcasing the film in conventional theaters at 120 fps, they will have to project it in 2K. Some say it looks like video, not a movie. But Scott says that's because we're so used to the way it's looked for the last 100 years. Now that we have better technology, we should keep moving forward. And theaters can always down shift the frame rate.
LG is coming out with a new design for their C series line of OLED TVs. Scott says that while a design change is a good thing, and only the C6 is now curved, it doesn't change the technology powering it. It's just a different design, and a flatter design is a great thing.
Scott joins us to talk about the new Dolby Atmos Soundbar. The idea of superior sound is to get a greater sense of immersion and Atmos adds to the effect of surround sound. It puts the sound above you so that it comes at you from every direction. Atmos does this by bouncing the audio off the ceiling. Then, using DSP, it can create a simulated surround sound effect. Leo wonders if it would be better to have two really good stereo speakers, rather than 7 surround sound speakers that may not be as good. Scott says that is a good argument. But the center channel is where the voice should be.
Scott has big news that Vizio has changed the name of the game in big screen TVs. On Tuesday, Vizio announced the P-Series, which has much of the R-Series features for 1/3 of the price. It comes with HDR with Dolby Vision, and it will get a firmware update in 90 days that will give users HDR10 as well. This is huge because it should drastically drop the price of HDR 4K TVs fairly quickly.
Leo hears that there's a new Atmos Sound Bar. Is it worth it? Scott says that the new UltraHD Premium Spec supports Atmos in the home and it should sound great. And more UHD Blu-ray titles are coming out. Sony is one of four studios that have released UHD Blu-rays as well as Fox, Universal and Lionsgate. So we're coming up to the transition of a new format in home entertainment. Scott even believes that the move to UHD will be faster than when we transitioned from DVD to Blu-ray. And it won't be that much more on the onset.
Scott has discovered that DirecTV will be broadcasting the Masters Golf Tournament in 4K on April 7-10th. It will be their first UHD broadcast. Leo wonders how much that signal will be compressed. Scott contacted DirecTV and found that they will be using AGVC as the codec. But he also found out that DirecTV won't say what the bitrate is. Leo says it's like Netflix doing the same thing, and it ends up being awfully compressed and leaves people with an inaccurate and negative impression of what 4K really is. Scott also says that high dynamic range will be missing as well.
Today we're talking about hi resolution audio, with the Pono Player and the Revealer firmware. The Revealer is a firmware update which enables to improve the quality of audio.