2016 NAB Wrap #2

Of course resolution is also a big deal at the trade shows. 4K is here and in use, everywhere. I had seen an 8K camera and monitor a few years ago at the show and now someplace in South Korea is broadcasting such ridiculous images. For viewing at home that’s overkill. Or is it?

Because of my affiliation with Polecam and the Toshiba cameras I use, I made sure to stop by and see the working 4K Toshiba camera, the IK-4K. It was being shown on a smaller booth with a ginormous 60 inch screen that you could get right up against your face. Seeing 4K like that is pretty cool.

You can see in the picture the IK-4K is pretty small. Maybe 3 inches front to back including the lens. It was positioned about 3 or 4 inches from some small objects. The 4K signal is sent out as four individual quadrants and then stitched back together with an external device. In this instance it was run through an Odssey Q7+. From there to the big screen. When blown up and shown on 60 inches and at 10 inches away, you could see dust particles on the watch face that were invisible to the human eye. Amazing quality. Color rendition was also superb. Cost is pretty reasonable as well at around $14K for camera head, CCUI and cables. It’s not on the list just yet but it was definitely impressive to see it working.

And as I eluded to in a previous post, Virtual Reality (or VR) was also being showcased. There was even a pavilion for people to go experience it and the line to get it was quite long. In essence, VR content is shot with cameras that can see 360 degrees around an object.  The images are stitched together in editing software and the experience is then left up to the viewer. The video is then synced with audio and a motion detection system. So, when you are wearing the goggles and you move your head, the view around you changes. And it changes as fast as you move.

My experience was pretty interesting. I watched a movie that was about 10 minutes long and I was literally a participant in the film. I was not handed anything but I was in the middle of the action with others talking around me. As I looked around (moved my head) the sound would move with it really giving you the sensation that you were there. Now, the subject of the story was pretty foreign to me so I didn’t understand what was happening right away and wasn’t sure how to interact with the surroundings. As the story played out I enjoyed the experience more, but found the story line a hard one in which to participate.

In the end, I think VR content has a bright future. You can totally do some interesting things with it. For now I think it is better purposed to show places and things (like interesting locations or models of new buildings or cars) rather than let you live out a story delivered as content. There is just to much of a disconnect where understanding you are dealing with a concept model and manipulating it as such is more believable. Just my impression. You can choose your own reality.