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CasparCG Open-Sources Broadcast Playout Server
mjeppsen (621795) writes "CasparCG is a mature live broadcast graphics playout server that recently was released as open-source GPLv3. This free broadcast solution offers a featureset that is challenging proprietary solutions costing many thousands of dollars. To provide some perspective and explanation of what a play out server does, FreshDV has an Q&A with one of the creators of the software."
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Blackmagic Design offers SDK for Linux Developers
mjeppsen writes "Blackmagic Design has announced an SDK for software creators who want to work with DeckLink Intensity and Multibridge products on the open-source Linux platform. Combining the low-cost of the Linux OS with Blackmagic's extensive line of high-end/broadcast video hardware ingest and playback solutions should be an attractive combination for developers."
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Do hard drives lose magnetism when left unpowered?
mjeppsen writes "With the recent proliferation of solid-state media in the video and production industry, editors and videographers are increasingly depending on hard drives to store the original source footage. In the past, there was always the tape to go back to on the shelf, should it all go south. Now, with amazing cameras like the Sony PMW-EX1 and Panasonic HVX-200, footage never touches tape media. So what to do to ensure a good backup of all this footage?
Many large production houses are laying down backups to DLT and other forms of digital tape backup. But for the small guy, the freelancer who has a home office, tape is not always a viable option. I'm that guy. And most of the freelancers I know use some form of hard drive storage to backup their projects. I use multiple copies on multiple drives, and physically separate them at two locations. And until recently, I thought that was a pretty safe process.
In a recent Video Production Buzz podcast, video guru Larry Jordan featured an interview with Lacie's Mike Mihalik. Mike claimed that hard drives are not a viable long-term alternative to tape storage. Specifically, "It's only good for about a year or two, and the reason is the magnetic field on the disk actually degrades. If you simply turn the drive on and read the whole drive over again, you will go ahead and refresh every single sector that's on that." Summary here.
This was the first I'd heard of such a phenomenon, and it worries me deeply. Many of my professional and personal video projects from the last 5 years exist in some form on hard drive backup. To date I've had drive failure before, but not the type described. So, brilliant Slashdot savants, what say you? Is this guy from Lacie greatly oversimplifying a complex topic? Or is he spot on in his assessment that I can't trust the hard drive on the shelf? And if he is correct, are there any Mac/PC/Linux utilities that can be used to mount and read/refresh an entire drive, preferably in a scriptable or automated fashion?"
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The Olympics of Encoding: Live from Beijing
mjeppsen writes "Here's behind the scenes interview with the geeks tasked with encoding Olympic video feeds on the fly and streaming from NBCOlympics.com. They take source feeds from 100+ HD cameras at multiple venues day and night, encode and compress them on the fly, and send every single stream LIVE across the Pacific Ocean via Limelight's CDN. This interview discusses how they managed to pull it all off, and the unique space, power, and heat challenges in their limited allotment of space in the broadcast center server room."
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The Future of Games, Cinema and Online Video
mjeppsen writes "On October 17-18, UC Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive theater will be host to The Conversation, a new breed of conference that will explore the future of Cinema, Games, and Online Video. Instead of standard conference presentations, this event will encourage a discussion with conversation leaders such as ILM's John Knoll, Reed Hastings of Netflix, YouTube's Sara Pollack, Sharad Devarajan of Virgin Comics, and a host of other filmmaking and new media experts. On the surface it looks to be an incredible resource for those in the filmmaking and gaming industry, and I for one will be attending."
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How Can Discovery Save "Smash Lab"
mjeppsen writes "On the surface, Discovery Channel's latest TV series seems like a great idea. "Smash Lab" borrows some of the proven "Mythbusters" formula, mixes in a few hipster hosts, adds a liberal dose of gratuitous slow-motion, and blows a lot of things up. Sounds great, right? Sadly, it is lacking in execution. The science presented on the show is shoddy at best, the concepts and theories appear only casually tested and largely unresearched, and the viewer is thoroughly disrespected. Discovery has a Smash Labs blog and they've been getting absolutely slammed in the comments by viewers. And thanks to the outcry the VP in charge of the show is now requesting viewer feedback on how to improve it. So if you've ever complained that television doesn't have enough real science content, here's your chance to make a difference."
mjeppsen writes "Art Lebedev Studio will begin accepting limited pre-orders on May 20th for the highly-anticipated Optimus Maximus OLED Keyboard. Like all things in life, you get what you pay for...the estimated retail price of the Maximus is $1500. They have posted a price comparison of theirs vs a bundle of other high-dollar non-standard keyboards (some very interesting models there that I've not seen before). Lebedev anticipates that the first 200 models will be completed by the end of November 2007."
mjeppsen writes "Save the planet! This new wireless router from Planex could help chronic Bittorrent junkies conserve a little power and turn off the PC at night.
The MZK-04G is not yet available Stateside, but Planex has historically sold a wide variety of networking products here in the US and this "high-speed broadband rooter" should be no exception. Keep your pasty little fingers crossed..."
mjeppsen writes "Variety is running an article about startup adTV, which hopes to become a YouTube-like site for television adverts.
Planex has released the tall and thin MZK-04G
, an ideal router for users who regularly download gigabytes of data at a time. Critical to this are two features: a pair of USB ports are used to add external hard drives, and the router itself is preloaded with a BitTorrent client, enabling it to download files overnight without keeping a computer on. There are four gigabit Ethernet ports, and the wireless side supports similar speeds, transmitting at up to 997Mbps.
"Videos won't be uploaded by users, but submitted directly by advertisers. That will allow companies to control and coordinate their marketing messages, in stark contrast to the unregulated chaos of sites such as YouTube. 'It's an opportunity for advertisers and consumers to meet,' said Mark Patricof, one of the founders of adTV. He views the service as more of an MTV for commercials, with ads packaged as entertainment for consumers."
Will web users flock to a site that simply shills for advertisers? Are tv commercials a viable source of entertainment? I wonder if the site will have banner ads on it."
mjeppsen writes "Filmmaking experiment A Swarm Of Angels aims to create and distribute the first collaborative Creative Commons licensed film. The project is using community participation and funding to make a film that would traditionally cost $3-4 million for a mere $1.75 million. The entire filmmaking process will be collaborative, from Wiki-based script creation to community voting on creative & marketing decisions. Is this just a scheme by the filmmakers to get funding for a pet project, or Hollywood's worst nightmare? More importantly, can "open-source films" be a sustainable financial model?"
mjeppsen writes "Armadillo Aerospace's entry in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge has crashed, Doom'ing Team Carmack's chances of winning the $350,000 prize.
The rocket, called Pixel, landed with only minor damage after the first leg of the trip. But roughly 2 seconds into its return flight, it started to veer off course, prompting an engine shutdown. Pixel landed on its side and crashed near the launch pad.
'The crash started a small fire. When firefighters put it out, the surrounding sand got wet and froze to the rocket's chilled oxygen tank. As a result, Pixel will probably become scrap parts for Armadillo.
What I found most interesting about the article was that "Pixel" only cost $50,000 to make...though I don't suppose they are accounting for time and labor in that figure."
mjeppsen writes "Penguin Pete offers some insightful tips for the ladies on how to date a geek guy. #5 rings especially true:
"Humor his "shop talk". If he works as a freelance coder or consultant or has a small start-up, he might not have a lot of people to talk about work with. If so, expect that he'll dump about ten minutes per day of incomprehensible babble at you. Put on your "I'm listening" face and wait til the stream of talk about his latest programming language pet peeve or hardware frustration or anti-DRM rant passes, then relax. You're done with it for another day, and geek guys need to share this kind of stuff as a way to explain it to themselves. Keep him in mind that you're not his debugger, however.""
mjeppsen writes "The Motion Picture Association of America is turning a blind eye towards movie piracy on Usenet, going after torrent link sites instead. PC Magazine says it is because the studios are in bed with GUBA, who is also shilling downloadable movies for the MPAA at a premium price."
mjeppsen writes "Usenet giant GUBA recently partnered with major movie studios to shill downloadable films and content. It's as if the Motion Picture Association of America didn't realize that GUBA provides subscription-based access to Usenet binaries, content that is growing at the rate of nearly two terabytes daily of copyrighted and "pirated" material. On the contrary, the MPAA appears to be turning a blind eye to the issue.
PCMag commentator Mark Hachman made some calls to MPAA representatives, and I think you'll agree that the response was suprisingly tepid from an agency with an established reputation for ruthlessness: "It's our understanding that Guba.com is committed to using 'Johnny' (a content filter) to filter MPAA movies on their network," the spokeswoman said. "They've been working with us in good faith, and they'll continue to do so."
If the MPAA continues to ignore GUBA "in good faith", I would argue that they undermine the very stance they have taken against P2P and torrent-index sites."
mjeppsen writes "With a nod to The Colbert Report, media analysis group The Global Language Monitor reports the two top television buzzwords for this year include 'Truthiness' and 'Wikiality', among others.
The full list:
5. Dr. McDreamy
6. Bush's War
7. Man of the hours
10. Falling Starr
Check the official press release for full explanations of the top 10."
mjeppsen has no journal entries.