Going Native - AvNetwork.com

Going Native

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In the ever-evolving world of event production technology, event producers must strive to create exhibitions that will captivate audiences with breathtaking images uncharacteristic of most presentation systems.

One of the greatest challenges in the event production industry is ensuring that your viewers absorb your clients message. People are bombarded daily with the stimuli of the information age, and the event presentation business must keep up.

That said, we need a technique that doesnt compromise image quality on any level--enter high definition. High definition is quickly emerging as a mainstream IMAG and video/data solution for event producers because it delivers the clarity that connects the viewers to the message. Working with high definition provides your clients with an unparalleled level of visual appeal for their audience.

Within a show environment, high-definition provides exquisite images to enhance presentations--from image magnification, to video playback, to making graphic images pop. With high definition, all elements of a show--including live camera images or video playback segments--converge as a powerful medium.
Running a show in high definition solves a common dilemma faced in the event presentation business: whether to run the show signal path in high resolution - compromising video quality--or to run the show digitally in standard definition (SDI), which involves scaling the video resolution down, thus compromising computer images.

The other approaches to high definition--conventional SDI or using high-resolution scaling equipment--pale in comparison to standards set by high definition. Conventional SDI delivers a vivid video image; however, its shortcomings stem from scaling the computers high-resolution signals down to SDI. We prefer this approach when events are mainly video-driven with source material, such as image magnification and video playback.
Alternatively, using a high-resolution scaling device also has disadvantages. When converting videotape and camera images using a high-resolution switching system scaling device, computer images look impressive, while you sacrifice the quality of the original video image. These images may look soft or have jagged edges. We recommend this approach for presentations such as computer software demos or ones with lots of graphic images. However, by using either of these methods, you lose the image quality from either computer or the video materials when displayed on screen.

One of the most popular versions of high definition is 1080i. This standard propels image quality into an unprecedented arena, as cameras can record, switch and display images in the same resolution--1920 x 1080i. Graphics and video can be displayed at this resolution using high definition, creating clearer, crisper images. Graphics are usually produced in a XGA (1024 x 768) or SXGA (1280 x 1024) resolution, whereas the high-definition solution gives the graphics operator the ability to produce images in the same native format, 1920 x 1080i. This mirrors the same resolution that the high-definition cameras are producing, which equates to breathtaking, razor-sharp images you see on high-definition channels.

Also, products such as the new Snell & Wilcox Kahuna multi-format video switcher eliminate the need for conversion equipment because it allows native standard-definition or high-definition signals to be layered inside the unit.

In addition, 2K resolution cameras for IMAG are now being used. To create 2K resolution graphics, a computer must have a display card with the capability to display 1920 x 1080i, and then you need a device that can convert DVI to HDSDI to complete the process.
Now, you may ask, why not just do it the traditional way by blending two or more standard-definition images on a wide screen? The answer is simple: quality. High definition delivers more vibrant images in its native format (1920 x 1080i). By utilizing a high definition system in conjunction with 2k chip high definition projectors, what was once done with two or more stacks of projectors is now possible with a single stack. Thus, complicated edge-blending procedures are unnecessary, as there is only one projected image to display. Conversely, wide-screen edge blending has its limitations. By using a scaling method to make pictures fit onto a wide screen to simulate high definition, video image quality and graphic resolution decrease, since it is difficult to achieve perfect edge blends with all types of media.

Another downfall of edge-blending on a wide screen is the threat of the racing stripe effect. This effect is caused by projectors mismatched images overlapping in areas that cover the entire screen. Media limitations such as these can be avoided by using a single, high definition projector.

A new generation of DLP projectors--referred to as digital cinema projectors--complete the link in the digital, high-definition chain. They use a 16 x 9 native DLP(tm) chip running at 2048 x 1080 to support high definitions widescreen cinematic display capabilities. This allows video images to be captured and displayed uncompressed, creating a brilliant, vivid image on the screen.

High definition gives clients a quality option to consider. While there may be cost elements associated with using high definition for your next presentation, it truly delivers the highest caliber picture for your audience. It wont be long before event producers become hooked on the best in their industry. Any presenter can benefit from a flawless transition from camera to screen that is sure to rivet any audience.


Bottling Show Magic

In the ever-evolving presentation industry--where productions are packed with multi-sensory simulating elements and stunning graphics--many are nothing short of breathtaking. We in the industry face a new challenged to be able to "package" or "can" our labor of love in a DVD, or some type of portable format, so those who didn't experience the show first-hand can experience the "next best thing to being there."

The Flavors of High Definition. By Les Goldberg

As high-definition video becomes more mainstream, understanding the "flavors" of high definition is crucial to finding the right fit for each show. It's often difficult to cut through the jargon and identify, which format is appropriate for your show. Here's a breakdown of what's out there, starting at the top.

BARCO Tech Tip: Go Forth and Educate Thyself!

One of the best "tech tips" I can provide is to take a few hours each month and learn something new about our industry.  This education can take many forms.  For example, one could take a formal class, such as a manufacturer's training session, attend a meeting of one of the many professional associations that support the events market, or simply spend time on the web researching and browsing on various association web sites.

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Going Flat Out

LCD flat panels continue to evolve–with thinner profile displays, thinner bezels/mullions, and LED backlighting developments. And there continue to be innovations in non-LED videowalls, OLED and a variety of display technologies. There have never been so many choices available for the market.