LED TV: Much Ado About a Little

The recent media blitz about LED TV had me sufficiently intrigued by this weekend that I finally headed to Best Buy to see the thing for myself. After a closer look, I have to say I'm pretty underwhelmed.
I didn't spend a lot of time evaluating LG or Samsung's claims while I was there, but it looks like what you have is basically the same old LCD TV we're used to, except now LED's take the place of the old-school backlight technology. I saw a modest improvement on the slurring of text crawl messages, so I guess we'll have slightly more legible tornado warnings. Swell. I didn't see the display go to black, but I'm assuming they can darken the LED's with the picture, which would improve it's likeness to conventional TV. It's also considerably thinner than a regular TV, so I suppose that's a huge improvement, architecturally speaking. The bottom line is, your existing TV shouldn't be losing sleep over this one, but if I was in the market for a replacement, this is enough of an incremental improvement that it would probably win out.


Shoot-Out: Varicam, RED & 35mm film

Next week Nmedia will conduct a shoot-out, comparing the new 'Red' camera against the two favorites from our shop: a Panasonic HDX900 with the Pro 35 adapter, our Arriflex 35, and we're borrowing a new Red camera for the purpose of this test. We're going to shoot several setups with all three cameras, and we hope it's going to give you (as well as our DP's) a look at the real differences between these three platforms. Stay tuned...we'll post the results on the new 3.0 next week.

Mobile TV Looks Promising, But Can It Work For All Of Us?

I've been following with great interest all the hype that's being generated around mobile TV. On commercials for DirecTV, we see Denis Leary ragging on us about missing NFL highlights while he shoves an iPhone in our face with a crystal clear image of the same HD footage we see in the background. I've also studied up on some of the new delivery platforms under development, like MediaFLO and others, and it looks like they may get close to the picture quality they promised.
The one thing no one seems to be talking about that seems so obvious to me: how can we all get the same experience watching mobile TV when so few mobile devices have screens anywhere near the proper shape for TV viewing? The promotional videos I've seen show countless mobile devices, many with varying tall, skinny screens with perfectly-framed shots of a guy hitting a home run. But how can this be? Sure, the iPhone is going to be a great way to watch TV on the go, but apart from it and a couple of knock-offs, I don't see how people who originate content are going to be able to frame every shot to cover every device that's out there. Maybe there's an answer in the works, but I haven't found it yet...