Well, May’s blog post about a near-scam from “John Miller” from “London” has been the most-read posting in the history of the site, and it seems that even the scammer is now a follower of this blog! đź™‚ Today, he sent me a warning email (with three exclamation points!) that if I don’t take down the post within 24 hours, he’ll make sure the page is hacked. So, I guess check back at 11am Central tomorrow to see how he did! (click headline for more)
Hi everyone, Just a quick post to alert you of a variation on the old “Oops, I paid you too much – can you refund me?” scam that targeted CMP and others last month. Basically, the scammer sends a worthless paper check in advance and asks you to deposit it, then wire them the difference. Since many banks will allow businesses access to funds immediately, they’ll let you withdraw the money but when the scammer’s check doesn’t clear, then you’re on the hook. I thought it might be fun to see the exchange. Enjoy! –Don (click headline for more)
Here at CMP, we recently started dipping our toes in the Thunderbolt water, specifically with a previous-generation iMac. I picked that model because, while not slim like the new ones, the RAM can be easily upgraded and it still had a legacy Firewire port. For these tests, I used a LaCie eSATA hub, a NewerTech Voyager S2 drive toaster, and a 3 Gb/s Western Digital “green” SATA hard drive. I also tested Firewire 800 speeds using a 2-drive RAID, the OWC Mercury Elite AL-Pro. That 2TB drive has USB, Firewire 400 and Firewire 800 ports, but I only tested the FW800. Finally, I also tested a 120GB 6 Gb/s SanDisk Extreme SSD and the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter. The software used for the testing was the excellent free utility from Blackmagicdesign called Disk Speed Test. So, now that you know the background, here are the results, some of which were a little surprising. I benchmarked the WD drive on a different computer connected to an eSATA card at 45.2 MB/s write and 44.5 MB/s read. . Disk Connection notes Write Speed in MB/s Read Speed in MB/s . WD 1TB BENCHMARK 45.2 44.5 . WD 1TB LaCie to toaster 44.3
Well friends, the National Association of Broadcasters’ yearly convention is coming up, and I thought I would put a few tips on the blog. Although I missed going last year (which ended my 18-consecutive-year streak!), I’m very likely going to head out to the desert again this spring. • Date: This year the exhibits portion of the event will be held from Monday, April 8 through Thursday, April 11th. I always try to arrive on Sunday so that I can hit the ground running when the halls open at 9am on Monday. Exhibit hours are typically 9a – 6p except for Thursday when they close at 2pm. • Registration: Thanks to Sony, you can enter code LV4064 to change the $150 Exhibit Only pass into a free pass at the following link: http://registration3.experientevent.com/ShowNAB131/ExhibitsOnly/Login.aspx • Getting there: I remember when roundtrip airfare was around $200 – $250 from OKC to Vegas, but alas, those days are long-gone. As of this writing, expect fares in the $380 range, or more if you fly an airline for which you have to pay for luggage. However, Bing’s Price Predictor says that fares have a 67% chance of dropping $50 or more, so their advice is to wait
I was just updating our main website to reflect the fact that the Red ONE is now gone and the Red EPIC has taken its place, and I was struck by just how much the new camera can do. The Red ONE could do up to 30fps at its highest resolution, 4K, which meant that in order to get any meaningful true slo-mo, we had to shoot at 3K or 2K. Shooting slow motion “in camera” will always generate better results than software interpolation, because the in-between frames are actually recorded, and the term “overcranking” came from film cameras that were actually cranked faster than normal. Here’s a quick primer on how it works: if the base rate of the camera is 23.98, which is what we typically shoot, then shooting at 30 fps allows you to have about 6 “extra” frames every second. When you play every frame back in order, the end result is a 25% slowdown. Typically, 25% is not slow enough to look purposeful, so we might drop down to 3K, where we could shoot 60 fps. At 60, we had 36 extra frames every second, which resulted in a 2.5X slo-mo… generally good enough for
Well, as predicted in an earlier post, the recent FCC rule about closed captioning online video has prompted YouTube to expand their capabilities for captioning to now include positioning, italics and color information. You can read Ken Harrenstien’s announcement on the YouTube Blog by clicking here and then see a quick demo on one of our videos below. Make sure you click the red CC button and choose “English – with positioning” in order to see the new features. Keep in mind that this is new for them; we’ve noticed that the italics don’t always work, and all the color settings can be overridden by individual user preferences. It’s a trivial matter for us to re-export your previous projects with positioning info, so don’t hesitate to call us if you’d like to be one of the first to take advantage of this exciting new development!
Thinglink is a new service that allows the Facebook-like picture tagging experience for the broader web experience. Essentially, it’s an easy way to make images clickable… so here’s a test image with our various social networking sites as links. http://www.thinglink.com/scene/228663883764596738#tlsite
Please excuse the reorganization, but we’re moving away from the shorter-but-less-informative permalinks we’ve been using to a more ordered approach. The old links will be broken, and it might take a few days to sort out exactly where each article is going to end up, so they might change a few times. Sorry for any inconveniences.
Last week, the FCC adopted rules governing the closed captioning requirements for online video as mandated by 2010’s “Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (“CVAA”).” Here’s the executive summary of what this may mean for our captioning clients. 1) FCC 12-9, III, A, 3, 37: “We will require VPOs (Video Programming Owners) to provide VPDs (Video Programming Distributors) with captions of at least the same quality as the television captions provided for that programming… In evaluating whether the captions are of at least the same quality, the Commission will consider such factors as completeness, placement, accuracy, and timing. ” BUT: ” we will not hold VPDs or VPOs responsible for quality issues outside of their control such as broadband connection speeds or the constraints of a particular apparatus. ” As of this writing, YouTube has no mechanism to adjust placement on the left or right of screen, so content owners should be aware of this limitation. (More on this in a minute.) It could be that the commission will not hold VPO’s liable for YouTube’s lack of functionality in this area. Additionally, note that the standard of comparison is the original, as-broadcast captioning. A broadcaster could reasonably
Today is the 6th anniversary of my first blog post back in 2005, and I thought I would take a look back at how the TV business has changed over that time. The “hot, new” camera at the time was the Sony F900/3 which retailed at around $100,000 and shot 1080P. Prototype versions of that camera had been used to shoot “Star Wars: Episode II.” Just last week Red Digital Cinema announced their new Scarlet camera at $10,000 which will shoot at 4K… 6 years ago, nobody was taking editing with Premiere seriously, and Final Cut Pro was the trendy (and very functional) edit kid on the block. Now, Avid is retaking the lead in editing software as Apple misstepped with FCP-X and Premiere Pro is picking up a ton of steam.
We recently shot an entire sporting event with our Red ONE camera – overcranked. That will be great when we need to show the cowboys hitting the dirt in slow motion, but we needed a way to create a DVD for viewing that ran at normal speed (in this case, double slo-mo = normal speed). After poking around in the edit software without an easy answer, I came up with the following solution. I edited all the slo-mo clips into my Avid timeline and exported a same-as-source Quicktime movie. Then I used some free software from Apple called “Dumpster” to trick the computer into playing it back double-time. Here’s a pic of the settings: You just need to divide the duration number by two and set the timescale to double… in my case, I went from 29970 to 59940. Since Apple’s Compressor takes these numbers at face value, it created the Mpeg2 for the DVD at double-speed, which was exactly what we needed for the viewing copy.
We recently started embedding subtitles in m4v files destined for iPods, iPhones, etc. and have learned a few things along the way that I thought I would share here, especially since subtitling and closed captioning documentation for Apple devices seems to be hard to come by. 1) The software we use to embed the subtitles into the m4v files wants a SubRip file (.srt) that includes a number for each caption. For example: 1 00:00:00,000 –> 00:00:03,125 2 00:00:03,125 –> 00:00:04,625 And so on. Without the numbering, the embedding will fail. 2) When checking the embedded movie in Quicktime player on a computer, only 2 attribute tags render correctly. The <i> italic code and the <u> underline codes work, but the bold and font color tags seem to be ignored. We will check these on the iPad to see if they display properly there, but I’m betting they won’t. My assumption is that at this time Apple is supporting a subset of the expanded SRT spec that VLC uses.