April 30, 2014 12:04am PT by Carolyn Giardina
NCTA 2014: Could 4D Be Coming to a Living Room Near You?
A session that explored the potential of television innovation featured presentations of technologies in four areas: improved picture resolution, high dynamic range, immersion and motion, Tuesday at the National Cable & Telecommunications conference in Los Angeles.
On the latter, Mark Luden, president and CEO of The Guitammer Company, discussed what he calls “tactile and haptic broadcast technology”—or, technology to bring a sort of 4D motion experience to the home.
It demonstrated “ButtKicker,” which is effectively a device designed to shake a couch or chair in sync with TV content. The company aims to work with third-parties to develop additional products. (Another version of this technology is used in select 4D movie theaters).
Saying he wants to deliver “the experience of a live event,” Luden added that instead of watching a snowboarder, “you are the snowboarder. That's how we see the future of this technology.”
Execs from compression company Ateme showed a new system called LiveSphere, developed to create a 360-degree viewing experience for a live or recorded event. The content is created by "stitching" together different images of the same scene, and then the system allows the viewer to choose the field of view.
Also during the session, speakers addressed two areas that are already getting plenty of attention in Hollywood. A representative from Deluxe discussed the potential of Ultra HD, or 4K, which is four times the resolution of HD; and a exec at Dolby addressed high dynamic range (HDR) imagery, which involves widening the range between the darkest and brightest images a display can reproduce.
Ultra HDTVs of course have already entered the market. Craig Heiting, vp, cable sales, Deluxe Digital Distribution, presented an overview of Deluxe On Demand, the company’s cloud-based service that is capable of supporting and delivering 4K resolution. Noting that Deluxe clients include the studios, he said, “we know [4K] content is coming.”
Dolby’s senior director of broadcast imaging Roland Vlaicu demonstrated Dolby Vision, the company’s recently launched format that supports high dynamic range and a wider color gamut.
This system extends to all stages from production through display. It’s not resolution-specific, meaning it could be used with HD or 4K imagery.