Nearly 72 percent of online households log on for entertainment purposes every day, according to the Conference Board. They stream episodes of cable TV programs like The Daily Show, watch YouTube clips, and download video podcasts. Even without the Internet, you may have transferred hours of family camcorder footage now buried on the computer's hard drive. Suddenly, it's easy to see your computer as a versatile source component for your big screen TV. Too bad the PC is shackled to a desk in a different room, and show time in the home office amounts to people standing behind your chair squinting at the small screen.
It doesn't have to be that way, especially during the holidays or any home gathering. Here are three ways to view computer content in the more accommodating setting of your living room and home theater:
This week may mark the turning point of which suite of products that editors and their counterparts may seriously consider to be the centerpiece of a post production studio. After almost eighteen months since the last release, Adobe is now shipping CS4. Every facet of the Adobe's suite of software products is getting an upgrade.
Adobe Soundbooth CS4 software provides an intuitive toolset designed specifically for the audio needs of motion graphics professionals working in film, video and web applications. This new version of Soundbooth adds a host of powerful new features including: Multitrack support, Speech search, Automatic volume matching, and MP3 compression preview.
When aspiring filmmakers watch a Hollywood movie, they don't just see actors, camerawork, editing and effects. They see the dreamy richness of images shot on film. They see a depth of color and space that goes beyond the mantra of "progressive imaging, 24-frames-per-second" so often whispered, siren-like, in their ears.
Abaltat Muse is a remarkable new way to generate 100% royalty free music. It's time to stop looking for your royalty free cds, over paying for copy righted music and dealing with music that doesn't match your movie. Just drag and drop a quicktime file on the Muse icon and let it become your orchestra. The multitrack composition will be perfectly timed and aligned to your video. It will review your movie based on color and compose your next musical score.
Voice Overs enjoy a ubiquitous presence in the broadcast and entertainment industries. Invisible actors populate the voice tracks of cartoons on Nickelodeon, wildlife documentaries from the plains of the Serengeti, automobile commercials during NFL football games, podcasts and instructional videos, and countless animated feature films in theaters and on DVD.
An external sound system completes a home theater, and turning one on yields unexpected pleasures. Recently, I stumbled upon a new TV series on HBO and a romantic drama on Blu-ray Disc both designed to indulge the ears.
The series, True Blood, features a waitress who can hear what people are thinking. As she works her way past tables, thoughts cascade toward her from every direction. And the audience hears the cacophony, too, brilliantly steered from multiple speakers at the sides of the TV and near the sofa.
The movie, August Rush, on Blu-ray and also available on DVD, features a humdinger of an opener: a child prodigy deciphers the musical nature of wind rustling the field in which he's standing. As the wind shifts, the sound washes over the audience from various directions. The powerful effect is all but lost on viewers relying on the TV's internal speakers alone. The same is true for the restaurant sounds in True Blood.
Families with digital cameras take thousands of pictures but banish most to a computer hard drive never to be seen again. They never make the connection that their home theaters are digital photo-ready. This despite the fact that gathering people on the couch for a slide show was second-nature a generation ago, especially after a vacation or during the holidays. With some advance planning, setting up and running a picture show is a lot less labor intensive than dragging a mechanical projector and retractable screen out of the closet each time you want to impress the neighbors.
Loading slides correctly was a hassle before the show turned digital.
Today, your big screen is already in place. And with that bright display, you don't even have to dim the lights. So why wait? Here are five ways to do it.
Use it or lose it is what they say about fruit, milk, and cable TV. Unless you're a vegan or feed lots of mouths, the larger chunk of the family budget likely goes toward your cable subscription. A typical household can easily spend some $1,000 a year on cable TV channels. But unlike the money paid for a new TV set, what do you have to show for paying last month's cable bill? This month's cable bill!
So, considering the unremitting drain on your resources, you might be interested in ways to increase the value of what your cable dollar buys. One way is to record and stockpile as many shows as you can, assuming someone in your household will eventually watch them or will want to watch them again. Even if you have only one HDTV set, you'd be prudent to arm it with a dual-tuner digital video recorder (DVR). Two tuners enable you to record programs from two different channels at once, even while you're watching something completely different that was recorded earlier. The most advanced set-top boxes rented by cable companies come with about 160 Gigabytes, sufficient for storing perhaps 20 hours of high-def shows. That's not a lot considering how many new and returning series, movies, and sports events vie for your attention every day.
Soon after receiving a Nikon D90 to play around with I slipped off to shoot images along
the Delaware River. Nearby was a family of kayakers who had stopped for a breather and a bite of lunch. It wasn't long before 'Dad' moseyed up along side me for a closer look at what I was doing.
"I own a D300 and I thought that's what you are using… but that camera looks smaller and you're shooting video with that thing and my D300 doesn't do video… at least I don't think it does. Is that the new one I keep hearing about? If it is… I want one". I told him it was, and that he should, and he told me he was going to order one from B&H, which – don't ya' know - happens to be where he gets all of his camera gear. And yes… this really happened.
Flash memory cards are the film rolls of the digital age with the added benefits of reusability and being compatible with computers and portable storage devices. Carrying spare cards and related accessories when you're away from home or the studio can make the difference between a successful shoot and one in which being out of memory is akin to running out of gas.
Secure Digital (SD) and Compact Flash (CF) are among the most popular card formats used in digital cameras, but there are a few others. So, if you're not sure, check to see which type of memory card your camera accepts. We'll deal you some great deals on cards below, but first let's talk about some of the cool ways memory cards are transcending their traditional roles of simply being seated inside a camera:
One of the cooler jobs at B&H belongs to the guy in charge of identifying and evaluating the rare and/or oddball items that come through the doors in the B&H Used Department. Due to a great measure of modesty and humility, this particular person prefers to remain anonymous, so let's just call him 'Steve'. The scary part is that 'Steve' can usually identify the oddest pieces in the lot at first sight. And don't be surprised if he points out the brass thing-a-ma-jiggies on the focusing rail aren't original. 'Steve' knows his stuff.
We continuously turn up rare and unique photographica here at B&H, and thanks to 'Steve', these gems can now be browsed through in the new 'Collectables' section of our website. To kick things off we assembled a cross section of notable photographic eclectica available in our Collectables section. Some of these items are original manufactured products, and some are hybrids, i.e. a Zeiss 16mm Hologon with a Leica M mount.
Aimed at professional photographers, Aperture is Apple's answer to a complete digital workflow. The software suite allows you to import, organize, edit, and output photographs. Although pros will still need to use Photoshop for heavy lifting, Aperture features integrated tools for level, color, and exposure adjustments. Any adjustments made in Aperture are completely nondestructive, preserving the integrity of your original digital images.
Now that we've settled down following all the hubbub raised over the Canon EF 1200/5.6L we featured in our last newsletter, we agreed it would be a good idea to look at the options for those of you who simply can't justify - i.e. explain to your significant other - popping a hundred grand for a lens regardless of how cool it is.
Have you ever lost a lead in the cable jungle behind your studio rack, trying to trace a loose or faulty connection? Sure you have. Well, here's a great solution from the Hosa people, in the form of a 60-pack of durable, smooth-wrap vinyl cable labels.
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