Tag Archives: hd

…still not working!

I mentioned a week or so back the problems I was having with connecting a Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000 HD video camera to a TV via HDMI so I could playback the videos I had taken with it on the big screen. I said I was going to try and use a different TV and see if that would make a difference.

Did it?

No it did not!

I even tried a different connection method, using component video, but that did not work either.

I still can’t work out why it would not work…

…but it should work!

Sometimes technology frustrates me no end.

I have been playing with a Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000 HD video camera and it comes with a docking station which has an HDMI connection.

Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000 HD video camera

I thought if I docked the camera and connected the docking station via HDMI to my TV I could watch the video and see the photographs I had taken on my TV.

Well that’s what I thought what would happen.

Well no it didn’t, even though the cables were connected, the playback was still on the camera and not on the TV.

I then thought, it might be because the dock was not connected to a power supply, I did that and still the TV remained blank, though this time the camera went blank too!

So I went to read the manual, which was to be honest no use at all. It gave no additional information, as according to it, what I was doing was what I should be doing. As for the troubleshooting guide, well that was not very insightful.

Even the Google failed me with finding a solution.

Going to try with a different TV and see if that helps. However it shouldn’t be this complicated and this challenging, it should just work!

3D is no more, defunct, gone, finished…

Everytime I think about writing about something which is described by others as “dead” I try to avoid it, as I seem to have gained a bit of a reputation in the edtech world as, well as I was once described as the “Grim Reaper of Education” and “it’s not dead until James Clay says it’s dead”. However I did find this article from The Verge about the death of 3D quite interesting and illuminating.

As it happens if you are looking out for a source of tech news, I do like The Verge, as well as a very nice looking site, there are a range of news and reviews, and more than just repeating press releases or what other sites have said. If you like Engadget, you will like this, if you like The Register, probably less so…

If you attended CES in the US in the last few years, you would have been bombarded with 3D images. There has been a huge focus in the cinema in 3D films, the one that most people would remember was Cameron’s Avatar, but Hugo received a fair few positive reviews. The recent released Hobbit is available in 3D and the movie companies have spent a fair bit of time and money retrofitting existing 2D films into 3D, Titanic for example!

As well as cinematic 3D, there has been a fair few marketing dollars thrown at 3D in the home, 3D HDTVs have been available for a few years now, and aren’t that much more expensive than a 2D TV. You of course need some 3D content, the BBC have experimented with 3D and Sky offer a fair bit in 3D. You could also get 3D Blu Ray discs, but you need a 3D Blu Ray player for those.

The question I would ask you, and remembering that you are reading this blog, so are probably interested in technology, do you have a 3D TV?

Are you planning to buy a 3D TV?

What was the last film you saw in 3D?

Most people I know who are “into” technology and like gadgets generally “may” watch 3D at the cinema, but they don’t have a 3D TV and won’t have a 3D camera either!

I will say that I am slightly biased in that I am not a great fan of 3D, given the choice I will take the 2D option.

3D is not a new thing that has “just arrived” it’s been around for years and every so often comes to the fore. I do remember spending good money and going to see Jaws 3D, which was a disaster of a movie and the 3D added nothing…

Cyberworld 3D

Apart from the odd experiment on TV, the next big thing I remember seeing with 3D was Cyberworld at the IMAX in Bristol. You had to wear these huge 3D glasses and the 3D only really worked if you sat in the middle of the IMAX cinema. The 3D was really only a gimmick, the film had no real story or plot. It was very much about showing off the 3D IMAX technology.

In the last few years, we have seen an explosion of 3D in the cinema. Some would say this was an attempt to make cinema, as in the cinematic experience different (well the movie companies would say better) than watching a film on your TV (or a pirated film on your laptop). However now with 3D on your TV, I can’t see this now as an unique feature that makes the cinema different to the home cinema experience. You can watch 3D at the cinema and now you can watch 3D at home.

I should say that I really like going to the cinema, and the cinematic experience is in many ways so much better and superior than watching the same film on a TV, even a big HD TV. So similarly I do understand that the 3D experience in the cinema is different to the 3D experience at home. I also can’t see the point of retrofitting 3D to films shot in 2D, this is in my opinion just a gimmick.

Toy Story 3

I have seen a few 3D films in the cinema, I saw Toy Story 3 and Tintin, though if it had been my choice I would have chosen the 2D versions. I did initially think it was very clever, but within ten minutes or so I wasn’t noticing the 3D and was just enjoying the film. When there was a 3D “moment” I found it more annoying than wow!

Tintin

So if 3D is defunct, can’t bring myself to say dead, what is the next big thing in video? Well according to the pundits who attended CES it is 4K or ultra HD as some marketing people are calling it.

As you are aware 1080p HD is four times the quality of standard definition television, 4K is around four times the quality of 1080p HD. Some say it’s like looking out of a window.

So do you prefer 3D films over 2D? Or are you looking forward to 4K? Or are you saying I prefer the radio!

Mac mini Entertainment Centre

I have managed to borrow a Mac mini, one of the new ones, and I have connected it up to my HD TV using an HDMI cable.

After realising that I needed to change the audio output from the built in speakers to the HDMI output I was very impressed with how well it looked and worked.

I haven’t put any content on the Mac mini so far, just streaming content from my home iMac across our 802.11n wireless network.

The first thing I tried was EyeTV, using EyeTV 3 on both computers I was easily able to stream recordings from the iMac to the Mac mini. I was quite impressed with the picture quality, even though it is SD television. There was no buffering or stuttering which impressed me.

I then tried Front Row and browsed my shared photographs, which looked lovely on the big 40″ HD TV.

I then was able to browse my iMac iTunes Library from the Mac mini and was again impressed, though it made me realise I need to be better at playlists. Then I tried to stream some HD iTunes content from my iMac to the TV and fingers crossed, was it going to work?

Yes, worked really well.

Very impressed.

I may have to get one for myself.

Going HD

Though I do like HD pictures it has taken me some time to go HD.

In the early days there was the “battle” between HD-DVD and Blu Ray and though in the early days it looked like HD-DVD would win, my preference was for Blu Ray, so I decided to wait and as well all know now, Blu Ray won. Though with the availability of HD content via services such as iTunes, maybe physical media won’t be here much longer… well it might be in my house as my broadband connection is not the fastest in the world!

So without any kind of HD player, why should I bother buying an HD TV so I didn’t…

Then along came Sky HD… this meant that I could watch HD TV if I wanted to… however I didn’t fancy paying large amounts of money every month to Sky for the odd HD programme.

Freesat promised HD without the monthly contract, but I would still need a dish on the side of the house and to be honest they are very ugly  and I didn’t see much on Freesat that I couldn’t see on Freeview that I would want to watch. Too much work really to go HD via Freesat.

This week sees me getting a Sony Bravia HD 1080p TV.

So why have I gone HD?

Well Freeview HD has been switched on in my area. Yes it is only three HD channels, but they should be picked up by my aerial, so no dish.

Combine that with the Blu Ray player I got for Christmas to replace my aging DVD player, I am almost ready to watch HD.

I will probably (finally) get an Apple TV too, so that I can watch content from my iTunes collection on the new TV.

All I need now is for Elgato to releaves a Freeview HD adapter.