Media about Media

I wanted to plug a couple bits of media related media that I find interesting. If you’re looking to learn more about the field, there are some great podcasts out there that will keep you informed and offer you tips from industry professionals.

First off, This Week in Media, from Alex Lindsay of the PixelCorps. This is a weekly discussion show about news from the industry. It’s fairly non-technical in nature, and is a good resource for keeping up on broader trends.

Next, the VFX Show, also from Alex Lindsay. This is a weekly indepth look at the visual effects work on recently release movies. This is a great one if you’re interested in the post-production workflow.

Finally the Television Broadcast Two Minute Drill (upper right hand corner) is a daily show which covers recent press releases and other industry news.

I’ve also been enjoying watching the Clerks II “Train Wreck” videos, which chronicle the creation of Clerks II. Not Safe For Work though.

Canon announces XH cameras

Stealing from HD4Indies on this one – Canon has announced two new HDV cameras, the XHG1 and XHA1.

Xhg1 586X225

The XHG1 is essentially an XL-H1 without an interchangeable lens, but with a few updated features. The XLA1 also strips out the “jackpack” features.

Check out dvinfo’s FAQ and summary as


This is very exciting as a complement to the XL-H1. The form factor looks good, you get all the quality of the XL-H1, and you save a few bucks. Sure makes the Z1U look a lot less tempting.

AMD buys ATI

AMD announced today its intent to buy ATI, a move that could have some interesting ramifications in the industry. It will be very interesting to see what sort of impact this has on Intel/ATI relationships – does it push more vendors into the Nvidia camp? I’m not sure it’s such a great thing for consumers – the graphics industry is already far too homogenized. And hey, huge mergers between established companies always work out for the best, right?

Announcing QTInfo for public distribution

Perhaps this should go on the other blog too, but what the heck.

I’m making available the source for the QTInfo project which does a lot of the heavy lifting on the backend of Media Mill. This was my solution to break down the wall between PHP and Quicktime. It’s a RealBasic project (rb2006r3) and makes use of the MonkeyBread plugins.

I wanted to note a few things which make the project interesting. Follow the jump for extreme geek content.

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YANHF (Yet Another New HiDef Format)

AVCHD was announced a while back, but today saw the release of the first (to the best of my knowledge) shipping camera using that format.

So, just when you were thinking that HDV, HDCam, DVCProHD, XDCamHD and the rest weren’t confusing enough, here’s a new format.

The cameras that have been announced are the Sony HDR-UX1 and HDR-SR1 (thanks Engadget) . The UX1 records to DVD, whereas the SR1 records to a built in disc. Surprise Surprise, the DVDs that you record will be playable in BluRay players, along with a computer (with special software).

As you might guess from the name, AVCHD uses MPEG-4 (AVC/H.264) to record your HD content. So, if you thought HDV was a pain to edit, get ready for a new load of fun.

To be fair, these cameras are very squarely aimed at the soccer-mom set – folks who want HD content to watch on their 50″ plasmas when the family comes over for a visit. But frankly, I have nothing good to say about these cameras. Internal disks are the wrong way to go, in my opinion, as you’ve now got a fairly fragile, non-expandable bit that you’re tied to for recording. Similarly, recording to a DVD format, especially in a proprietary DVD format, is rather disappointing.

Of course, I don’t play soccer.

JVC HD110U arrives (HD100U version 1.0.1?)

Minor story, but worth noting that JVC has announced the HD110U HDV camera. As best as I can tell, it’s not much more than a software update for the existing HD100U. I really hope that’s not the case, or else there are sure to be some annoyed HD100U owners out there.

I know there’s not much incentive for manufacturers to add features to hardware they’ve already sold, but it does bug me when something that could be delivered as a firmware update becomes a whole new product. I’m rather suspicious that this was largely the case with the DVX-100/A/B, and plenty of other cameras. I hope that mentality changes as the Camera/Computer wall continues to collapse.