New Media Interchange #017
Technology & Leadership Changes at YouTube
This is New Media Interchange where we talk about the media world beyond mainstream television and radio, including podcasting, YouTube, live streaming, gaming and more.
NMI is Hosted by Douglas E. Welch, pioneer podcaster, blogger and writer.
In today’ show…
- YouTube News about personnel changes, new services and technology updates and competition from Facebook
In my continuing coverage of cable-cutting by consumers, an article in Business Insider relates how more people are using Comcast services for Internet than traditional cable television.
“While the telecommunications giant may have begun as a cable provider, its main business is now Internet service provision, boasting 22.5 million Internet subscribers and 22.3 million video customers”
This news really shouldn ‘t surprise anyone, but even Comcast tried to spin the news by showing that they only lost 69k cable television subscribers during the second quarter — the best second quarter in 9 years. Uh, I think it is obvious you have a bit of a problem with your service when the best you can say is you lost less subscribers this quarter than last. The trend is still dismally downwards and shows a reluctance of Comcast to give some much needed respect and attention to what will probably be the main service they offer in the foreseeable future.
Following up on previous stories on virtual reality, Live sports have often been touted as one place where VR programming could really find a mainstream audience and it looks like someone is finally taking on the challenge to make it happen.
“Chinese sports streaming platform Letv Sports [will] present a 360-degree video live stream of the 2015 International Champions Cup (ICC) China soccer tournament” …says a recent VideoInk article from July 29th.
“IM360 is a joint venture between Oscar-winning VFX studio Digital Domain and 360-video pioneers Immersive Media.”
…so there is definitely some experience behind it. I haven’t seen any additional reports on how well the event worked or viewers experience of it, but I’ll keep looking for future followups.
Will VR become the norm for sporting events. There is something to be said to allowing the viewer to focus on whatever they find most interesting instead of relying on the television director to chose shots, but I wonder if people will want to put in the extra effort to control their experience rather than just passively consume it. While not a big fan of professional sports myself, I might be interested in checking out a VR football or baseball game at least a novelty.
Are you ready to browse your Facebook Timeline using VR. Mark Zuckerberg seems to think so. In a recent article on The Verge, Zuckerberg says,
“The reason we’re excited in this space is the continued progression of people getting richer and richer ways to share what’s on their mind. Ten years ago it was text. Now it’s mostly visual and photos, then primarily video and we’re seeing huge growth there, but that is not the end of the line. Immersive 3D content is the obvious next thing after video.”
While I do agree that the history of New Media on the Internet has always trended towards more and more intimate ways of communicating on line, I wonder what VR has to bring the Facebook experience. Will we be sharing 360 video with our friends in the same way we post or share silly cat videos? Might VR videos be a tad too intimate for users? I could see some ways I mgiht use it, though. Sharing a VR video from my garden would be quite interesting and a step above the static videos I do now. Might proud parents post a 360 view of their child’s graduation? Again, I’m not sure how it improves the experience, as the focus isn’t on the surrounding environment, but one specific focus, the child.
Still, as we have seen you can never be sure which technologies will catch on with the general public until it starts being used in a wider fashion. People scoffed at Twitter (and Facebook, too) and we’ll probably scoff at 360 videos in our social media streams until everyone starts to use them.
I talked about Rocket League’s amazing explosion on to the gaming world last episode and this week Psyonix, developer of that game said it will probably be coming to gaming platforms beyond the PS4 and PC. The company focused their attention on these 2 platforms for launch — and, most importantly for gamers — provided cross-platform compatibility for multi-user play, but Psyonix Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jeremy Dunham recently said in a Gameszone interview,
“If the game can work on the platform and we can responsibly get that game working on a platform, we will never say never to any of the platforms that are current-gen. Anything is possible.”
Based on platform popularity and sales, most writers seem to feel that Microsoft’s XBox One will be the most likely target for a Rocket League release.
Hardware Hot List
In the Hardware Hotlist this weeks is the Nokia OZO, the first VR camera for professionals. Slated for deliveries beginning in the final quarter of this year,
“OZO captures stereoscopic 3D video through eight (8) synchronized global shutter sensors and spatial audio through eight (8) integrated microphones.”
Jaunt VR, a virtual reality production company I have mentioned on New Media Interchange before “will both offer the camera for use in Jaunt Studios and support content produced with OZO through its post-production services.”
A press release from Nokia say that “Software built for OZO enables real-time 3D viewing, with an innovative playback solution that removes the need to pre-assemble a panoramic image.” This should make it a bit easier to work with VR video, which has data rates and file sizes far beyond traditional video. Anything that makes it easier, and faster, to work with the raw video will be greatly appreciated by content creators.
Nokia is turning their attention to Virtual Reality, and the OZO is their first step in that direction. Built for…bit.ly
In The Classroom
In the classroom this week are two videos on show production and an article than can help start your search when buying a filmmaking camera.
First up, is 10 Questions to Ask When Buying A Filmmaking Camera from PremiumBeat. These 10 great questions range from what type of lens the camera supports, which type of memory cards, how good is it in low light conditions (something I struggle with all the time) and what type and quality of audio it supports.
Choosing a great filmmaking camera is no easy task. With new cameras released almost weekly, it can be overwhelming to…bit.ly
The goal of this article isn’t to provide answers to all these questions, but rather a place to start your search for a great filmmaking camera that best suits your needs and your pocketbook. I know I will be returning to this article in the future when I am looking to upgrade my own cameras.
Next up is a an excellent video from DSLRGuide entitled 50 Tips for Filmmakers.
These tips are quick, to the point and very practical. You should be able to start putting them to use immediately in your productions. There a technology tips, like making sure all your devices are synced to the same date and time, lighting tips, business tips, and production tips. This video is well worth 7 mins of your time. It can introduce you some great ideas you’ve never heard before or just remind you of tips and hints that you need to reapply to your work.
Finally in the classroom this week is a video from Freddie Wong and RocketJumps’s Film School series on why CGI in movies is actually pretty good.
While CGi is often reviled in filmmaking these days, Wong thinks that, perhaps, it gets a bad rap because of how often CGi is poorly done, not the use of the technology itself. When CGI is well done, it can dramatically increase the impact of a scene and improve the overall quality of a production. He shows some great example of how CGI is used at its best and makes the case for its continuing, appropriate and high-quality use in future. This informative and educational video is 7 minutes well spent to forward your New Media education.
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