Sending video and USB signals long distances was once thought of as two different solutions - use a USB amplifier for sending USB, and a balun for video. With AVPro Edge leveraging HDBaseT technology, we can send HDMI and bi-directional USB simultaneously over the same category cable with the AC-EX100-444-GEN2 extender kit.
USB extension makes this unit a favored KVM solution. Simply connect a USB A connection from a computer to the transmitter. The signal is then carried along side the audio and video data on the category cable. On the receiver end you can connect your mouse or keyboard and control the computer 100 meters away. This is perfect for schools, contractors, drafting houses, constructions companies and more.
Check out the application diagrams below and start streamlining your installations.
BOTHELL, Wash. — The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) today announced that AstroDesign, AVPro Edge, and Sencore have become AIMS members. The three companies join AIMS as adoption of SMPTE ST 2110 continues to accelerate in the broadcast market and as the alliance’s Internet Protocol Media Experience (IPMX) set of open standards and specifications gains momentum in the Pro AV industry.
“It’s exciting to see AstroDesign, AVPro Edge, and Sencore become AIMS members, as growing involvement in the alliance reflects the momentum of IP adoption across both the broadcast and Pro AV industries,” said Andrew Starks, AIMS Marketing Work Group Chair. “We’re pleased to welcome our newest members and value their commitment to supporting and simplifying the migration to standards-based IP media workflows.”
AIMS facilitates close cooperation between its members and leading standards bodies to ensure that the business and technical needs of broadcasters and AV professionals are met. In doing so, the alliance drives a comprehensive, ubiquitous set of IP standards that eliminate fragmentation and maximize interoperability.
AstroDesign specializes in real-time high-speed digital signal processing technology, and the company has developed several “world’s first” products, including its many 8K devices. AVPro Edge specializes in full-bandwidth audio-video distribution. Working with HDMI, HDBaseT, and HDCP, the company develops uniquely engineered solutions for today’s integrator. Sencore is a leader in the development of reliable, cost-effective signal transmission and content monitoring solutions for the broadcast, cable, satellite, and IPTV markets.
“AstroDesign is a manufacturer with long experience in designing and developing video equipment, and we are now working hard to add more AV-over-IP products to our roadmap,” said Manabe Yoshihito, Executive General Manager of the Business Division at AstroDesign. “IPMX is an open standard, and we believe it is an innovative solution that will lead the future.”
"AVPro Edge has always put an emphasis on pushing technology into tomorrow, by partnering with AIMS we are doing just that, working with others in our industry to converge the worlds of IT and AV. Our expanding line-up of AV over IP products had been a huge success for us, and we want to ensure our line-up is follow the agreed upon standards for this technology," said Jeff Murray, President and CEO of AVPro Edge.
“Being a part of the AIMS Alliance is important to Sencore as we drive forward with SMPTE ST 2110, NMOS, IPMX and other IP technologies,” said Aaron Doughten, senior product manager at Sencore. “It's vital that we participate in the industry group that is promoting these standards to drive what we like to call ‘competitive collaboration’ in our industry."
Further information about AstroDesign is available at https://www.astrodesign.co.jp/english/. AVPro Edge is online at https://www.avproedge.com/. Information about Sencore is available at https://www.sencore.com/.
More information about AIMS and its work is available at www.aimsalliance.org.
About the Alliance for IP Media Solutions
The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the education, awareness, and promotion of industry standards for the transmission of video, audio, and ancillary information over an IP infrastructure, as well as products based on those standards. The group represents the interests of broadcast and Pro AV companies and technology suppliers that share a commitment to facilitating the industry’s transition from baseband to IP through industry standards and interoperable solutions that enable the rapid evolution to open, agile, and versatile production environments.
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Custom electronics sales and installation have given rise to a worldwide technology melting pot, albeit a closed circle of sorts, comprised of integration companies from as small as solo entrepreneurs braving it alone, to some firms with offices across multiple continents. Perhaps separated only by language, an unwitting common thread loosely binds the aspirations of one and all: A universal desire to highlight technology as purposeful, yet fun, to people who initially are strangers, then convert this business relationship into an ongoing friendship prior to the conclusion of the process.
Custom integration companies represent an atomically microscopic business community relative to other industries such as medicine, banking, or restaurants. Who speaks out in representation for the interests of this diminutive but highly passionate industry? What provides resonance when jeopardizing matters arise?
For 33 years CEDIA, the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association, has been the collective voice for custom integrators, not only for members, but by default, the industry et al. The perennial saying, “A rising tide lifts all boats”, is acutely applicable here…if you or your company are not a member, indirectly you occasionally benefit from CEDIA’s endeavors, especially those legislative.
The 2022 CEDIA Expo starts (with education classes) Sept. 28th and continues through October 1, 2022.
Following is a bit of background into the organization’s beginnings, CEDIA’s global standards and certifications, the Tech Council’s peek into and assessment of the channel’s possible end of the decade strategies, plus a gentle nudge to attend the EXPO and renew or become a CEDIA member.
In 1989, a small group of professionals, individually successful with geographically independent but high profile companies, realized a need for unified representation inside an electronics industry exploding exponentially with growth, despite its inability to recognize the self-peril that was evolving.
A weekend was planned to jointly assemble - part chance taking, part hunch making – to assess the then current state of industry affairs, suggest possible improvements, express what they felt their own businesses lacked or required, how they might aid others from their own experiences and lastly but most importantly, how to christen the businesses many created as hobbyists into becoming a legitimately recognized industry.
MULTI-ROOM GROWS UP
During that era, house-wide distributed audio began to come of age, eclipsing simple, passive, manual speaker selector boxes in favor of more sophisticated solutions, such as Bang & Olufsen’s Masterlink.
That following year, 1990, marked the first CEDIA expo held, with Sony attending to exhibit their new Digital Signal Transfer (DST) system, which remarkably one-upped the single-audio-source-to-every-location solution. DST distributed up to 6 audio sources, plus two video sources, into as many as 16 separately controlled zones. The custom integration industry witnessed a monumental paradigm shift, in real-time. Instantly, the CI roadmap was manifestly changed, as was CEDIA’s emerging stature as industry liaison with Sony, perhaps the most relevant manufacturer for the channel at the time, joining CEDIA and introducing a key relationship aspect by establishing a technical support division for CEDIA members called the Consumer Integrated Systems (CIS) Group.
Through the 90’s and early 2000’s, the broader consumer electronics business morphed into big-box chains engaged in turf wars (which regionally and ultimately, led one or more players to head for the exits) positioning the consumer as a front row spectator with every Sunday newspaper flyer.
While this conflagration persisted, the CEDIA channel grew infinitely stronger, with brands such as Sony ES and Pioneer Elite courting CEDIA members who possessed the proper skills and expertise to demonstrate high performance models, while sibling products remained poorly represented and savagely discounted by big-box names you regionally may all recall.
For various reasons, a few ambitious, yet ingenious manufacturers that made a valiant splash to enter the CEDIA channel made equally dubious retreats. Does anyone else remember Frox and the FroxSystem? Their hefty, aluminum, wireless joystick air-mouse deftly oozed ‘state-of-the-art’ in a universe of black plastic remotes with endless buttons. To my recollection, Frox elbowed out Phillips to be first with Improved Definition TV (IDTV), at least in the United States.
During this period the custom industry profoundly flourished, as major independent specialty stores (and chains) added installation services, with many opening separate, and in some instances stand-alone, custom divisions. System design consolidated one-room control into singular remotes such as the Phillips Pronto, thus luring AMX and Crestron into the CEDIA space for multi-room on steroids. Channel-specific manufacturers frequently timed new product introductions for the EXPO, reflecting CEDIA’s attained prominence.
EDUCATION & CERTIFICATION
Initially, CEDIA instruction consisted of inherent technology and product-specific training by manufacturers, taking full advantage of EXPO gatherings. But a large percentage of the courses were also presented by CEDIA member dealers as principals, or talented ahead-of-the-curve key company members, shared experiences and their expertise with custom installation community attendees.
Much of the focus was sales-based, with the six-figure big-hitters pontificating on how elite sales were executed, to aspirants hanging onto every syllable. Eventually, the emphasis began to slowly turn to properly and safely installing these complex systems.
Today a copious amount of CEDIA instruction is provided internally by the organization, with a laser-like focus on certification, perhaps now the core mission of the association. More to that point, on July 12, 2022, CEDIA announced that the Integrated Systems Technician (IST) certification earned third-party accreditation certification in accordance with the global ISO/IEC 17024:2012, General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons.
The IST certification joins the Cabling and Infrastructure Technician (CIT) Technician certification as CEDIA’s second ISO/IEC 17024-accredited standard. Together, these two certifications represent a globally recognized career path for residential technology technicians and integrators. The conformance process was overseen by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB), a wholly owned subsidiary of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Globally recognized, these certifications, when earned by residential technology integrators, represent hallmark career achievements. All CEDIA members working in these disciplines should embrace certification professionally and personally. ISO accreditation has the potential to create massive change in not just the how the CI industry is recognized but also valued. No other means exists to distinguish a highly skilled integration company from those who are not.
CEDIA CIT and CEDIA IST certifications also are eligible for BadgeCert, a digital badging program CEDIA utilizes, alongside CEDIA Certified Networking Specialist (ESC-N), which is also undergoing preparation for ISO/IEC 17024-accreditation, and CEDIA Certified Designer (ESC-D). Digital Badging is a trusted and verifiable mechanism for sharing credentials while highlighting a technician’s respective skill set, achievements, and professionalism, not only to prospective employers but also as a specifically targeted marketing tool, explaining to everyone from builders to clients what the credentials represent and the value they bring. With an industry-wide labor shortage, BadgeCert may circumvent the practice of “try and see”, providing employers up-front assurance of a candidate’s acumen.
CEDIA FLAGS FLUTTER WITH THE WINDS OF CHANGE
Might a time soon arrive when states or municipalities license installation personnel in the same manner as other trades, such as electricians? The 2023 NEC, released in July 2022, creates a new wiring class, Class 4, under Article 726, for fault managed power systems, also known as Packeted Energy Transfer (PET). The 2023 updates to the NEC include changes that impact everyday installs, making it vital to stay updated. The EXPO features a specific course, The 2023 NEC: How Changes to the Code Will Impact Your Business, making it the perfect venue to investigate these moving pieces. Non-members: The bar is rising…
INCENTIVES FOR EDUCATION TO HESITANT INTEGRATION COMPANY OWNERS
Owners look at today’s bottom line with little consideration for years ahead, resistant to paying for employee training. Statistics show certified technicians seldom make call-back mistakes, increasing profitability while enhancing the balance sheet. Certainly, incentive enough to certify a company’s workforce. But perhaps driving the point closer to home is when an owner arrives at a crossroads, beginning to contemplate an exit strategy. A well-run, CEDIA member business with accredited employees proves a far more appealing acquisition or merger opportunity, in comparison to a company with a reputation for merely weathering the storms.
A VIRUS AND CEDIA’S CRYSTAL BALL
For most industries, Covid-19 altered the space-time continuum. Well, sort of… at least in the ways commerce fought to continue. Fortune 500 employees converted occasional-use home offices into the office, nary skipping a beat. The medical community, first responders and grocery-related workers, continue to deserve our profound thanks for their Herculean efforts during that time. Integrators featuring security as part of their sales and service portfolio were deemed essential businesses and permitted to stay open, their team members venturing forth with untold uncertainty.
The pandemic prompted CEDIA’s Technology Advisory Council (hereafter, TAC) to alter the traditional focus of their five-year, future forward in-depth predictions spotlighting technology as its own raison d'etre, instead placing the nucleus of their newest white paper, The Integrator of 2027, centric to the human condition. Representing a radical departure in bypassing technically appealing subjects such as machine learning, AI and the Internet of Things in their entirety, the TAC considered ways in which tomorrow’s integrators might transition from the traditional product-centric approach into one that is human-centric. So, what does that mean? As the TAC details it, technology will provide tools for completing the job, while redefining what the job is becomes a dilemma for ill-prepared Next Gen integrators.
To adequately cover what the TAC addressed in the 2027 white paper is well beyond the scope of this article, but its essence depicts the interiors of clients’ homes evolving into multifunctional spaces, combining traditional home entertainment spaces into alternate use environments, where once one is enmeshed, hyper-personalized experiences improving the human condition effortlessly play out. One example is the home theater, where integrators were first to automate the lights and as of late, outdo competitors for the number of Dolby Atmos channels installed. The TAC envisions reimagining this space to include circadian lighting scenes, while audio from the Dolby Atmos system becomes a key element for wellness solutions, creating calming, immersive aural escapes, when not pulverizing the senses with yet another Marvel movie.
An adjunct dimension is to extend noise abatement and acoustic control outside of the theater realm into additional rooms in the home. Creating environments which introduce the calming effects of nature, with technologies integrators already are proficient with, expand the CI channel’s well-positioned effectiveness to enhance end-users lives while carving out niche opportunities.
WELL NOW, WHAT ABOUT WELLNESS?
I would invite you to access The Integrator of 2027 white paper, as well as view the one dozen videos under WELLCON 2021 inside CEDIA Academy on the organization’s website. Client approaches are widely discussed, with an emphasis on empathetic, human-centric discovery.
With a market becoming more direct-to-consumer than ever before (Ring, Simply Safe, Sonos, are but a few examples) clients who understand the value of their time respond favorably to wellness technology professionals. The shift has already started for traditional CI market segments, such as shades and lighting automation, to transition into a holistic wellness category supplemented by noise control, soundscaping, and for a pandemic-struck world, possibly including air and water quality.
While 2027 seems, well, a half-decade away, custom integrators who already have evolved to embrace this shift are keenly capitalizing, as this is a channel Big-Tech and Big-Box cannot correctly or appropriately address. DIY baby-boomers have become DIFM… do-it-for-me.
Technology will continue to rule supreme, as the Digital Ceiling populates with sensors for active assisted living (AAL), health-related environmental monitoring, mood analysis, and security. Clients will not realize a sense of comfort when at home if health or safety appears compromised.
AVPRO EDGE, MURIDEO, AND CEDIA
Many of us have long been involved with CEDIA, well before the appearance of AVPro and Murideo. Actually, both companies were created to answer needs within the CEDIA channel. Jeff Murray, President of AVPro and Murideo, and actively involved with CEDIA for decades, tells us:
CEDIA has been critical to our company’s growth because we get to see “everybody” at least once a year, share new products and get new ideas. And especially since it’s been a few years because of COVID, getting together to socialize doesn’t hurt either! We are also at a point where we can now throw a great party for our customers and reps – with no better place than CEDIA for this kind of event, which brings together dealers from all over the world.
CEDIA – now that they are only and most importantly focused on training, and not having to worry about the CEDIA Expo anymore – will provide better than ever training events, a significant benefit to integrators from entry level to advanced:
I know you all are busy! It’s a worldwide phenomenon for AV folks – more jobs than time in the day! But you must continuously sharpen the sword to remain relevant and on the cutting edge to new technologies. Those new technologies will be on display, demonstrated and talked about at the expo.
CEDIA is also a great pace for roundtables and idea creating sessions. Attendees come from all 50 states plus around the world, providing an opportunity to discuss concepts and ideas in a non-competitive environment. We hope you will attend, or at least send some team members!
The CEDIA EXPO is your once per year occasion to concertedly add needed CEUs to your résumé, meet key vendors and explore the wares of new hopefuls, plus interact with integration industry standouts from across the globe to gain insights and perspective you would otherwise simply be unable to, all at a single event. Select a unique course that’s piqued your interest, investigate products your competition is using up close and hand’s-on. Absorb the EXPO ambiance first hand and when over, recalibrate your assessment of where the industry is and where it is headed; be prepared to effectively intersect with the occasional client who, armed with a little bit of knowledge, definitively aims at proving it.
If you are not yet a CEDIA member or have not yet renewed your membership, we won’t arm-twist however, please consider membership benefits. Having your voice recognized is a more preferable posture than someone attempting to speak on your behalf.
The AVPro Edge engineering team is pleased to announce that in response to your requests, updates for the MXNet 1G firmware and control system drivers and modules have been released! These updates enable bi-directional RS-232 communication between equipped endpoint devices (such as video displays) and control systems. Sending, and receiving, RS232 data to remote endpoints has never been easier!
The much-anticipated Crestron module update adds RS-232 feedback from enabled devices to Crestron, via serial signals allowing for programmers to take advantage of device feedback or updates from external user input.
The Control4 driver also saw a big boost in functionality, with an update providing bi-directional RS-232 feedback to other drivers via the serial connection routing, allowing on-site physical connections to be identically represented in programming. Now feedback will be passed directly through the MXNet ecosystem into our driver, and from the driver directly to the connected device driver based on the routing as shown in the Connection tab of Composer.
We know these updates have been eagerly awaited and please know we appreciate your patience during their development. Please continue to provide excellent feedback and suggestions as they will contribute to make MXNET a more powerful tool for you and your clients.
To download these updates, please go to: https://support.avproedge.com/portal/en/kb/avpro-edge/general
CEDIA coming up this month brings to mind the occasions we have to speak with many of you in person. Often these discussions involve product features or sharing case-uses. We have noticed it trending that many integrators are forgoing video signal distribution systems by simply placing a streaming product behind each display, particularly in new builds. While this is elegantly sufficient for a seldom used guest bedroom, some evaluation must be considered as to whether this may be underserving end-users. If they have concisely communicated to you that prevailing economic factors have forced drastic cost-cutting measures, little can be done to move that needle.
However, if the one-to-one pairing is originated from your side of the proposal, perhaps some analysis of common use scenarios is called for.
While a good many people experienced flight delays around Memorial Day and onward, at least one guy had a clear shot on the highway to the danger zone. Top Gun: Maverick, finally debuting after a nearly three-year delay, has kept Brinks drivers working overtime by dominating the early summer cinema box office. The long-awaited sequel to Top Gun (thirty-six years…but who’s counting) during heavy release promotion, urged theatrical viewing in an IMAX theater. I admit an eager desire in attending however, what for me has to be one of the most inexplicable Hollywood decisions since United Artists and Universal both turned down Star Wars, IMAX theaters run a movie a mere two weeks, only to then change features. As of this writing, Top Gun: Maverick has grossed over $1Billion dollars…that’s a lot of folks feeling the need for speed. Perhaps an epiphany of sorts, I noticed the IMAX cinema local to the AVPro St. Petersburg office once again has the film booked. Nonetheless, film aficionados continue making the pilgrimage to IMAX cinemas for a first-hand experience they cannot duplicate in the home. Or is that in the process of changing in a big way? Let’s follow Mav for a few clues.
Worldwide, there are approximately 1,600 IMAX-capable cinema facilities licensed by the Canadian firm, with most differing substantially from the original IMAX concept of near-total audience envelopment in their “Classic Design” dome and Omnimax theaters, both contributing to establish the concept at exhibitions and world fairs since the 1960’s. As purpose built structures, these theaters featured steep row angles placing the audience much closer to the screen in comparison to conventional movie theaters, this capability due to 12K resolution delivered by the 70mm film format exclusively utilized at the time (technically, 65mm film in the camera, printed on 70mm film for projection). Today, the majority of IMAX-specific theaters are in retrofitted auditoriums reflecting the “Multiplex Design” concept, presenting studio theatrical releases which have undergone the IMAX DMR process (more on that below). These facilities tout laser projection and 1.91:1 screens (compared to the Classic Design, 1.43:1 aspect ratio suited for IMAX film cameras and their unconventional application of the 70mm film format) which better accommodate Hollywood’s offerings. One difference readily noticed by those who’ve previously visited an original Classic Design venue is the resolution drop to one third that of 70mm film, from the present use of 4K laser-based digital projectors.
Though not pertaining to IMAX Enhanced for the home, it merits mention that IMAX 70mm is, literally, a 90 degree departure from Hollywood’s initial attempt, that being Fox Film Corporation’s 1929 introduction of Fox Grandeur, the original 70mm film format. The film path for the Fox method was vertically through the projector, identical to the 35mm Academy Format. Referred to as 15/70 film, derived from the 15 parallel sprocket perforations per frame, IMAX film is projected horizontally from a platter designed to support the substantial weight of a full length feature. Differing also from traditional Hollywood formats where film is unspooled from the outer circumference inward, IMAX uniquely is the complete opposite, travelling outward from the inside circumference at 6 feet per second. IMAX raw film has a cost of $3.00 per foot, or $18.00 per second of viewing time. Today, nearly all IMAX theaters use proprietary laser-based digital projectors supplied by Barco, with filmmakers utilizing IMAX certified digital cameras from Arri, Panavision, Red Digital Cinema, and Sony. None have the 12K resolution of 70MM film, but those days are approaching as fast as an F/A-18 Super Hornet. Black Magic introduced a 12K digital camera at 2022 NAB this past spring, which awaits certification.
BIG PICTURE + BIG SOUND
Some years back on September 4th, 2018, IMAX and DTS announced their coming together with, as worded in the press release, the creation of the first single certification for both home theater video and audio gear called IMAX Enhanced (IE). The partnership aims to capture the heightened cinematic experience IMAX visually delivers, coupled with the visceral impact of a DTS soundfield, converting your viewing room into Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre. Leading consumer electronics manufacturers quickly adopted the format, introducing AVR’s, surround processors, televisions and some speakers earning IMAX Enhanced certification (speakers weren’t required to do anything different, such as THX with directionality and frequency response control, just be able to adequately handle the full-range signal). But as the fanfare subsided and content thinned, so it seems did demand. It just may be that Top Gun: Maverick, sure to be released on IMAX Enhanced UHD Blu-ray, will rekindle a keener interest in this largely dormant, um… well, what do you call it? It isn’t a format per se. For Audio, IE uses DTS:X, an existing surround format onboard nearly all modern AVRs.
Video-wise, theatrical content undergoes improvement during a process called Digital Media Remastering, though on the consumer side nothing more than an HDR requirement prohibits viewing IMAX Enhanced streaming or discs on suitable displays. Nothing is overly-demanded of IMAX Enhanced video hardware, apart from confirmed, superb performance manufacturers design into top-tier displays, which in turn are certified by IMAX. IE stipulates a 4K HDR10 display, capable of proper calibration and correctly calibrated, will likely pass IE’s certification process. Certification assures the display will recognize the IMAX Enhanced flag, intended to launch video displays into the most appropriate viewing mode for 24fps content, disabling all processing features that allege image fidelity improvement. As any accomplished calibrator can tell you, as well as demonstrate, these features largely do the opposite. Typically, “movie” or “cinema” mode from most manufacturers – certainly in their best offerings – also turns such things off. IMAX and DTS are counting on the cumulative employ of an IE certified chain of products, working in unison, to exhibit the declared strengths of the DMR process in the consumer’s home.
IMAX DMR and What It Does
Xperi, owner of DTS since 2016, indicates the audio track for IMAX Enhanced is specifically remixed from the IMAX theatrical file for playback on consumer equipment. Metadata includes an encoded flag which signals a certified DTS-X equipped processor to playback the mix as prescribed by the IE DMR process. The unidentified crossover frequency used is roll-off specific to IMAX Enhanced sound tailoring, and only used with IMAX Enhanced program material on certified audio products. Metadata does not perform channel steering, nor does it contain objective audio enhancements for the main channels. All content below the crossover point is diverted to the LFE channel, with the IE mode performing additional enhancement to the LFE channel through the certified AVR or processor, compared to when IMAX Enhanced is disabled. In IMAX theaters, the sound system can be as much as 12.0 full range channels (no dedicated LFE, all channels encompass the entire audio spectrum, just as a pair of floor-standing, full-range, hi-end stereo speakers like Wilson Audio Specialties or MBL might).
The video signal is less “hands-on” with specifics than DTS. That is to mean, the TV performs no special decoding. Any 4K, HDR10 TV, properly calibrated with post-processing features such as contrast enhancements, noise reduction and exaggerated motion handling defeated (or having an IMAX Enhanced flag-enabled pre-set) will make an IMAX Enhanced movie look its possible best on that display. The more technically advanced a particular display is from a high-profile manufacturer, the better image fidelity is anticipated to be. The intent of the certification, and manufacturers’ adopting the process by including an IMAX Enhanced mode, is to prevent enhanced content resulting in a poor visual experience on less competent, or simply inferior, displays. IMAX hints that competitors (you fill in the blank) license technologies which become implemented regardless of a particular display’s acumen, often incapable of faithfully delivering the director’s intent. IE certification assures content will be reproduced accurately by top-performing displays in the flag-selected mode dictating what post-processing may be left active or de-activated. Working with display manufacturers, IMAX Enhanced makes certain default settings for the IE certified pre-set mode, such as black level, saturation, etc. are correct.
Where IMAX Enhanced draws a distinct delineation to other processes lies squarely on the content side of the equation, especially in comparison with non-Enhanced versions of identical content. Theatrically, the DRM process is intended to remove film “grain” or general video noise. Noise reduction may be necessary from the perspective of the image being enlarged for IMAX Multiplex Design auditoriums where some noise, otherwise masked, is revealed. DMR is said to brighten the image, which is necessary when the screen real estate is more expansive than those found in the 48-theater mega-plex. IMAX makes the point those who created the film participate alongside IMAX engineers, supervising and authorizing any changes during the DRM process which differ from the original master file. This can include the director, director of photography, the original colorists, plus the original audio engineers. They also make decisions pertaining to how scenes are formatted into the taller IMAX frame. Most Hollywood features are shown in a 2.39:1aspect ratio. IMAX is 1.91:1, roughly the same in width, but approximately 26% more in height. During movie production capture, far more image is acquired than often is displayed. The content provider dictates to IMAX how to take advantage of this additional height. It isn’t quite spelled out how the theatrical changes in brightness, clarity and noise reduction are addressed for, and translate to, IMAX Enhanced for home viewing, but previously released IE UHD Blu-rays are amongst the best the medium has seen.
While IMAX Enhanced has signed agreements with streaming services, most prominently Disney Plus+ for the Marvel franchise, many movie lovers may lament having put their UHD Blu-ray machines on eBay in favor of streaming. Theatrically, films currently in production captured with IMAX-certified cameras include a raft of Marvel sequels, Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, and Dune: Part Two. Christopher Nolan, an ardent supporter of 70mm and IMAX, is filming Oppenheimer for 70mm. Theatrically, momentum is building, inevitably propelling the popularity for IMAX Enhanced for home use.
Momentum is building theatrically, inevitably to propel the popularity for IMAX Enhanced for home use. When it arrives on disc, Top Gun: Maverick just might make Oppo think about re-opening shop. A safe guess is Top Gun: Maverick will dominate CEDIA demonstrations this September.
What in 2018 seemed more like IMAX and DTS merely pondering ways to get the sharp elbows out for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, may soon level the home theater playing field. No doubt streaming is convenient and internet providers are constantly improving infrastructure to ensure bandwidth is plentiful, but those of us who still have UHD Blu-ray machines (perhaps a bit dusty) may find those shiny discs aren’t quite extinct just yet. No matter which method is selected to deliver IMAX Enhanced content into end-user homes, an uptick in requests for certified products may be right around the corner.
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