Audio and video trends for 2017

Here are some audio and video trends picks for the year 2017:

It seems that 3D craze is over. So long, 3DTV – we won’t miss youBBC News reports that at this year’s CES trade show, there was barely a whimper of 3D TV, compared to just two years ago when it was being heralded as the next big thing. In the cinema, 3D was milked for all it was worth, and even James Cameron, who directed Avatar, is fed up with 3D. There are currently no major manufacturers making 3DTVs as Samsung, LG and Sony have now stopped making 3D-enabled televisions. According to CNet’s report, TV makers are instead focusing on newer technologies such as HDR.

360 degree virtual reality video is hot how. Movie studios are pouring resources into virtual reality story-telling. 360-Degree Video Playback Coming to VLC, VR Headset Support Planned for 2017 article tells that VLC media player previews 360° video and photo support for its desktop apps, says the feature will come to mobile soon; dedicated VLC apps for VR headsets due in 2017.

4K and 8K video resolutions are hot. Test broadcasting of 8K started in August 2016 in Japan and full service is scheduled for 2018. According to Socionext Introduces 8K HEVC Real-Time Encoder Solution press release the virtual reality technology, which is seeing rapid growth in the global market, requires an 8K resolution as the current 4K resolution cannot support a full 360-degree wraparound view with adequate resolution.

Fake News Is About to Get Even Scarier than You Ever Dreamed article tells that advancements in audio and video technology are becoming so sophisticated that they will be able to replicate real news—real TV broadcasts, for instance, or radio interviews—in unprecedented, and truly indecipherable, ways. Adobe showed off a new product that has been nicknamed “Photoshop for audio” that allows type words that are expressed in that exact voice of someone you have recording on. Technologists can also record video of someone talking and then change their facial expressions in real time. Digital avatars can be almost indecipherable from real people – on the latest Star Wars movie it is hard to tell which actors are real and which are computer-generated.

Antique audio formats seem to be making come-back. By now, it isn’t news that vinyl albums continue to sell. It is interesting that UK vinyl sales reach 25-year high to point that Vinyl Records Outsold Digital Downloads In the UK at least for one week.

I would not have quessed that Cassettes Are Back, and Booming. But a new report says that sales of music on cassette are up 140 percent. The antiquated format is being embraced by everyone from indie musicians to Eminem and Justin Bieber. For some strange reason it turns out there’s a place for archaic physical media of questionable audio fidelity—even in the Spotify era.

Enhance! RAISR Sharp Images with Machine Learning. Google RAISR Intelligently Makes Low-Res Images High Quality article tells that with Google’s RAISR machine learning-driven image enhancement technique, images can be up to 75% smaller without losing their detail.

Improving Multiscreen Services article tells that operators have discovered challenges as they try to meet subscribers’ requirements for any content on any device. Operators must choose from a variety of options for preparing and delivering video on multiple screens. And unlike the purpose-built video networks of the past, in multiscreen OTT distribution there are no well-defined quality standards such as IPTV’s SCTE-168.

2017: Digital Advertising to overtake TV Advertising in US this year article tells that according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, “Ad Spend” on digital advertising will surpass TV ads for the first time in 2017.For all these years, television gave a really tough fight to internet with respect to Ad spend, but online advertising to decisively take over the market in 2017. For details check How TV ad spending stacks up against digital ad spending in 4 charts.

Embedded vision, hyperspectral imaging, and multispectral imaging among trends identified at VISION 2016.



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Make Your Audio System Sound Better with Smart Amp Technology

    Sponsored by: Texas Instruments. As dimensions continue to shrink, audio engineers have turned to advanced digital modeling and smart amplifiers to get more sound from smaller speakers, while still maintaining high audio quality.

    Mobile and portable devices continue to shrink the space available for the audio system, but high-quality sound continues to be a point of differentiation for manufacturers. Ever wondered how you can get those bone-crushing, “all the way to eleven” sounds out of a 15- × 11-mm speaker with technology that’s barely changed in almost 100 years

    Thermal failure occurs when the amplifier supplies more power to the speaker than it can handle, causing the voice coil to get too hot. Up to 95% of the energy input to the loudspeaker is turned into heat.

    Mechanical failure can occur when the drive signal demands excessive movement from the speaker coil.

    Speaker Protection and Smart Amplifier Technology

    Protecting the speaker requires both controlling the voice-coil temperature and keeping the cone excursion within safe limits.

    In traditional analog audio design, the speaker protection methods are relatively crude. In high-power systems, the output can include a fuse or polyswitch (PPTC device) that interrupts the loudspeaker current when it exceeds a safe level. This method isn’t practical in portable applications

    Unfortunately, imposing a hard limit on speaker output also suppresses audio peaks and reduces clarity. A more sophisticated approach uses an in-depth understanding of speaker behavior to protect it from failure while simultaneously increasing loudness and preserving audio quality.

    The new method therefore begins with a detailed characterization in the laboratory of the particular speaker to be used. This allows the engineer to fine-tune a speaker model with a set of calibration parameters that represent the speaker’s specific capabilities.

    The smart amplifier is a hybrid analog/digital device that includes several digital-signal-processing (DSP) blocks

    The digital signal processor runs an adaptive control algorithm with both performance-enhancement and protection blocks:

    Smart EQ automatically modifies high-frequency performance to achieve a flat response or match a target curve.
    Smart SOA establishes the maximum speaker diaphragm excursion and the maximum voice-coil temperature based on the electromechanical-thermal model.
    Smart Sense provides inputs from system and system-level sensors, including temperature, speaker voltage and current, supply voltage, etc.
    Smart Bass automatically modifies the bass response to accommodate larger excursions as the signal amplitude increases.
    Smart Protection models the current state of the speaker to adaptively change amplifier characteristics to avoid over-temperature and over-excursion.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Budget Home Theater & PC Setup: 4K, HDR, UHD Blu-ray, and More
    by Ganesh T S on December 26, 2017 8:30 AM EST

    The days of bulky HTPCs with built-in optical drives, massive internal storage arrays, and integrated TV tuners are long gone. The advent of over the top (OTT) online streaming services has moved a lot of functionality to the cloud. As NAS units become more powerful, it has made sense to move local media files to a central repository. All these have enabled the TV-connected PC to become more compact. Unless the consumer has specific requirements (like, say, high quality gaming), even ultra-compact form factor (UCFF) machines such as the Intel NUCs can fit the bill.

    The primary functionality of HTPCs has evolved to become one of a powerful and versatile media player. However, recent advances such as 4K and high dynamic range (HDR) videos, as well as stricter DRM requirements such as HDCP 2.2 for premium content have made the perfect HTPC platform difficult to achieve.

    Over the last year or so, we have seen the appearance of displays and audio/video receivers (AVRs) supporting HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2 along with HDR / Dolby Vision. Despite the announcement of HDMI 2.1, I believe that we have reached a point where it is possible to purchase a relatively inexpensive home theater and HTPC configuration without worrying about it getting obsolete within the the next 3 to 5 years.

    On the media side, OTT streaming services have become popular to the extent that Netflix and YouTube moved to offer 4K videos to consumers ahead of Blu-rays. Fortunately, many modern PCs are capable of 4K Netflix playback, though HDR is available only on a subset of those configurations. UHD Blu-ray playback support is available through CyberLink PowerDVD 17. However, the hardware requirements are a lot more specific compared to premium OTT services. UHD Blu-ray playback with HDR requires that the home theater components fulfill additional requirements.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This Tiny Video Camera Makes Everything You Shoot Look Amazing

    Alex Karpenko hands me a camera and tells me to run.

    unreleased prototype of a new, software-driven video camera called Rylo.

    Just go. So I grab the camera—a small, oblong 360-degree shooter with a lens on either side—and start running. Cunningham runs too, a few steps ahead of me.

    After an embarrassingly tiring 30 yards or so, we stop. I hand Karpenko the camera, which he quickly plugs into his iPhone. He opens the Rylo app, imports the video, and shows it to me. The footage looks fantastic. It’s stable despite my heavy foot-pounding, level even with my total lack of attention, and trained perfectly on Cunningham’s back. Watching me watch the video, Cunningham smiles. “You asked what convinces people to work with us? That’s it. It’s always the video.”

    For the last two years, Cunningham and Karpenko have been quietly working on a new kind of camera. The former Instagram employees—Cunningham built software, Karpenko created the Hyperlapse app—saw that every time they made it easier for people to make great stuff, people made more stuff. But while filters, lenses, and basic editing tools can spruce up most photos, video presents a bigger challenge. Even before you get to the content, Karpenko says, you have to get three hard things right: Your video needs to be stable, it needs to be level, and it needs to be looking at the right thing. Rylo’s job is to solve all of those things with software.

    When you shoot with the $500 Rylo, you can control almost everything about it after the fact. The two cameras each capture a 195-degree field of view, which Rylo stitches together into a single sphere. But you’re not really meant to use the sphere. Instead, you can pull out the exact frame you want, and share that as a normal video. Or you can pick two spots in the sphere, and have the shot pan from one to the other. You can split the shot, and see your subject and photographer simultaneously.

    At first, the Rylo team hoped to make all that possible with only software. “We looked for cameras that existed, to see if we could build on top of those,”

    They quickly realized they needed more control over the optics of the camera in order to correct for things like lens distortion. Cunningham scoured Alibaba, buying camera parts for a prototype 360-degree rig while Karpenko hacked away at the algorithm. Even early on, with a camera held together by hot glue, the software worked impressively well.

    That’s because Rylo’s camera optics aren’t really the point. They’re never really the point, anymore, as we enter the era of computational photography. Google’s Pixel 2 gets depth-perception out of a single camera because it trained an algorithm to recognize the human head; Apple took similar steps to enable the Portrait Lighting feature in the new iPhone cameras. The megapixel race is over, replaced by an arms race in computer vision and machine learning.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The most expensive music format (in the world)

    Is Reel to Reel the new Vinyl? Short answer: No. Long answer: It’s complicated – Press Play.
    In this video I’ll be playing pre-recorded tapes from 1957 & 2017

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    inFact: Vinyl vs Digital

    No zealots are as fervent as those who debate digital audio versus vinyl records. Which one really is better?

    If digital had come first no-one would have bothered inventing the vinyl record.

    Excellent video. Great points. Years ago, when the CD was the new technology, the selling points were the superior sound quality of CDs compared to Vinyl and cassette tapes, their durability and they consumed less space. Fast forward. Now the CD is the dinosaur. The digital music and streaming revolutions have just about killed music sales.

    People can absolutely hear the quality difference between vinyl and digital, and not just by the clicks and pops of vinyl. It’s trivial to prove that vinyl has more distortion and a less-flat frequency response.

    I’m a digital proponent because digital has much higher fidelity, which is the whole point of “hi-fi” equipment. But I’m certain that vinyl proponents will claim that listening test was flawed because the pressing plant wasn’t a good one, or the turntable and cartridge they used wasn’t good enough, or it wasn’t properly aligned, etc.

    Album art and packaging. Vinyl wins in that aspect.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Anna Nicolaou / Financial Times:
    Vevo says its 2017 revenue reached $650M, up 30% YoY; it broke even in 2017 and expects to be profitable in early 2018 — Vevo, the music video company owned by a group of leading record labels, increased its revenues by 30 per cent in 2017 thanks to swelling global audiences for high-budget pop star videos.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LG shows off the world’s first 88-inch 8K OLED display
    It’s the largest and highest-resolution OLED screen to date.

    Just as 4K and HDR are finally going mainstream, the ambitious folks at LG Display have also been busy pushing its OLED technology to 8K. Come CES, the Korean manufacturer will be letting attendees get up close with its new 88-inch 8K OLED display (can we just call it the “Triple 8?”), which is both the largest and the highest-resolution OLED panel to date. But as far as specs go, that’s all we have for now.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Watch 3-D movies at home, sans glasses
    July 12, 2017 by Adam Conner-Simons, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    While 3-D movies continue to be popular in theaters, they haven’t made the leap to our homes just yet—and the reason rests largely on the ridge of your nose.

    Ever wonder why we wear those pesky 3-D glasses? Theaters generally either use special polarized light or project a pair of images that create a simulated sense of depth. To actually get the 3-D effect, though, you have to wear glasses, which have proven too inconvenient to create much of a market for 3-D TVs.

    But researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) aim to change that with “Home3D,” a new system that allows users to watch 3-D movies at home without having to wear special glasses.

    Home3D converts traditional 3-D movies from stereo into a format that’s compatible with so-called “automultiscopic displays.”

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Logan Paul Video Should Be a Reckoning For YouTube

    By the time Logan Paul arrived at Aokigahara forest, colloquially known as Japan’s “suicide forest,” the YouTube star had already confused Mount Fuji with the country Fiji. His over 15 million (mostly underage) subscribers like this sort of comedic aloofness—it serves to make Paul more relatable.

    After hiking only a couple hundred yards into Aokigahara—where over 247 people attempted to take their own lives in 2010 alone,

    “Did we just find a dead person in the suicide forest?” Paul said to the camera. “This was supposed to be a fun vlog.” He went on to make several jokes about the victim, while wearing a large, fluffy green hat.

    Within a day, over 6.5 million people had viewed the footage, and Twitter flooded with outrage. Even though the video violated YouTube’s community standards, it was Paul in the end who deleted it.

    “I should have never posted the video, I should have put the cameras down,” Paul said in a video posted Tuesday, which followed an earlier written apology. “I’ve made a huge mistake, I don’t expect to be forgiven.” He didn’t respond to two follow-up requests for comment.

    YouTube, which failed to do anything about Paul’s video, has now found itself wrapped in another controversy over how and when it should police offensive and disturbing content on its platform

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple joins alliance to shrink your online videos

    The iPhone maker becomes the last of tech’s biggest companies to endorse compression technology designed to go easy on your data plan.

    For months, powerful companies including Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook have been working to shrink online video sizes. But their work just got more important, because Apple has now joined the partnership too.

    The Alliance for Open Media is working on technology called AV1 that compresses video before it’s stored or sent over the network.

    But compression technology is useful only when it’s widely supported, and Apple was a major holdout.

    Apple quietly joined the alliance as a founding member, according to the group’s website, which was updated with the change Wednesday.

    On2 Technologies, a video compression company Google acquired in 2010
    The first fruit of the effort, VP8, showed only modest success, attracting support from Mozilla, but Microsoft eventually signed up for its successor, VP9.

    AV1 is a different beast, though. Mozilla and Cisco also contributed their own video compression technology, and they lined up support from major streaming-video companies including Amazon, Netflix and Hulu. Apple support would make AV1′s prospects a notch stronger, especially since it’s been a holdout till now.

    The biggest VP8 and VP9 challenger has been the dominant standard called H.264 or AVC. Apple in 2017 championed its successor, called HEVC or H.265. But HEVC has been mired in patent problems as companies that contributed technology wrangle for lucrative royalty fees.

    AV1 is still a work in progress, though the first version of the technology should be finalized in coming weeks. Mozilla, which supports an early version, said in November that AV1 cuts file sizes 25 percent to 35 percent compared to HEVC and VP9. Better compression can come with a problem, though: longer times to compress video and a greater burden on scarce computing resources like memory and battery life.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
    Nielsen: 54% of all US music is now streamed, surpassing all formats for the first time; on demand audio hit 400B streams in 2017, up from 252B in 2016

    On-demand streaming now accounts for the majority of audio consumption, says Nielsen

    U.S. album sales declined in 2017 as streaming continues to grow, according to Nielsen’s year-end music report released this week. The report found that album sales, including both digital and physical, fell 17.7 percent last year to 169.15 million copies, down from 205.5 million in 2016. Meanwhile, streaming once again soared, leading the overall music industry to growth, largely due to the significant 58.7 percent increase in on-demand audio streams over last year.

    In total, on-demand audio streams surpassed 400 billion streams in 2017, compared to 252 billion in 2016, and overall on-demand streams, including video, exceeded 618 billion. This led to the music industry’s growth of 12.5 percent in total volume, over 2016.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cassette tapes are back, kind of

    Cassette tapes are back, kind of
    Posted 12 hours ago by Brian Heater (@bheater)

    Add the surprise return of the cassette tape to the long list of why the last couple of years have been some of the strangest in recent memory. After a number of strong years for the vinyl record, the media’s successor had a good 12 months, as sales in the US rose a solid 35-percent, according to Nielsen Music.

    The cassette tape doesn’t appear to be on track for the same kind of romantic renaissance vinyl has been undergoing over the past decade, but a few pop culture milestones have driven its numbers back up. All three top spots were dominated by Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks, marking the format’s best year since 2012.

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe film and its 2017 sequel have helped foster a newfound romanticism for the once mighty media, along with hit Netflix series, Stranger Things, which got its own cassette soundtrack release this summer. Those retro soundtracks monopolized the top four spots

    Total U.S. sales hit 174,000 units this past year — that’s up from 129,000 the year prior.

    Of course, that’s just a fraction of vinyl sales for the year, which hit 14.32 million — a nine-percent bump over a year prior.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sky Hits Man With £5k ‘Fine’ For Pirating Boxing on Facebook
    By Andy on January 8, 2018


    A 34-year-old man from the UK has agreed to pay Sky £5,000 after the broadcaster tracked an illegal Facebook stream of the 2017 Joshua v Klitschko fight to his account. Craig Foster, who was warned of a potential £85,000 award should the case go to court, claimed that he wasn’t responsible. Backtracking, he says he now wants a fight with Sky.

    The company alleged that during last April’s bout between Anthony Joshua’s and Wladimir Klitschko, Foster live-streamed the multiple world title fight on Facebook Live.

    Financially, this was a major problem for Sky, law firm Foot Anstey LLP told Foster. According to their calculations, at least 4,250 people watched the stream without paying Sky Box Office the going rate of £19.95 each. Tapped into Sky’s computers, the broadcaster concluded that Foster owed the company £85,000.

    But according to The Mirror, father-of-one Foster wasn’t actually to blame.

    “I’d paid for the boxing, it wasn’t like I was making any money. My iPad was signed in to my Facebook account and my friend just started streaming the fight. I didn’t think anything of it, then a few days later they cut my subscription,” Foster said.

    Boxing fan hit with £85,000 bill after drunk pal streamed Anthony Joshua fight to 4,250 people on Facebook

    Sky tracked down Craig Foster from a watermark of his account number which flashed up on screen during April’s bout

    According to Neil Parkes, who specializes in media litigation, content protection and contentious IP at Foot Anstey, Foster accepted responsibility and agreed to pay a settlement.

    “Mr Foster broke the law,” Parkes said. “He has acknowledged his wrongdoing, apologised and signed a legally binding agreement to pay a sum of £5,000 to Sky.”

    “I know streaming the fight was wrong. I didn’t stop my friend but I was watching the boxing. I’m just a bloke who had a few drinks with his friends.”

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Are Sound Cards Still Relevant? Sound BlasterX AE-5

    Had no idea they still make sound cards (never bothered to look) untill I watched this video. The more you know

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ingress Protection Ratings up to IP67

    Our waterproof electret condenser microphones carry Ingress Protection (IP) ratings up to IP67 and feature sensitivity ratings as low as -42 dB and signal to noise ratios from 57 up to 70 dBA. These omnidirectional microphones are available in wire lead and terminal mount configurations with operating frequencies ranging from 20 to 20,000 Hz. Housed in compact packages with diameters as small as 4 mm and depths as low as 1.5 mm, our waterproof microphones are ideally suited for a variety of industrial and outdoor applications where moisture and environmental contaminants are present.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Imaging The Neighborhood with Solar Panels

    Like many people who have a solar power setup at home, [Jeroen Boeye] was curious to see just how much energy his panels were putting out. But unlike most people, it just so happens that he’s a data scientist with a deep passion for programming and a flair for visualizations. In his latest blog post, [Jeroen] details how his efforts to explain some anomalous data ended with the discovery that his solar array was effectively acting as an extremely low-resolution camera.

    Solar panel analysis pt 3: Scanning for objects

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    For ALL audiophiles! 13 common mistakes that YOU should avoid!

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Audio Gold – Inside the Aladdin’s cave of analogue hi-fi

    From their fine range of vintage turntables and speakers to mountains of tape decks, cables and old amps, through to their fabled “prop” room, we delve into the wonderful, cavernous world of Audio Gold.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Creating an Internet Radio Station with Icecast and Liquidsoap

    Ever wanted to stream prerecorded music or a live event, such as a lecture or concert for an internet audience? With Icecast and Liquidsoap, you can set up a full-featured, flexible internet radio station using free software and open standards.

    Icecast is “a streaming media (audio/video) server that currently supports Ogg (Vorbis and Theora), Opus, WebM and MP3 streams. It can be used to create an internet radio station or a privately running jukebox and many things in between. It is very versatile in that new formats can be added relatively easily and supports open standards for communication and interaction.”

    Liquidsoap is “a powerful and flexible language for describing your streams. It offers a rich collection of operators that you can combine at will, giving you more power than you need for creating or transforming streams. But Liquidsoap is still very light and easy to use, in the UNIX tradition of simple strong components working together.”

    When combined, Icecast and Liquidsoap can create a flexible, feature-rich internet radio station. In this article, I describe how to configure Icecast to host an internet radio station. Then, I explain how to install and configure Liquidsoap to connect to Icecast, adding random (or sequential) music playback with smart cross-fading, prerecorded randomly inserted announcements and jingles, a song request system and support for live streams, with automated recording and seamless switching between live and automated programming.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New Part Day: MEMS Loudspeakers

    Now there’s finally a MEMS loudspeaker A company called USound has developed the first loudspeaker that isn’t just a bunch of wire and a magnet. This is a speaker built from a silicon wafer that can be as small as 3 mm square, and as thin as 1 mm. Since these speakers are built on silicon, you can also add an amp right onto the package. This is quite literally a speaker on a chip, and we’d bet that there are already engineers at Samsung looking at stuffing this into a flagship phone.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hasselblad’s new 400-megapixel Multi-Shot camera captures 2.4GB stills

    A couple years ago, Hasselblad released a 200-megapixel, Multi-Shot version of its H5D medium format camera. Now it’s back with a bonkers, 400-megapixel version of the H6D: the H6D-400c.

    Hasselblad’s Multi-Shot technology is pretty straightforward: it takes four 100-megapixel images, shifting the sensor by one pixel for each capture, and then two more shots that shift the sensor by half a pixel. By combining all six stills, the resulting file is a single 400-megapixel (23200 x 17400 pixel) 16-bit TIFF file that weighs in at 2.4GB.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mariella Moon / Engadget:
    Intel’s D415 and D435 ready-to-use RealSense depth cameras, which can add 3D vision to any device or machine, now available for preorder for $149 and $145

    Intel’s new cameras add human-like 3D vision to any machine
    They’re ready-to-use devices meant for makers and educators.

    Intel has released two ready-to-use RealSense depth cameras, the D415 and the D435, that can add 3D capabilities to any device or machine. They both come in a USB-powered form factor and are capable of processing depth in real time, thanks to the chipmaker’s new RealSense vision processor D4.

    Intel says the cameras’ target audiences aren’t just developers and manufacturers, but also makers and educators, since they’re easy to use and will work as soon as you plug them in. Also, it comes with Intel’s RealSense SDK 2.0, which is now a cross-platform, open source SDK.

    The D415 and the D435 are now available for pre-order for $149 and $145, respectively. D415 has a narrow field of view and a rolling shutter that scans its environment from one side to the other to take an image. It works best when dealing with small objects and anything that needs precise measurements. D435, on the other hand, has a wider field of view and has a global shutter that takes images all at once.


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