Pro AV Today

Curated by Cynthia Wisehart,

Pro AV Today pulls in stories from across the Internet that are important or interesting to our market. If you want to receive Pro AV Today in your inbox, subscribe to the

New display technology lets LCDs produce Princess Leia style holograms

By Mike Orcutt, MIT Technology Review

David Fattal’s company, appropriately named Leia, will demonstrate a prototype of its new 3-D display next week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Later this year it plans to release a small display module capable of producing full-color 3-D images and videos that are visible—with no special glasses—from 64 different viewpoints. MORE@MIT Technology Review

Why This Matters:

This technology was initially developed at HP Labs to control light paths on the nanoscale. HP wanted it for data transport over cable, but Fattel thought he could get the same precise angles to travel in space, as the foundation for holographic images. And he thought he could get the holograms to come out of a conventional LCD—so far a two-inch by two-inch “holomodule”. Remember when micromirrors were new? -Cynthia Wisehart

Pixel problems: living with a 5K monitor isn’t all it’s cracked up to be (yet)

By Matt Smith, Digital Trends

5K is the future of computer monitors. While it may seem like an extravagant and unnecessary luxury, it’s actually an ideal — the resolution at which any further advancement makes little sense. It guarantees that a 27-inch display, used at a normal viewing distance of twenty inches, is completely free of visible pixels. 4K can be improved upon. 5K is perfect. But what is it like to use a 5K display every day? MORE@DigitalTrends

Why This Matters:

Slice of life you will relate to. -Cynthia Wisehart

Blu-ray gets huge 4K quality boost

By Ian Morris, Tech Radar

The official body that sets the specifications for Blu-ray has finally agreed on a standard that will allow 4K material, or ultra HD, to be stored on Blu-ray disks—after previously announcing that we'll have 4K Blu-rays by Christmas time. So why has all of this taken so long when there is really no surprise about what 4K is? MORE@TechRadar

Why This Matters:

This is interesting because the BDA has reached for something I always endorse: better color reproduction: the spec calls for 4:4:4 at 10-bit, though at present receivers and TVs can’t use all that information. This story is definitely worth a read, it places HEVC and HDR in context of 4K and Blu-ray. PS 3D isn’t even in the spec. Poor 3D. Back to the minors. Again. -Cynthia Wisehart

WSJ: Apple may be launching a genuine alternative to cable in the fall

By Chris Mills, Gizmodo

Rumors about an Apple TV, and associated Apple TV service about as old as the history of rumor blogs. But according to a WSJ report, this fall could finally see Apple launching a streaming TV package, featuring a bunch of big-name broadcasters, available only on Apple devices. MORE@Gizmodo

Why This Matters:

It reportedly includes ESPN, which is really all that matters. -Cynthia Wisehart

Pono Player review: a tall refreshing drink of snake oil

By Sam Machovech, Ars Technica

We give Neil Young’s high-res music player and spin and do a few cochlea kegels. MORE@ArsTechnica

Why This Matters:

Love is in the ear of the beholder? After all the hype, this is a hands-on take from someone who has actually beheld the player with his own two hands/ears/eyes. –Cynthia Wisehart

Flexible graphene-based LED clears the way for flexible displays

By Colin Jeffrey, Gizmag

Researchers from the University of Manchester and University of Sheffield have developed a new prototype semi-transparent, graphene-based LED device that could form the basis of flexible screens for use in the next-generation of mobile phones, tablets and televisions. The incredibly thin display was created using sandwiched "heterostructures", is only 10-40 atoms thick and emits a sheet of light across its entire surface. MORE@Gizmag

Why This Matters:

Everything it seems is “clearing the way for flexible displays." Science is scrambling to maximize LEDs on many fronts. -Cynthia Wisehart

Researchers use X-ray and CAT scans to reveal the secrets of golden age violins

By Chris Wood, Gizmag

A team of MIT acousticians and fluid dynamicists have teamed up with Bostonian violin makers to meticulously analyze hundreds of instruments from the Cremonese period, considered the golden age of violin making. MORE@Gizmag

Why This Matters:

It doesn’t. To Pro AV. But if you love the mysteries of acoustics and the vibration of strings and soundboards, you should be aware that MIT scientists can take the mystery out of anything. They didn’t even flinch at their conclusion: The great acoustic dynamics of those classic violins were the product of “repeated craftsman error”. Aren’t we all. -Cynthia Wisehart

To the audiophile, this $10,000 Ethernet cable apparently makes sense

By Lee Hutchinson, ArsTechnica

Pity the audiophile. The term should be an aural counterpart to "cinephile"—as that word means a person who greatly appreciates movies, so "audiophile" should refer to a person who pursues a pure music listening experience. "Audiophile" should properly refer to someone who appreciates listening to music as it was recorded and who isn’t afraid of paying extra for high-quality equipment to chase after a "live" sound. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. "Audiophile" has become synonymous with "person who spends hundreds of dollars on magic rocks.” MORE@ArsTechnica

Why This Matters:

The AudioQuest Diamond RJ/E Ethernet cable is 12 meters of pure silver, with industrial-style RJ-45 connectors; the cable’s product page is, as Hutchinson reports, “packed with the usual pseudo-scientific garbage about how the cable will keep your audio signal completely free of electromagnetic interference and Martians—but the insanity with this particular cable goes a level deeper.” -Cynthia Wisehart

Neil Young’s Pono Player: The Emperor has no clothes

By David Pogue, Yahoo Tech

You’ve got to admit it: The argument for the Pono Player sure is appealing — that we don’t know what we’ve been missing in our music. Unfortunately, it isn’t true. I’m 51 and a former professional musician. I know how to listen. But when I bought Pono’s expensive remastered songs and compared them with the identical songs on my phone, I couldn’t hear any difference whatsoever. I got worried. MORE@YahooTech 

Why This Matters:

So Pogue conducted a blind trial to find out if 15 volunteers could hear any difference between Pono’s high res files and Apple’s iTunes files (16-bit/256Kbps AAC format). The results surprised him, and touched off an interesting discussion of compression, formats, and remastering. –Cynthia Wisehart

MIT scientists close to creating holograms by using sound to manipulate light

By Janey Tracey, Outer Places

In a study published today in Review of Scientific Instruments, MIT scientists claim they’re close to creating legitimate holographic video by using sound waves to guide, shape and even color light waves. MORE@OuterPlaces

Why This Matters:

The traditional 3D holograms (i.e. Pepper’s Ghosts) that have been used for things like Tupac at Coachella are actually a trick of the eye that makes 2D look like 3D. MIT scientists believe that they have perfected an acoustic/light wave technique (employing lithium niobate crystal) to create actual 3D holograms. Considering the enormous potential of 3D holograms and the patent wars that are raging in the tiny, nascent world of holography, this could get interesting. And it’s always fun when you need sound to create picture.  -Cynthia Wisehart



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