The Analog Sunset

November 13, 2013 in Tech Talk by Sam Davisson

Waybackmachine3Back around the first of the year, 2012, the original version of this website crashed and I lost a number of articles that at least I had thought were pretty well done. Some, like this article which was originally written in July 2011, may be a bit dated as the analog sunset pretty much has set it did contain information that is still relevant. So, I’m here to re-post it and add it back into the legacy! 😉

What is the Analog Sunset?

The analog sunset is a part of the Advanced Access Content System or AACS license agreement. AACS is the encryption also know as Digital Rights Management System (DRM) adopted by content owners and device manufactures to protect content recorded on blu ray disk from copying or illegal distribution.

Content owners (ie. movie studio’s) want to limit the analog output from blu ray players, mainly the component outputs as they are the only analog outputs that are capable of producing an HD signal. For some reason, they believe that recording analog component video is easier than simply ripping a blu ray disk. As illogical as that argument is, it is a fact that we AV design engineers have to live with.

The AACS agreement implemented a couple of ways to accomplish this. The first is a hardware limitation mandated to be incorporated by the manufacture of players. This is what is known as the analog sunset. The second limitation may be used by content producers,
and comprise mechanisms known as the Image Constraint Token or ICT and the Digital Only Token or DOT.

Something to keep in mind, is the sun has already started setting. According to the final AACS adopter agreement in June of 2009:

Analog Sunset – 2010. With the exception of Existing Models, any Licensed Player manufactured after December 31, 2010 shall limit analog video outputs for Decrypted AACS Content to SD Interlace Modes only [composite video, S-video, 480i component video, and 576i video].

While this is quoted directly from the AACS adopter agreement, it may seem a little confusing to us mere mortal engineers where it tries to explain what the SD interlace modes are. 480i relates to standard NTSC video, 576i to PAL.

But, as you can see, the first part of the analog sunset has been in effect for about 6 months now. For the AV designer, that means that almost all of the pre-sunset blu ray players are out of the distribution cycle and the output limited ones are now being sold.

So, with the sun sitting halfway down in the western sky, when can we expect the it do dip below the horizon? Again, as defined by the final AACS adopter agreement of 2009:

Analog Sunset – 2013. No Licensed Player that passes Decrypted AACS Content to analog video outputs may be manufactured or sold by Adopter after December 31, 2013.

So we still have a couple of years before the analog hardware option is totally gone. But, keep in mind there are additional limitations that are already incorporated in the AACS agreement that are available to content providers now, the Digital Only Token (DOT) and the Image Constraint Token (ICT). While different both affect the blu ray player and the functionality of the analog outputs and both are defined as follows in the adopter agreement:

  • Digital Only Token shall mean the field, as described in the Specifications, used to trigger the limitation of output of Decrypted AACS Content to only-digital outputs.
  • Image Constraint Token shall mean the field, as described in the specification, used to trigger a Constrained Image as set forth in these Compliance Rules.
  • Constrained image is also defined in the agreement as follows:

    Constrained Image shall mean an image having the visual equivalent of no more than 520,000 pixels per frame (e.g., an image with resolution of 960 pixels by 540 pixels for a 16:9 aspect ratio).

    What I find interesting, using the term interesting loosely, is that a constrained image is of higher resolution and different aspect ratio than defined in the 2011 hardware analog sunset. But we will skip this anomaly, at least for now, and work with what DOT and ICT really mean.

    The Digital Only Token may only be set on blu ray disks that released within the first 6 weeks of the theatrical release or if disclosed on the packaging. This also affects cable or satellite TV only in respect to Video on Demand (VOD) services where content (movies) are available prior to the blu ray release.

    The Image Constraint Token can only be set on disks sold after December 31,2010. There seems to be a “gentleman’s agreement” between content producers and equipment manufactures that prohibits the use of this token until 2012 but since it is a “gentleman’s agreement” is there is no guarantee that disks with the token set will not soon show up. Use of the ICT must be disclosed on the packaging.
    What the Analog Sunset is not!

    The analog sunset only governs equipment licensed for AACS-encrypted content playback and has no authority over the playback of non-blu ray Disk media such as unencrypted media files, presentations, or CDs. Other means of content delivery utilizing a combination of software, hardware, and online services may or may not duplicate the licensing requirements or analog sunset features established by AACS for Blu-ray players. While not governed by AACS analog sunset requirements, other services that offer protected content for download or streaming, may require limitations on analog outputs. But this would depend on the policies of the particular service in question, and whatever agreements the service has with content owners such as the Motion Picture Association of America – MPAA.
    Keep in Mind …

    This affects all analog component outputs of a device capable of AACS encoded playback. That means that not only your blu ray disk player it also includes playing back through the analog output of your computer. Below is a simple table that I could have used to explain all this:

    Video Source Device Content Displayed Analog Output Status
    Blu Ray Disk Player Commercial Blu Ray Disk Standard definition only after 2010, disabled after 2013
    PC Commercial Blu Ray Disk Standard definition only after 2010, disabled after 2013
    PC Protected Content Depends on individual agreements between service
    provider and content owner
    PC Non-Protected Content Unaffected
    Satellite TV / Cable Box Subscribed channels May not be disabled in the US
    Satellite TV / Cable Box Video On Demand In the US, only to be disabled for new services offering
    first-run movies for 90 days or before availability on disk

    Rack Elevations and Math

    September 21, 2013 in Tech Talk, The Basics by Sam Davisson

    Math_0b935f_1351529

    I got sidetracked a little bit with the last post on The Decibel. But now, since we’ve covered Power and Grounding, lets go back to the equipment rack. Before we get into the calculations you need to make and share with the electrical and mechanical contractors lets discuss effective equipment rack layout techniques.

    What’s the best way to elevate an equipment rack?

    I really wish there was a correct answer to that question. The truth is it’s a very fine balancing act. There are a few rules of thumb but all of them are somewhat situational. But I’ll list as many as I know:

    • Install heavy equipment toward the bottom of the rack.
    • Separate equipment by signal type and/or function
    • Evenly distribute the power/heat load
    • Consider cable lengths
    • Ease if install, in other words keep it simple for the the installers to cable
    • Equipment cooling

    Taking these one at a time, I’ll try to explain the logic (or at least my logic) behind them:

    Install heavy equipment toward the bottom of the rack
    A best practice is to build and test systems in your shop prior to delivering on site. This will help decrease the overall install time. It’s much easier to troubleshoot problems off-site and out of the view of the client. But that means you have to transport the racks. Having the heavy equipment at the top of the rack makes the racks top heavy and increases the possibility of an accident during transport. If your lucky it’s only equipment that gets damaged if something happens and not an employee.

    Separate equipment by signal type and/or function
    There are a number of things you can do to eliminate the possibility of cross talk and signal noise. This is one of those things. Your much less likely to have problems if you bundle cables by signal type. I practice and suggest bundling your cables in this manner. I also suggest that bundles of different types are kept separate by a minimum of 1/2" except for speaker level cables which should be treated like AC power cables and kept a minimum of 2" from any other signal type. Here are my suggestions for cable type bundles:

    1. Analog, line level, balanced audio
    2. Analog, line level, unbalanced audio
    3. Analog, microphone level audio
    4. Digital audio
    5. Analog Video
    6. Digital Video (HD/SDI)
    7. Digital Video (HDMI)
    8. Digital Video (HDBaseT)
    9. Control Cabling and DC voltages
    10. Network Cabling
    11. Speaker level audio
    12. Other – There always seems to be something that fits in this category. Such as how would you classify a cable with Cobranet information. While it is a CAT5e cable it is neither network or control.

    As far as separation by function, I like to keep my video processing equipment separate from my audio processing equipment and source equipment. But here is where exceptions tend to creep in. In order to keep the noise level to a minimum you need to keep any unbalanced audio cables as short as possible, preferably under 15′. This will often dictate that some if not all of the audio processing equipment will need to be in the same rack as the sources.

    Evenly distribute the power/heat load
    The most important aspect to this is rack cooling. By keeping the loads evenly distributed you keep the heat evenly distributed between the racks. This will simplify cooling requirements and make it less likely that equipment will suffer from heat.

    Consider cable lengths
    I already touched on one aspect of this. Unbalanced audio cabling needs to be kept as short as possible to maintain a low noise threshold. When we get deeper into things like signal and noise ratios (SNR or S/N) I’ll explain in greater depth as to why this is important.

    But there are other cable lengths to consider. The majority of HDMI equipment has cable equalization built into it. That equalization is set for an average HDMI cable of 6′.

    HDBaseT suffers when cables are bundled depending on the type of CAT cabling being used and the number of cables in the bundle. With CAT5e UTP cable, a bundle of 7 cables will begin to see catastrophic failures at about 35′. CAT6 UTP bundled in the same manner makes it about 50′. When bundling CAT cable carrying HDBaseT information the best method and the only one that allows for the full 330′ extension is CAT6A.

    I know, what about STP cabling. If everything is done correctly, this will work. But a broken shield or a noisy ground floor can actually cause your problems to be greater.

    Ease if install, in other words keep it simple for the the installers to cable
    This one is pretty much self explanatory, I think. Racking equipment of similar signal types makes building the rack simpler because the installer isn’t jumping from cable type to cable type. It also makes for a cleaner installation.

    Equipment cooling
    Keeping the equipment cool prevents failure. More importantly it prevents intermittent errors that can be difficult to track down. Your overall rack plan should include looking at where the rack is being installed, how it is being cooled and the method of cooling.

    Elevating the Racks
    The first thing I do is download all of the equipment specifications for the equipment contained on the Bill of Material (BOM) or estimate. I usually separate them into two folders, field equipment and rack equipment. Then I’ll create a spreadsheet listing equipment, height (in RU’s (rack units = 1.75"), badged current draw, efficiency current, idle current and any other pertinant information I can think of at the time. Badged power is the maximum current draw when a piece of equipment is energized. Efficiency power is the amount of current draw after the equipment is energized and has settled. Idle current is used for some displays and amplifiers and indicates the amount of current drawn when the equipment is not in use.

    I also have a couple rules of thumb I use when it comes to "head room" when elevating a rack and calculating the amount of current I’ll need to power the rack. I like to keep my "head room" at 20 – 25% of capacity. So, on a 44RU equipment rack, I try to maintain 9-10 blank spaces for future growth. With my power circuit, I’ll try to keep power at 15 – 16 amp draw on a 20 amp circuit.

    Discounting amplifiers, electronic equipment uses power pretty efficiently. I calculate that efficiency at 2.5. So to calculate efficiency current, divide the badged current by 2.5. In other words a piece of equipment that has a 10a fuse will draw 4a after the initial power surge. This is an estimate and not an exact measurement. That’s where your headroom comes into play. It’s your safety factor. Using a power sequencer (a device that delays the initial power rush for equipment) you can effectively exceed the current draw of the equipment over the badged listings to about 20 amps and allow you to maximize the amount of equipment on a single circuit.

    Rack Math

    I guess it’s time to talk about that math I promised. Everyone who creates rack elevations should be familiar with Ohms Law and how to calculate power usage. Additionally they should be able to use these tools to calculate the heat load in BTU’s for a specific equipment rack. BTU stands for British Thermal unit. Our good friend Wikipedia can explain why it’s named what it’s named. I’m happy to not explain it

    Ohms Law – V(voltage)=R(resistance)*I(current)
    Power Calculation – W(power expressed in Watts)=V(voltage)*I(current)


    Heat Load Calculation =
    3.41214 x W(power expressed in Watts) BTU/hr

    Once you’ve elevated your racks based on the criteria and exception already noted your ready to calculate power requirements required by the electrical engineer and the heat load needed by the mechanical engineer.

    I wish I could give you some hard and fast rules as to when to use a power sequencer and when not. I try to use them whenever there are going to be extended times when the equipment is not going to be in use. This allows you to "power down" the rack until it is needed, saving energy. If you are using a power sequencer then for every 20 amps of power you will need one 20a circuit. If not, then for every 15 amps of power you’ll need one 20a circuit. In either case, with equipment energized and stable your rack should be drawing roughly 15 amps.

    Calculate the power
    Power Calculation – W(power expressed in Watts)=V(voltage)*I(current) or Power (w) = 110v (US) x 15a. Maximum power draw is 1650 watts.

    Calculate the Heat Load.
    One would think, looking at my my formula’s above that the heat load calculation would be 3.41214 x 1650w = 5630 BTU/hr. But that doesn’t take into account efficiency. Remember the equipment will only be drawing 1650w for a very short time. So divide the 5630 BTU/hr by equipment efficiency of 2.5 and your estimated heat load should be 2252 BTU/hr.

    Please note amplifiers play by different rules and will be covered in their own discussion when we can discuss things like different amplifier classes.

    The Decibel

    September 14, 2013 in Tech Talk, The Basics by Sam Davisson

    Singal to Noise Ratio
    Honestly, I wasn’t sure what direction this was going to go when I started writing and I’ve spent most of the last week trying to decide what should be next. I was thinking linearly, like a book. But in reviewing and responding to comments on the Power and Grounding post, I realized that perhaps the best approach would be to tackle misconceptions as they arose and then precede from there.

    In order to do that, I found that I needed to set the definition of what is probably the most confusing or perhaps better expressed as confused term in the industry.

    The Decibel

    The decibel (dB) is a logarithmic unit used to express the ratio between two values of a physical quantity (usually measured in units of power or intensity). In AV the decibel is commonly used as a measure of gain or attenuation, the ratio of input and output powers of a system, or of individual factors that contribute to such ratios. The number of decibels is ten times the logarithm to base 10 of the ratio of the two power quantities.

    The decibel is used for a wide variety of measurements in science and engineering. In AV we use it for the gains of amplifiers, attenuation of signals, signal-to-noise ratios and sound pressure levels. The decibel offers a number of advantages, such as the ability to conveniently represent very large or small numbers, and the ability to carry out multiplication of ratios by simple addition and subtraction. On the other hand the decibel confusing and cumbersome.

    A change in power by a factor of 10 represents a 10dB change in level. Whereas a change in power by a factor of 2 represents a 3dB change (remember the relationship is logrithmic and not linear). To keep things even more confusing a change in voltage by 10 is equivalent to a change in power by a factor of 100 or a 20dB change. Therefore a change in voltage by a fator of 2 represents a 6dB change.

    Confused yet? The thing to remember is that the decibel is usually qualified with a suffix to indicate which reference quantity or frequency weighting function has been used. Common suffixes in the AV world are:

    Volages

    • dBV – RMS voltage relative to 1 volt, regardless of impedance (the apparent ac resistance of a circuit containing capacitance and/or inductance in addition to pure resistance)
    • dBu or dBv – Originally this was always expressed dBv but changed to dBu to avoid confusion with dBV. The v comes from volt whereas the u comes from unloaded. dBu can be used regardless of impedance, but is derived from a 600 Ω load dissipating 1mW (0dBm)
    • dBmV – voltage relative to 1 millivolt across 75 Ω. Obviously this is typically used in analog video systems
    • dBuV – voltage relative to 1 microvolt. Widely used in television and aerial amplifier specifications. 60 dBμV = 0 dBmV.

    Accoustics

    • dB (SPL) – sound pressure level referenced to the nominal threshold of human hearing (0dB SPL)
    • dB(A), dB(B) and dB(C) – These symbols are often used to indicate the use of different weighting filters, used to approximate the human ear’s response to sound. The measurement is still in dB(SPL). These measurements usually refer to noise and the effects on humans and animals. They are in widespread use with regard to noise control issues, regulations and environmental standards. According to ANSI standards, the preferred usage is to write LA = x dB. Nevertheless, the units dBA and dB(A) are still commonly used as a shorthand for A-weighted measurements.

    Audio Electroncis

    • dBm – power relative to 1 milliwatt. In audio, dBm is typically referenced relative to a 600 ohm impedance. This measurement has pretty much been retired in line level audio as the typical impedance of a an input on a piece of equipment is greater than 10 kΩ aka Hi Z.
    • dBFS – the amplitude of a signal compared with the maximum which a device can handle before clipping occurs. Full-scale may be defined as the power level of a full-scale sinusoid or alternatively a full-scale square wave. A signal measured with reference to a full-scale sine-wave will appear 3dB weaker when referenced to a full-scale square wave, thus: 0 dBFS(ref=fullscale sine wave) = -3 dBFS(ref=fullscale square wave).

    The point behind this is that simply stating that something is 74dB is pointless without the suffix referencing what that measurement is relative to. 74dB is not the same as 74dB SPL or 74dBV.

    The Future, Ultra High Definition Television

    August 31, 2013 in Tech Talk by Sam Davisson

    84" UHD TV

    84″ UHD TV

    Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD) television isn’t just about an increased resolution. While that will usher in larger display devices and an enhanced home cinema experience, it’s just the beginning of a whole new television experience. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, in an interview with NBC said “When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years” and that’s true. The way people watch TV really hasn’t changed since TV’s inception. That’s all about to change in the coming years. But first lets discuss Ultra HD.

    The Technical Stuff:


    What we know as HD (high definition), most commonly thought of as1080p (16:9 aspect ratio, 1920×1080 pixels), is known in the professional digital cinema world as 2K (1.85 aspect ratio, 1998×1080 pixels or 2.35:1 aspect ration, 2048×858 pixels).

    4K, known as Quad HD in digital cinema, is four times the resolution of 2K or 4096×2160 pixels at 1.85 film aspect ratio. For the home television HD aspect ratio (16:9), 4K represents 3840×2160 pixels. The commercial term for 4K for the home is Ultra High Definition or Ultra HD or even UHD

    To put this in perspective that might be more understandable, let’s compare these video resolutions to the pixel resolution of a digital still camera. UHD translates to approximately a 8.5 megapixel picture for each frame. Conversely, HD (1080p) only translates to an image of 2.1 megapixels per frame.

    What makes Ultra HD significant?

    Ultra HD enables displays, 65" diagonal and above, to look fantastic. It provides for a much more detailed and less pixel visible images than 1080p. For 3D video projectors which currently employ the passive polarized glasses method of viewing 3D movies the resultant 3D image is cut to 540p (960×540 pixels) for each eye, which is 1/2 1080p resolution. However, by employing a 4K resolution projector, 3D images viewed in this manner are displayed with 1080p (1920×1080) resolution for each eye.

    Where’s the content?
    Good question and most of the naysayers of UHD technology point to this as if it is some insurmountable problem.
    The truth of the matter is that film studio’s have been transferring film to 4k resolution for about 15 years. The odds are that the video you just watched was mastered to 4k and then scaled down to HD for distribution on blu ray. So, as always, the content is owned by the film studios in abundance. The real issue is a method for delivery.

    Sony and Panasonic are jointly working on a disc technology that would allow for 300GB of storage to a blu ray type device. But it’s doubtful that this technology will be used for UHD distribution. It seems most likely that UHD video’s will be delivered via the internet.

    Sony is selling a 4K Ultra HD Media Player. It comes pre-loaded with 10 bonus feature films as well as a variety of Indie films, shorts and 4K gallery videos. But they know you’ll want more so Sony will be launching Video Unlimited 4K. They claim that it is the only network video service that gives you access to a regularly updated library of full-length 4K Ultra HD feature films and TV shows. The catch… the 4K Ultra HD Media Player is available exclusively for use with Sony 55" and 65" 4K UHD TVs. It comes standard with their larger UHD TV’s.

    At this time, I have yet to find any press releases from Paramount, Warner Bros., Fox, and Lionsgate detailing their strategy. I would assume that they have, instead, developed a "wait and see" strategy. First waiting to see if 4K even takes off and second to see what other streaming options present themselves.

    That doesn’t mean Sony is the only game in town. RED, the digital cinema company has introduces the REDRAY. A 4K playback system that supports 3D capabilities, offers 802.11N wireless connectivity/playback, is DCI-compliant (Digital Cinema Initiative), and debuts with new security and file formats. Using the advanced RED codec technology 4K video files will be capable of being stored on a 64GB USB flash drive.

    Odemax, while still in beta, is currently streaming limited independent films to the REDRAY player.

    But how is all this changing the way we TV?

    This fall, possible as early as September, the ATSC, Advanced Television Systems Committee, is set to release the ATSC 2.0 standard. This standard will enable over-the-air video-on-demand, online interactivity, push alerts to sleeping TVs, and the ability to watch two channels simultaneously on a single screen, among other functions. Adopting this standard is a “fairly low bar” for broadcasters and TV manufacturers to reach. Authoring tools need to be developed for broadcasters, but are not particularly daunting in terms of complexity and cost, and many of the needed changes in TV sets are software-based, at least for smart TVs that are by definition Internet-enabled, so manufacturers won’t have to deal with a large bill of material increases in the sets and the sets being sold today should be capable of updating.

    In the future, broadcast TV signals will accommodate 4KTV, immersive audio, interactivity, multiscreen viewing, mobile devices and hybrid services. This is the underlying goal of ATSC 3.0, the TV transmission methodology now in development. The goal is to produce a candidate standard by 2016. Which means over the air broadcast of UHD material is still 5 years away.

    What the Apple iTelevision could look like

    What the Apple iTelevision could look like

    But that’s not the real game changer, this is. The rumored Apple iTelevision or if not an actual television some device that will forever change the way people interact with their television set. Whatever it is the consesus seems to be that it will be different than anything we’ve seen so far and that it will be as evolutionary to the TV industry as the iPhone was to cell phones.

    But, you ask, what does that have to do with Ultra High Definition. As the UHD’s market expands many cable providers are looking for a strategy away from the delivery of television content to the home. Streaming services have already made a dent in their market share and with the most viable delivery of UHD content being streaming, I believe many will simply become internet service providers. Others may look to provide streaming services of their own along with internet services. Apple seems to be positioning itself well to pick up the slack with a new television device and iTunes integration.

    So while things are slow to sort themselves out there is a lot of positioning going on with manufactures and service providers. I think it’s safe to say that the broadcast industry is going to be late to the party and that the way we watch TV is about to evolve dramatically. I also think it is safe to say that the real push behind these developments is the evolution of Ultra High Definition.

    Mixed Signals, What is the AV Future – Part II

    July 15, 2013 in Tech Talk by Sam Davisson

    confusionTo start, I don’t know what this picture had to do with confusion but I liked it so lets just say it represents total confusion because that seems to be the state of the industry when it comes to the convergence of AV and IT.

    The question arose again on one of the tech boards I hang out on. The question was posed this way: “Everyone with their eyes open can see the convergence of AV and IT. What are you doing to keep pace and change with the industry? Or is this not a big deal, and just business as usual?”

    I guess the first thing I have to question is where. My eyes are open, where is the convergence. That is unless your talking about AV control and then I would still bet that over 75% of that is done via a serial connection and not a network connection but I will concede that more and more control is being extended to devices.

    But is that it? Is this great convergence we’ve all been waiting for nothing more than device control?

    The majority of audio and video still have point to point connections and require dedicated hardware. The only thing they have in common with IT is the cable being used. The digital transport for audio, video and control currently being widely accepted and adopted by the industry is a point to point technology (HDBaseT) that is not IT network friendly

    AVB *audio video bridge) is the IEEE attempt at AV/IT convergence that will really reside in an IT environment. That is as long as your IT switches support AVB. But at least you do have an IT topology. Of course, it’s not really made any headway and I don’t think there are many, if any, video equipment manufactures who support it natively. Some audio manufactures have jumped into the fray but since they also support Cobranet and DANTE it probably isn’t much of a jump and it’s mostly just a digital audio snake.

    Since I mentioned it, DANTE is also a competing networked media technology. It also has made strides in audio and unlike AVB seems to work without specialized network equipment. But there is no real media other than audio so it’s not going anywhere fast.

    Which leaves us with HDBaseT. It is not networkable but it is the technology that is being accepted by the equipment manufactures. It is expanding from just being a digital signal expansion technology and becoming a digital signal distribution technology The commercial AV industry may not need to put up with HDMI cables much longer

    But I don’t care how much people want to talk about the industry and it’s convergence with IT, the industry doesn’t appear to be really doing anything more than paying that convergence lip service and patting itself on the back because device control is finally moving away from IR or RS232 and using a network transport. The change for the AV technician is he sets up IP addresses instead of baud rates.

    Mixed Signals, What is the AV Future – Part I

    July 6, 2013 in Tech Talk by Sam Davisson

    Unclear future in avAbout every three months the question of the state of the AV – IT convergence pops up in places we AV types hang out. Invariably, you have those that think it is progressing smoothly, those that think it will never really happen and those, which is where I fit in, that while more and more AV will be traveling through products that were traditionally developed for the IT world, that a complete AV – IT convergence is still a very long way away.

    It’s equally confusing if you try to find the answer on the internet. Some seem to believe that it really isn’t a convergence of technology but a convergence of responsibility. While that trend is certainly happening it is having the affect of “dumbing down” the AV art. It’s extremely difficult to be an expert in two complex fields simultaneously.

    Rooms are being built with little to no consideration for sound or acoustics. People don’t fully understand the relationship between speaker and amplifier or really what the purpose of an audio
    DSP really is.

    While the quality of audio suffers the most, video is suffering as well. It’s a lot less noticeable because digital video simply looks good. But few really understand the relationship between the video and the viewer. The best example I can think of is the clamor of 3D and not the technology is considered almost dead.

    3D is definitely cool But in order to rach that coolness factor it needs to be contained in an immersive environment. How many of you think the TV in your living room fits that. #D is cool in a theater not with dorky glasses in your living room.

    Some feel it was the glasses that killed 3D. I don’t really think so. I think the problem is it needs to fill your field of view.

    I’m sure everyone has heard the new buzz, 4k or UHD if you prefer. Sad part is it appears the industry hasn’t learned anything from the failure of 3D. 4K is also really cool. It should provide an enhanced experience if used properly. More resolution should mean bigger screens. Unless you watch your TV with your nose just inches away from the screen your not going to notice a difference between current HD and the improved UHD on a screen with a 55″ diagonal. A larger screen, say 80″ diagonal” you should be able to notice a difference and over 100″ you’ll wonder how you could have ever thought plain HD was good.

    But I’ve traveled far down the path of being off track. Much of this has nothing to do with convergence… or does it. Probably not.

    In part II, I promise the conversation will turn back to the question at hand, AV – IT convergence and how the industry can’t seem to decide on which direction it really wants to go.

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