Monday, March 12, 2007

HD Expo Q&A

HD Expo Asks is a straightforward Q & A from leaders in the industry about the issues and concerns from our technology and entertainment community. (click for PDF)

HD Expo: What capture, editing and/or graphic technology advancements, if any, do you see reshaping our industry in 2007?

Randall Dark: Our industry is experiencing a radical change. No longer will we be dependant on traditional image capture, editorial and most importantly distribution methods. Although we have constantly said"Content is King," the financial truth historically has been"Distribution is King" and the creative content suppliers were always at their mercy.

Technology is allowing creative minds to have more control over the entire food chain. I can shoot and edit a killer product and have 10 million viewers download it worldwide within hours.

Presently the quality of these downloads is primitive and image resolution during the capture phase is almost irrelevant. That will soon change.

The real quandary is how to monetize this new distribution chain.

HD Expo: How do all the technology choices impact the end user/consumerand what should we, the creators be aware of ?

Randall Dark: The Achilles heel of the content creator is resolution. With the advent of prosumer technologies like HDV that can rival DigiBeta, where do you draw the line? How low is the benchmark? I firmly believe thatfuture sales will be hampered by limited resolution. Content needs toremain robust no matter what the native resolution of the display is.

The $10K HDV camera appears to be an incredible buy. Don’t get me wrong - for certain uses it is. I don't want to risk future revenue on the possibility that the resolution of this technology isn't goodenough. Most HD broadcasters limit the amount of HDV content they'll allow in their HD programs. Display devices are getting better daily. Will the lower bit rate devices hold up in the long run? Time will tell. The good news is that the high-end cameras and editing systems are improving greatly while their price points are dropping. The bad news is you get what you pay for. A $100K camera gives you a $100K image and a $10K camera gives you a $10K image.

HD Expo: What area(s) of our industry do you see as a leader in future technologies? Do you have any examples of what would demonstrate this?

Randall Dark: The internet has changed our daily lives more then any other technology since Television. The future technology that gets my high quality content into the consumer's hands while bypassing the traditional gatekeeper/distributor will be the killer product.

In the very near future, it will be common practice for programs to be downloaded to a display or listening device with the content creator in control of it all. Take a look at what YouTube is doing as the first level example. Right now it's a mess and is mostly used for sensational 2 minute clips. Even in its primitive development it has had an amazing impact! It has generated millions of dollars of venue for early adoptors and creative minds that have figured out a way to monetize that particular service.

We are about to enter a Platinum Age where content is truly King and we the originators will have more, if not complete control over the distribution.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Dark gives keynote address

Randall P. Dark will give the keynote address at the Playback Production Innovation Forum in Toronto. A Canadian, the trip will be a return (of sorts) to Dark's roots. In 1986, he was given the opportunity to work in High Definition in Toronto and knew it was the future of images. A few years later he founded HD Vision in New York City. The company's mandate was to specialize in the growth of HD. Dark has never looked back since, becoming an undisputed pioneer and leader in the emerging industry.