4K HDTVs – Higher Definition, But a Logical Move? – Sony is showing off their 84-inch 4K $25,000 HDTV at CEDIA, making the future look more detailed that ever. LG also has one. Sure, the resolution is amazing, and some theatrical projectors are beginning to use it, but for home viewing at present, forget it. Considering the typical screen sizes and the distance most viewers sit from their displays, it’s unlikely most people can tell the difference between broadcast 720p and Blu-ray 1080p, let alone between 2K and 4K. Even the enhancement of Blu-ray over DVD is not going to be noticed with small displays. If you sit closer than nine feet and have a gigantic screen, perhaps 4K could be beneficial. The increased sense of depth and increased resolution is said to give the images a near-3D quality.
As of now, there are no movies available for home use in 4K, on Blu-ray or otherwise, and there is no broadcast content. In fact the latest standard for video compression doesn’t enhance resolution a bit—it just enables twice as many different video streams on the same bandwidth. The only devices currently offering 4K playback are ultra-hi-res PC graphics cards using a quartet of HDMI or SDI outputs to deliver 8MP of video. To use 4K native content, the HDMI spec must be modified to allow a super-high-resolution player to output 4K. When Hollywood starts mastering everything in 4K, some content becomes available, and the prices come down, perhaps 4K will eventually happen. But not right now. (And how about the move to 21:9 aspect ratio displays? Another advance that probably isn’t going to happen now, and perhaps shouldn’t at all.)
Musicians of Atlanta Symphony Ask Administration to Share in Salary Cuts – The musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra have offered to cut their compensation (which was raised 26% since 2006) by 11% to help balance the budget, but only if the ASO leadership and staff (who have had a 1.7% decline since 2006) take an equal cut. The management CEO says they are looking carefully at the proposal, but simply cannot ignore the enormous sacrifices the staff has already made.
Centenary Site Celebrates Benjamin Britten – A new website – www.britten100.org – has been launched today, encompassing global activities tied in with the celebration of the composer’s 100th birthday. It is the widest global celebration of a British composer ever, involving leading organisations from the worlds of performing arts, publishing, broadcasting, film, academia and heritage. Millions will be celebrating Britten in the UK and abroad. All 14 of Britten’s major operas (he was the most-performed opera composer of the 20th century) will be performed in the UK; the epicenter of Britten’s performing legacy is Aldeburgh, the coastal town in Suffolk where Britten lived and worked most of his life. A collection of new Britten books have been published, and a new coin from the Royal Mint will literally place Britten in the hands of everyone in the UK.
Wayne Shorter – In Memoriam
Rememberance of the artist