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>> in recent news about a new fibre link from the UK to Japan. Reports say that this 9,693-mile cable, the world’s longest, via the Canadian Arctic, will shave 62 milliseconds off the present latency between London and Tokyo. Apparently this potentially means millions of dollars for high- frequency traders who rely on ultra fast connections. So, with that sort of technology available, or at least becoming available, in the IT and Telecom industries, this is a very good time to shift up from the ‘softly softly’ approach to The Cloud of recent years and start seriously ramping up its use for TV applications. And it’s not hard to find people who are thinking the same way. For example, Cisco, having brought Tandberg back in 2009 for $3.4 billion, it has now announced it is splashing more of its cash on TV technology with it purchase of the NDS Group for about $5 billion. A statement ascribed to Cisco CEO John Chambers states, “Our strategy has always been driven by customer need and on capturing market transitions. Our acquisition of NDS fits squarely into this strategy enabling content and service providers to deliver new video solutions that leverage the cloud and drive new monetization opportunities and service differentiation.” I think this means that Cisco sees a great future for using the Cloud to deliver TV services to viewers. If so, it would absorb a significant portion of the available bandwidth which could, in turn, bump up the need for critical items including the internet switches that Cisco supplies. The Cloud has many uses but an expansion of good quality Cloud TV could well take a great deal of bandwidth. The dash of TV in The Cloud is gathering pace. Another mover is Amazon that has signed a deal with Discovery Communications that will make available series from Discovery, TLC and Animal Planet on Amazon’s established Prime Instant Video platform. Will Cloud TV be the next big thing in the internet? With big global players heavily investing to expand Cloud TV services, it seems likely. 44 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE Out on the range? by Robin Palmer The main parameters to worry about in any stereoscopic scene are the most negative and positive disparity values. These numbers are usually expressed in percentage terms rather than in actual screen pixels. The distance between the numbers is the depth range. The depth budget is the maximum value this range can be allowed without being too uncomfortable for the viewer. The current BSkyB specification, which is becoming more widely accepted by other authorities as a good standard to work to, is 3% of screen width. But the same spec also limits negative (in front of the screen plane) to -1% and positive (behind the screen plane) to +2%. Adding those numbers up, what is the point of the 3% maximum range number? Are they not the same thing? No, because the BSkyB spec also allows temporary excursions outside the -1% +2% limits to go as far as -2.5% and 4% provided the 3% range rule is not exceeded. This allows for more dramatic scope in using the depth space without asking the viewer’s eyes to resolve too wide a range of disparities that could lead to eye strain or headaches. These rules mean you could have a foreground object as far as -2.5% forwards provided that any visible background or objects are no more than at +0.5% to make a range of 3%. Similarly, with a foreground object as far back as +1%, any visible background or objects could be no more than at +4% again a range 3%. These are special extreme cases not intended for continuous viewing but they illustrate the allowable temporary excursions within the stipulated range of 3%. Cel-Scope3D can show the analysed depth range numerically or with a bar-graph and more completely with a depth histogram including the specified limits (see image). As well as observing the limits to which the depth parameters can be pushed, to make a good 3D production the dynamics of depth should be managed. This is mostly done in post-production to ensure that the viewer’s eyes can track and accommodate for the action in the depth dimension. This is particularly important for the apparent movement of the point of attention which the eyes will be attempting to converge onto. It is possible to have scene events that don’t exceed the actual depth budget but which still cause objectionable jump cuts. The viewer’s eye muscles must be allowed time to shift attention from one scene to the next..  For these and artistic reasons, a depth script can be prepared as part of the storyboarding for a big production.  To cut out the tedium of doing this manually, the Cel- scope3D stereoscopic analyser with its logging option can produce a depth chart automatically to aid programme review. This logs against timecode the maximum and minimum depth values used together with the range in use. Robin Palmer is Managing Director of Cel-Soft and is currently involved with software solutions for 3D & TV quality control and measurement technology.