Electronic Visualization for the Next Century

  • Display Interfacing: Welcome to Babylon

    September 10, 2015

    For many years, ‘interfacing’ a video signal meant plugging in a yellow RCA or silver BNC connector that carried composite video. As picture resolution went up, computers became commonplace at work and home, and the term ‘progressive scan’ entered the lexicon, we saw the birth of S-video and then component video (YPbPr and RGB). So we adapted, building switching and distribution gear that could handle one-, two-, and three-wire formats. All was well and good…until ‘digital’ made its grand entrance about 15 years ago. Now, we have digital versions of component and RGB video, starting with the Digital Video Interface (DVI) and moving to High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), DisplayPort, and the new superMHL interface that (according to the MHL Alliance) will start appearing on televisions as soon as December. If I’m a consumer, I mostly don’t care about any of this. As long as I can plug in my set-top box, Blu-ray player, and other gadgets with the right..Read more

  • What Will Apple Do Next?

    September 30, 2015

    Whenever I hear this question, my curmudgeonly inclination is to answer, "Who cares?" Perhaps a better question is "What revolutionary new product would allow Apple to continue earning profit margins far larger than the industry average?" In fact, it's very hard to imagine Apple coming up with such a product. iWatch, iBust. The financial analyst class, with very few exceptions, entered into group hysteria, predicting iWatch sales of many tens (or even hundreds) of millions in the first year. It didn't happen, of course, with smart watches in general remaining a solution in search of problem. The problem for which some people do want a solution is being solved very well and far less expensively by "fitness bands." You can see how this could have looked tempting to Apple, which has had great success in the past refining existing products to the point they became attractive to large numbers of consumers. This worked very well with the iPod, the tablet, and the smart..Read more