Fake Crowd Noise on Supermodel Finale?

Something completely, utterly annoying to me is the overdubbing of crowd noise.

I picked it quickly on Public Image Limited’s “live” version of Rise (on one EP or another), and watching the Make Me A Supermodel finale on 7 left me with a similar feeling.

Crowd shots showed happy clappers for the runway segment. But some signature “whooping” was happening for every person. Everyone got the same level of crowd noise. And in none of the shots did it appear that the crowd was as impassioned as the whooping might imply. They might have taken legitimate crowd noise from one segment and dropped it in elsewhere, but it’s cheating. It’s not authentic. And I’m not impressed.

So, Channel 7, shame on you. I reckon it was overdubbed, I reckon it was rorted, and I reckon it’s sad that you did that, assuming I’m right.

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V8 Supercars on Channel 7 – looking good

I missed the announcements over the off-season about the V8 Supercars ending up on 7 – I just spotted it while plotting my weekend recordings in MCE (thanks, IceTV!).

I tuned in, and heard a familiar-sounding voice – Matthew White! I remember he disappeared to Seven sometime last year (causing more double-takes), and watching for a little while longer, who popped up but Neil Crompton?! Excellent!

They were both bubbling with barely-contained enthusiasm while talking about this season – let’s hope they can maintain the momentum throughout the year.

I hope the quality of the broadcast pictures is higher than it was on 10 – the V8s were reliably one of the worse-quality SD broadcasts (not as bad as F1, but still not great).

Nope, it’s no better.

—–

Except: It seems like every time Channel 7 change their channel title to “7 SD Digital”, Media Center decides it’s a set of 5 new channels, and the Guide gets screwed up.

Other channels don’t seem to have this problem- it’s just 7.

Time For Formula 1 TV To Go Digital

Watching the helmet cam in widescreen from the Gold Cost Indy 300 today was awesome, and brought home that the broadcast was entirely in widescreen, and much better quality than F1.

The Formula 1 official feed is looking decidedly long in the tooth, in its low-res 4:3 format; perhaps it’s time for F1 to go Digital.

Not the crazy interactive digital that multimedia types invariably seem to want; just a nice, SD widescreen image. Formula 1 in High Def would be more appropriate- after all, the pinnacle of motorsport demands the pinnacle of viewing technology.

So, c’mon Bernie, stop haggling over regulations and upgrade our viewing experience too!

Jericho: Must we suffer this much longer?

In its quiet moments, especially those with my man Skeet, Jericho almost works. It ain’t no Lost, though it has (had?) the potential to be up there.

For the most part, Jericho is an awesome concept that’s completely buggered by poor execution: Unexciting action sequences. Technology that doesn’t work like it does in the real world – did 832.198.532.191 (or similar, as was typed into a web browser on tonight’s episode) ever work as an IP address? Of course not! One second of technical consultancy would fix that type of problem, but nope, the writers are too busy trying to write another forced and tired action sequence instead of some convincing interpersonal dialogue.

The actors are carrying the series; the writers and director(s?) just aren’t keeping the tension levels up. Boring action sequence on boring action sequence. Pseudoscience on pseudoscience. Weird digital artifacts on live TV. Meh.

I might have to give it a miss for a few weeks, so that all the super-obvious clues have faded from my mind; maybe it’s better with less exposure.

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Converting DVDs to put on myspace, YouTube, Google Video etc.

For Kasie, who wants to put her skydiving video on myspace.

This post describes how to convert an unprotected DVD into a format that can be uploaded to myspace, YouTube, Google Video or any other web video host. Protected DVDs such as store-bought or rented movies require extra steps that are not covered in this post.

Starting out with a fresh Windows XP computer, you will need:

You need to install Auto Gordian Knot (AutoGK). Choose the defaults. The install is unusual, in that it installs a few other programs as well (VobSub, AviSynth and XviD). It might be a bit confusing, but just go through all of the installers that come up. They are not evil*.

Once the install is complete, start AutoGK. Put your DVD into the drive.

The next step is to choose the files to convert. In general, the file you want to choose is VTS_01_0.IFO, in the VIDEO_TS folder on the DVD. If you have more than one video on the DVD then you might have to choose a higher number e.g.. VTS_02_0.IFO but on a home movie or skydiving video this is unlikely.

Next we need to choose the location of the file to create. Just put it anywhere you want. In the example I just put it on the desktop. The filename needs to end in “.AVI”.

 

The next step is to choose the width and format of your video. Click on Advanced Settings (highlighted below) and in the dialog that pops up choose:

  • A fixed width of 320 (you have to use the down arrow)
  • VBR MP3 at 128 Kbps
  • XviD codec (if you installed DivX and prefer it, by all means choose it)

Why these settings? From the YouTube help:

What’s the best format to upload for high quality? We recommend the MPEG4 (DivX, XviD) format at 320×240 resolution with MP3 audio. Resizing your video to these specifications before uploading will help your clips look better on YouTube.

The last thing we have to determine is the size of the file to create. I would recommend, at the above settings, 10MB per minute for good quality. This is because we are going to send it to a server and they will do their own conversion so we want as good as we can get, within a reasonable file size. The bigger the file, the longer it will take to send to the server, the smaller the file the lower the quality. The DVD I used to make this post is about 4 minutes long, so I chose 40MB as the file size.

We are nearly ready to start. Once everything above has been set, click the Add Job button. Then click the Start button next to it. Stuff will start to happen. AutoGK uses other programs to do its work (remember all the stuff that got installed), so different things will be popping up for a while. The second one that pops up (well, pops behind) is for VirtualDubMod. It will say “GNU General Public License”. You need to click this, press OK (if you agree, of course), and then press Start VirtualDubMod. Your computer will be effectively useless to you for some time as converting videos will use 100% of its CPU. Go make a cup of tea. Drink it. Clean the house. Make dinner. Eat it. Clean up. Check to see if the video is finished. Of course this depends on the length of your video and the power of your computer, but the point is that this takes a while.

When there is no longer anything listed in the Job Queue box then your video is finished. Watch it. Revel in your new skills and give yourself a pat on the back. All you have to do is upload it to myspace, YouTube, whatever and you are done.

*Shifty and Pinkjoint are not responsible for any evil caused by third parties.

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AMD LIVE!

Through alliances with leading software providers, AMD LIVE!™ Entertainment Suite allows you to access, distribute, and enjoy your live and pre-recorded TV, music, photos, videos an more in bold new ways:

  • AMD LIVE! Compress from the makers of Power Compress enables you to compress the TV shows and movies you’ve recorded using Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center Edition in order to save space and time. You will be able to download these applications free from this website in the very near future.
  • AMD LIVE! On Demand powered by Orb extends your entertainment experience to anywhere you are, at home or on the go! Access and control your live and pre-recorded TV, music, photos, videos and more from virtually any web connected electronic gadget.
  • AMD LIVE! LogMeIn allows you to remotely access and control your AMD LIVE! system, get access to content, files, programs, bookmarks, etc., from anywhere, and move media or files between work and home PCs.

Link to AMD LIVE!

I exclusively have AMD-based PCs at the moment, but I’m not convinced these won’t work on an Intel platform.

I record too much TV. I compulsively click Record Series when I should just be recording a show, and as a result I’m always fighting with the dreaded Disk Space Constraints.

I tried Live Compress, but it didn’t work on my computer. With the skipping backwards issue reducing my confidence in the platform (which is mostly fixed now, I might add), I’m thinking that upgrading to the next release of Windows Vista, doing a clean install, might be the best option for me; rebuilding the MCE installation with only 6 months left on the upgrade clock (or less, if they actually ship a B3/RC in the September timeframe) seems like a pain in the bum.

Still, remote recording would be cool, so I might give Orb a try.