Rich Green Ink is a California-based company specialising in designing and installing advanced AV, automation and security systems into the homes of Silicon Valley’s wealthiest home owners. Its founder and principal, Rich Green, holds various roles in the US chapter of CEDIA (Customer Electronic Design and Installation Association), including that of board member, and, like one of his former key clients, Apple’s Steve Jobs, is a passionate technology visionary with nerd-made-good appeal.
As a guest speaker at the 2011 CEDIA Expo in Sydney he talked about how the custom installation industry – and all those who appreciate high performance AV – can meet the challenge presented by the trend towards cheap, disposable low-quality entertainment.
In short, his answer is “more, better audio and video”.
Ultra high definition (aka 4K or Quad HD) will be a key driver here, delivering pictures with four times the resolution of current full HD. Programming is lacking, but equipment is already available, with Blu-ray disc able to transport 4K data, according to Green, and support for it – even in 3D – already provided by new HDMI standards.
Prysm, a new HD imaging system that uses laser phosphor display technology to create super-large, bright and power efficient screens is another technology to watch, as is telepresence, a kind of high definition Skype currently used by business. In the home it would allow people to participate in remote activities (say, yoga classes or psychology sessions) in real-time via life-sized screens.
Regarding 3D, “when its done right it’s great, but not all content is done right,” he says. “We’ll get through this awkward stage and it will be great, though.
“For the best 3D, you need a projector – a bright, bright bright projector and active shutter glasses,” he says. “That’s because 3D cuts the light output of a projector by 50 percent. The 3D glasses are like sunglasses, so the picture becomes even darker, and they distort colour”.
Passive 3D doesn’t have the punch and wow of active shutter, he adds, and “autosteroscopic works at the right height and the right angles only. It will be 3-5 years before large format glasses-free 3D is realised.”