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Who Needs Cable? 3 iPad Apps That Glue Me To My TV

first_imgThe Internet may be changing TV, but it is nowhere close to completely disrupting it.Why’s that? In a word, content.Web videos can rack up millions of views (and millions of dollars), but the Web isn’t yet giving us content as compelling as Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad. Netflix, Hulu and YouTube are all trying to change that by investing in TV-quality programming for the Internet. But there’s another problem: the user experience. Even the best Internet videos have to be clicked, queued, buffered and occasionally refreshed. You can’t just sit down and watch. Fortunately, that’s starting to change. I don’t have a subscription to cable TV, nor have I had the slightest desire for one. When I sit down in front my TV, it’s with an iPad and Apple remote, which controls my Apple TV set top box. I stream shows from all the usual suspects: Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon. But lately, a handful of innovative social video apps have been nabbing more and more of my attention. ShowyouShowyou has long occupied a spot in the top row of my iPad’s “Entertainment” folder, and it’s only gotten better since I first installed it. The app borrows heavily from the Flipboard concept, but instead of articles and blog posts, it curates personalized video clips based on my social connections and interests I’ve explicitly declared by adding channels. I can also follow individual friends on Showyou, independently of whatever relationship I may (or may not) have with them on Twitter or Facebook. In that sense, Showyou is a bit of a social network in its own right. There’s a ton of content in Showyou. Video clips come from legacy brands like ABC News and the New York Times alongside Web sources like Reddit, Pitchfork, The Verge and Gawker. Each category of channels (Comedy, Tech, News, Music, etc) lists at least a dozen sources, each of which can be added as a channel. If you actively follow channels on YouTube, you can plug your Google account into Showyou and include those videos as well. Combine all of this formal curation with feeds of videos shared by Facebook and Twitter friends, and you’ve got an enormous amount of personalized, highly relevant video content. You can break them down by channel or social network or you can view everything in one huge mega-channel. Factor in continuous playback and you’ll be sitting in front of your TV for awhile. VodioLike ShowYou, Vodio merges self-declared interests with socially fueled recommendations. Its channels are far less granular (they’re more like general categories rather than feeds from individual content providers). Its design is decidedly simpler, with a big rotating carousel of video channels and minimal controls. Some channels are more useful than others. The Music channel pulls in videos from a range of sources, and seems to presume that I’m interested in UK boy band One Direction. By contrast, other social video apps let you subscribe to specific music publications, labels and artists, which obviously results in a more personally relevant selection of videos. News, on the other hand, is great on Vodio. The app pulls news clips from outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and ABC, auto-playing them back-to-back to create a sort of multi-sourced, commercial-free news broadcast. The continuous playback makes it feel like watching a single news channel, but with fewer talking heads and more variety. FrequencyFrequency is awesome. It’s pretty much the same concept as the other apps – plug in your social networks and select your favorite Web video content channels – but with an interface that more deliberately mimics the experience of watching TV. Tapping each channel icon is akin to “changing the channel” on a television, jumping from Reddit to Ars Technica, from Gawker to Lifehacker. Whatever you’re into. Like ShowYou and Vodio, Frequency pulls in the videos your friends are sharing on Facebook and Twitter. I can’t overstate how much more effective it is to peruse these videos in this context than it is to scroll through the noise of tweets and status updates to find them. And like the other apps, Frequency plays videos continuously back-to-back. This turns watching Web video from a hunt-and-tap experience to a lean-back and don’t-make-any-decisions experience.Kind of like TV. Lead photo by Gustavo Devito. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Related Posts john paul titlowcenter_img Tags:#iPad#social video#television#YouTube 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

3 Tips for Recording Long-Form DSLR Productions

first_imgIt’s doable, but it’s certainly not easy to record cinematic, long-form productions with DSLR cameras.Cover image via Shutterstock.If we could go back in time and speak with Joe DSLR (or whoever it was who invented the digital single-lens reflex camera) about his decision, I can pretty much guarantee he would not mention long-form video recording as one of his main goals.DSLRs (and many other mirrorless and digital cameras) are marvels of video capture technology, but they’re not really meant to record for long periods on end. For most long-form needs, you’ll need to look for cheaper camcorder options or a few higher-end options.However, for those looking to use their trusty prosumers (like a Canon 5D or comparable) to record long-form content, here are some ways to trick ol’ Joe DSLR into helping you get the job done.1. Maximize Recording CapabilitiesImage via Shutterstock.If you’re familiar with Canon DSLRs, you may assume that the maximum recording capabilities for your camera are 30 mins (or 25 minutes and 59 seconds) if you look at your manual. However, this is and isn’t true in a couple of ways. Yes, that’s the max time built into the camera, but if you just turn your camera on and hit record, you’ll find that your camera does a couple of things differently — and probably maxes out its recording at around 12 minutes.There are a couple of reasons for this. The biggest hindrance is that most Canon DSLRs can only record 4gb files at a time. (Newer cameras won’t stop recording at this point — they’ll simply create a new file.) This is assuming that your camera sensor doesn’t overheat. Other factors like card speed and battery life come into play as well. So what does that mean for maximizing your capabilities?To truly push your camera as far as it can go, you can do a few things. One is reduce your recording quality as much as you can (even down into SD). This will save the most in terms of card writing speed, memory, and battery life. You can also use add-on items like battery packs, or even directly power your camera through an AC adapter. It should also go without saying that you should be using the fastest card possible.2.  Hack It with Magic LanternOnce you’ve maximized your camera capabilities with the built-in software, you can further hack it by using add-on programs. (Note: using Magic Lantern and other third-party firmware voids certain camera warranties, so use at your own risk!) Magic Lantern is a popular open-source software that you can load into your camera’s firmware to gain more control. It’s probably best known as a go-to hack to get higher recording quality out of your Canon DSLRs for RAW footage. By the same token, it can also help you reduce your recording quality by decreasing H264 bitrate and framerates.Watch the 7D Magic Lantern hack video above, or read more about their add-ons here.3. Use More Than One CameraImage via Youtube.Even after maximizing your camera’s capabilities with built-in features and Magic Lantern hacks, you still may not get the full, continuous shooting capabilities you need. If you’re looking to shoot several hours of nonstop footage and would like that DSLR quality, your best bet at the end of the day may be to use more than one camera. With a solid two-camera setup you can work with your camera’s capabilities and shoot in 10-minute bursts. While one camera shoots, you can let the other one cool down and replace things like batteries and cards.The biggest trick would be finding a setup where the cameras can be close enough together to make the footage match. You’ll also get the best result out of this setup if you use two of the exact same cameras with the same lenses. However, if you must mix and match, try to be consistent in terms of sensor sizes, lens lengths, ISO, and white balance to save yourself extra work in post.For more production tips and tricks, check out some of these resources below.Filmmaking Tricks: How to Make One Camera Look Like Two3 Tips You Must Know Before Shooting a Multicam ProductionHow to Use a Third Camera on Interview Shoots5 Affordable Streaming-Ready Cameras for Your Next Live Eventlast_img read more