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Old 02-15-2011, 03:22 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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H.264 clip running on standard E Ink panel

Nobody can question Bookeen's expertise when it comes to building mouthwatering e-book devices. So it didn't come as a surprise when we received word from them about a demonstration of an H.264 movie clip running on standard E Ink hardware (E Ink panel based on Pearl with an ARM Cortex A8-based TI OMAP3621 processor). And as if that wasn't enough - we were told that in a couple of weeks, we should see the same clip again, only then on color e-paper.



(Edit: Apologies to EowynCarter who gets the credit for pointing us to the video first. I missed your topic. )

Last edited by Alexander Turcic; 02-16-2011 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:31 PM   #2
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Sure came as a surprise to me!

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Old 02-15-2011, 04:01 PM   #3
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Looking forward to seeing what new devices incorporate this.
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:10 PM   #4
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Delicious device, indeed! I remember Big Buck Bunny from Blender.

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Old 02-15-2011, 04:14 PM   #5
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Nice to see that Bookeen hasn't given up Eink yet (Orizon = SiPix).
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:15 PM   #6
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Cool!
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:20 PM   #7
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posted previously.

should be nice knowing about power consumption...
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:37 PM   #8
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Who needs video on eink? I mean, seriously: color would be cool, better contrast is always nice, semi-rugged (read: unbreakable) shouldn't be too far off, but video? Just get a tablet.
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:41 PM   #9
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I'm impressed - that's incredible.
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue_librarian View Post
Who needs video on eink? I mean, seriously: color would be cool, better contrast is always nice, semi-rugged (read: unbreakable) shouldn't be too far off, but video? Just get a tablet.
Publishers need video on eInk... they can then sell ads in ebooks.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:00 PM   #11
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Color me startled. At this point, I would have said the refresh rate on e-Ink devices was simply too slow to make video realistic. This is actually usable.

I'll be fascinated to know more about the hardware. An ARM 8 Cortex CPU is a fast chip, but it's only part of the equation. Details like what video controller they are using would be nice.

It will also be curious to see what battery life is like doing this. eInk gets huge savings because no power is required to maintain the screen once drawn, and for standard reading, screen refresh is an "every so often" occurrence as you reach the end of a page and go to the next. With video, a lot more screen refresh happens, and I'd expect battery life to drop in consequence.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:02 PM   #12
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Publishers need video on eInk... they can then sell ads in ebooks.
They could sell ads in ebooks now. The question is who would buy them.

I see this as more valuable for the "enhanced" ebooks folks are working on that include audio and video as part of the package.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
I'll be fascinated to know more about the hardware. An ARM 8 Cortex CPU is a fast chip, but it's only part of the equation. Details like what video controller they are using would be nice.
I was told only " standard components" have been used, but I am not sure if that refers to components commonly used in other E Ink devices.

Quote:
It will also be curious to see what battery life is like doing this. eInk gets huge savings because no power is required to maintain the screen once drawn, and for standard reading, screen refresh is an "every so often" occurrence as you reach the end of a page and go to the next. With video, a lot more screen refresh happens, and I'd expect battery life to drop in consequence.
I remember reading somewhere (don't quote me here) that while battery life drops, it is still superior due to the screen only requiring a partial refresh (as long as the video doesn't occupy the full screen).
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:18 PM   #14
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I was told only " standard components" have been used, but I am not sure if that refers to components commonly used in other E Ink devices.
It will be a standard component, pretty much no matter what. There are an assortment of video controllers out there for mobile devices, and the question is which got used. Bookeen is too small to use anything other than "off the rack" hardware.

Quote:
I remember reading somewhere (don't quote me here) that while battery life drops, it is still superior due to the screen only requiring a partial refresh (as long as the video doesn't occupy the full screen).
That makes sense. I'd expect battery life to be better than on a backlit LCD device, where a constant trickle is required to keep the screen refreshed. But I'd expect any significant use of the device for video playback to drop battery life. It will likely be better than a backlit device, but not as good as an eInk device used only to display static data.

The bigger question here is use cases. Why would you want to display video on an eInk device? The usage I can see is for the enhanced ebooks lots of folks are brewing up, that will include audio and video. This demonstrates an eInk device can display them. But while lots of things like that are likely to appear in the pipeline, I don't expect many to be compelling. Done right, such a product needs to be designed as a multi-media production from the start, and the vast majority of books simply won't need that sort of treatment. I expect to see a lot of enhanced ebooks tank because producers were simply tacking stuff on to a book that really should have been just simple text.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:32 PM   #15
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Publishers need video on eInk... they can then sell ads in ebooks.
If they do, they lose business.
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