Release of NAS Oceana 2008 and Three Other Short Programs
This message is to confirm that the replication run has been approved and the printed material for release of NAS Oceana 2008 has been produced. I should receive the first production batch of the video on Monday, November 16 and expect to begin shipments on November 17. Shipments will be made in the sequence in which orders were received.
NAS Oceana 2008 is the most complex program we have ever released. From the time of its first layout, it has been fundamentally recast twice in order to develop a release of the interest and quality we believe to be essential. For the first time, a large part of the release contains footage originally shot in HD as well as some footage in the 4X3 aspect ratio. If viewed on a traditional TV set, it should be seen much the same as our previous releases. If viewed on an HDTV set with an upconverting DVD player, the results should be quite impressive. Information on this has been provided in a previous letter, more will be posted on the website and an informational insert is provided with each copy of the video. We will be very interested in your reactions to this particular release and its structure.
The special member discount of $2 per copy will be in effect until the first of December. After that, the member discount will be $1 per video. Sometime late in November, NAS Oceana 2008 will be moved to the home page; that will not affect ordering or the price of the video. Our other video releases will be rearranged, and with the exception of the 2004 ACC Heritage Conference, all will continue to be available.
The 2004 ACC Heritage Conference video will be removed from the product listing by the end of November. Between now and its removal, the member price for that listing will be $16.95.
NAS Oceana 2009
In a previous message, I related the issues in regard to NAS Oceana 2009. We are determined to make a 2009 release with the Oceana event as the primary interest. I trust that you can understand that the number of options and challenges are enormous and it will be a while before we can be sure as to what we will be able to put together.
As we reach settled conclusions about what we plan to do, I will advise you by means of these messages. It is possible that a 2009 release could be structured in a manner analogous to that of the NAS Oceana 2008 release. That would be to use the best of we got of the Oceana 2009 activities, include other footage from other air shows, and possibly some historical footage from past Oceana shows that has never been seen. Be assured that footage we shot at Oceana 2000 and 2002 is very high in quality, certainly consistent with that in the Oceana 2003 release. When you have a chance to review the NAS Oceana 2008 release, I would appreciate learning your reaction to this form of presentation.
Display of the NAS Oceana 2008 Video on "Legacy" TV Sets
Disclaimer: This document will sometimes identify manufacturers and products which will provide information based on our experience with various products. It is impossible to do a comprehensive check of all available products; in addition, electronics manufacturers rapidly change products and features to maintain product differentiation and incorporate new technology. Other manufacturers' products or models may also perform very well compared to the ones we have evaluated. This information is provided for your consideration only and cannot be interpreted as a guarantee that any specific product or result will be satisfactory to you. Many of our customers now have HDTV television sets - in a future message we will discuss those issues in more detail. Some information is also provided in the written material provided with each disc. The information presented here is related to playing our discs on "legacy" television sets and will also be posted on the website. Starting with the NAS Oceana 2008 disc, some of the video footage is in the 16X9 aspect ratio, the standard aspect ratio of HDTV. These discs will play on any DVD player and can be viewed on "legacy" TV sets. This information is to provide detail on the manner in which the video will be displayed on legacy sets and the options the viewer has to display the footage. Detailed information on the exact contents of the disc is available on the website. Click on the Chapter List for NAS Oceana 2008 to access a three page document detailing every chapter in the video, including the running time of each program. The first two programs on the disc are in 16X9; the last two are 4X3. The following information relates to display of 16X9 aspect ratio video on a legacy TV set. The options are: 1. Letterboxed This option shows the full width of the video with black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. In the setup menu on the DVD player, this is referred to as Letterbox. Advantage: You see the entire picture in the 16X9 perspective. Disadvantage: The top and bottom blank areas discard some of the image-producing capability of the set. 2. Pan and Scan This option shows the video full screen on the 4X3 set by cutting off the edges of the picture. Advantages: The best use is made of the definition of the 4X3 set; all of the available screen space is used to display video information. The result is to magnify the images compared to the Letterbox mode, providing a larger display of the central action area. Disadvantage: You don't see the edges of the screen, so whatever detail is in the screen edges is lost. Most of the time, this is not noticeable except in display of the graphics. In the editing, we have done the best we can to keep the graphics arranged so that most of it can be seen on a 4X3 set. The most obvious effect will be edge clipping in the credits and some other text displays. 3. Squeeze Most DVD players will allow selection of either of the first two options, each of which provides for accurate aspect reproduction of the video information. Some older DVD players might not have the ability to make a selection. In that case, it is possible that all of the video information will be squeezed onto the 4X3 screen. The effect is that when playing the programs in 16X9, the images willl be distorted - a round ball in the video would be squeezed on the sides and appear as an oval. I have an old Haier player that I use as a test subject; it does not have a selection option and does the squeeze. If your player squeezes the image and there is no selection option, the only way to view the 16X9 video in the proper perspective is to obtain a newer player - another subject - see below. Setting up the DVD Player To set up a DVD player, explore through the setup menu to find two basic setting options. In most DVD players we have evaluated, the choices are accessed on the controller under "display" rather than "menu". The manner in which the choices are offered will vary among different manufacturers - if possible, consult the instructions provided with the DVD player. In most recent Sony players, the selections are found at the bottom of the selection list on the left, the visual icon being a red tool box. The first selection is the type of TV that you are using, and the options of 16X9 or 4X3 should be available. If you are using an older TV, this should be set to 4X3. Then you should find the selection of the type of display. The use of the term "Letterbox" is almost universal for the first option, and the most common term for the second is "Pan and Scan". "Edge Crop" may also be used and other terms might be used as well. The setting you choose is dependent on your own preference. Obtaining a New DVD Player If you decide to obtain a new DVD player, even if you don't now have an HDTV set, it is well to make a choice with future possibilities in mind. We strongly recommend that a player be chosen that has an upconversion function. Such a player will also have an HDMI output jack. Such players are commonly available for under $80. Of all the players we have tested, we have found Sony to be consistent and uniformly excellent in delivering a sharp and detailed picture without artifacts, regardless of which brand or type of TV set is used with it. It is possible that other players will also be satisfactory, but every Sony player we have evaluated has provided excellent performance. More information will be provided later about viewing these videos on HDTV sets.
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