Webinar: Mark Schubin’s “Six Centuries of Opera and Media Technology in New York”


Date: 1st November, 2018. 1PM EDT / 10AM PDT / 17:00 GMT

Electronic home entertainment was invented in New York City for opera and so were headphones. The first compatible-color television program seen at home was opera in New York and so was the first bootleg recording. New York’s media technologies for opera date back to the 16th century and in the 21st century include dynamic video warping with depth-plane selection and multi-language live cinema transmissions to all seven continents (first described in a New York newspaper in 1877).

The genesis of much modern tech that we use today in broadcasting – and many business models – had their birth in Opera over a hundred years ago. Find out more!

A 200-ton music synthesizer broadcasting opera music in New York in 1907? An opera lighting dimmer in 1638? Opera for military communications tests?

It may be difficult to believe, but it’s true!

This is a special SMPTE New York-Section National Opera Week webcast event featuring Mark Schubin, esteemed engineer and explainer.

Register now!

Video: The Fandom of the Opera

A lecture by Mark Schubin on how a 400-year-old art form helped create modern media technology.
Believe it or not, electronic home entertainment was invented for opera audiences. So were consumer headphones, movies, newscasts, and pay-cable. The first sportscasts were in opera houses.

The first wireless broadcast? The first commercial digital recording? The first live subtitles? All opera.

The idea of transmitting opera motion pictures and sounds live to theaters worldwide appeared in print in 1877, to homes in 1882. Without opera, there might not be communications satellites. And, according to pioneering radiologist Percy Brown, “No opera, no X-rays!” The first opera recordings were made 17 years before Edison’s first phonograph, and 76 years before that an automaton played opera music for Marie Antoinette. In the 21st century, labs around the world are working on ultra-high-speed communications systems for opera and have discussed neutrino communications and quantum entanglement. Galileo, Kepler, Lavoisier, Matisse – all had opera-technology connections. Stereo sound? The laryngoscope? Broadcast rights? All for opera. Really. Watch and be amazed.

Video: Why Television Research Began in 1877 (and Why No One Knows it)

Another incredibly researched talk from Mark Schubin, documenting the early history of Television and ending on why the earliest work is so poorly documented. With restored videos from 1930s ‘Baird Disks’, newspaper & journal extracts, this is a fascinating history.

Prior to 1877, there was no hint of a television camera — not even in science fiction or fantasy. In 1877, eight people, in five countries on both sides of the Atlantic, began working on television systems, and there has not been a year since without television research (though the word “television,” itself, wasn’t coined until 1900). Why the “vision barrier” between 1876 and 1877? How did it get broken? Why don’t television history books discuss it? After extensive research, Mark Schubin has found the answers.

Watch now to find out!

Video: Why 4K Lenses Are Important Even If You’re Not Doing 4K

Mark Schubin presents a talk on why 4K lenses are relevant to HD productions. Starting by discussing whether there is a fixed ‘Television Viewing Distance’ and whether people can see 4K, he continues to discuss the importance of contrast in the ability of humans to see fine detail. Mark looks at Mean Transfer Curves which show that higher resolution lenses allow much more contrast at HD resolutions.

This talk was given at NAB 2018 at the Fujinon stand.

Watch now!