Cowbell (Sound Effects)

Cowbell is a simple musical instrument app. With it, you can tap the screen in any rhythm, and the app makes a cowbell noise with each tap. You can even play along with songs from your music library by switching to the Music + Videos hub, starting a song or playlist, and then switching back to Cowbell. The important aspect of Cowbell is that its sole purpose is to play sound effects.

Of all the musical instruments out there, why choose a cowbell? Many people find the idea of playing a cowbell entertaining thanks to a Saturday Night Live skit in 2000 with Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken. In it, Christopher Walken repeatedly asks for “more cowbell” while Will Ferrell plays it to Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” With this song in your music library and this app on your phone, you can re-create the famous skit!

Playing Sound Effects

On Windows Phone, Silverlight has only one way to play audio and video: the MediaElement element. However, this element is too heavyweight for playing sound effects. When it plays, it stops any other media playback on the phone (e.g. music playing in the background from the Music + Videos hub).

The relevant XNA class is called SoundEffect, and it lives in the Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Audio namespace. To use it, you must add a reference to the Microsoft.Xna.Framework assembly in your project. In this chapter, you’ll see how to load a sound effect from an audio file and how to play it.

Using MediaElement for sound effects could cause your app to fail marketplace certification!

Because using MediaElement for sound effects results in the poor user experience of halting background media,Microsoft checks for this when certifying your app for the marketplace. If you use MediaElement for sound effects, your app will not be approved for publishing.

If you need sound effects for your app and are unable to make them yourself, here are a few good resources to check out:

  • The Freesound Project (freesound.org)
  • Partners in Rhyme (partnersinrhyme.com)
  • Soungle (soungle.com)
  • Sounddogs (sounddogs.com)
  • SoundLab, a pack of game-centric sounds from Microsoft (create.msdn.com/ en-US/education/catalog/utility/soundlab)

The User Interface

Cowbell has a main page, an instructions page, and an about page. The latter two pages aren’t interesting and therefore aren’t shown in this chapter, but Listing 30.1 contains the XAML for the main page.

LISTING 30.1 MainPage.xaml—The User Interface for Cowbell’s Main Page

[code]

<phone:PhoneApplicationPage
x:Class=”WindowsPhoneApp.MainPage”
xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation”
xmlns:x=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml”
xmlns:phone=”clr-namespace:Microsoft.Phone.Controls;assembly=Microsoft.Phone”
xmlns:shell=”clr-namespace:Microsoft.Phone.Shell;assembly=Microsoft.Phone”
SupportedOrientations=”Portrait”>
<!– The application bar, with one button and one menu item –>
<phone:PhoneApplicationPage.ApplicationBar>
<shell:ApplicationBar Opacity=”.5”>
<shell:ApplicationBarIconButton Text=”instructions”
IconUri=”/Shared/Images/appbar.instructions.png”
Click=”InstructionsButton_Click”/>
<shell:ApplicationBar.MenuItems>
<shell:ApplicationBarMenuItem Text=”about” Click=”AboutMenuItem_Click”/>
</shell:ApplicationBar.MenuItems>
</shell:ApplicationBar>
</phone:PhoneApplicationPage.ApplicationBar>
<!– Just an image in a grid –>
<Grid Background=”Black” MouseLeftButtonDown=”Grid_MouseLeftButtonDown”>
<Image Source=”Images/cowbell.png” Stretch=”None”/>
</Grid>
</phone:PhoneApplicationPage>

[/code]

This is a simple page with an application bar and a grid with a cowbell image that handles taps with its MouseLeftButtonDown handler. For the sake of the cowbell image that has white edges, the grid is given a hard-coded black background. Therefore, this page looks the same under both themes except for the half-opaque application bar, as seen in Figure 30.1.

FIGURE 30.1 The main page looks identical on both dark and light themes, except for the application bar.
FIGURE 30.1 The main page looks identical on both dark and light themes, except for the application bar.

The Code-Behind

Listing 30.2 contains the code-behind for the main page. This is where all the soundeffect logic resides.

LISTING 30.2 MainPage.xaml.cs—The Code-Behind for Cowbell’s Main Page

[code]

using System;
using System.Windows;
using System.Windows.Input;
using System.Windows.Media;
using System.Windows.Navigation;
using System.Windows.Resources;
using Microsoft.Phone.Controls;
using Microsoft.Phone.Shell;
using Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Audio; // For SoundEffect
namespace WindowsPhoneApp
{
public partial class MainPage : PhoneApplicationPage
{
SoundEffect cowbell;
public MainPage()
{
InitializeComponent();
// Load the sound file
StreamResourceInfo info = Application.GetResourceStream(
new Uri(“Audio/cowbell.wav”, UriKind.Relative));
// Create an XNA sound effect from the stream
cowbell = SoundEffect.FromStream(info.Stream);
// Subscribe to a per-frame callback
CompositionTarget.Rendering += CompositionTarget_Rendering;
// Required for XNA sound effects to work
Microsoft.Xna.Framework.FrameworkDispatcher.Update();
}
protected override void OnNavigatedTo(NavigationEventArgs e)
{
base.OnNavigatedTo(e);
// Don’t let the screen auto-lock in the middle of a musical performance!
PhoneApplicationService.Current.UserIdleDetectionMode =
IdleDetectionMode.Disabled;
}
protected override void OnNavigatedFrom(NavigationEventArgs e)
{
base.OnNavigatedFrom(e);
// Restore the ability for the screen to auto-lock when on other pages
PhoneApplicationService.Current.UserIdleDetectionMode =
IdleDetectionMode.Enabled;
}
void Grid_MouseLeftButtonDown(object sender, MouseButtonEventArgs e)
{
// The screen was tapped, so play the sound
cowbell.Play();
}
void CompositionTarget_Rendering(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
// Required for XNA sound effects to work.
// Call this every frame.
Microsoft.Xna.Framework.FrameworkDispatcher.Update();
}
// Application bar handlers
void InstructionsButton_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
this.NavigationService.Navigate(new Uri(“/InstructionsPage.xaml”,
UriKind.Relative));
}
void AboutMenuItem_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
this.NavigationService.Navigate(new Uri(“/AboutPage.xaml”,
UriKind.Relative));
}
}
}

[/code]

  • In the constructor, the stream for this app’s .wav audio file is obtained with the static Application.GetResourceStream method.
  • The use of the CompositionTarget.Rendering event is required for sound effects to work properly. This is explained in the following warning sidebar.

When playing sound effects with XNA, you must continually call Update on XNA’s framework dispatcher!

XNA’s sound effect functionality, like some other functionality in XNA, only works if you frequently (as in several times a second) call the static FrameworkDispatcher.Update method from the Microsoft.Xna.Framework namespace.This is natural to do from XNA apps, because they are designed around a game loop that runs code every frame. (XNA even provides a base Game class that automatically does this, so developers don’t have to.) From Silverlight apps, however, which are inherently event-based, you must go out of your way to run code on a regular schedule.

To call FrameworkDispatcher.Update regularly, you could use a DispatcherTimer, as done in previous chapters.You could even use a plain System.Threading.Timer because FrameworkDispatcher.Update can be called from any thread.

However,my preferred approach is to use an event Silverlight raises before every single frame is rendered.The event is called Rendering, and it is exposed on a static class called CompositionTarget.This event is useful for doing custom animations that can’t easily be represented with Silverlight’s animation classes from Part II,“Transforms & Animations,” of this book, such as physics-based movement. In Cowbell, the event is perfect for calling FrameworkDispatcher.Update with the roughly the same frequency that an XNA app would call it. Note that the first call to FrameworkDispatcher.Update is in the page’s constructor because it takes a bit of time for the first Rendering event to be raised.

If you call Play without previously calling FrameworkDispatcher.Update within a short time span, an InvalidOperationException is thrown with the following helpful message: FrameworkDispatcher.Update has not been called. Regular FrameworkDispatcher. Update calls are necessary for fire and forget sound effects and framework events to function correctly. See http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=193853 for details.

  • The code in OnNavigatedTo and OnNavigatedFrom exists to ensure that the screen doesn’t auto-lock. If the cowbell player has a long break during a performance, it would be very annoying if the screen automatically locked. And tapping the screen to keep it active isn’t a good option, because that would make an unwanted cowbell noise!
  • The sound effect is played with a simple call to SoundEffect.Play in Grid_MouseLeftButtonDown. If Play is called before the sound effect finishes playing from a previous call, the sounds overlap.

The Audio Transport Controls

When the phone’s media player plays music, this music continues playing while apps run.Users can pause, rewind, fast forward, or change songs via the 93-pixel tall top overlay that appears on top of any app when the hardware volume buttons are pressed.This functionality works great with a fun instrument app such as Cowbell. In the next release of the Windows Phone OS, due by the end of 2011, third-party apps will be able to play music in the background just like the builtin media player.

The Finished Product

Cowbell (Sound Effects)

Student Loan Consolidation Interest Rates – Competitive Ones Are What Borrowers Need

It is discovered that US students are leading all over the world when it comes to taking advantage of student loan consolidation interest rates. These days, thousands upon thousands of college students are applying for college loan debt consolidation hoping that they obtain the repayment relief that they expect from these financial loan schemes.As it is, college loan debt consolidation programs are one of the best ways by which one can have relief from his many student loans. They are effective in helping borrowers get control over their burdensome loans and provide them with the means to plan an efficient budget and repayment scheme.For the best type of student loan consolidation interest rates, you can find them on the internet. All you have to do is contact the lending companies that are willing to give you affordable repayment plans. Always look for those who take time to share great financial advice, especially on how to effectively handle and manage your multiple college loans.Of course, when finally the student borrower applies for student loan consolidation, it is advisable for him to first check and study the terms and conditions that are presented to him by the college debt and loan provider. Do not simply accept the first program offered to you. Make sure that the interest rate is low as you are on the lookout for the minimum amount of payment that you need to pay every month. Shun away from lenders who are quick to present to you a variety of attractive consolidation program, but are not willing to offer you interest rates that are low and affordable.

Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)

The CEA is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $172 billion US consumer electronics industry. More than 2000 companies are members of the CEA, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, and the fostering of business and strategic relationships.

At recent CEA Industry Forums (2009), the focus has been on consumer electronics retail trends (e.g., changes in channel dynamics), 3DTV technology, green technology, and social media. CEA takes the (tentative) position that the 3DTV technology is demonstrating clear success at movie theaters and will gradually evolve into other facets of consumers’ viewing habits. But the guidance is that the industry needs to have reasonable expectations for 3DTV. 3DTV is gaining momentum, as covered in this text, but may not completely reach critical mass for several years. CEA recently observed that the top trends and technologies likely to prominently feature at upcoming international CES events are as follows: interactive TV topped the list as a trend to watch with a variety of partnerships, widgets, menus, and new ways to manage content across screens likely to generate “buzz” at upcoming CES trade shows; and 3DTV also will be a big trend, with the question of whether 3D glasses or an alternative solution will emerge as the most viable option. E-books and Netbooks were also highlighted as top 2010-and-beyond CES trends [17].

CEA is developing standards for the interface for an uncompressed digital interface between (say) the STB (called source) and the 3D display (called sink); these standards will need to include signaling details, 3D format support, and other interoperability requirements between sources and sinks. In 2008 CEA started standards work aimed at enabling home systems to play stereoscopic 3DTV. The group’s first step was to upgrade the interconnect standard used in the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) to enable the cable/interface to carry stereo 3D data. Specifically this entailed an upgrade of the CEA 861 standard (A DTV Profile for Uncompressed High-Speed Digital Interfaces, March 2008) that defines an uncompressed video interconnect for HDMI. The standard defines video timing requirements, discovery structures, and a data transfer structure (InfoPacket) that is used for building uncompressed, baseband, digital
interfaces on DTVs or DTV monitors. A single physical interface is not specified, but any interface implemented must use Video Electronics Standards Association Enhanced Extended Display Identification Data (VESA E-EDID) for format discovery. CEA-861-E establishes protocols, requirements, and recommendations for the utilization of uncompressed digital interfaces by consumer electronics devices such as DTVs, digital cable, satellite or terrestrial STBs, and related peripheral devices including, but not limited to DVD players/recorders, and other related sources or sinks. CEA-861-E is applicable to a variety of standard DTVrelated high-speed digital physical interfaces such as Digital Visual Interface
(DVI) 1.0, Open Low Voltage Differential Signaling Display Interface (LDI), and HDMI specifications. Protocols, requirements, and recommendations that are defined include video formats and waveforms; colorimetry and quantization; transport of compressed and uncompressed, as well as Linear Pulse Code Modulation (LPCM), audio; carriage of auxiliary data; and implementations of the VESA E-EDID, that is used by sinks to declare display capabilities and characteristics.

At press time, CEA was also working on creating standards for 3DTV active and passive eyeglasses, metadata, on-screen displays, and user controls. A CEA group set up in 2009 was working on a standard for infrared signals used to control active shutter glasses; the group developed a requirements document and published a broad call for proposals in early 2010. The CEA also has a task group studying how to place captions in 3D space; the group was expected to issue a call for proposals in early 2010.

Online Advertising Terminology

Click-Throughs

When viewers click on an ad with their mouse and go to the site advertised, it is called a “click-through.” Sometimes advertising prices are determined by the number of click-throughs. You don’t pay every time your ad is displayed; you pay only when someone actually clicks on your ad and is delivered to the appropriate page on your Web site.

Hits

Hits to your site are the number of times that another computer has accessed your site (or a file on a site). This does not mean that if a page on your site has 1,000 hits, 1,000 people have visited it. If your home page has a number of graphic files on it, this number could be misleading. A hit is counted when the home page main file is accessed, but a hit is also counted for every other file that loads along with the home page. Each one of your pages will have a number of files on it—you have a file for each graphic, a file for each ad you display, and often a different file for each navigation button on the page. So if a person visits 10 pages on a site and each page has 15 files included on it, then at least 150 hits would be generated.

Impressions or Page Views

When an ad is viewed, it is called an impression. Advertising prices often are calculated by impressions. If a person visits a page where your ad is displayed six times, this generates six impressions.

CPM

Cost per thousand, or CPM, is a standard advertising term. CPM often is used to calculate the cost of advertising if a site sells advertising based on impressions. If the CPM of advertising your computer software on another site is US$40 (that is, $40 per thousand impressions) and the number of impressions your ad generates is 2,000, then you, the advertiser, would have to pay US$80 for displaying the ad.

CPA

Cost per action, or cost per acquisition, is an ad payment model in which advertisers pay only when their ad leads to a complete conversion—sale, registration, download, or booking. Almost all affiliate advertising is based on the CPA model. This type of advertising model is best suited to high-volume sites as a large number of ad displays are needed to generate actual sales.

 

Adoption of 3DTV in the Marketplace

It should be noted that 3D film and 3DTV trials have a long history, as shown in Fig. 1.7 (based partially on Ref. 2). However, the technology has finally

History of 3D in film and television.

progressed enough at this juncture, for example with the deployment of digital television (DTV) and High Definition Television (HDTV), that regular commercial services will finally be introduced at this juncture.

We start by noting that there are two general commercial-grade display approaches for 3DTV: (i) stereoscopic TV, which requires special glasses to watch 3D movies, and (ii) autostereoscopic TV, which displays 3D images in such a manner that the user can enjoy the viewing experience without special accessories.

Short-term commercial 3DTV deployment, and the focus of this book, is on stereoscopic 3D imaging and movie technology. The stereoscopic approach follows the cinematic model, is simpler to implement, can be deployed more
quickly (including the use of relatively simpler displays), can produce the best results in the short term, and may be cheaper in the immediate future. However, the limitations are the requisite use of accessories (glasses), somewhat limited positions of view, and physiological and/or optical limitations including possible eye strain. In summary, (i) glasses may be cumbersome and expensive (especially for a large family) and (ii) without the glasses, the 3D content is unusable.

Autostereoscopic 3DTV eliminates the use of any special accessories: it implies that the perception of 3D is in some manner automatic, and does not require devices—either filter-based glasses or shutter-based glasses. Autostereoscopic displays use additional optical elements aligned on the surface of the screen, to ensure that the observer sees different images with each eye. From a home screen hardware perspective the autostereoscopic approach is more challenging, including the need to develop relatively more complex displays; also, more complex acquisition/coding algorithms may be needed to make optimal use of the technology. It follows that this approach is more complex to implement, will require longer to be deployed, and may be more expensive in the immediate future. However, this approach can produce the best results in the long term, including accessories-free viewing, multi-view operation allowing both movement and different perspective at different viewing positions, and better physiological and/or optical response to 3D.

Table 1.1 depicts a larger set of possible 3DTV (display) systems than what we identified above. The expectation is that 3DTV based on stereoscopy will experience earlier deployment compared with other technological alternatives.
Hence, this text focuses principally on stereoscopy. Holography and integral imaging are relatively newer technologies in the 3DTV context compared to stereoscopy; holographic and/or integral imaging 3DTV may be feasible late in
the decade. There are a number of techniques to allow each eye to view the separate pictures, as summarized in Table 1.2 (based partially on Ref. 3.) All of these techniques work in some manner, but all have some shortcomings.

To highlight the commercial interest in 3DTV at press time, note that ESPN announced in January 2010 that it planned to launch what would be the world’s

Various 3D Display Approaches and Technologies

first 3D sports network with the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament in June 2010, followed by an estimated 85 live sports events during its first year of operation. DIRECTV announced that they will start 3D programming in 2010. DIRECTV’s new HD 3D channels will deliver movies, sports, and entertainment content from some of the world’s most renowned 3D producers. DIRECTV is currently working with AEG/AEG Digital Media, CBS, Fox Sports/FSN, Golden Boy
Promotions, HDNet, MTV, NBC Universal, and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., to develop additional 3D programming that will debut in 2010–2011. At launch, the new DIRECTV HD 3D programming platform will offer a 24/7 3D pay per view channel focused on movies, documentaries, and other programming;

Current Techniques to Allow Each Eye to View Distinct Pictures Streams

a 24/7 3D DIRECTV on Demand channel; and a free 3D sampler demo channel featuring event programming such as sports, music, and other content. Comcast has announced that its VOD (Video-On-Demand) service is offering a number
of movies in anaglyph 3D (as well as HD) form. Comcast customers can pick up 3D anaglyph glasses at Comcast payment centers and malls “while supplies last” (anaglyph is a basic and inexpensive method of 3D transmission that relies on inexpensive colored glasses, but its drawback is the relatively low quality.) Verizon’s FiOS was expected to support 3DTV programming by Late 2010. Sky TV in the United Kingdom was planning to start broadcasting programs in 3D in the fall of 2010 on a dedicated channel that will be available to anyone who has the Sky HD package; there are currently 1.6 million customers who have a Sky HD set-top box. Sky TV has not announced what programs will be broadcast in 3D, but it is expected to broadcast live the main Sunday afternoon soccer game from the Premiership in 3D from the 2011 season, along with some arts documentaries and performances of ballet [4]. Sky TV has already invested in installing special twin-lens 3D cameras at stadiums.

3DTV television displays could be purchased in the United States and United Kingdom as of the spring of 2010 for $1000–5000 initially, depending on technology and approach. Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) systems with active
glasses tend to generally cost less. LG released its 3D model, a 47-in. LCD screen, expected to cost about $3000; with this system, viewers will need to wear polarized dark glasses to experience broadcasts in 3D. Samsung and Sony also announced they were bringing their own versions to market by the summer of 2010, along with 3D Blu-ray players, allowing consumers to enjoy 3D movies such as Avatar and Up, in their own homes [4]. Samsung and Sony’s models
use LED (Light-Emitting Diode) screens which are considered to give a crisper picture and are, therefore, expected to retail for about $5000 or possibly more. While LG is adopting the use of inexpensive polarizing dark glasses, Sony and Samsung are using active shutter technology. This requires users to buy expensive dark glasses, which usually cost more than $50 and are heavier than the $2–3 plastic polarizing ones. Active shutter glasses alternately darken over one eye, and then the other, in synchronization with the refresh rate of the screen using shutters built into the glasses (using infrared or Bluetooth connections). Panasonic Corporation has developed a full HD 3D home theater system consisting of a plasma full HD 3D TVs, 3D Blu-ray player, and active shutter 3D glasses. The 3D display was originally available in 50-in., 54-in., 58-in. and 65-in. class sizes. High-end systems are also being introduced; for example Panasonic announced a 152-in. 4K × 2K (4096 × 2160 pixels)-definition full HD 3D plasma display. The display features a new Plasma Display Panel (PDP) that uses self-illuminating technology. Self-illuminating plasma panels offer excellent response to moving images with full motion picture resolution, making them suitable for rapid 3D image display (its illuminating speed is about one-fourth the speed of conventional full HD panels). Each display approach
has advantages and disadvantages as shown in Table 1.3.

Summary of Possible, Commercially Available TV Screen/System Choices for 3D

Summary of Possible, Commercially Available TV Screen/System Choices for 3D

3D Blu-ray disc logo.

It is to be expected that 3DTV for home use is likely to first see penetration via stored media delivery. For content source, proponents make the case that BD “is the ideal platform” for the initial penetration of 3D technology in the mainstream market because of the high quality of pictures and sound it offers film producers. Many products are being introduced by manufacturers: for example at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) International Trade Show, vendors introduced eight home theater product bundles (one with 3D capability), 14 new players (four with 3D capability), three portable players, and a number of software titles. In 2010 the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) launched a new 3D Blu-ray logo to help consumers quickly discern 3D-capable Blu-ray players from 2D-only versions (Fig. 1.8) [5].

The BDA makes note of the strong adoption rate of the Blu-ray format. In 2009, the number of Blu-ray households increased by more than 75% over 2008 totals. After four years in the market, total Blu-ray playback devices (including
both set-top players and PlayStation3 consoles) numbered 17.6 million units, and 16.2 million US homes had one or more Blu-ray playback devices. By comparison, DVD playback devices (set-tops and PlayStation2 consoles) reached
14.1 million units after four years, with 13.7 million US households having one or more playback devices. The strong performance of the BD format is due to a number of factors, including the rapid rate at which prices declined due to
competitive pressures and the economy; the rapid adoption pace of HDTV sets, which has generated a US DTV household penetration rate exceeding 50%; and, a superior picture and sound experience compared to standard definition and even
other HD sources. Another factor in the successful adoption pace has been the willingness of movie studios to discount popular BD titles [5]. Blu-ray software unit sales in 2009 reached 48 million, compared with 22.5 million in 2008, up
by 113.4%. A number of movie classics were available at press time through leading retailers at sale prices as low as $10.

The BDA also announced (at the end of 2009) the finalization and release of the Blu-ray 3D specification. These BD specifications for 3D allow for full HD 1080p resolution to each eye. The specifications are display agnostic, meaning
they apply equally to plasma, LCD, projector, and other display formats regardless of the 3D systems those devices use to present 3D to viewers. The specifications also allow the PlayStation3 gaming console to play back 3D content.
The specifications that represent the work of the leading Hollywood studios and consumer electronic and computer manufacturers, will enable the home entertainment industry to bring stereoscopic 3D experience into consumers’ living
rooms on BD, but will require consumers to acquire new players, HDTVs, and shutter glasses. The specifications allow studios (but do not require them) to package 3D Blu-ray titles with 2D versions of the same content on the same disc. The specifications also support playback of 2D discs in forthcoming 3D players and can enable 2D playback of Blu-ray 3D discs on an installed base of BD. The Blu-ray 3D specification encodes 3D video using the Multi-View Video Coding (MVC) codec, an extension to the ITU-T H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec currently supported by all BD players. MPEG-4 (Moving Picture Experts Group 4)-MVC compresses both left and right eye views with a typical 50% overhead compared to equivalent 2D content, according to BDA and can provide full 1080p resolution backward compatibility with current 2D BD players [6].

The broadcast commercial delivery of 3DTV on a large scale—whether over satellite/Direct-To-Home (DTH), over the air, over cable systems, or via IPTV—may take some number of years because of the relatively large-scale infrastructure that has to be put in place by the service providers and the limited availability of 3D-ready TV sets in the home (implying a small subscriber, and so small revenue base). A handful of providers were active at press time, as described earlier, but general deployment by multiple providers serving a geographic market will come at a future time. Delivery of  downloadable 3DTV files over the Internet may occur at any point in the immediate future, but the provision of a broadcast-quality service over the Internet is not likely for the foreseeable future.

At the transport level, 3DTV will require more bandwidth of regular programming, perhaps even twice the bandwidth in some implementations (e.g., simulcasting—the transmission of two fully independent channels4); some newer schemes such as “video + depth” may require only 25% more bandwidth compared to 2D, but these schemes are not the leading candidate technologies for actual deployment in the next 2–3 years. Other interleaving approaches use the same bandwidth of a channel now in use, but at a compromise in resolution. Therefore, in principle, if HDTV programming is broadcast at high quality, say, 12–15Mbps using MPEG-4 encoding, 3DTV using the simplest methods of two independent streams will require 24–30Mbps.5 This data rate does not fit a standard over-the-air digital TV (DTV) channel of 19.2 Mbps, and will also be a challenge for non-Fiber-To-The-Home (non-FTTH) broadband Internet connections. However, one expects to see the emergence of bandwidth reduction techniques, as alluded to above. On the other hand, DTH satellite providers, terrestrial fiberoptic providers, and some cable TV firms should have adequate bandwidth to support the service. For example, the use of the Digital Video Broadcast Satellite Second Generation (DVB-S2) allows a transponder to carry 75 Mbps of content with modulation using an 8-point constellation and twice that much with a 16-point constellation. The trade-off would be, however (if we use the raw HD bandwidth just described as a point of reference), that a DVB-S2 transponder that would otherwise carry 25 channels of standard definition video or 6–8 channels of HD video would now only carry 2–3 3DTV channels. To be pragmatic about this issue, most 3DTV providers are not contemplating delivering full resolution as just described and/or the transmission of two fully independent channels (simulcasting), but some compromise; for example, lowering the per eye data rate such that a 3DTV program fits into a commercial-grade HDTV channel (say 8–10 Mbps), using time interleaving or spatial compression—again, this is doable but comes with the degradation of ultimate resolution quality.

There are a number of alternative transport architectures for 3DTV signals, also depending on the underlying media. As noted, the service can be supported by traditional broadcast structures including the DVB architecture, wireless 3G/4G transmission such as DVB-H approaches, Internet Protocol (IP) in support of an IPTV-based service (in which case it also makes sense to consider IPv6) and the IP architecture for internet-based delivery (both non–real time and streaming). The specific approach used by each of these transport methods will also depend on the video-capture approach. One should note that in the United States, one has a well-developed cable infrastructure in all Tier 1 and Tier 2 metropolitan and suburban areas; in Europe/Asia, this is less so, with more DTH delivery (in the United States DTH tends to serve more exurban and rural areas). A 3DTV rollout must take these differences into account and/or accommodate
both. In reference to possible cable TV delivery, CableLabs announced at press time that it started to provide testing capabilities for 3D TV implementation scenarios over cable; these testing capabilities cover a full range of technologies
including various frame-compatible, spatial multiplexing solutions for transmission [7].

Standards are critical to achieving interworking and are of great value to both consumers and service providers. The MPEG of the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) has been working on coding formats for 3D video (and has already completed some of them.) The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) 3D Home Entertainment Task Force has been working on mastering standards. The
Rapporteur Group on 3DTV of the International Telecommunications Union- Radiocommunications Sector (ITU-R) Study Group 6, and the TM-3D-SM group of DVB were working on transport standards.

 

 

Summary of the Submission and Validation Process

The following steps provide an overview of how you can submit an application to Windows Marketplace and the validation and certification processes that occur:

  1. Go to the App Hub website (http://create.msdn.com/) and click Sign In to log on to App Hub. You must have a Windows Live® ID to log on.
  2. If you do not already have an App Hub account, you must register, sign the application provider agreement, select your account type (different accounts are available for businesses, students, Microsoft Partner Program members, and individuals)and provide the details required for your account.

    Information, such as a tax identification number, is required to establish a vendor account. For companies, this information should come from an authorized officer of your company. Non-U.S. residents and corporations must obtain a U.S. non-resident tax payer ID (ITIN) to submit to Microsoft, together with a local country tax registration number.

  3. Finally, you must pay the annual subscription fee, and then wait until your account is validated and approved.
  4. The validation and approval process has three stages. You will receive an email to validate your email address. You will also receive an email from the company, GeoTrust that validates applicants. The response to this email must come from an officer of the company if you are registering a company. Individuals will need to validate themselves to GeoTrust. The third stage is to complete the vetting process by submitting the required documents to GeoTrust before you are issued a publication certificate.
  5. After the validation process is complete, your account is active, and you have a publication certificate, you can go back to the portal and upload your application XAP file. You must pay a fee for each application you publish. You must enter the required metadata for the application, such as the description, category, support email address, and iconography. You must also specify the distribution countries and pricing information for your application. You can upload screen shots of your application for use in the Windows Marketplace catalog.
  6. The application XAP file is validated and, providing that validation succeeds, you can specify that it is published as
    soon as the certification process is complete, or it can be held unpublished until you decide to publish it at a later time. If it fails validation, you can view the test results to see why it failed.
  7. The certification process for the application begins. The XAP file is unpacked and the content is checked to ensure it complies with all publishing requirements. These include both automated and manual technical testing, policy checking, and market validation. If the application meets all the requirements, it is repackaged and signed with a Windows Marketplace certificate. You can visit the Dashboard page to see a list of your applications, together with their current validation and publication status.
  8. You cannot update existing applications on Windows Marketplace. If you want to update a published application, you must resubmit it as a new product.

For a more detailed description of the registration process, see “App Hub Registration Walkthrough” on App Hub (http://create.msdn.com/en-US/home/about/developer_registration_walkthrough).

For a more detailed description of the submission process, see “App Hub Application Submission Walkthrough” on App Hub (http://create.msdn.com/en-US/home/about/app_submission_walkthrough).

For useful frequently asked questions (FAQ) for App Hub that include prices and estimates of how long the certification process takes, see the App Hub website (http://create.msdn.com/en-us/home/faq).

 

Blogs, Code Samples, Training Kits, and Windows Marketplace

Additional documentation and code samples are available to help you learn about both Silverlight and XNA on Windows Phone 7. See the following resources:

  • “Code Samples for Windows Phone” on MSDN: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff431744(VS.92).aspx
  • “Windows Phone 7 Developer Training Kit” on Channel 9: http://channel9.msdn.com/learn/courses/WP7TrainingKit/
  • Windows Phone Team Blog: http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/
  • Windows Phone Developer Forums: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/windowsphone
  • “Windows Marketplace Frequently Asked Questions” on the Microsoft App Hubs website: http://developer.windowsphone.com/Help.aspx
  • “Windows Marketplace Registration” on the Microsoft App Hubs website: http://developer.windowsphone.com/Signup-Create-Account.aspx

These and all links in this book are accessible from the book’s online bibliography. The URL to the bibliography can be found in the preface, in the final section, entitled, “Where to Go for More Information.”

 

More Information

For a comprehensive overview of the Windows Phone platform and how it is designed to support many different types of application, see the video presentation “Overview of the Windows Phone 7 Series Application Platform” on the MIX website (http://live.visitmix.com/MIX10/Sessions/CL13).

To see a more detailed description of the underlying mechanisms and architecture of the Windows Phone 7 operating system and how you can interact with services, see the video presentation “Windows Phone Application Platform Architecture” on the MIX website (http://live.visitmix.com/MIX10/Sessions/CL18).

Microsoft provides a portal for developers to help them get started writing applications for Windows Phone 7. This includes
information about the operating system and the device capabilities, developer resources, forums, tools for working with Windows Phone 7, and access to a market place for selling and distributing applications. You can find this portal on the Microsoft App Hub website (http://developer.windowsphone.com/windows-phone-7/).

In addition, the MSDN site includes full documentation for developing for Windows Phone 7. See “Windows Phone Development” (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff402535(VS.92).aspx).

A useful frequently asked questions (FAQ) for getting started with Windows Phone 7 is available on the Microsoft Windows Phone forum (http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsphone7series/thread/2892a6f0-ab26-48d6-b63c-e38f62eda3b3).

General information about the Windows Phone 7 platform is available from “Application Platform Overview for Windows Phone” on MSDN (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff402531(VS.92).aspx).

 

Everything You Need to Know About Pay Day Loans

So it is only the middle of the month and you are already broke? Then the answers to your prayers might be a so called pay day loan. You apply for it and if you are approved, you will have the money in a few hours.A pay day loan is a little different compared to a normal private loan. Normally you will have monthly payments, but as the name suggest a pay day loan is paid back on the next pay day. The interest rates are normally higher than other types of consumer loans, but in return you do not have to wait for the money.You can never loan more than the money you are paid for your job, because you have to pay back the full amount on the next pay day. And it is only the payment for the straight time on the job that is used in the calculation. You cannot use overtime to extend the amount.You have to be at least’ years old and must be a US citizen to qualify for a pay day loan. You also need a bank account and a current ID. And of course you also have to have a job (if not there will not be a pay day).Normally you can find a lender on the Internet. Then you fill out the application form and submit it. When you have confirmed your information, the lender will check your personal and bank information. He will also take a closer look at your employment history.If the lender thinks you can pay the loan back, he will approve the loan and send you a confirmation. Then you just sign the loan, and the money will be at your bank account almost immediately.The terms and conditions must be read carefully, before you raise a pay day loan. Do also remember that the loan and the interests normally have to be paid back on the next pay day. If you do not have the money there, the loan can be extended. But it will cost you both extra interests and a heavy fine.If you really need quick cash, a pay day loan can be a great resource. So if your car is broken or you have to pay for a medical treatment, feel free to raise a pay day loan. But if you need a loan because your economy is bad in general, a pay day loan is not the solution. Instead take a closer look at your finances to see, how you can avoid being broke before the end of the month.

Easy Fast Pay Day Loan Lender For Quick Online Cash Advance Until Pay Day

Payday loans are a form of short term cash advance borrowing that has been around for a long time, but the advent of the internet has made it a particularly easy and fast way to get money. There are a great many companies offering payday loans in the US and in the UK, but only the best online ones make the process really fast and easy for the person applying. There are certain requirements and processes that some pay day loan lenders have which slow the process down, so you need to identify the ones that have streamlined their process and kept it as simple as possible.The payday lenders that keep the application fast and easy are the ones that do not require a credit check or any faxing of documents, and which operate fully around the clock. Some pay day loan lenders claim to have a fully online service, but if you apply on a Friday night, you will not hear anything until Monday morning. Credit checks should not be required for pay day lending as they are not really relevant. A lender does not need to know about your credit history, provided they know that you have a job, how much you get paid and when. The main things a pay day loan lender will want to check on are therefore your employment details and bank account. You can help keep the process as fast as possible by having a bank statement and your employment details to hand as you go through the application process. It will also help avoid any unnecessary delays if you take care to fill in all the fields on the application form fully and accurately.It is worth remembering that speed and simplicity are not the only things you should look for in a pay day loan lender. While keeping it fast and simple are important requirements to narrow down your search you should also take care to only use well established and reputable companies. This is because it is an industry that is open to exploitation by unscrupulous people. Many people who use the first pay day loan lender they come across soon find themselves in a serious debt spiral that they struggle to escape from. The reason for this is that unscrupulous lenders apply appalling penalty charges and late payment fees for any delay in repaying your loan. Unless you follow their rules to the letter, it is all too easy to quickly find yourself with interest charges that come to several times the original amount you borrowed. Once you get into this situation, the temptation is to borrow more to get out of it, which generally just makes things worse. So choosing a responsible lender in the first place is very important.The safest approach when you need a quick cash advance is to only deal with companies that you know to be very well established and who have a good history of satisfied customers. The best option is to follow recommendations for easy fast pay day lenders who are known to be reputable and established. Having a list of pay day lenders that you know you can trust allows you to work through the list if you find that one does not accept you.