How Joe Kane Enables Video Performance

Recent partnerships with Da-Lite and Samsung have made long-time industry expert more accessible to CE pros.

How Joe Kane Enables Video Performance
Joe Kane's video calibration techniques are now available on Blu-ray.
Robert Archer · June 29, 2009

His career has spanned more than three decades but, unless you’re a hardcore videophile, you’re probably not familiar with his contributions to consumer video.

Recently, however, the man more known for his work behind the scenes in production facilities is stepping out and taking a more public profile. He’s Joe Kane, the long-time force behind those Video Essential discs that so many installers and enthusiasts have used to calibrate their video systems.

Over the past couple of years Kane has teamed with Da-Lite to introduce the JKP Affinity Series of projection screens and Samsung, which has launched the Joe Kane-designed SP-A900B projector.

He’s also released the latest Video Essentials disc in HD and it includes newly developed test patterns designed for 1080p displays.

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Tapping into his video production background to build a foundation for his consumer-level products, Kane says the chain of delivering quality video starts with the source.

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“The broadcast industry is going out of its way to produce some of the finest quality HD that anyone has ever seen,” he says. “They are doing things like over-sampling with transfer rates of 4k, 6k, or 8k. They are also being really conscientious about these transfers. They are coming to me for quality control and they are putting my projector in their facilities for their own quality control.”

The documentary “Baraka” is a good example of the effort the video industry is making to ensure the quality of its products, according to Kane. He recalls that back when the movie was transferred from its 8K native resolution to 1080p it was noticed that some things had been done incorrectly. Then, when it was remastered for Blu-ray, the post-production house used Kane’s Samsung projector so they could see what they had done wrong.

Kane says that for consumers to experience the full quality that’s available from the source they need hardware that’s capable of delivering those details, and qualified professionals to install that equipment.

“When I was trying to sell my projector I realized there weren’t any screens out there that could show what the projector was capable of doing. I went to Da-Lite,” Kane explains.“I made the decision that the projector had to be a dealer item. The dealer needs to marry the projector with the right screen. I went to Samsung and told them that we would need a new distribution model that went to the dealer.”

Kane has also started to work with distributor Electronic Stockroom to develop turnkey solutions for installers to ensure that the products and services they offer live up to the public’s expectations.

Tools and Training Support Gear

To help installers derive the best possible performance from the JKP line of endorsed products, Kane’s staff is developing training programs designed specifically for those products.

In addition to the upcoming product training programs, installers can also use the latest Digital Video Essentials (DVE) disc, which he designed to help experienced and novice installers learn and stay current on today’s technologies.

Kane describes the disc as a means of defining what installers are doing for a living by providing a reference source that they can refer to on a consistent basis. “You cannot necessarily look at a picture and know what it’s supposed to be unless you know what it’s supposed to be,” he notes.

“With the test signals you know what it’s supposed to be. What I am doing is dividing up the individual parameters: the color, uniformity, etc. I’m defining the parameters that make a good picture and providing a picture for each one of those parameters.”

Digging into the educational topic on a deeper level, Kane has put together a three-tiered seminar program that covers everything from the evolution of video to the human and environmental factors involved in video reproduction to more advanced overviews of test equipment, test pattern usages and copy protection issues.

Kane’s goal — with all these projects — is to provide CE pros with the products and resources to ensure the best possible consumer experience that ranges from the showroom demonstration to systems they install for their clients. He adds that the products and training support also help installers expertly discuss some of the shortcomings involved with installing a system into most home environments.

“We are telling dealers that when they build demo systems they have to be as good as they can be and that their installs will be a compromise. They can explain why they don’t want to compromise,” Kane explains.

“It’s part of our program to tell dealers to do the best job in their facilities so consumers can experience the best and they can explain what compromises they want to make once they are in their homes.”

  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at [email protected]

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