Episode: I Have Seen the Future of Displays

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I Have Seen the Future of Displays

Apple used the opening keynote presentation at its annual World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose in June to roll out the usual array of software updates and new computer hardware. But tucked into middle of the keynote was one the event's most consequential and underappreciated pieces of news: For the first time in more than three years, Apple will offer its own LCD computer monitor, the Pro Display XDR.

It's a serious piece of gear, with 20 million pixels and new techniques for handling light and heat that deliver extremes of brightness, contrast, and color. And it comes with a serious price tag: $4,999. But it delivers image quality on par with professional "reference monitors" that typically cost tens of thousands of dollars, meaning it could put ultra-high-quality imaging capabilities into the hands of many more film and TV producers, graphic designers, photographers, and other professionals. (And—eventually—consumers. "All of the things that are in the Apple Pro Display XDR that make it unique right now are going to eventually become standard features five to 10 years from now, in displays that are going to be at Best Buy," veteran video engineer Michael Isnardi told us.)

Soonish was there to cover the conference. And today's episode argues that when the Pro Display XDR goes on sale this fall, it could be one of those moments—similar to the introduction of HDTV in the late 1990s or Retina screens in 2010—when innovations in image-reproduction technology converge to alter the way we see the world.

For the complete show notes please visit https://www.soonishpodcast.org/306-i-have-seen-the-future-of-displays

Chapter Guide

00:00 Hub & Spoke Sonic ID
00:08 Content Warning
00:24 Soonish Opening Theme
00:44 The Principle of Good Enough
01:46 The Ceiling and the Floor
02:22 A Very Deep Dive into Displays
02:59 WWDC 2019
04:02 Announcing the Pro Display XDR
05:51 Spoiled by the Garage Door Opener
07:13 Resets in Visual History
07:39 Color and Light and Pixels
10:51 The Future’s So Bright
14:11 Roy G. Biv
16:28 The Battle of Winterfell
19:32 Hollywood Is Leaving You Behind
21:23 Picture Optimization Mode
22:29 What Would Walter Benjamin Say?
24:38 A New Art Form
26:01 End Credits and Acknowledgements
26:44 Culture Hustlers
27:32 Thank You to Our Top Patreon Supporters

The Soonish opening theme is by Graham Gordon Ramsay.

All additional music is by Titlecard Music and Sound.

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