Advancing the art of home theatre 

An interview with Michael Robertson, founder of, Gizmo5, MP3Tunes and more, on disruption, free markets and his new app, '6 Seconds'

Posted on May 12, 2015 by Scenic Labs | 0 comments

Scenic Labs is also the publisher of an online tech news site called  As the A/V and broadcast industries have continually faced disruption, I wanted to cross-post our interview here. 


While reviewing the 6 Seconds app for this week’s edition, I recalled a time, 15 years ago, when I invited the founder, Michael Robertson’s previous company, to meet with my now-defunct division at BMG Entertainment.  While he was not in attendance, his executives explained how the company was preparing for a day when we streamed all of our music over our phones.

He was right about streaming music, just as he was right about desktop Linux, online app stores, and voice over IP.  Michael Robertson is perpetually heading into the horizon rather than looking in the rear view, and I wanted to know what makes him tick.  I was delighted that he agreed to help us kick off our Silicon Exit interview series.

Thank you, Michael, for taking the time to speak with Silicon Exit about your new project, 6 Seconds.

JR: 6 Seconds is really clever.  It really gives the listener an unprecedented level of control over what they hear, and it does so on the back of an old fashioned online media — namely online radio.  Was this in the cards when you built, or did the data open your eyes and lead you to a realization that there’s this “dust cloud” of hit songs that are playing in constant rotation out of the over 100,000 radio stations that you index?

MR:It was an evolving idea. Initially we built a DVR for radio at (DAR – get it?) To do this we had to go through the laborious task of cataloging online stations and broadcast schedules of talk stations. With this foundation it seemed like a natural extension to write the spiders which would track music stations as well.


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Oh, hello again!

Posted on April 21, 2015 by Scenic Labs | 0 comments

Wow, what a whirlwind year.  First, let me begin by apologizing about not posting to the blog in quite some time.  To make up for it, We'll be sure to post two times a day from now on.

:-) Anyway, we were working on some projects. 

Knowhow Picture Perfect

First and foremost, if you live in the United Kingdom or Republic or Ireland, you can head over to your local Currys PC World and pick up a copy of Knowhow Picture Perfect.  Knowhow brings an unprecedented level of usability to home theater optimization, and it's all based on the tried-and-true methodology and imaging expertise of Joe Kane Productions.  Yes, this is for all of the people who love the results but might find the original DVE hard to use. 

Filmed in London, with guided menus and an approachable and an all-new "recommended set up," Picture Perfect is, by far, the most user-friendly optimization program ever created.   Usable without being patronizing, there are no attempts at calibration puns or "for dummies" instructions.  Instead, it's an enriching and rewarding experience.  You'll get great results and you will learn some things you didn't know. 

The entire program has been rebuilt from the ground up and everything was done under the watchful eye of Joe Kane.    And, of course, if you are looking for the advanced content, all of the great information is still there (moved to an "advanced" section), with some updated information, new polish and a brand new, decidedly British narration.  

If you are interested in distributing this disc in your region, feel free to drop us a line. 

Digital Video Essentials UHD version 0.9 (Yes, there's now a DVE for 4K)

Scenic Labs, LLC, in cooperation with Joe Kane Productions and Gary Demos’ Image Essence, LLC, announces the release of Joe Kane Productions’ Digital Video Essentials UHD v 0.9 as a USB 3.0 thumb drive for industry professionals in urgent need of the tools to accurately assess the next-generation of content creation and home theater products. Digital Video Essentials UHD is available for professionals today for $150.



The materials on the Digital Video Essentials UHD v 0.9 drive are divided into two categories; test signals and still images. Up to this point in the consumer world, video bit depth has been limited to 8 bits, and while DVE UHD certainly includes 8-bit patterns in a variety of formats for plug-and-play compatibility with USB-enabled 4K Smart TVs, and .bmp-capable pattern generators, it also includes lossless 16-bit High Dynamic Range .exr files to allow the flexibility for use in any demanding UHD 4K workflow.

Jason Rosenfeld, President of Scenic Labs, says, “The faithful reproduction of film and broadcast content has been the unifying theme behind all of Joe Kane’s work, as a producer, industry leader and consumer advocate for better home theater standards. In teaming up with another industry legend, Gary Demos, one of the fathers of modern computer-generated special effects, they’ve created a collection of test materials that are up to the task of running the next generation of home theater hardware and software through its paces.”

You can read the whole press release over here...



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Saying "goodbye" to BluScenes and "hello" to UltraScenes.

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Scenic Labs | 0 comments

We've been quiet as of late, as we prepare for our next stage.  Despite the lack of posts, there are some major releases worth mentioning.


First, we have a major Europe-only release scheduled in the next two weeks.  We are currently under NDA, but will post links to the project as soon as it is lifted.  The approximate street date is 15 May.  It represents a lot of "firsts" and has been created in coordination with two big names in home theatre.

The other bit of news is that we are releasing our final two discs under the BluScenes brand.  It doesn't mark the end of Blu-ray releases, although we will no longer release anything that is not sourced from 4K-or-above masters.  There are some BluScenes discs that were filmed in 4K, such as Coral Reef Aquarium. Rather than release those as UltrScenes, we will include those 4K scenes as bonus material with our new UltraScenes releases.  

This isn't a sudden change.  In the last year, we've moved away from the BluScenes brand and have focused on Scenic Labs, mostly due to the growing number of downloads.  Whereas downloads comprised only 10% of our sales last year, they've grown to about 40% this year.  Since there is no 4K physical format commercially available, we expect downloads to overshadow disc sales for the first time in 2014.


Thanks again for your business. 

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Good news and bad news.

Posted on November 01, 2013 by Scenic Labs | 0 comments

First, the good news:

We now ship our products from Canada and the UK for seriously fast delivery. 

Now, the bad news:

We are now registered to collect GST and VAT and are legally required to do so. 

But wait, there's still a silver lining:

For the time being (at least), we are including VAT and GST in the selling price rather than adding it on.  :-)

Special bonus:

Since we figured out how to do this, we are also including NJ sales tax in the product price.

In other words, you get the discs, we'll pay the tax.  So I guess, that's bad news is for us, but good news for you.  :)


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$25 Flat Rate 1-2 Day Earth Shipping

Posted on September 13, 2013 by Scenic Labs | 0 comments
Do you live on EARTH?

If so, you might be interested in our newly-negotiated DHL Express shipping rates!
$25 flat, and you get the discs within 1-2 days (3 to some more-remote and exotic locations, you know who you are...).

What does that mean?  Whether you buy one disc or 20, you pay $25 to ship it worldwide in under 3 days, and for an extremely limited time we will allow this offer to be combined with our Buy-Two-Get-One free offer. 

We are also working on setting up more worldwide distribution centers for cheaper local service, but our professional customers asked for something fast, and we are thrilled that the folks at DHL were able to help us out.  Now we just need to promote it so we can keep our low rates.

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