Over the last several years, streaming service Netflix gave us wonderful shows: House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Bloodline, The Get Down. Netflix releases a series like any other. This Netflix new show makes history.
This show is called Meridian. It’s only 12 minutes long. It wasn’t even made for Netflix or for a general audience, for that matter. It was made for TV engineers to perform tests on. Now they’re giving away Meridian for free for other engineers to perform tests on it, even other streaming services like Hulu. Netflix is using Creative Commons to make Meridian to make sharing easier. You see, Silicon Valley is obsessed with getting a piece of Hollywood. And Meridian is just the beginning.
Netflix will be conducting experiments to see what works for what markets. For example, you may have a racy movie for streaming services or late night cable TV. What if you want that movie on prime time TV, or on an airplane? You know that movie must be edited for content. And what about sending movies overseas? What appeals to an American audience may not appeal to French audiences. Some countries, like China, have heavy censorship laws. How do movie engineers overcome that? In recent years, Netflix produced over 150 open source products to tackle such questions.
However, Meridian is their most revolutionary open source test. Meridian is shot with 60 frames per second and brightness levels of 4000 nits. Let me break that down in a language we all understand. Meridian picks up all grainy footage, all the cigarette smoke, all the fog, all the foreign noises. When I was a little kid, my Grandmother used to record music form her record player to her cassette tapes (age hint!). We had to be completely quiet or leave the room. Because any foreign sound would be picked up. That’s kind of how Meridian is. Except they want all the footage to be picked up. Does that make you want to watch Meridian?