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A question about HD-DVD and older materials

A question about HD-DVD and older materials

 
Old 02-07-04, 04:22 PM
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A question about HD-DVD and older materials

If HD-DVD has increased resolution as compared to standard DVDs, wouldn't that closer reveal the limitations of the source material? I think they did a great job of cleaning up some older movies, but I don't know if HD-DVD would not just show the limitation of the original source print.
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Old 02-07-04, 04:36 PM
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Josh, if we could get transfers that were so good as to reveal film grain then that would be ideal.

Ultimately it would be nice to get better than DVD quality transfers, but there will be a point in the not-too-distant future where nothing more can be done to enhance an original transfer other than to clean it up digitally.

There's going to be a bit of a problem in the next five to ten years of people complaining that images are too processed, too cleaned-up, and that the digital airbrushing distorts the original work.

So far this hasn't been an issue because as great as DVD looks it's lower res than most film stock.
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Old 02-07-04, 04:40 PM
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Absolutely, it happens with DVD now, even with recent movies. Example: I have read that there are some shots in the Dazed and Confused DVD where you can see the occasional camara crew member reflected in the shiny exterior of a car. Someone who worked as a projectionist when the movie was in theaters and had seen it many times indicated that this was not visible when the movie was projected on the theater screen. So on the DVD this looks like a screw-up when in fact it looked fine in theaters.

Also, some of the Chaplin shorts on DVD have visible wires (for stunt and gag work), these were likewise not visible when the movies were first shown -- Chaplain knew that the projection would be "soft" enough to hide them.

Recently John Landis asked that the clarity and sharpness that was possible when Universal remastered Animal House be scaled down a bit. He preferred the look of the film to be closer to what was presented in the theater; the (comparatively) super-high resolution look of the initial mastering effort was too sharp given the quality of the source materials.

On the other hand, some of the digital restorations that are being done are pretty remarkable. I haven't seen any of the recent Warner Bros. ones, but Criterion's L'Avventura has some pretty impressive comparisons where they were able to "correct" scratches and other print damage that are on the master positive that the DVD was mastered from.

So like a lot of things, the digital age of video and movies is a mixed bag -- some presentations that reveal problems with the source material that was never noticeable when seen in their original presention, but some "fixes" that truly do enhance the viewing experience.
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Old 02-07-04, 05:08 PM
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I guess my point of this question is to state that if prints can be "too clean", I wouldn't see the need to upgrade a majority of DVDs to HD-DVD if and when the time comes. If people looked more at HD-DVD as being a benefit to FUTURE releases instead of thinking about their backlog, they might enbrace it more.
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Old 02-07-04, 06:27 PM
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DVD's 480 lines of resolution doesn't begin to come close to the clarity and color depth of film. Trust me, watching "Lawrence of Arabia" on DVD is a long way from watching it projected in 70mm.

ANyone who has watched "Band of Brothers" on DVD and then on HBO-HD knows what I'm talking about.

There's a lot of room for improvement, and HD-DVD is a good step.
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Old 02-07-04, 06:40 PM
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Mr. Salty is right, even HD-DVD isn't high enough resolution to match film. The resolution would have to be about five times the current HD proposed standard to begin to show the problems in the source material (provided the material is in good shape - if it isn't, even VHS can show the horrors of a bad source).
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Old 02-07-04, 07:03 PM
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Originally posted by DVD Josh
If people looked more at HD-DVD as being a benefit to FUTURE releases instead of thinking about their backlog, they might enbrace it more.
Very good point!
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