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HD/Blu-Ray DVDs reveal Film/TV flaws...

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HD/Blu-Ray DVDs reveal Film/TV flaws...

Old 12-09-04, 02:15 PM
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HD/Blu-Ray DVDs reveal Film/TV flaws...

I don't believe many people have given a lot of thought to the fact that High Definition will reveal quite a bit of the hidden "tricks" used by Hollywood in creating that "magic" we see on the screen. Regular DVDs already show strings on people who are supposed to be flying and prosthetic devices used in some sci-fi shows. High Definition will actually ruin the illusions created by many films!
Old 12-09-04, 02:22 PM
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If you know its already fake, how will this ruin the experience of watching it?
Old 12-09-04, 02:28 PM
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Movies and many TV shows are about escapism. Anything (wires, fake Vulcan ears...) that is a glaring reminder that you're just watching a two-dimensional narrative ruins the experience. Seems obvious to me.
Old 12-09-04, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Duality
Regular DVDs already show strings on people who are supposed to be flying and prosthetic devices used in some sci-fi shows.
They're not going to expose anything that wasn't on the film itself in the first place, since they still don't have the same resolution (let alone screen sizes) as film. (Other than films which over-fix the grain in restoration, at least.)

I'm confused by this complaint. If you watched the show in the first place, the same prosthetic device would have been visible, right? It'd be nice if DVDs went through everything and cleaned it up to today's standards ... except that the standards are consistently upgrading. (Aside from creators being unable to oversee such massive projects.) So should they update them every year until we reach photo-realism?

Seems like a strange complaint to direct towards DVD, since what you're really complaining about is the poor effects themselves, not the brilliant resolution displaying said poor effects.
Old 12-09-04, 02:47 PM
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Regular DVD already shows wires suspending Gilligan in an episode where he was supposedly floating and the make-up in certain Star Trek films and TV shows already reveals too much that was not apparent when the movie was viewed in a theater or on tape.

I'm not complaining about DVD. These revelations are annoying, but tolerable. I'm simply stating that a format which will offer even greater resolution will necessarily diminish the viewing experience. That's is what High Definition *will* do.

Just wondering: Have you ever heard of diminishing returns?
Old 12-09-04, 02:48 PM
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I don't think you've thought this through (and perhaps you haven't seen very much HD programming).

Old TV shows will only look as good as the original resolution of the video. HD won't add definition that wasn't already there. However, new broadcasts shot on HD have already had to upgrade obviously fake desksets and other veneers and falsies that become obvious in hi-def.

As for your other thought, 1080i is not capable of revealing the full definition of a filmed image (well, Super-8 and other cheapo stocks aside). It will bring us closer to what we see on screen, but it won't quite get us there. In other words, HD is higher def than 480P DVD, but it isn't as hi-def as 35MM film.

Old movies with visible strings will still have visible strings. It's true that the low resolution of VHS tapes and standard def TV broadcast obsure these, but they also obscure the other fine details that are apparent on the film source when projected in a theater. Perhaps you prefer the overall lower-def look of VHS and standard def TV for this reason, but I should hope you're quite alone in that preference.
Old 12-09-04, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuamGuy
They're not going to expose anything that wasn't on the film itself in the first place, since they still don't have the same resolution (let alone screen sizes) as film. (Other than films which over-fix the grain in restoration, at least.)

I'm confused by this complaint. If you watched the show in the first place, the same prosthetic device would have been visible, right? It'd be nice if DVDs went through everything and cleaned it up to today's standards ... except that the standards are consistently upgrading. (Aside from creators being unable to oversee such massive projects.) So should they update them every year until we reach photo-realism?

Seems like a strange complaint to direct towards DVD, since what you're really complaining about is the poor effects themselves, not the brilliant resolution displaying said poor effects.
It's called the "point of diminishing returns"..... the quality and resolution have surpassed that "threshold" that makes previously acceptable effects ineffectual.

It's a matter of what is more important... the integrity of the world portrayed in the film, or having the absolute highest video quality and clarity.

I'll take a DVD presentation of a film that doesn't show matte lines, wires, and such over a superior HD-DVD image that exposes all of those and more. But hey, that's me.
Old 12-09-04, 02:55 PM
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I have watched HDTV. It is quite impressive. My only argument is that HD, at least to my way of thinking, will provide a much clearer image of film and TV shows.

Furthermore, I don't consider it heresy to say that I prefer a softer VHS/TV broadcast/movie theater image that preserves the illusion of the story over HD which will, because of its clarity, reveal things I don't want to see.
Old 12-09-04, 03:20 PM
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Isn't 35mm film equivelent to about 2500dpi? After that point I believe you will start seeing serious grain. Anyway a 35mm frame is about 1" x 3/4" or 2500 x 1800 effective "pixels". HD has a long way to go to reach that level.
Old 12-09-04, 03:22 PM
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I'll take a DVD presentation of a film that doesn't show matte lines, wires, and such over a superior HD-DVD image that exposes all of those and more. But hey, that's me.
Unfortunately, plain ol' standard def DVD is hi-res enough to reveal most such things. What you're looking for is a bit more old-school: I'd recommend a third gen dupe of a VHS tape recorded at SLP speed.

Furthermore, I don't consider it heresy to say that I prefer a softer VHS/TV broadcast/movie theater image that preserves the illusion of the story over HD which will, because of its clarity, reveal things I don't want to see.
Nobody's stopping you from sticking to VHS and standard-def TV broadcast if that's how you prefer to see things. However, when you bring in "movie theater image" it suggests to me that you don't really get it... the movie theater image still has greater clarity (even at much larger projection sizes) than HD. Of course, you can always go to that second run theater with the battered old print, dim-and-getting-dimmer projector bulb, and generally out-of-focus projection. That should obscure even that big fat wire in the extended Scarecrow dance sequence from "The Wizard of Oz".
Old 12-09-04, 03:32 PM
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[QUOTE=Nobody's stopping you from sticking to VHS and standard-def TV broadcast if that's how you prefer to see things. However, when you bring in "movie theater image" it suggests to me that you don't really get it... the movie theater image still has greater clarity (even at much larger projection sizes) than HD. Of course, you can always go to that second run theater with the battered old print, dim-and-getting-dimmer projector bulb, and generally out-of-focus projection. That should obscure even that big fat wire in the extended Scarecrow dance sequence from "The Wizard of Oz".[/QUOTE]

I've already stated that the resolution on DVD, while a bit too much, is tolerable and even enjoyable with regard to newer movies and TV shows. As far as movie theaters are concerned, I can honestly say that after I bought my DVD player (way back in the late 90s) I immediately noticed that projected film in some of our best theaters looked a bit fuzzy! A friend remarked, "You're just getting used to those new, clear DVDs."
Old 12-09-04, 04:16 PM
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This topic is nothing new. And issues for this has started being addressed many years ago. Ho-humbug.
Old 12-09-04, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tacomantt
This topic is nothing new. And issues for this has started being addressed many years ago. Ho-humbug.
Really? I've been frequenting this forum for years and I've yet to read anything addressing this issue. Perhaps I've overlooked the posts? Anyway, since the HD/Blu-Ray format war is upon us, it is time to revisit this topic.
Old 12-09-04, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
Unfortunately, plain ol' standard def DVD is hi-res enough to reveal most such things.
True. But that's the balance. Video is clearer with DVD, and it has indeed exposed some of the (previously hidden) flaws. But I for one am not willing to trade even higher resolution/clarity (potentially available with HD) to worsen those already exposed defects/limitations.

Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
What you're looking for is a bit more old-school: I'd recommend a third gen dupe of a VHS tape recorded at SLP speed.
This "either you're gung ho for HD-DVD or you're a VHS ludite" routine is getting old. There's a subtlety between both extremes that is a bit difficult for some to comprehend.
Old 12-09-04, 04:50 PM
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Let's see who can see those strings and fake props in the LOTR:ROTK EE!


Banana is being moved by strings---> <---
Old 12-09-04, 05:14 PM
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I've already stated that the resolution on DVD, while a bit too much, is tolerable and even enjoyable with regard to newer movies and TV shows.
I'm trying to be polite, but you don't know what you're talking about.

Even old movies shot on decent film stock have higher resolution than the current HD standard. HD will reveal nothing that's not apparent on the movie screen. This bizarre preference to down-rez everything for home viewing is just that... a bizarre preference. It's inexplicable and indefensible. The whole point of home theater is to reproduce the theatrical experience in the home. HD doesn't quite do it, but it goes a good bit farther than standard-def DVD (even at 480P with 3/2 pulldown).

New TV shows shot on HI-DEF video or film will look fabulous in HD. Old standard-def TV shows won't look any better (or worse) on HD. They are what they are: crappy looking shot-on-video murk and smear. HD won't reveal anything you don't already see.

This conversation is just silly.
Old 12-09-04, 05:45 PM
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I actually assumed it was the downconverting that exposed some flaws in movies on television, especially in terms of CGI (CGI effects often don't come across as well, to me, on the small screen as they do at the theater. I assumed it had to do with losing a great deal of the detail, which is what can make the difference between something that looks real and something that doesn't, while real people, locations, etc. tend to look real regardless of the resolution).

If that makes any sense at all.

Of course, I could just be nuts (or have a crappy TV that just makes CGI look bad. That's a possible explanation).
Old 12-09-04, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Duality
Really? I've been frequenting this forum for years and I've yet to read anything addressing this issue. Perhaps I've overlooked the posts? Anyway, since the HD/Blu-Ray format war is upon us, it is time to revisit this topic.
First this is not a Blu-Ray/HD-DVD topic at all, its really high def TV. Everything from cheesy soap opera sets to the pimples on Peter Jennings face are a concern for networks. Hi-def does bring these things out and yes, studios have known about this for years. Methods they are using to combat the issue are better make-up, better sets, broadcasting in lower def, using real-time post processing algorithms (CNN adds a nice skintone gaussian blur to many of its anchors).

Second, your probably right, this topic may not have been discussed here, but has been on many other HD boards. Sorry for the confusion.
Old 12-09-04, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Pistol Pete
Isn't 35mm film equivelent to about 2500dpi? After that point I believe you will start seeing serious grain. Anyway a 35mm frame is about 1" x 3/4" or 2500 x 1800 effective "pixels". HD has a long way to go to reach that level.
Bingo. I don't think there's really much more to say. Film has been superior to digital technology for decades. Those that think "HiDef" is so startling have likely never seen a 4k scan.

HD-DVD will reveal little more than you saw with DVD just as SACD/DVD-Audio have revealed rather minor elements of music masters. Your mileage is definitely going to vary here.
Old 12-09-04, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BigDan
I actually assumed it was the downconverting that exposed some flaws in movies on television, especially in terms of CGI (CGI effects often don't come across as well, to me, on the small screen as they do at the theater. I assumed it had to do with losing a great deal of the detail, which is what can make the difference between something that looks real and something that doesn't, while real people, locations, etc. tend to look real regardless of the resolution).

If that makes any sense at all.

Of course, I could just be nuts (or have a crappy TV that just makes CGI look bad. That's a possible explanation).
I've always assumed the worsening of special effects from theater to TV has to do with the differences in color temperature, contrast, etc., between the two forms of media rather than the difference in resolution.

As for the main topic, I agree with those who think this argument against HD is absurd. HD doesn't add detail to pre-existing material; it merely lets us see a little better what was filmed in the first place. I recognize the concern those in the industry have regarding noticing imperfections on people's skin, etc., but that really only applies to new media, and there are a lot of solutions to that "problem."
Old 12-09-04, 10:05 PM
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Thinking about it for a few moments some of you will realize that DVD was actually a step BACKWARDS, as far as quality goes. I can't tell you how many DVDs I currently own (around 500) which demonstrate compression artifacts. True, some DVDs actually have some great transfers, but they are around 7.5GB. Most DVDs are around 3.5-4.25GB.

HD-DVD will make things better only if the original transfer was deprived when it went to DVD. However, as this Blu-Ray competition heats up, it could be years before I buy any, because I simply don't have the tolerance of company's who can't get their frickin' asses in line, and come out with a mutually agreed format.
Old 12-10-04, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
I don't think you've thought this through (and perhaps you haven't seen very much HD programming).

Old TV shows will only look as good as the original resolution of the video. HD won't add definition that wasn't already there. However, new broadcasts shot on HD have already had to upgrade obviously fake desksets and other veneers and falsies that become obvious in hi-def.

As for your other thought, 1080i is not capable of revealing the full definition of a filmed image (well, Super-8 and other cheapo stocks aside). It will bring us closer to what we see on screen, but it won't quite get us there. In other words, HD is higher def than 480P DVD, but it isn't as hi-def as 35MM film.

Old movies with visible strings will still have visible strings. It's true that the low resolution of VHS tapes and standard def TV broadcast obsure these, but they also obscure the other fine details that are apparent on the film source when projected in a theater. Perhaps you prefer the overall lower-def look of VHS and standard def TV for this reason, but I should hope you're quite alone in that preference.
This quote should be stickied and formally agreed to before anyone can make any post about HD-DVD or Blu-Ray.
Old 12-10-04, 09:23 AM
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Granted that film can have a very high resolution rate, higher than HD, BUT the one thing that I never hear anyone mention (or have I missed it?) is that films are projected from a distance of what ... up to over 100 feet, and blown up from an area of only a few square inches, if that, to over 100 square feet or more. The diffusion of the light over that distance can tend to soften fine details that an HD transfer, made on a telecine from a few inches away will pick up. (I have to confess that I don't know exactly how a telecine works, but imagine that it is similar in theory to a copier and that the images are recorded from film from very close distance).

I think this is a real issue. Special effects technicians knew what would be visible on a screen when the movie was projected, and knew that audiences wouldn't be able to see wires, etc., and that matte work, while perhaps noticeable, wouldn't be distracting. When the diffusing effect of projecting an acutal film is taken away, then these flaws are exaggerated.

I think that this is an issue that HASN'T been addressed properly, and that when a review mentions something like "the picture is so sharp, you'll be able to see special effects wires and prosthetic makeup lines", that they are missing the point (a bit), that theater goers wouldn't have seen that and that we are getting a vision of the movie that wasn't intended by the filmmakers.
Old 12-10-04, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by obscurelabel
I think that this is an issue that HASN'T been addressed properly, and that when a review mentions something like "the picture is so sharp, you'll be able to see special effects wires and prosthetic makeup lines", that they are missing the point (a bit), that theater goers wouldn't have seen that and that we are getting a vision of the movie that wasn't intended by the filmmakers.
*Exactly* what I've been trying to convey with my posts. I thought embracing DVD, OAR and Mono/5.1 were all about seeing what the movie makers intended us to see. If you want to see a film just like it looked when it was projected on a movie/TV screen, DVD will give you a close approximation. HD/Blu-Ray will provide clarity such that you are not viewing the film as it was intended to be viewed.

Last edited by Duality; 12-10-04 at 12:34 PM.
Old 12-10-04, 10:11 AM
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Oh, I give up!

If you guys want to believe such demonstrably false nonsense, that's your privilege, and, in all honesty, your increasingly preposterous musings are actually somewhat humorous.

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