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View Full Version : Is a film on Blu-ray necessarily better than the same film on standard DVD?


Crafter_Man
03-20-2015, 02:23 PM
O.K., I get it... Blu-ray support HD video, and "higher resolution is always better." But is that really true? :confused:

Was watching a film on Blu-ray the other night, and there were some close-up shots of an actor's face. I could see every little wrinkle in his skin, and even his nose hairs. I assume these would still be visible on the standard DVD version, but I would also assume they would be much less noticeable and less distracting.

So it got me thinking: can too much video resolution be a bad thing?

Musicat
03-20-2015, 02:25 PM
So it got me thinking: can too much video resolution be a bad thing?Since the resolution in a standard, film-projection movie theater exceeds Blu-Ray or DVD, do you complain there, too?

Machine Elf
03-20-2015, 02:45 PM
My understanding is that analog/film-based cinema generally exceeds the resolution of HDTV; so assuming the movie theatre has decent projector quality, you're going to see even more detail at the theatre than you would with a Blu-ray at home.

Modern digital cinema (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_cinema) has a resolution that is approximately equal to HDTV, and the very latest is about twice the resolution of HDTV. So if you don't like seeing every pore and blackhead on an actor's face, you'll definitely want to stick with home movies on DVD.

Most people, however, regard a more faithful reproduction (Blu-ray, HDTV) of the original as being better than a less faithful reproduction (DVD). If the original movie features an actor who has flawed makeup and zits, then that's what I want to see when I watch it.

I happen to like watching documentaries and seeing every strand of fur on a lion and every grain of sand in a rock wall, so I think HDTV (whether the content is broadcast, streaming, or Blue-ray) is great. And I'm looking forward to the day Ultra HD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution#Resolutions) (and content for it) becomes popular. If you get a chance to see a demonstration of an HDTV and a UHDTV side by side in the store, the difference is as amazing as HDTV was compared to SDTV a decade ago.

I do recall that with the advent of HDTV, makeup artists were caught off-guard; whereas their work had been adequate for SDTV for decades, HDTV suddenly had news anchors and other on-air personalities looking like shit, forcing the makeup folks to up their game. I wonder what will happen if/when things change over to UHDTV...

Hail Ants
03-20-2015, 04:25 PM
And amusing (if gross) side effect of this is that the porn industry (pro & amateur) quickly learned that, mother of god!, fans DO NOT want HD porn!! :D

Lobot
03-20-2015, 06:57 PM
The number of lines able to be perceived by a cinema audience on a release print for 35mm film is roughly 1000, which is pretty much what you get with Blu-ray. If it's mastered in 4K (i.e. downsampled from a scan at around 2000 lines), a good Blu-ray will pretty much recreate a 35mm theatrical presentation.

So Blu-rays, if properly mastered, give you a comparable experience to seeing a 35mm print in the cinema. It's definitely not showing any more detail than you'd not already see at the theatre.

randwill
03-20-2015, 07:07 PM
The number of lines able to be perceived by a cinema audience on a release print for 35mm film is roughly 1000...

Can you explain this? Thirty-five mm film images aren't made up of lines as video images are.

Musicat
03-20-2015, 07:08 PM
The number of lines able to be perceived by a cinema audience on a release print for 35mm film is roughly 1000, which is pretty much what you get with Blu-ray. If it's mastered in 4K (i.e. downsampled from a scan at around 2000 lines), a good Blu-ray will pretty much recreate a 35mm theatrical presentation.But not be even close to a 70mm or 105mm film, if the original was filmed in that format.

I don't know how much a projector will degrade the image, but still photogs use a rule of thumb that a single 35mm neg can hold 3600x2400 pixels. A still frame from a standard film camera is "sideways" compared to movie 35mm, so a single movie frame of the same kind of film would be 2400x1800, subject to different emulsion formulas, of course. That would be double your spec of 1000 lines. And I'm not even considering anamorphic distortions.

Do any movie theaters nowdays still use film? I thought they were all video now.

grude
03-20-2015, 07:09 PM
I had a chance to see some of my son's favorite 3D animated movies on blu-ray on a large HDTV, and I wasn't impressed and neither was he.(Ice Age series for one example)

It was TOO detailed, too sharp and busy looking(why do I need to see every hair moving individually?) and the movement of the animation was off somehow, too fast and jerky, not smooth looking.

I have been similarly unimpressed with live action movies in this format, except for very new visual spectacle movies designed with blu-ray and HDTV's in mind when doing the CGI.

Also there is a new style of makeup in movies, I assume in response to HD, where the actors have very obvious caked on makeup that makes them look like plastic.

Maybe it is just me, but for a lot of stuff I prefer SD.

Tangent
03-20-2015, 07:19 PM
And amusing (if gross) side effect of this is that the porn industry (pro & amateur) quickly learned that, mother of god!, fans DO NOT want HD porn!! :D

In my experience as a consumer, most porn is produced in HD nowadays.

Musicat
03-20-2015, 07:21 PM
I'm always amused at the complaints from those who say 48fps, widescreen, hi-def video is terrible! A lot like those who made similar comments when digital sound and noise reduction was perfected. It doesn't sound like a real record -- all the hiss, clicks and pops are gone!

Or movies where, due to 48fps and hi-def, the motion blur is gone -- not like real life, where there is motion blur and distortion everywhere! And the picture doesn't jiggle and jump anymore like it used to -- I just can't stand the realism!

As for me, I'm going back to mono recording the way Og intended, on wax cylinders, hand cranked!

Lobot
03-20-2015, 07:22 PM
Here's where I got the information from: http://filmschoolonline.com/sample_lessons/sample_lesson_HD_vs_35mm.htm

The real question is, with 20/20 vision, the number of lines that can be perceived by an audience in a cinema setting--if a 70mm print is outstripping that, it'll still make no difference.

Or at least that's my understanding.

grude
03-20-2015, 07:30 PM
Or movies where, due to 48fps and hi-def, the motion blur is gone -- not like real life, where there is motion blur and distortion everywhere! And the picture doesn't jiggle and jump anymore like it used to -- I just can't stand the realism!


My issue is it looks less realistic than real life, I don't see every pore or individual hair when I look at someone unless I'm inches away from their face.

Maybe the real issue is that film producers need to adjust to the new reality and shoot from distances taking HD into account?

Aquadementia
03-20-2015, 07:38 PM
You can sometimes find side by side comparisons like this one for Ghostbusters. (http://www.theraffon.net/~spookcentral/gb1_homevid_compare.htm)

BigT
03-20-2015, 07:54 PM
Or movies where, due to 48fps and hi-def, the motion blur is gone -- not like real life, where there is motion blur and distortion everywhere!

I don't understand this complaint. There is in fact motion blur in real life. Don't believe me? Put your hand in front of your face and move it fairly quickly Can you see it in full detail the entire time? During part of the time, your hand even looks like it is in two places at once.

And I agree with the OP. Too much detail can be bad. Real life is not perfectly sharp all the time. Only a small part of what we see is actually in focus and detail. With the advent of higher resolutions and ultrasharp LCDs, you have to start paying attention to stuff that you didn't in the past. You can't just go for maximum sharpness and detail all the time.

Sure, theaters were higher resolution than SD TVs. But do you ever remember seeing these faults like caked on makeup, or blemishes on the actor's skin? It sure wasn't an issue back when I still went to theaters. I don't know if it has to do with grain or what.

I've seen good HD and bad HD. And bad HD very often comes from things not originally intended to be in HD. A good HD rescan takes work.

Musicat
03-20-2015, 07:57 PM
Put your hand in front of your face and move it fairly quickly Can you see it in full detail the entire time? During part of the time, your hand even looks like it is in two places at once.You're doing this under fluorescent or LED light powered by AC, right?

SenorBeef
03-20-2015, 08:07 PM
Modern digital cinema (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_cinema) has a resolution that is approximately equal to HDTV, and the very latest is about twice the resolution of HDTV.

4k is precisely 4 times the resolution of full HD. Twice as tall times twice as wide.

Hail Ants
03-21-2015, 06:16 PM
Can you explain this? Thirty-five mm film images aren't made up of lines as video images are.That's why he said "roughly". Not being digital, film cannot be exactly pinned down to an exact, discrete resolution, but to a fairly consistent and small range. 35mm film falls within this range.

In my experience as a consumer, most porn is produced in HD nowadays.Well I, I mean my friend, only watches streaming internet porn anymore (are porn DVDs even still made?) and although some sites do sometimes have HD links most do not. And it's the ultimate VHS vs Beta argument: Non-HD porn is good enough (and like I said, probably preferable). Just because everything is shot on HD-capable digital video cameras today does not mean it's being distributed in true HD.

I don't understand this complaint. There is in fact motion blur in real life. Don't believe me? Put your hand in front of your face and move it fairly quickly Can you see it in full detail the entire time? During part of the time, your hand even looks like it is in two places at once.Yes there is motion blur in real life, but at a higher frame rate than 24fps. In fact to the human eye a huge 'line of demarcation' exists between 24fps and 30fps (the difference between film & SD videotape). This is primarily why the two look so different.

Musicat
03-21-2015, 07:37 PM
Maybe I should clarify RE "motion blur." Under incandescent or sun light, the human eye doesn't perceive "frames" like video or film cameras, so it could be argued that motion blur does or doesn't exist for all practical purposes. Pick your point of view.

But video/film capture devices all store a single image; a snapshot in time, if you will, and if that snapshot is subsequently displayed along with other images in time sequence, it can be perceived as separate images or continuous movement, depending on several factors, the most important being the frame rate per second.

I can recall being terribly bothered as a kid by 24fps cartoons if the picture panned. It was noticeably jerky, and not realistic. If the frame rate had been increased, or the frames had been made with a suitable pseudo-blur, it might not have been as annoying to me.

So when I see movie makers changing the process of recording and projecting the image to eliminate such artifacts, I generally applaud them, in quite the same way as when I found out that tape hiss and vinyl clicks/pops could be eliminated with modern technology. Wonderful! I've been waiting for this all my life, and now it's here! Enjoy, and quit yer bitching!

Tangent
03-21-2015, 08:36 PM
Well I, I mean my friend, only watches streaming internet porn anymore (are porn DVDs even still made?) and although some sites do sometimes have HD links most do not. And it's the ultimate VHS vs Beta argument: Non-HD porn is good enough (and like I said, probably preferable). Just because everything is shot on HD-capable digital video cameras today does not mean it's being distributed in true HD.

Well, my friend tells me that torrent sites are filled with true HD porn, and that it's very popular. SD resolution may be preferable to many--especially when streaming--because of bandwidth limitations rather than aesthetic preferences.


As to the larger (non-porn) question: I have several movies that I bought on DVD and then upgraded to Blu ray and, yes, they look much better to me in HD. When I first got HD cable television, I used to flip back and forth between the SD channel and its corresponding HD feed. The difference was night and day.

TBG
03-23-2015, 10:16 PM
Assuming they've used good masters and properly converted them, yes, bluray is better than the same thing on DVD.

Even before I had an HDTV, I had started buying/renting blurays, as even on a old tv connected to the PS3 via s-video, the blurays just looked loads better, due to not being as compressed to hell. Actually playing them on an HDTV at 720p or higher, it's not even close.

Sounds like your issue is you're just focusing too much on the nitty gritty details of the image. Can't see the forest for the trees, if you will. I can easily see that being a problem for some people, and if that's you, by all means, stick to your DVD's or set your bluray player to output 480i/p.

I wonder if there were people who found color too distracting when it first came out? (not snark, serious thought I just had)

Miller
03-23-2015, 10:46 PM
You can sometimes find side by side comparisons like this one for Ghostbusters. (http://www.theraffon.net/~spookcentral/gb1_homevid_compare.htm)

Man, in that second example, look at how much Bill Murray's head widens between the first two formats.

Machine Elf
03-24-2015, 07:56 AM
4k is precisely 4 times the resolution of full HD. Twice as tall times twice as wide.

No, it is not: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution)

4K is defined by the movie projection industry as 4096 x 2160 (at a 19:10 or 1.9:1 aspect ratio) and should not be confused with ultra-high-definition television (UHDTV), which only has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 (at a 16:9, or 1.78:1 aspect ratio).

HD is 1920x1080 and scales neatly with UHDTV, but not with 4K.

SenorBeef
03-24-2015, 03:30 PM
No, it is not: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution)



HD is 1920x1080 and scales neatly with UHDTV, but not with 4K.

Okay, what you originally said was that 4k was twice the resolution of HD. This is a common mistake. For example, people think that 1440p is twice the resolution of 720p, because 720x2=1440. But of course that's only the vertical height. A 1440p display isn't twice as "tall" as the 720p one but the same width, it's twice as high and twice as wide. So it's 4x the pixels, not twice.

As far as the definition of 4k - the DCI definition of 4K (4096x2160) came after the colloquial use of "4k" was used to refer to anything in that range, including what people would call "UHD 4K", 3820x2160. Even though it's not precisely correct, since 3820 is not 4000, this has been common usage.

Even by your own linked wikipedia page:


YouTube and the television industry have adopted Ultra HD as its 4K standard.


Which would support the usage of referring to UHD as "4k" is correct, because 4k is colloquially used as a class of resolutions that are pretty close rather than the specific DCI film projection definition of it. You will very likely see "4K Monitor" or "4K TV" used indefinitely referring to UHD units.

What you had was a fundamental misunderstanding - that you thought twice the vertical resolution meant twice the total resolution, not four times the resolution - and what you're (defensively) accusing me of is a semantical misunderstanding, which is arguable because even your own cite also refers to the way I described it as being a valid interpretation.

Machine Elf
03-24-2015, 03:55 PM
What you had was a fundamental misunderstanding - that you thought twice the vertical resolution meant twice the total resolution, not four times the resolution - and what you're (defensively) accusing me of is a semantical misunderstanding, which is arguable because even your own cite also refers to the way I described it as being a valid interpretation.

Fair enough. I locked onto your use of the word "precisely" and missed the "twice as tall times twice as wide" statement that followed. You are correct that for twice the linear pixel count, there is four times as much information on screen.

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