- Older films in 4k worth it?
Is it worth streaming older films (eg harry potter earlier films from 2001 onwards) in 4k, or just HD?
TaPosted 7 months ago
If you want to watch them on a big screen and believe that 4K is better and the cost difference is worth it, then yes.
If you have milk bottle glasses, watching it on your phone and there’s a significant premium, then no.
The only artistic reason not to would be that something filmed and intended for SD might look dated in HD or 4k, e.g. watch Jurrasic Park or Jaws in a higher resolution and what were perfectly acceptable props in 480 lines, suddenly look like GCSE Drama paper mache efforts.Posted 7 months ago
What are you watching on? We decided to avoid psudo-4K projectors at this point and went for HD instead. Full 4K projectors are still a long way from affordable and everything else is upscaling. We’ve not been dissapointed on a 108″ screen. HD is fine to my poor eyesight, so that’s a no. There is, however a marked improvement from SD to HD on every format.Posted 7 months ago
It’s on a new telly we’ve got, it’s 55 inch 4k compatible.
My wife is a big harry potter fan and I’ve noticed normal DVD’s aren’t as good to watch on the big telly once you’ve got used to seeing stuff in HD
Basically I was going to get her all the films for a gift for Xmas. I can either buy downloads in HD or 4K, or I could buy a Blu-ray player and get them on Blu ray (we’ve only got normal DVD player at moment)… But now I’ve just seen there’s also Ultra HD blu Ray players as well which are more expensive!
Just after cheapest good quality film option. Download looks cheapest as don’t have to buy the blu ray player, but then you can’t get box set deals on the downloads like you can with blu ray discs….Posted 7 months ago
e.g. watch Jurrasic Park or Jaws in a higher resolution and what were perfectly acceptable props in 480 lines, suddenly look like GCSE Drama paper mache efforts.
except those were made for 35mm film production and projection? a 4k picture has about 8million pixels.
35mm cinema film is estimated to be about the same as 4k digital, 70mm film would be the equivalent of 12k (https://www.t3.com/news/high-resolution-cinema-4k-8k-and-beyond)
But it depends on the quality of the film scan. Some older TV was shot on film – restored HD scans can look way better than the original transmissions.
of course, if you’re streaming a lot depends on the bitrate – Blu Ray HD looks noticeably better than anything streamed or broadcast as it has much less compression. Watchmen on SkyAtlanticHD last night has a load of banding on some scenes that were a sign of too much compression. Chances are a 4k stream will look better than the HD streamPosted 7 months ago
If you are sitting 6ft from a 70″ screen then like any 4k content, maybe 🙂
The only artistic reason not to would be that something filmed and intended for SD might look dated in HD or 4k, e.g. watch Jurrasic Park or Jaws in a higher resolution and what were perfectly acceptable props in 480 lines, suddenly look like GCSE Drama paper mache efforts.
I think most films until recently were shot on actual film which is high enough quality to be blown up very large indeed – no? Some TV shows were shot on film too, have a watch of original Star Trek on Netflix. 50 year old TV show and it looks like it was shot in HD.Posted 7 months ago
of course, if you’re streaming a lot depends on the bitrate
Yes – we recently got fibre broadband, and the same shows on the same HD telly look much better.Posted 7 months ago
So quality wise is
Streamed HD = Blu-ray
Streamed 4K = Blu-ray HD
And disc versions can be better due to less compression?Posted 7 months ago
have a watch of original Star Trek on Netflix. 50 year old TV show and it looks like it was shot in HD.
But Netflix are streaming a “re-mastered” version of TOS that was done specifically for streaming wasn’t it?
So as noted above, lots of the footage is probably re-scanned from film and of course they’ve redone most of the old model shots as CGI (I assume in 4k?) knowing modern audiences will be watching on modern TVs…
It’s not that it’s aged well, it’s that it’s effectively been painstakingly restored/edited to suit modern transmission.Posted 7 months ago
or I could buy a Blu-ray player and get them on Blu ray
Could this be a good excuse to get a PS4?Posted 7 months ago
But Netflix are streaming a “re-mastered” version of TOS that was done specifically for streaming wasn’t it?
Oh, interesting, I hadn’t heard that. If so, it’s remarkable how much detail has been regained or filled in.Posted 7 months ago
Yep, it’s apparently a point of contention for some Interweb Trek trolls.
Personally I quite like that they’ve gone to the trouble of re-mastering it.
I’d go so far as to say TOS now actually looks better on Netflix than TNG/DS9/Voyager Which I don’t think have been touched as they were only shot in the 90’s, those end up looking relatively ‘flat’ in terms of colour because they haven’t been put through any extra filters…
Not sure if either is available as a 4K stream though, might only be HD?Posted 7 months ago
I think most films until recently were shot on actual film which is high enough quality to be blown up very large indeed – no? Some TV shows were shot on film too, have a watch of original Star Trek on Netflix. 50 year old TV show and it looks like it was shot in HD.
Yes but the net result is the same. A special effect that was filmed on 35mm film then scanned at 480 lines is still only 480 lines so the prop makers could get away with more.
As an example I’ve stuck silver ducktape on plywood to create the look of expensive paneling, and that’s been shown at 9pm on C4! If you went back and took a still of it with a cameraphone it would be really blindingly obvious that it was ducktape on plywood. But on a HD Tv picture it’s right there, filling the screen behind the presenter and you would never know.
It’s why 38 years ago Harrison Ford ran down a tunnel being chased by a huge boulder. Now you’d wonder why he’s so scared of a giant lump of polystyrene.Posted 7 months ago
I understand all the points above (well, some of them).
There’s more to it than just bitrates and pixels though. There’s a whole era of films that were either filmed on poor stock or using video, the makers never thought that 30 years later people would watch films they made for smokey cinemas or VHS on 50″ 4K screens.
Some like Bladerunner get remastered, the original Bluray was horrible, barely DVD quality, but some were filmed on really lovely 70mm film and look great.
Saying that, ‘Once upon a time in Hollywood’ like all Tarantino films is filmed on 35mm and based on what I saw on the ‘super special’ screen at my local Cinema there will be zero point watching it in 4k, it looks glorious, but not because of a super sharp picture, because it doesn’t have one.Posted 7 months ago
probably yes because the digital intermediary would have been 2 or 4k if shot on film like the early potter films and that scan/sampling/conversion will be better than your tv upscaling from an SD version to 4k.
there may be some instances where it’s just been a basic upscale so not much difference but if it’s a proper studio remaster for blue-ray or 4k streaming it should be better then the original.Posted 7 months ago
there were loads of films shot in 2k or HD with Sony s35 or Arri Alexas that look great in 4k.
I remember Gladiator came in for some flack, the upscaled version was pretty poor. Gangs of New York also suffered, a lot of darkness and mood disappeared.Posted 7 months ago
the original se7en blu ray release was terrible but the second was excellent – transfer from original film stack and care taken can massively affect how things lookPosted 7 months ago
Streaming involves a fair bit of compression even with 4k and not sure you get HDR colour.
Though there’s more to it than resolution and colour range. They should be fresh 4k scans from old prints and likely a new master with improved quality. Though sometimes they mess up though and make it worse.
With streamed 4k they might be a better master so can be worth it even on a 2k telly.
Annoyingly the HDR colour they’re mastered for can result in a poor downscale to a 2k version as often that’s done on the cheap. The Shining Extended Cut is an example. I don’t have a 4k telly and have no desire or need for one, but the new master extended cut in UK is only on the 4k Blu Ray release, but comes with a DVD from same master. The DVD is showing a distinct green tint from comparison shots available on the Web.
As for TOS Trek, it was remastered on Blu Ray release (HD DVD even originally!) with optional updated effects. Both new effects and original they’re very good and a lot of work went into it. The series was shot on film and scans in HD fine but the effects work better re-rendered in HD. Same goes with TNG. Film shot but effects edited on video so they redid those and really quite subtle. DS9 and Voyager are more complex and studio doesn’t want to pay up as the others didn’t sell massively.
There’s work in AI interpolation of SD video though that’s looking quite impressive. People have done clips from SD DS9 video converted to HD this way.
Anyway,TV shows like that even shot on film won’t gain much in 4k from the film stock quality typically used. Even less so anything shot 16mm.Posted 7 months ago
Watched a dodgy 4k download of Lawrence of Arabia on the Son in Law’s posh new telly box.
It was bloody amazing.
So yes.Posted 7 months ago
I’ve got the Lawrence of Arabia one in 4k and it is good. As is Glory (1989)Posted 7 months ago
So many factors involved in delivery a quality image.
Film was was already considered a HD/UHD format long before digital became mainstream. 4K has long been a standard now – we purchased out Red Epic dragon Camera nearly 7 years ago. And that’s shoots 6K. 8K is readily available for aquisistion these days.
Netflix have the general remit for things to be originated in 4K, though they have made exceptionsn for Arri cameras which is broadly 2K. But they have many models including their large format system that Roma was shot on.
A good master / digital intermediate is crucial for a decent stream.
More is better, pixels and stream rate. So short answer yeah 4K – as much as possible. Having said that at home I stream in 1920/1080 and it’s great. Short-comings of image tend to be in the ability to resolve blacks/shadow detail on the DLP projectors.
I will make the jump to 4K at home very shortly when projectors that do native 4K get a bit cheaper. Optoma have a fantastic new laser projector that’s ultra short throw – and this looks amazing.Posted 7 months ago
4K does work streamed and in HDR too. I’ve watched plenty of Amazon Prime content + occasional BBC content
What I’ve noticed though is that after about 5-10 mins the initial’that looks amazing’ wears off.
4K stuff to buy is a ridiculous premium over HD stuff, and IMO not worth the premium over HD…Posted 7 months ago
Interesting. I dismissed it, thinking it wouldn’t work. Apocalypse Now had me most intriguedPosted 7 months ago
Thanks for all the replies!
As a test last night I signed up to Rakuten and watched the first Harry Potter in 4K, for the first 40 seconds I thought this is rubbish, but then the download caught up and everything was nice and sharp, way better than I thought it would be.
I think I’ll buy her the 4k films on Rakuten rather than HD blue ray (and then don’t need to buy blue ray player) as I can then get a Roku stick so she can stream them in the bedroom as well.Posted 7 months ago
No doubt it will set off the miserablists, but if you want 4K/HDR films then Apple are miles ahead IMHO.
4K is the same price as HD, anything you buy in HD qualifies for free upgrade to 4K when it is released. Prices seem fair to me as well, max. of £14 for new releases and always good stuff for £3.99 – £4.99.
More general thoughts on 4K. It makes a big difference but HDR makes more of a difference (though really a moot point as 90% of HDR stuff is 4K). If I was buying a new TV I’d put compatibility with as many HDR standards as possible near the top of the considerations (eg. I wouldn’t touch a Samsung as they don’t do Dolby Vision which is what Apple and the majority of Netflix HDR uses).Posted 7 months ago
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