HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Question

smormando

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Can someone explain to me why anyone would care about old movies being released in either of these formats? Until movies are actually filmed with HD equipment, you won't really get the HD experience. You can't just make up those missing lines of resolution to upconvert an enhanced definition picture to a high definition picture, can you?

I also can't see the film industry moving completely to HD cameras very soon. That would require movie houses all across America to convert their existing equipment, which is no inexpensive task, I'm sure. I'm all for getting the movement to high definition DVD going, but why would I spend so much money to get into it now?
 

TeraMedia

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Movie "masters" are either on film - which is much higher-rez than DVD, or they're in digital, also in much higher rez than DVD.

Some movie theaters already have digital projectors. The resolution of these is also much higher than DVD. If you have a 20-foot-high screen, then a single pixel in DVD rez is 240" / 480 pixels = 1/2 inch. Since you've never seen big half-inch blocks in a movie theater, its a safe bet that they're already using something comparable to (or more likely, better than) HD-DVD.

The only environment that hasn't yet received HD-quality video is the home video market. This is partly due to cost, and partly due to Hollywood paranoia - they don't want consumers to be able to make a reproduction that is so good, it's indiscernible from the original.

If you have good eyes, sit near the TV, or use a very large screen (e.g. projector), you can pretty easily see the pixels in an SDTV image. That's true whether it's from DVD or elsewhere. The market is just trying to reduce this quality shortcoming in home entertainment.
 

smormando

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Thanks for the reply, TeraMedia!

So is that to say that the originals are somewhere between 1080p and DVD quality (480p?)? In that case, high def DVDs would be better quality than regular DVDs, but still not HD quality. Or are the originals filmed at HD resolution?
 

TeraMedia

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Film-based originals should be significantly higher than HD 1080p quality. Digital originals are also (usually) higher than or (infrequently) equal to HD 1080p quality - though I don't know exactly how much higher. Given the math on pixel size for a 20' screen, I would think they'd need at least 2000 (100 pixels per foot), perhaps as many as 5000 pixels vertical resolution to provide a sufficiently smooth image at that size.

I've seen 1080 HD-level content in a movie theater, in the form of a series of adverts before the film. It wasn't bad, but I could definitely distinguish the pixels from the middle of the theater (I have pretty good eyesight). The subsequent film had to be at a much higher resolution - or on film - because I could no longer distinguish the pixels.

The exception to all of this would be low-grade or low-budget movies. I believe Blair Witch was filmed with a consumer SD camcorder, for example.
 

smormando

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Thanks again, TeraMedia. I guess I'll just have to see it to get a feel for it. I guess the bottom line is, I don't care if it puts me in the movie, I'm not going to spend $1k on the player and then $30-40/movie.

ok...maybe if it put me in the movie...
 

truerock

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100 ISO 35 mm photograpic film is rougly equivalent to a resolution of 2,000 by 3,000 pixels. Perhaps 70mm movie film would be something like 2,000 by 5,000 in equivalent computer pixel resolution.

This is just a rough estimate...

See these articles about film resolution:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/shootout.shtml
http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/film.vs.digital.summary1.html
 
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