Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

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SilentsPlease

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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostWed Aug 09, 2017 12:44 pm

bigshot wrote:Image


I just want to help everyone out by deciphering the chart above into plain English. And yes, this chart is quite accurate.

If you have a 30-inch screen, you can sit AT MOST TWO FEET away from the screen to get the benefit of 4K. By "at most 2 feet," I mean this:

1 foot- getting benefit of 4K, yay
2 feet - getting benefit of 4K, yay
3 feet - not getting it
4 feet - nah
5, 6, 7 feet, etc. - nah.

And if you have a 60-inch screen, you can sit AT MOST THREE FEET away from the screen. Yep, paying big $$$ for twice the screen size entitles you to sit ONE FEET FURTHER.

If you are like the average person and sit 5-10 feet away from the TV, you need an 80 to 140+ inch screen! Oh yeah. Now that's what I call diminishing return if there ever was one.

4K screen would be more feasible for the desktop computer because you sit much closer to the monitor.
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R. Cat

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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostWed Aug 09, 2017 2:48 pm

SilentsPlease wrote:
bigshot wrote:Image


I just want to help everyone out by deciphering the chart above into plain English. And yes, this chart is quite accurate.

If you have a 30-inch screen, you can sit AT MOST TWO FEET away from the screen to get the benefit of 4K. By "at most 2 feet," I mean this:

1 foot- getting benefit of 4K, yay
2 feet - getting benefit of 4K, yay
3 feet - not getting it
4 feet - nah
5, 6, 7 feet, etc. - nah.

And if you have a 60-inch screen, you can sit AT MOST THREE FEET away from the screen. Yep, paying big $$$ for twice the screen size entitles you to sit ONE FEET FURTHER.

If you are like the average person and sit 5-10 feet away from the TV, you need an 80 to 140+ inch screen! Oh yeah. Now that's what I call diminishing return if there ever was one.

4K screen would be more feasible for the desktop computer because you sit much closer to the monitor.


While from a statistically perspective this may true, the reality is totally different in practical application.

My wife and I just replaced our five year old 57" SONY Bravia (great set with no performance issues) with SONY's flagship 4K 65" Z9D series (FALD, LCD, contrast comparable to OLED). I haven't taken the time to measure our viewing distance, but we sit approximately 7' to 9' away by my estimation.

Diminishing return? Naw, given the drool factor we're experiencing, UHD is a real game changer. The visual detail we're experiencing is awesome; pixels are virtually invisible whether viewing close-up or sitting a comfortable distance back. With well filmed UHD material, this is quite literally like looking through a window into another world or about as close to it as one can imagine.

The difference between our earlier 2K panel and the new 4K model is night and day, especially on UHD sourced material.

How this impacts future silent releases mastered in 2K or 4K, released on BD and UHD BD, or even up-scaled silent DVDs, I can't say because we haven't spent enough time watching films and checking out the various settings, but I'll be happy to report back.

Not to throw cold water on expert opinions and charts, but healthy skepticism might be the wiser course when statistics are used to make sweeping generalizations on human experience. A better method would be to demonstrate through real world side by side comparisons random viewer's impressions of 2K and 4K panels at varying distances (all devices being optimally set-up to view a variety of material shot in standard, HD and UHD formats, of course).
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostWed Aug 09, 2017 3:39 pm

R. Cat wrote:
SilentsPlease wrote:
bigshot wrote:Image


I just want to help everyone out by deciphering the chart above into plain English. And yes, this chart is quite accurate.

If you have a 30-inch screen, you can sit AT MOST TWO FEET away from the screen to get the benefit of 4K. By "at most 2 feet," I mean this:

1 foot- getting benefit of 4K, yay
2 feet - getting benefit of 4K, yay
3 feet - not getting it
4 feet - nah
5, 6, 7 feet, etc. - nah.

And if you have a 60-inch screen, you can sit AT MOST THREE FEET away from the screen. Yep, paying big $$$ for twice the screen size entitles you to sit ONE FEET FURTHER.

If you are like the average person and sit 5-10 feet away from the TV, you need an 80 to 140+ inch screen! Oh yeah. Now that's what I call diminishing return if there ever was one.

4K screen would be more feasible for the desktop computer because you sit much closer to the monitor.


While from a statistically perspective this may true, the reality is totally different in practical application.

My wife and I just replaced our five year old 57" SONY Bravia (great set with no performance issues) with SONY's flagship 4K 65" Z9D series (FALD, LCD, contrast comparable to OLED). I haven't taken the time to measure our viewing distance, but we sit approximately 7' to 9' away by my estimation.

Diminishing return? Naw, given the drool factor we're experiencing, UHD is a real game changer. The visual detail we're experiencing is awesome; pixels are virtually invisible whether viewing close-up or sitting a comfortable distance back. With well filmed UHD material, this is quite literally like looking through a window into another world or about as close to it as one can imagine.

The difference between our earlier 2K panel and the new 4K model is night and day, especially on UHD sourced material.

How this impacts future silent releases mastered in 2K or 4K, released on BD and UHD BD, or even up-scaled silent DVDs, I can't say because we haven't spent enough time watching films and checking out the various settings, but I'll be happy to report back.

Not to throw cold water on expert opinions and charts, but healthy skepticism might be the wiser course when statistics are used to make sweeping generalizations on human experience. A better method would be to demonstrate through real world side by side comparisons random viewer's impressions of 2K and 4K panels at varying distances (all devices being optimally set-up to view a variety of material shot in standard, HD and UHD formats, of course).


The graph above and studies like this one did come from real world observations. Your experience doesn't change the fact that you need bigger and bigger screens to obtain the benefit of higher resolutions. The "diminishing" aspect doesn't just come from the amount of the benefit you get, but the amount you PAY for it, which is higher and higher. And you did get a bigger and more expensive screen, did you. Hence, diminishing. Adding to the diminishing return is the fact that many so-called 4K pictures are just 2k-upconverted pictures.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostWed Aug 09, 2017 5:15 pm

My experience pretty much mirrors that of R.Cat's. My new TV is the same size (55") as my previous one and looks much better at the same viewing distance (~7'). And it cost me half what I paid for the old one. So for me, it's definitely not a case of diminishing returns.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostWed Aug 09, 2017 5:16 pm

SilentsPlease wrote:The graph above and studies like this one did come from real world observations. Your experience doesn't change the fact that you need bigger and bigger screens to obtain the benefit of higher resolutions. The "diminishing" aspect doesn't just come from the amount of the benefit you get, but the amount you PAY for it, which is higher and higher. And you did get a bigger and more expensive screen, did you. Hence, diminishing. Adding to the diminishing return is the fact that many so-called 4K pictures are just 2k-upconverted pictures.


I won't dispute the science as I'm not fully apprised of the methodology, viewing environment or devices employed in testing, but the term "diminishing return" shouldn't be equated with actual cost. As the technology improves, prices typically come down, panel size notwithstanding. Dollars go farther for 4K panels than last year, but shoppers still need to do their homework before pulling the trigger. Upconverted 2K can look very good, but I've seen newly released 4K UHD shot material that's eye-popping, ...enough to justify a 4K system upgrade.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 4:48 am

Left unsaid in this discussion is the fact that physical media as a whole regardless of format seems to be dying. Because younger viewers use streaming more, DVD, Blu-ray, UHD -- all of it is not going to last at the rate we are going. And I will still hold on tight anyway to my discs because I have learned the hard way you cannot depend upon the reliability of films staying available on any particular service. But in any case, 4K TVs will become the standard since that will be all they make, but any use of them will be via streaming by and large. So the question will become whether there are any UHD silent streaming sources or not.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 5:59 am

I loved laserdisc stores-- they were like a secret genre of retail store just for movie buffs-- and when the writing was on the wall for them circa 1997, I was talking to the owner of the one in the mall in Niles, Illinois, and he pointed to something that David Shepard had quixotically put out on laser, Tol'able David or something, and said that because of the cost of the technology involved in authoring DVDs, you'd never see titles like that on DVD-- the minimums were too high for anything except big studio releases.

And here we are 20 years later and ordinary people can put out obscure silents on blu-ray (which didn't even exist then) themselves. So that guy was wrong, clearly. On the other hand, it is 20 years later. So he was right for a while, until the economies of scale appeared and the market developed.

The point is, all answers to these kinds of questions are right for a while. They are right to be raised as concerns, which tends to lead to the concerns being allayed with new answers— people figuring out how to make DVDs commercially viable when you hope to sell 1000, not a minimum of 20,000. The answers are always changing.

I think streaming is overwhelmingly the future. I've been watching Five Came Back on Netflix and the ability to just basically keep it open as a window on my laptop, to watch any time, is great. At the same time, there is something in many of us that wants the thing. That derives aesthetic pleasure from a wall of neatly organized Criterion discs, that derives social pleasure from being able to grab that obscure thing and say, have you seen this? You really should...

So:

Streaming is the future.

Collecting isn't going away.

Crazy expensive TVs will get cheaper and cheaper and become the norm.

Old things will come out on a new format.

Some old things will not come out in a new format, and you'll be glad you own them already.

Transfer technology gets better and better, which means that the 4K versions of things will look stunningly better, not just because they're 4K, though 4K will get the credit.

Your eyes aren't getting any better.

So yeah, a decade or two from now, when I see The Adventures of Robin Hood in 4K at Target for $9, I'll buy it. And not really see the difference, but still, it'll be cool.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 7:01 am

Will you buy something knowing it will become obsolete?

I remember spending extra on Imation floppy disks, on Maxell "GX-Silver" VHS tapes, on Sony DVD-R blanks. Supposedly they offered higher quality. That was before I could no longer replace the light bulbs in my lamps. Now my books are obsolete, obsolete in the sense that they aren't worth anything and nobody else wants them.

They don't want the hundreds of DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes cluttering up my apartment either.

I have a couple dozen Blu-rays and I don't want any more. When my wife and I buy books now we agree on whether or not we will keep them, usually not. We give them to friends or donate them to Housing Works.

Way too grumpy this morning.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 7:10 am

Daniel Eagan wrote:Will you buy something knowing it will become obsolete?


Of course. The computer you buy today will be obsolete next month. Ditto for the camera you bought last month. Last year's car is going to become outdated too.

Get things to enjoy now, not worry over their half-life.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 8:38 am

tthacker wrote:My experience pretty much mirrors that of R.Cat's. My new TV is the same size (55") as my previous one and looks much better at the same viewing distance (~7'). And it cost me half what I paid for the old one. So for me, it's definitely not a case of diminishing returns.


Then I suggest you sit closer than 7 feet, and you may be surprised by how much better it looks and how much quality you lose by sitting just a little further away. Chances are your return is STILL diminished because you aren't getting the FULL quality you pay 4k for. As pixel size gets smaller, it becomes harder for our eyeballs to differentiate them; that is just a mathematical certainty.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 9:40 am

Most new programming on the streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, etc) is being shot in 4k and is available in 4k on the services. I think there is a lot more programming in 4k than some of you might think, even though much theatrical exhibition is indeed in 2k.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 10:17 am

SilentsPlease wrote:
tthacker wrote:My experience pretty much mirrors that of R.Cat's. My new TV is the same size (55") as my previous one and looks much better at the same viewing distance (~7'). And it cost me half what I paid for the old one. So for me, it's definitely not a case of diminishing returns.


Then I suggest you sit closer than 7 feet, and you may be surprised by how much better it looks and how much quality you lose by sitting just a little further away. Chances are your return is STILL diminished because you aren't getting the FULL quality you pay 4k for. As pixel size gets smaller, it becomes harder for our eyeballs to differentiate them; that is just a mathematical certainty.


Actually, I'm getting exactly what I want out of the tv. I didn't buy it because of the added resolution. It's the HDR (high dynamic range) capabilities that I was wanting.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 11:32 am

Size of screen and distance from the screen are related. An iPad with a retina screen can render 1080p. Assuming you don't need glasses, holding the iPad close to your face would be the same as sitting a little way back from a big screen in a movie theater.

In the old days, if you sat close to a TV set it would be a blurry mess. But that was when TV sets were 480i. Screens are sharper closer now.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 1:54 pm

Daniel Eagan wrote:Will you buy something knowing it will become obsolete?

I remember spending extra on Imation floppy disks, on Maxell "GX-Silver" VHS tapes, on Sony DVD-R blanks. Supposedly they offered higher quality. That was before I could no longer replace the light bulbs in my lamps. Now my books are obsolete, obsolete in the sense that they aren't worth anything and nobody else wants them.

They don't want the hundreds of DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes cluttering up my apartment either.

I have a couple dozen Blu-rays and I don't want any more. When my wife and I buy books now we agree on whether or not we will keep them, usually not. We give them to friends or donate them to Housing Works.

Way too grumpy this morning.


A couple of cups of coffee will fix that right up. :D

Folks who enjoy reading still buy books, some prefer Kindle downloads over paper, but paper is and will continue to be an option. Some books become collectible, like DVDs, CDs vinyl LPs, etc., and may even increase in value, but resale involves locating interested collectors. Light bulbs are now vastly more efficient LED based bulbs that last longer while cutting down energy costs.

I don't know who "they" are but you're right about clutter and rewatching media. Before purchasing DVD/BD/4KBD my current rule is simple, will I watch this again or want it for occasional guest showings. I dislike relying on streaming as that has become a business model for ever-expanding services, each with a price tag and no guarantee of access when requested (licensed content means that that content is always subject to change). Collectors may be a niche market, but many of us will never take solace in downloads and streaming services.


Danny Burk wrote:
Daniel Eagan wrote:Will you buy something knowing it will become obsolete?


Of course. The computer you buy today will be obsolete next month. Ditto for the camera you bought last month. Last year's car is going to become outdated too.

Get things to enjoy now, not worry over their half-life.


Agree completely! I'll add another optimistic note about the half-life of media. Obsolescence can also provide a source of increased revenue when rarity and desirability overlap. In the event where sought after versions are not reissued (for instance, limited editions or short term licensing of releases which have unique versions, documentaries, music, etc.) they can attain a premium on the collector market. This has been true of LPs, CDs, laserdiscs and DVDs and I have no reason to doubt that this will continue for current and future media.


bigshot wrote:Size of screen and distance from the screen are related. An iPad with a retina screen can render 1080p. Assuming you don't need glasses, holding the iPad close to your face would be the same as sitting a little way back from a big screen in a movie theater.

In the old days, if you sat close to a TV set it would be a blurry mess. But that was when TV sets were 480i. Screens are sharper closer now.


In theory, this is true, but in real world application it is only one variable. For instance, if you do side by side comparison of two similarly sized panel televisions ...one 2K, the other 4K... calibrating each for optimum contrast, color, brightness, etc., then view each set's best derivable picture (2K content for the first set, 4K content for the second) from varying distances, I'll wager the 4K panel will blow away the 2K panel each and every time regardless of where you're sitting.

The thing about 4K content when combined with a 4K capable screen is fine detail rendering. What it comes down to is an infinite clarity of detail that is achievable in both near field and distance images. The reason I put clarity in italics is that at resolutions up to 2K we have tools that artificially enhance the overall sharpness of images, but actually does nothing for detail on a pixel to pixel scale.

What 4K resolution does is further refine what is examinable in the filmed image. For instance, in a 4K nature film you really do see the depth, detail and wide color spectrum without any perceivable loss at a range of viewing distances on a large UHD panel (say, 48" up). It's like the difference between a magnifying glass and a microscope.

Will 4K translate to better rendering of silent films? ...That really depends on two things: 1) the availability of good quality source prints or negatives (35mm being more likely to benefit than 16mm), and 2) the quality of clean-up and restoration (at higher resolutions damage will be enhanced as well, and may be detrimental to the viewing experience).

All things considered, it's a good idea to support newer technologies and media while we do our part insuring silent films aren't lost or ignored in the process. DVD and BD is going to be around a long time and silent films will remain viewable through the backward's compatibility standards allowed on media players. Upscaling to higher resolution, though an artificial enhancement, may benefit classic films which aren't rendered in 4K, but we should encourage 2K HD and 4K UHD restorations whenever possible.

Sorry 'bout the length of this, ...I've had more than my allotted 2 cups of mocha java. :lol:
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 4:29 pm

Investing in CDs and DVDs to hold, cherish, and keep shares much with auto ownership. They don't last, Papa!

Fenella France at the US Library of Congress serves as Head of the Preservation, Research and Testing Division. She says that discs age rapidly and will "eventually lead to "rot."

"By increasing the relative humidity and temperature, you're increasing the rate of chemical reaction occurring," she says. "So we're trying to induce what might potentially happen down the road.:

Add to that scratching, temperatures shifts, sunlight, and those darn peanut butter smudges kids tend to leave on them and your investment is competing with The Incredible Shrinking Man.

*http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2014/08/18/340716269/how-long-do-cds-last-it-depends-but-definitely-not-forever
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 4:34 pm

2 Reel wrote:Investing in CDs and DVDs to hold, cherish, and keep shares much with auto ownership. They don't last, Papa!

Fenella France at the US Library of Congress serves as Head of the Preservation, Research and Testing Division. She says that discs age rapidly and will "eventually lead to "rot."

"By increasing the relative humidity and temperature, you're increasing the rate of chemical reaction occurring," she says. "So we're trying to induce what might potentially happen down the road.:

Add to that scratching, temperatures shifts, sunlight, and those darn peanut butter smudges kids tend to leave on them and your investment is competing with The Incredible Shrinking Man.

*http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2014/08/18/340716269/how-long-do-cds-last-it-depends-but-definitely-not-forever


They said the same thing about gramophone records, yet we can still play them - even the really old ones that have scratches or have even broken in half at one time - all can be "fixed up" with modern aids. One of the wonders (for me) is to hear old 78's that have been "done up" and are now in stereophony.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 6:16 pm

augustinius wrote:Left unsaid in this discussion is the fact that physical media as a whole regardless of format seems to be dying. Because younger viewers use streaming more, DVD, Blu-ray, UHD -- all of it is not going to last at the rate we are going.


^This.

Traveling right now, and in places that carry used discs, the prices I'm seeing for DVDs and BLUs are:

$1 and $3.

The handwriting on the wall is clear.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 8:31 pm

The other factor to the chart I posted is peripheral vision vs viewing distance. The closer you sit, the more falls out of your field of view at the sides. Anyone who has sat in the front row at a theater knows it's a pain to watch a movie that way. There's optimal ranges for screen size / seating distance / width of aspect ratio. The size of your theater room in your home is another factor. If you don't have a very large room (over 20 by 40) odds are you will have a hard time coming up with a combination that hits the sweet spot for all three factors and benefits from 4K.

The biggest improvement UHD has going for it isn't detail, it's contrast levels and color. But the eye automatically corrects for that sort of thing. Eyes are actually the biggest limitation, not media format. But upgrades for eyes aren't cheap.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 8:33 pm

wich2 wrote:Traveling right now, and in places that carry used discs, the prices I'm seeing for DVDs and BLUs are: $1 and $3.


If you see the Flicker Alley Sherlock Holmes blu for $3 pick it up for me please. I want it but it's just a little too pricey at list price.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 3:33 am

bigshot wrote:
wich2 wrote:Traveling right now, and in places that carry used discs, the prices I'm seeing for DVDs and BLUs are: $1 and $3.


If you see the Flicker Alley Sherlock Holmes blu for $3 pick it up for me please. I want it but it's just a little too pricey at list price.



Ditto.
Craig, I have a list of stuff you can pick up for me at that price.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 9:15 am

bigshot wrote:
wich2 wrote:Traveling right now, and in places that carry used discs, the prices I'm seeing for DVDs and BLUs are: $1 and $3.


If you see the Flicker Alley Sherlock Holmes blu for $3 pick it up for me please. I want it but it's just a little too pricey at list price.


LOL! When you see those used discs for $3, they are most likely the same disposable films that Hollywood releases year after year. I've recently been going through and organizing some of my discs in my new media area (something I've wanted for probably 20 years.) A lot of the discs I'm coming across I don't want and aren't worth $0.50. Others I own (Mystery Science Theater boxsets that are out of print) routinely sell for more than I paid for them. In the end, it's just entertainment and I can't get my money back any more than I can get back the hamburger I ate for dinner a few years ago. It's gone and it's time to move on. I may keep some of the discs but a good portion of them (public domain dollar DVDs and the like) are just going in the bin.

Streaming is cool for the disposable stuff but discs are still my preferred format for the high quality stuff or the rare stuff that I can't get in this country.
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Re: Blu-ray: the beginning of the end

PostSat Aug 12, 2017 5:39 am

I just bought a car that might be discontinued before 2020. I recently bought a 55" TV. I still buy books and blu-rays, plus added a new desktop PC. Change keeps happening but I grab what's still relevant to me. :)
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