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Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Francisco - East Bay area
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By the way, there's still no complete consensus on whether UHD will be 4:4:2 or 4:4:4... either way it will be better than the 4:2:0 we get from DVD or Blu-ray.
Bits... 10 or 12... again, no complete consensus.
UHD Blu-ray format is not cast in stone yet. Since pits can't get any smaller with laser technology, the focus is on adding layers to the existing Blu-ray disc format. Since 2-layer Blu-rays already exist, the 5 or 6 layers (or maybe even 8 layers including special features and such) that will be needed for UHD should be doable. Existing disc players, of course, won't play discs with that many layers. UHD 3D will be much like HD 3D. Last I heard, frame rate was not even decided on for UHD. They could do 48 fps or 60 fps, but storage capacity on discs can be an issue with that many frames with 10 or 12 bits and at least 4:4:2 decimation.
One thing is certain, people are going to have to get over their "soap opera effect" hatred, because 48 or 60 fps is NOT going to "feel" like 24 fps film. 24 fps film is like the rotary dial telephone... rotary dial telephones are quaint and interesting reminders of a bygone era. 24 fps film should be the same thing... it is NOT good. And it is NOT a performance standard. In fact it's the WORST POSSIBLE FORMAT people in the 20s and 30s were willing to pay money to see (higher frame rates would make it more expensive to shoot and duplicate movies, and there'd have to be more reel changes during showings of the movies while frame rates lower than 24 damage motion so much it looks choppy). It seems almost impossible that we scream for more bits and less color decimation (to get more fidelity than 4:2:0 can deliver), and we like our higher definition images, but that many of us hold on to the blurred motion caused by the slow shutter speeds demanded by 24 fps like it was something ideal. Personally, I can't WAIT to kiss 24 fps goodbye forever, except for nostalgia showings in theaters or at home. I hope displays continue to show us our 24 fps legacy movies as they were originally made -- but I want to see Iron Man 4 in 60 fps with little or no color decimation and 12 bit color.
BTW - 4K implies 4096 resolution in the horizontal direction. UHD is going to have 4X resolution (not 4K) of HDTV which means doubling the horizontal and vertical lines 1920 x 2 = 3840. And 1080 x 2 = 2160. So you may hear 2160p as a reference to UHD. Of course that assumes UHD remains a 1.78:1 aspect ratio format. I'm not sure if the native aspect ratio of the UHD format has been settled yet, but people refer to 3840 x 2160 a lot when referring to UHD and the models introduced at CES appeared to be 1.78 aspect ratio. It would be interesting to keep the 2160 vertical resolution but expand horizontal to encompass a 2.35 aspect screen so you'd have constant image height at home just like in movie theaters... aspect ratios lower than 2.35 would leave black bars on the edges of the screen. A 2.35 fixed pixel display with 2160 vertical resolution would have to be 5076 pixels wide. That would be a smokin' hot video format.
"Movies is magic..." Van Dyke Parks
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