Originally Posted by dreaux
They are not upscaled. I have the movies on the Dell server that comes with the 84". I own a number of the same titles Mastered in 4K for Blu-ray and the server versions are much sharper with better color than the ones on BD (with the exception of "Bridge over The River Kwai" which looks like a bad transfer).
Of course they are better than the BD. They are four times the resolution.
The older movies that are shot on film have possibly
gotten a new 4K++ scan. But looking at screengrabs of Ghostbusters "mastered in 4K" BD, looks very much like the same scan as the original BD relase. The difference is that on the original BD had some clueless Authoring person turning up the contrast to "eleven" and blowing the highlights. Meaning that the original BD was a defect release.
I doubt they have gone back to the original film elements and re-assembled and re-color graded the movies. Which means they are a scan of a archived showprint, and not the original negatives which would have given more resolution.
As for the newer digital shot movie with a lot of VFX/CGI, Like Total Recall and Amazing Spiderman. I doubt they have gone back to the original 5K RAW and re-assembled the movies, or have recreated all the CGI in 4K, that was originally created and rendered in 2K.
They have just done a up-convert, which will be better than what your TV can do on the fly. But it is still a up-convert.
To determine if a movie is really 4K.
Check with IMDb what camera system it is shot with.
Only Sony F65 and F55, and the Red Cameras are fully 4K cinema quality capable. But if a movie has a lot of CGI, don't expect it to not being an up-convert. Nobody in Hollywood at this moment use money to create and render CGI in 4K resolution.
They rather use the money to do Post-Conversion 3D, because then they can charge higher ticket prices.
Movies shot on film is scanned at (preferably/mostly) 6K and downsampled (same method used in digital cine cameras).
But if you think the quality isn't stellar, it is because they have used a crappy scanner (they still exist).
Analogue 35mm Cine film doesn't have full 4K resolution, but it can be good in 4K if it gets proper treatment. (at least on new movies).
Here is the website for Sony's 4K Cinema releases; http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/mkt-digitalcinema/resource.latest.bbsccms-assets-mkt-digicinema-latest-Sony4KDigitalCinemaTitles.shtml#2012
Notice that a movie like Skyfall is released in 4K. It was shot digital 2.8K, so it is a up-convert.
The only digital shot movie that I have heard about that has had a confirmed full 4K workflow from the start is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Be sceptical to much of the "4K claims" in the future. There will be a lot of material passed on as 4K that isn't really 4K.