Originally Posted by Bob Sorel
Yes! Exactly! I too am amused when I read posts describing something in their video chain as being "filmlike". If the component actually does what the poster says, then it is not doing its job correctly.
Unless the poster wants a "film-like" image. Or unless the component actually is
allowing film like characteristics to "pass through" the chain in his system.
In mocking the term "film like" I think several issues are being mixed up:
1. The issue of accuracy to the source (how accurately are the components reproducing the video-signal source material, e.g. what's on the Blu Ray/DVD).
2. The issue of what "film" actually looks like. (Does film actually have a "look" that one can generalize about).
3. And related to 2, whether the term "film like" has any use or not.
For me, "film like" is a useful term. It's a generalization so of course it's not going to capture all the nuances and exceptions, but that's the nature of generalizations.
But to me, someone who works in film, "film like" certainly captures the essence of what I see on my JVC RS20 vs some other projectors, and certainly vs HD-Camera feeds, flat panels with frame interpolation settings etc.
Originally Posted by Bob Sorel
The best displays are analogous to the best audio preamps - "a straight wire with gain" so to speak, and simply recreate what has been set to media as faithfully and accurately as possible. Sometimes it will look "filmlike" and sometimes it won't, depending on how and what was transferred to disc, but the display itself should NOT make the source look any more "filmlike" than what was accomplished during the transfer process.
Well, in theory, yes I agree that's the goal. But I think the analogy to audio
is a good one, and I often use it myself.
The ideal often touted is the straightwire with gain, as you say. But it depends on the goal of the listener. Some audiophiles worship the idea of hearing the source as accurately as possible, in all it's glory (in a good recording) or all it's defects (in a poorer recording). Others worship the idea of their system re-creating the sensation of live music. These two goals, accuracy and the illusion of live music are not the same, given a great many recordings, even of acoustic instruments, are not of great enough quality to
produce the feel of live musicians.
There are many ways to express this, but one example: I can take recordings made through the mixer board of my band playing live. The through-the-mixer sound is what is captured on the recordings I have. But the mixer sound is always going to be different than the live sound, especially in terms of it's balance, because of course all the acoustics in the venue - eqs have been adjusted to make the sound as correct and balanced (or what is being aimed for) in a fight against the acoustics coming heard in the venue.
When I play the mixer-track it often sounds like crap, in terms of it's balance.
If I re-eq it via an equalizer I can gain a much better approximation of what we actually sounded like. But to be more faithful to our actual sound, I've had to alter the signal of the source.
A similar issue arises for why some of us enjoy certain tube amplification. I love the experience of live acoustic music and would love to be able to reproduce the richness, organic quality, timbrel character and "ease" I get with live voices and instruments. Unfortunately most recordings, even ones that attempt to capture those elements, tend to fail (as do most sound systems). For me and some others, certain tube amplification produce the signal with some pleasing distortions that, while not quite as accurate to the source signal as could be, nonetheless move the sound a bit in the direction of the qualities I hear in live organic music. (For now, leaving out various caveats - subjectivity plays a role in this so not everyone will agree).
Similarly, in home video, one of the reasons I wasn't impressed with projection for quite a while was that I was so used to seeing good film. Whenever I saw DVDs blown up on a consumer projector it always struck me as looking like blown up video images. It lost that film-like look that I enjoy in movies. But some projectors did produce those images in a way that reminded me more of film...whether it was a characteristic of the projector or not, it could make the experience more "accurate" to the qualities I was used to seeing in film (if certainly not up to the same level).
I find that persists even in the latest projectors and displays, although Blu Ray makes it possible for a more film-like reproduction than DVD.
So, I think we have to consider various elements before assaulting the use of the term "film-like" whenever someone whips it out in describing an image. Even if it's poorly used here and there, I still find it a useful concept.