Originally Posted by daniel1967
I will definitely be upgrading most of my blu-rays to the new format.
You may want to upgrade a smaller proportion of your blu-rays to UHD BD than you think now, daniel1967, after you actually compare how upconverting your 1080p blu-rays looks in comparison to the UHD BD versions.
This month's (the September issue) Sound & Vision contains a very interesting statement in the test report of Samsung's top of the line UN65JS9500 UHD TV. (a 65 inch so called SUHD model that sells for $5,000 on Amazon and is one of the first UHD TVs with HDR capability)
That Samsung happens to be compatible with Sony's UHD hard drive movie player which was used to display UHD material on what the article's author called the best performing LCD Full Array Local Dimming UHD TV he has ever seen.
As we all know, UHD material off of a hard drive is superior to that provided by streaming services because it suffers from far less compression. But even in spite of that, the test report's author stated that he has seen upconverted 1080p blu-rays that look as good, and in some cases, are superior, to all of the UHD material that he watched off of the hard drive.
Now, I fully realize that it is promised that the UHD Blu-ray format will add HDR capability, which virtually all video experts say makes a much more noticeable improvement over 1080p blu-ray than 4k resolution does.
But there are several obstacles that could prevent HDR from helping UHD Blu-ray have a successful launch.
1. Although we are in the 3rd year that UHD TVs have been sold to consumers, only a couple HDR capable models have recently hit the market, and at such high prices that few consumers who are buying new UHD TVs are even getting one that can handle HDR. So when UHD Blu-ray finally does hit the market, very, very
few people will be able to even take advantage of HDR.
2. Most of the early movie releases on UHD Blu-ray disc will have not been reprocessed for HDR, anyway. Scans will just be done from the digital files of movies, without HDR reprocessing, for most transfers to UHD BD, (Especially for catalog titles) because additional HDR processing means more expense for the studios, but with a relatively tiny audience of UHD BD consumers to spread these costs over, and with most consumers not having the top of the line UHD TVs that would allow them to see HDR, anyway.
3. The industry will have a few not totally compatible HDR formats competing against each other. (Many observers claim Dolby Vision gives the best results, but the top TV brand, Samsung, is going with a different format which is capable of much less impressive results than Dolby Vision. (BTW, the first 2 movies the industry announced as being processed for HDR are being done in Dolby Vision, and are The Lego Movie and Edge of Tomorrow.
Joe Kane is usually considered the top expert on video matters. He has often said that UHD needs an improvement like HDR to really succeed, because resolution alone offers too small of an improvement over 1080p unless viewed on large front projection screens, or viewed much closer to flat panel TVs than most people will ever position their TVs from their sofas in their living rooms. (for folks with 20/20 vision every major video expert has stated that a 1.5 screen height, or closer, seating distance is required to see all the detail that UHD provides. That's just slightly under 4 feet from the screen of a 65 inch UHD TV.)
And my thought is that considering the fact that a very tiny % of UHD TV owners will have HDR capability in their TVs when UHD Blu-ray hits the market, most of those folks may be very disappointed in how little of an improvement, if any, that they notice UHD Blu-ray discs offering over the same movies on upconverted 1080p Blu-ray. And if folks really desire to see a difference they might have to be ready to set up their 65 inch UHD TVs 4 feet in front of their couches. (Yeah, like my wife would be happy with that. Then I'd be sure to hear that she had a headache at bedtime.)
Plus, we all need to keep in mind that it is highly unlikely that movies on UHD Blu-ray disc will look as amazingly pristine as the 5 minute UHD demo clips that companies like Samsung use to show off their TVs in stores. Those short video clips are produced at incredibly high bit rates that even UHD Blu-ray could never hope to maintain for a 90 min or 2 hour movie.