PBS Tonight:"400 Years of the Telescope" shot in 4k - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 04-10-2009, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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According to today's NY Times preview, this documentary (10 pm ET) was shot at 4k, of course downconverted to 1080i, and theoretically capable of full 1080 resolution--although doubt the codec and PBS bit rates supports anything like that. Anyway, it covers developments from Galileo to today, with a special symphonic track developed for the show. (See 400 years.org .)-- John
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post #2 of 18 Old 04-10-2009, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

According to today's NY Times preview, this documentary (10 pm ET) was shot at 4k, of course downconverted to 1080i, and theoretically capable of full 1080 resolution--although doubt the codec and PBS bit rates supports anything like that. Anyway, it covers developments from Galileo to today, with a special symphonic track developed for the show. -- John

Was it recorded in 4k, or downconverted in-camera ?
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post #3 of 18 Old 04-10-2009, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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^^^No idea. Doubt we'll pinpoint it--unless someone here has the inside scoop. -- John
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post #4 of 18 Old 04-10-2009, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Was it recorded in 4k, or downconverted in-camera ?

Is that done? What's the point of shooting 4k if you're not going to capture it as a data file? I guess that among others it could refer to a Red One camera. I want a Scarlet for home movies.


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post #5 of 18 Old 04-10-2009, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by TVOD View Post

Is that done? What's the point of shooting 4k if you're not going to capture it as a data file? I guess that among others it could refer to a Red One camera. I want a Scarlet for home movies.

I believe it is one way of working if you are shooting for 1080p post-production - but want to use a specific camera which may have higher resolution.

If you are shooting a drama - say Wallander for the BBC - on a Red One - but have no requirement (and no budget) for post-production above 4k, I believe you can chose to record at 2k (not sure about 1080p) in-camera, to reduce your storage costs? I may be wrong.
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post #6 of 18 Old 04-10-2009, 10:39 AM
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Well 2K may be budget now but it looks like 4K may be the lower end in the not too distant future. Hopefully storage gets ALOT cheaper.



28K !


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post #7 of 18 Old 04-10-2009, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Guess a question might be whether shooting with a ~4k camera but directly outputting only 2k or 1080i/p--a selected mode--provides the same benefit of recording a 4k data file, then downconverting to 1920X1080. AIUI, it's this downconversion/filtering that results in boosting the final effective resolution (potentially to full 1920X1080). Not sure if that's necessarily taking place shooting a reduced resolution (~2k) with a ~4k digital-cinema camera. Might depend on the camera. Got the impression from Arri's paper on 4k system theory , in Fig.15, page 15, that this microscan reduction (for film, or data scaling) was needed to fully benefit from such a downconversion.

Somewhat related is another Arri paper, "MScope: Anamorphic Capture with Dual CIF HD," in the April SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal; this might wind up on Arri's web site. The article outlines how a Arri digital-cinema camera, the Arriflex D-21, can shoot two odd-even-line 1920X1080 streams (720 active lines/stream) using a dual-stream recorder such as Sony's SW1, but with a camera anamorphic lens (optically compressing images horizontally). This provides a 1920X1440 recording that when optically re-stretched 2X results in 3840X1440 resolution for a 2.40:1 display ratio. By contrast, shooting 1920X1080 at 16X9, then cropping vertically for 2.40:1, results in only 1920X800 resolution because of the vertical blanking. Arri's Milan Krsljanin writes the short movie, Love Hate, was shot in London last summer using Mscope. -- John
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post #8 of 18 Old 04-11-2009, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Some awesome images. Too bad, for such a big topic, this wasn't a series. An intriguing mention was an upcoming mapping of the stars that will be online for anyone to analyze, just like NASA's rover images from Mars.

Can't say on-screen images here, despite 4k capture, were strikingly crisper than other 1080i. Despite viewing them on a Panasonic 65" 1080p TH-65VX100U plasma monitor installed just yesterday, it appears effective resolution is still limited to ~1290+ lines from Time Warner Cable and/or my SA8300HD cable box. [EDIT: Make that ~1335 lines, from a closer HDNet test pattern reading.] My former 9"-gun CRT RPTV delivered about the same restricted resolution. A pattern generator or other signal sources--perhaps a Blu-ray test disc--would display full 1920X1080 (from the plasma).

A large boulder next to an astronomer near the end of the documentary seemed more detailed than similar HD shots. But the vista of a distant observatory wasn't crisply focused. Believe there's a DVD available, like many PBS shows, but AFAIK no Blu-ray of '400 years'. -- John
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post #9 of 18 Old 04-11-2009, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Got the impression from Arri's paper on 4k system theory , in Fig.15, page 15, that this microscan reduction (for film, or data scaling) was needed to fully benefit from such a downconversion.

I think microrscanning is 1/2 pixel offset, will improve frequency response, though not as much as native doubling of the resolution. This is due to the rolloff from the size of the pixel elements which is similar to sampling aperture. In theory the best image would be made with an optical lowpass filter at the pixel spacing with infinite brick wall slope and a infinitely small sensor element (or at least no bigger than a photon). Obviously that isn't possible. However 2k can benefit with 4K without microscanning but just not as much.

Careful use of detail enhancement can compensate for some of this rolloff. Those who think that no detail enhancement should be used evidently do not understand these resolution losses. Improper use of detail enhancement can cause overcompensation at some frequencies which will result in outlines, or as has been mentioned elsewhere, images looking French

The Arri paper details why resolution and MTF curves are required to define sharpness. A lower resolution image can look sharper if it's frequency response is flatter than one with higher resolution and gradual rolloff, especially if there is significant rolloff in the lower frequencies. The quality of electronic low pass filters for resolution scaling will directly affect whether oversampling will yield improved depth of modulation.

Thanks for posting that again.


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post #10 of 18 Old 04-11-2009, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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^^^That D-21 camera mentioned in the Mscope outline above only uses a 1920X1080 section of the 35mm-size, higher-resolution sensor in its 1080p-mode setting. Believe the RED cameras do the same. So a 4k-sensor camera wouldn't benefit a 2k or less shot, it would seem. The first Arri paper linked does show 'sharper' images resulting from the oversampling/downconversion (plus graphs), which boosts the MTF, or contrast, at lower frequencies. Recall lots of AVSer owners of 480p plasmas touting how sharp downconverted HD images looked on their displays. For HD viewing with a HD display, it seems ideally, to capitalize on HD resolutions, you'd want both the sharpness at lower frequencies from oversampling/downconversion, plus greater maximum effective resolution--not so sharp a rolloff. -- John
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post #11 of 18 Old 04-12-2009, 12:34 AM
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KCPT in Kansas City is broadcasting 720p. I wish that I could see what you are talking about.

(By the way, I really like Neil deGrasse Tyson, but he's no Carl Sagan.)
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post #12 of 18 Old 04-13-2009, 08:54 AM
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We did shoot in full 4K and did a full 4K post. The master was then down res to 1920P and 720 SD for broadcast. There is a 35mm print of the film that will be making the film festival circuit this summer.

The distant focus was soft because of the prime lens we were using - an effect we wanted.

Thanks for watching.

Kris
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post #13 of 18 Old 04-13-2009, 10:56 AM
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Does anyone know if this will be available on Blu-ray? I would rather watch it in the best possible quality if available.
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post #14 of 18 Old 04-13-2009, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interstellar View Post

We did shoot in full 4K and did a full 4K post. The master was then down res to 1920P and 720 SD for broadcast. There is a 35mm print of the film that will be making the film festival circuit this summer.

The distant focus was soft because of the prime lens we were using - an effect we wanted.

Thanks for watching.

Kris

Thanks for the details. Figured that crisp boulder and less-crisp background was planned. Only 4k shooting with a really crisp background vista I can recall, mentioned earlier here, was the updated Andromeda Strain--a shot in the desert with vegetation clearly defined way into the horizon.

Hope the 4k master/downrez makes it onto a Blu-ray. -- John
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post #15 of 18 Old 04-14-2009, 03:21 PM
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Interestingly, KCET here in LA did NOT air this on Friday April 10. I guess I'd consider this unusual, to not go with the rest (or most of the rest) of the national PBS channels when the national PBS airs such a show.

Instead, KCET has scheduled their airing on Thursday April 30 at 9PM (pacific time). I've set my DVR accordingly.

At least I didn't miss it.
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post #16 of 18 Old 04-14-2009, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmos2 View Post

KCPT in Kansas City is broadcasting 720p. I wish that I could see what you are talking about.

I'm with you! Ever since KCET-DT here in LA went from 1080i to 720p last year, picture quality has been very disappointing on most things.

Just as a for instance, the annual Christmas Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert show from Salt Lake City was previously quite spectacular. This past one was [dare I say] awful, which could be due to any or all of cameras, production and 720p.

Real shame they decided to go 720p in order to get all of the sub-channels available.

I do also have KOCE-HD as an alternative PBS channel, and they're 1080i. Unfortunately they didn't choose to air this show and don't yet show it on their upcoming schedule. Grrrrr....

So in worst case I'll be watching this in 720p on KCET-DT on Thursday 4/30.

Maybe BluRay.
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post #17 of 18 Old 04-15-2009, 04:29 PM
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We shot in 4K and did the down rez off a 4K master in post.

Most producers will shoot in 4K and work off a 2K master before down rezing to 1920P. The allows them to use the footage for any possible resolution changes in the future - like 4K HD monitors and broadcasts.

BluRay version is coming.

Cheers,
Kris Koenig
Producer
400 Years of the Telescope
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post #18 of 18 Old 04-16-2009, 04:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interstellar View Post

We shot in 4K and did the down rez off a 4K master in post.

Reads like this would maximize any potential boost in effective resolution from 4k=>2k or 1080. Wonder if anyone has measured such potential gains in final effective resolution, say with spectrum analysis to show changes in MTF (like the Arri-paper graphs cited earlier above)?

Quote:


Most producers will shoot in 4K and work off a 2K master before down rezing to 1920P. The allows them to use the footage for any possible resolution changes in the future - like 4K HD monitors and broadcasts.

Going from a 2k master to 1920X1080 for distribution, since these format resolutions are so similar, seems to waste the benefits of 4k capture for 1920X1080p distribution. Puzzling why they wouldn't make an exact digital copy of the original 4k to work with, although suspect computer costs and crunch time is a factor.

Quote:


BluRay version is coming.

From your ~4k recording (RED One cameras?) and the best BR bit rate, seems this would maximize effective resolution, then. Although, if diffusion filters were used on the cameras, guess that could vary widely.

The many articles--and AVS posts--on HD images versus 4k (or 4k downconversions) imply most can't tell the difference, although comparison images often show less stair-stepping of thinner lines from 4k downconversion. -- John
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