Can 16MM be cleaned up for HD? - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 88 Old 08-06-2007, 10:40 AM
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So I guess that rules out Evil Dead, City of God, Tigerland, Leaving Las Vegas, etc.
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post #62 of 88 Old 08-06-2007, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Johnson View Post

It seems that Mark Cuban has a rather definite answer to the OP's question.

With great respect to Mark, who I think is doing incredible things and can certainly program his network as he sees fit, here are some of the Oscar winning films or Oscar nominess from the past few years that are then ineligible for airing on HDNet Films:

Last King of Scotland (winner)
Hustle and Flow (winner)
The Squid and The Whale
Junebug
Transamerica
The Station Agent
Half Nelson

Those are films that I can think of just off the top of my head. There are many others. Going back a little further, other Oscar winners like Leaving Las Vegas would also be ineligible.

I assume he is not including films that are hybirds, part of the film shot on 16 and other parts shot on other formats because then films such as Babel and The Motorcycle Diaries wouldn't work either.

Obviously the most important thing about any film is artistic quality and I think we can all agree that while the films listed above don't look as beautiful as say Aeon Flux, that doesn't make Aeon Flux a better film.
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post #63 of 88 Old 08-06-2007, 12:26 PM
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Also shooting in other formats doesn't automatically render a higher quality image. If one is striving for the highest amount of detail with the lowest possible grain, such as a Discovery documentary, then larger formats are the way to go. However, this is often not the ultimate goal for artistic and logistical reasons. Quite often for compositing projects I worked on grain and filters were added for the effect.

As mentioned earlier, 16 has been used for principal photography on a number of features. As such, I think its use for HD is not unreasonable and rejection of all elements that originated on 16 is a bit extreme. HDTV is not meant to direct the vision of the filmmaker, but rather to preserve it. After all, isn't storytelling is the ultimate goal?
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post #64 of 88 Old 08-06-2007, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm far from being an expert, but I swear to god someone needs to really ask a lot of these people if the grainy look is really all that helpful/great/artistic etc
.....I'm looking in your direction Steven Spielberg!!
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post #65 of 88 Old 08-06-2007, 04:01 PM
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I certainly agree that quite a few worthwhile films have been shot on 16mm in whole or in part. As I see it, this is a semantic question. Where does "High Definition" (HD) start? In video terms 720p seems to qualify, though some say it's at 1080i.

Across the spectrum of common film gauges -- 8mm, 16mm, 35mm to 65mm, I think it would be generally agreed than 35mm and 65 are (at least) HD. Similarly, 8mm is not HD.

Personally, I'd say 16mm is not HD. But I also think that 16mm film sources look better on HD DVD than on DVD. I also think that 16mm can often be distinguished from 35mm on regular DVDs.
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post #66 of 88 Old 08-06-2007, 06:36 PM
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This is surely the argument of :

1. Movies can be shot on a number of stocks, some of which are grainier than others in some/all situations. HD transfers of these films should preserve the grain (and this kills some compression schemes - exposing their limitations at encoding random image content) and deliver an image as similar as possible to the theatrical projection?

2. HDTV is all about image quality, and grain is not an artefact of quality and should be minimised. Some film stock is grainy, and therefore doesn't deserve to be called HD or broadcast in HD.

They are two independent arguments - and some people may not support either or both of them.

I think I'm closer to camp 1 than camp 2 - though can understand camp 2.

(My father spent his career generating as high a picture quality as he could with the video cameras of the time - from B&W Vidicons and IOs, via SD and HD tubed, to SD and HD CCDs - and would be in camp 2!)
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post #67 of 88 Old 08-06-2007, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavalierlwt View Post

I'm far from being an expert, but I swear to god someone needs to really ask a lot of these people if the grainy look is really all that helpful/great/artistic etc
.....I'm looking in your direction Steven Spielberg!!

This is like asking if the Statue of Liberty is a better monument in its original copper tone or in its current green. You can make an argument for both, but in the case of Spielberg and those like him, they want their movies to look like film not crisp video. And there really isnt a whole lot of argument one can make against it. I dont know that E.T., Minority Report or Jaws would have been better movies with less grain. I also dont know that the HD crispness of Miami Vice or the Spy Kids movies enhances those films. This is like arguing whether or not its better to receive a letter on ink scripted parchment or laser printed paper; in the end these are ultimately delivery methods with their own merits and disadvantages. Most film production folks (even the few HD pioneers like Robert Rodriguez, Brian Singer and Michael Mann) would vehemently disagree with the statement that the particular grain of a film serves little artistic purpose, because in fact most of those films spend a great deal of time trying to mimic film (and are ultimately presented on film in the end anyway).
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post #68 of 88 Old 08-06-2007, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

This is surely the argument of :

1. Movies can be shot on a number of stocks, some of which are grainier than others in some/all situations. HD transfers of these films should preserve the grain (and this kills some compression schemes - exposing their limitations at encoding random image content) and deliver an image as similar as possible to the theatrical projection?

2. HDTV is all about image quality, and grain is not an artefact of quality and should be minimised. Some film stock is grainy, and therefore doesn't deserve to be called HD or broadcast in HD.

They are two independent arguments - and some people may not support either or both of them.

I think I'm closer to camp 1 than camp 2 - though can understand camp 2.

(My father spent his career generating as high a picture quality as he could with the video cameras of the time - from B&W Vidicons and IOs, via SD and HD tubed, to SD and HD CCDs - and would be in camp 2!)

Well, the truth is the argument probably doesn't matter much except in the very specific instance of something like HDNet or HDNet Movies. Most networks are not going to worry that much about that line. Obviously the broadcast networks show material shot in Super16. As do other HD cable channels. Hustle & Flow has been released on the HD disc formats.

From an artistic perspetive, I can't imagine a film such as Half Nelson shot on HD with a higher gloss look. As the film was only budgeted around $650,000, I would suspect Super16 was an economic consideration as well as an artistic one, but the grain is definitely more fitting of the feel of the film than HD would provide.

And it's those circumstances why there are now lenses that emulate the look of film for HD cameras.
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post #69 of 88 Old 08-06-2007, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABCTV99 View Post

This is like asking if the Statue of Liberty is a better monument in its original copper tone or in its current green. You can make an argument for both, but in the case of Spielberg and those like him, they want their movies to look like film not crisp video.

Actually this is like saying the Statue of Liberty would look even better if it was rusty so let's paint artificial rust on it, make it look even older than it is.
There's a world of difference between Film vs HDVideo and the grainy look that Spielberg artificially forces in some of his movies. It worked in "Saving Private Ryan", but I thought it looked like crap in "War of the Worlds". Spielberg waaaay overdoes the grainy look at times. I think he's love with his childhood days of shooting home movies.
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post #70 of 88 Old 08-07-2007, 02:38 AM
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Another interesting aspect (or maybe not) in the 16mm/HD debate is that Super 16mm was for a long time the standard UK TV drama production format - introduced around the time (or a little before) that 16:9 SD production and broadcast became a reality (or likely) in the mid-90s. All of the main UK broadcasters adopted Super 16 as a defacto drama standard - with 35mm used rarely (UK budgets didn't allow for it).

These days significant amounts of UK drama has switched from Super 16 to 25p HD Video - as it is now proving (in some budgeting situations) to shoot and edit on HD video rather than to shoot and process film and telecine it and edit to tape, or cut on film. Quite a few lower budget UK movies, which may have a TV movie heritage and been released theatrically as a slight side-issue, have been shot on HD video and transferred to 35mm for projection, as a result.

One long-running BBC series with a very mixed production heritage (a sitcom still in production that started in the 70s) has moved to HD video production a series or two ago. (Last of the Summer Wine. Originally it was shot as a mix of SD studio video and location 16mm film - like almost all 70s BBC sitcoms, then moved to SD studio video and SD location video in the 80s/early 90s, then moved to studio Super 16 and location Super 16 in the mid 90s, then moved to studio and location Viper HD in the 00s) It has retained a very "grainy" and desaturated look in its switch from Super 16 to Viper, and doesn't look at all like a standard HD video production...
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post #71 of 88 Old 08-07-2007, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

One long-running BBC series with a very mixed production heritage (a sitcom still in production that started in the 70s) has moved to HD video production a series or two ago. (Last of the Summer Wine. Originally it was shot as a mix of SD studio video and location 16mm film - like almost all 70s BBC sitcoms, then moved to SD studio video and SD location video in the 80s/early 90s, then moved to studio Super 16 and location Super 16 in the mid 90s, then moved to studio and location Viper HD in the 00s) It has retained a very "grainy" and desaturated look in its switch from Super 16 to Viper, and doesn't look at all like a standard HD video production...

You missed out the season shot on the Sony HDW-750P which was less than successful -- they had the cameras configured to emulate the Super16 stocks they'd been using previously (i.e. soft) and started shooting like that. Then when they saw the rushes they decide it wasn't sharp enough so reset the cameras aperture correction making the images far too sharp and edgy. The result is that for that season the first two episodes look fine and the result look like dreadfully oversharp filmised video.

Steven
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post #72 of 88 Old 08-07-2007, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveBagley View Post

You missed out the season shot on the Sony HDW-750P which was less than successful -- they had the cameras configured to emulate the Super16 stocks they'd been using previously (i.e. soft) and started shooting like that. Then when they saw the rushes they decide it wasn't sharp enough so reset the cameras aperture correction making the images far too sharp and edgy. The result is that for that season the first two episodes look fine and the result look like dreadfully oversharp filmised video.

Steven

I knew I'd miss something out - and I knew you'd know! Thanks as ever for improving the accuracy of my posts!

The 25Hz vs 50Hz thing IS an interesting discussion point. I've recently started re-watching some 70s and 80s all-video costume and contemporary drama - both on DVD and UK Drama, and it is interesting how different the video stuff looks in production terms to the film stuff of a similar era. I don't find the "video" look at all distancing in dramatic terms - though quite significant SuperFrost style filtering was being employed to "soften" the video look on some shows. The interesting thing is how oftene the location video stuff is more dynamic with far more camera tracking and handheld work - compared to the fixed single camera "always on a tripod" pan/zoom only style that many 16mm location film inserts of a similar era had. (Sorry had to put 16mm in there to try and steer back to on-topic-ness)
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post #73 of 88 Old 08-07-2007, 09:48 AM
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Super 16mm isn't always grainy. Veronica Mars was as clean as any show I've ever seen except Cold Case, even in night scenes.

The thing I notice is that it is always soft. It's always at least one level away from being in focus to my eyes, like watching a DVD on an HDTV. This was obvious to me after watching the Veronica Mars pilot that was shot on (3 perf) 35mm.

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post #74 of 88 Old 08-07-2007, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveBagley View Post

You missed out the season shot on the Sony HDW-750P which was less than successful -- they had the cameras configured to emulate the Super16 stocks they'd been using previously (i.e. soft) and started shooting like that. Then when they saw the rushes they decide it wasn't sharp enough so reset the cameras aperture correction making the images far too sharp and edgy. The result is that for that season the first two episodes look fine and the result look like dreadfully oversharp filmised video.

Steven

Odd they wouldn't add the aperture correction in post production, assuming they were using color correction suite. It's easier to add than subtract.
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post #75 of 88 Old 08-07-2007, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavalierlwt View Post

Actually this is like saying the Statue of Liberty would look even better if it was rusty so let's paint artificial rust on it, make it look even older than it is.
There's a world of difference between Film vs HDVideo and the grainy look that Spielberg artificially forces in some of his movies.

If only you offered a course in film production and then Spielberg could take it to learn a few things in the areas where he is lacking...

Just imagine how much money he could make and how many Oscars he could win!
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post #76 of 88 Old 08-07-2007, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVOD View Post

Odd they wouldn't add the aperture correction in post production, assuming they were using color correction suite. It's easier to add than subtract.

I think the concept of sophisticated aperture correction in post is still quite alien to those from a more "traditional" background who are used to setting it in-camera or in the telecine transfer.

I guess there are potential benefits still to be had from doing it in camera when modern cameras have 14 bit processing, whereas they only record 8 or 10 bits to tape, so there is a worst case scenario where post delivers lower quality results than upstream?
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post #77 of 88 Old 08-07-2007, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckytwn View Post

If only you offered a course in film production and then Spielberg could take it to learn a few things in the areas where he is lacking...

Just imagine how much money he could make and how many Oscars he could win!

Nice try with the faulty logic. I suppose you're not allowed to say a meal is too salty unless you're a world class chef as well?
Here's a little hint for you: people are not only allowed to criticize art, they're expected to, no expertise required.
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post #78 of 88 Old 08-07-2007, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cavalierlwt View Post

Nice try with the faulty logic. I suppose you're not allowed to say a meal is too salty unless you're a world class chef as well?
Here's a little hint for you: people are not only allowed to criticize art, they're expected to, no expertise required.

Oh, he/she is free to be critical all he/she wants. That comes with the price of the ticket.

But there's a difference between informed criticism and uninformed criticism and the quote I cited happened to be an example of the latter.
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post #79 of 88 Old 08-08-2007, 11:11 AM
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Game of the Week from the NFL network looks good and it's shot on 16mm film.

Movies must be OAR, sports and movies must also have 5.1 audio, No EE or NO SALE!
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post #80 of 88 Old 08-08-2007, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

I guess there are potential benefits still to be had from doing it in camera when modern cameras have 14 bit processing, whereas they only record 8 or 10 bits to tape, so there is a worst case scenario where post delivers lower quality results than upstream?

Is the 14 bits pre or post gamma? Although aperture correction should be theoretically added in the linear domain, to me it looks better post gamma, especially if there is any over-peaking. Channel apertures work well if there is no over-peaking.

I really need to look again at how newer cameras are doing these things.

After asking some questions, I was told that HDNet takes delivery on HDCAM - the non SR variety. This means a max of 1440 horizontal pixels. I'm looking for further conformation of this.
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post #81 of 88 Old 08-08-2007, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by scowl View Post

Super 16mm isn't always grainy. Veronica Mars was as clean as any show I've ever seen except Cold Case, even in night scenes.

The thing I notice is that it is always soft. It's always at least one level away from being in focus to my eyes, like watching a DVD on an HDTV. This was obvious to me after watching the Veronica Mars pilot that was shot on (3 perf) 35mm.

Yes, a bit like Buffy. I suspect they were processing the grain out in the TK and so loosing definition. Both VM and Buffy would have benefitted from shooting 24p HD.

Steven
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post #82 of 88 Old 08-08-2007, 08:09 PM
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What used to suck the resolution down on the Digital Visions boxes wasn't so much the grain removal but rather the ASC. It also had the effect of removing grain and noise. A heavy hand on ASC could really mutilate the image. I worked with one colorist who would do that and then add lots of enhancement. It was just sad.
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post #83 of 88 Old 08-08-2007, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kram Sacul View Post

So I guess that rules out Evil Dead, City of God, Tigerland, Leaving Las Vegas, etc.

Well, I should point out that in his post, he said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcuban View Post

we took 1 movie early on. Have turned down everything 16mm since.

m

He didn't say he wouldn't accept 16mm - he just has so far turned down what he's seen. It may just be the particular transfers from 16mm he's seen in the past weren't very good. I'm sure he's turned down plenty of 35mm transfers, too.

He's a smart enough guy that if he got a really nice looking 16mm transfer, he would undoubtedly run it - especially if that movie is one that is considered one of the greats.

The fact is, though, if he ran a poor 16mm transfer on HDNET or HDNET Movies, he'd be hearing about it with both barrels on this very board. Some of the same people that say he's leaving out many great productions by not running 16mm sources would bitch and moan about how bad a print looked if the transfer wasn't great.
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post #84 of 88 Old 08-09-2007, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVOD View Post

Is the 14 bits pre or post gamma? Although aperture correction should be theoretically added in the linear domain, to me it looks better post gamma, especially if there is any over-peaking. Channel apertures work well if there is no over-peaking.

Not sure - I think these days that pretty much everything - including knee processing (which ISTR was done in the analogue domain on earlier DSP cameras) - is done digitally, so the 14 bit is pre-gamma, pre-knee, pre-pretty much everything?

Quote:


I really need to look again at how newer cameras are doing these things.

After asking some questions, I was told that HDNet takes delivery on HDCAM - the non SR variety. This means a max of 1440 horizontal pixels. I'm looking for further conformation of this.

Wouldn't surprise me - I think there is a LOT of HDCam out there, with far less SR and HD-D5?

(I think that was the major reasoning behind BBC HD being broadcast at 1440x1080 rather than 1920x1080 - as almost everything was being delivered as 1440x1080 HDCam. I think Sky are running 1920x1080 as they show a lot of live sports on their Sky Sports channels, and accept movies on HD Cam SR at 1920x1080 for their movie channels?)
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post #85 of 88 Old 08-09-2007, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Not sure - I think these days that pretty much everything - including knee processing (which ISTR was done in the analogue domain on earlier DSP cameras) - is done digitally, so the 14 bit is pre-gamma, pre-knee, pre-pretty much everything?

If the pre-gamma is 14 bits, then the post gamma should be something less, probably 10 bits, as the gain in the gamma circuit will lose precision. If the post gamma is 10 bits, then there would be little loss in processing downstream in the 601 (or 709) domain other than the loss of color resolution in a 4:2:2 system and the minor losses from compression.
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post #86 of 88 Old 08-10-2007, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVOD View Post

If the pre-gamma is 14 bits, then the post gamma should be something less, probably 10 bits, as the gain in the gamma circuit will lose precision. If the post gamma is 10 bits, then there would be little loss in processing downstream in the 601 (or 709) domain other than the loss of color resolution in a 4:2:2 system and the minor losses from compression.

Yep - though by colour correction I included gamma and knee processing - which AIUI is still done at 14 bit resolution and is the area that benefits most from processing with greater accuracy.

If you try and alter gamma or knee in post you're still more limited - though things like AK and straight colour balance / matrix stuff differs less as you say - though 4:4:4 and uncompressed has benefits.
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post #87 of 88 Old 08-11-2007, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckytwn View Post

With great respect to Mark, who I think is doing incredible things and can certainly program his network as he sees fit, here are some of the Oscar winning films or Oscar nominess from the past few years that are then ineligible for airing on HDNet Films:

Last King of Scotland (winner)
Hustle and Flow (winner)
The Squid and The Whale
Junebug
Transamerica
The Station Agent
Half Nelson

Those are films that I can think of just off the top of my head. There are many others. Going back a little further, other Oscar winners like Leaving Las Vegas would also be ineligible.

I assume he is not including films that are hybirds, part of the film shot on 16 and other parts shot on other formats because then films such as Babel and The Motorcycle Diaries wouldn't work either.

Obviously the most important thing about any film is artistic quality and I think we can all agree that while the films listed above don't look as beautiful as say Aeon Flux, that doesn't make Aeon Flux a better film.


its a tradeoff for sure, but one we are willing to make to live up to our deal with our viewers of offering the best possible picture quality we can
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post #88 of 88 Old 08-11-2007, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavalierlwt View Post

Actually this is like saying the Statue of Liberty would look even better if it was rusty so let's paint artificial rust on it, make it look even older than it is.

BTW, the SoL is already "rusty", or rather the copper equivalent. The green color comes from the oxidation of copper, just as the red color of rust comes from the oxidation of iron. Since the SoL is covered in copper, it will not get red with further age.

57 channels and nothing on
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