Originally Posted by HockeyoAJB
Vudu/iTunes won't be reformatting (as in upscaling) their existing 1080p films to create 4K. That would be fake 4K and if they do it and people catch on then they will have a huge problem on their hands. And, trust me, people would be able to tell. If you take 1080p that is already slightly below blu-ray, upscale it to 4K, then compress the hell out of it to fit it down the pipes, it will look significantly worse than an actual 1080p bluray that is upscaled to 4K by the display.
The only way to make streamed 4K look better than a 1080p Blu-Ray, is for it to be real 4K, i.e. mastered/remastered in 4K from source material that is 4K or better. That's why there is so little 4K content available to date. It's also why not having a physical format could be a death sentence for the format. Why would studios bother creating a home-friendly 4K version of a large selection of movies if the only people that will ever see them at home are those with 20 Mbps+ internet connections?
Adding a physical format would broaden their potential consumer base by about 800% in the short term. At that point, you don't even need the physical format to be that profitable in and of itself, so long as it isn't losing money hand over fist. The combination of physical and online 4K content would ensure the success of 4K, which means the electronics manufacturers make out like bandits. Why should the studios care about the electronics manufacturers? Because, in many cases, they are the same company. Also, they could continue to draw those who purchase 4K physical media more and more into the online model, where the profit margin is higher. Once people have had a taste of 4K, they won't want to go back to 1080p. If the only way to see 4K is via. online delivery, how are they going to give people their first taste?
OK, forget about what they should do, since the industry never does what it should. What is it likely to do, i.e., spend the least amount of money to spike short term profits.
If they can't upscale what they have, and they've just seen the latest physical format flatline and succumb to piracy, streaming is the likeliest solution.
So what, then, will WE be offered, if iTunes and Vudu can't juice their existing 1080p catalogues for 4K?
Let's take a classic movie like, say, Midnight Run, which has still not been released on BD. Do we ever see it in 4K? In 1080p? If the studios still haven't seen it worthy of remastering for 1080p, then why would we ever assume that they'd pay for a 4K remaster? That's the crux of my question about the future of 4K -- the nearly century's worth of films that would need to be remastered, and the titanic sum of money that would be required.
Or does the future hinge on the handful of 4K shows and the obvious Marvel blockbusters. Do they 4K remaster Safety Not Guaranteed?
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO WATCH????