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Could this be it? Folded Space Enhanced Resolution

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 

Folded Space has announced what suggests true anamorphic video as an upgrade to current BD technology. Could this be the answer we've all been waiting for?



Quote:


These formats include anamorphic 1920 x 1080 for anamorphic projections systems

This part excites me.

post #2 of 92
Bring on the 2560x1080 projectors for less than $10,000!!!!
post #3 of 92
Excellent concept........will need new playback hardware.
post #4 of 92
Can it really finally happen? Remember the thread back in 2007 or so where we all discussed anamorphic BD and why we can't have it, what it takes, why it will never happen, etc.?
post #5 of 92
Sounds great! Hopefully it's just a firmware update to the oppo if it comes to pass.
post #6 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highjinx View Post

Excellent concept........will need new playback hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yzfbossman View Post

Sounds great! Hopefully it's just a firmware update to the oppo if it comes to pass.

Lets hope it is only FW, though I doubt it.

So options:

  1. 16:9 letter box: Means backwards compatibility for those not wanting to upgrade.
  2. 16:9 full screen: Will this be like a P&S? Great for those that hate black bars and love their 16:9 screens.
  3. Anamorphic 16:9: What everyone that uses an A-Lens wants. The previous Subtitle issue will be no longer either.
  4. True 21:9: Forward and future thinking. Got to be happy with that.
Question is, when do we begin to see this?
post #7 of 92
Interesting:

Quote:


About Folded Space
Folded Space develops and commercializes the MFE family of intellectual properties dedicated to providing and preserving the highest performance presentation of major motion pictures in the ultra wide screen aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1. Folded Space is a new division of Panamorph Inc., which is the world's leading manufacturer of digital projection anamorphic lenses for home cinema. For further information please visit http://www.Folded-Space.com.

The key question in all of this is whether or not the BDA and studios are going to jump on this new codec, as it will require an amendment to the BD spec.

Personally I'd rather see BD updated for 4K, as this would provide even higher resolution than 1080p 'scope. And it would be nice if they allowed anamorphic 4K as part of that update, although at such a high resolution I'm not sure the benefits would justify the added effort.
post #8 of 92
I'd take 4:4:4 color over 4k. But in any case keep up the pressure Panamorph.
post #9 of 92
I saw this the other day. I don't quite understand how they "hide" the additional pixels for 2560x1080 in the black bars, but it sounds interesting. I'd be very curious to see it in action.
post #10 of 92
Thread Starter 
It says in the bottom portion "with decoder" so I wonder if this is a special player or other VP that is required?
post #11 of 92
This is good news.

-Sean
post #12 of 92
Relevant quotes from the company's press release:

Quote:


Folded Space's software employs proprietary algorithms to generate and store additional resolution which is hidden within the black bars above and below the letterboxed image of the movie. This new encoding approach allows Blu-ray players and similar HD devices with Folded Space decoding algorithms to play MFE content in three additional resolution modes with no black letterbox bars…

In all cases, the decoded content provides a true 33% increase in actual resolution while the enhanced 2560 mode extends this increase to approximately 50% using new estimation algorithms. MFE content is playable on existing devices providing a high quality letterbox version of the movie without requiring the decoding algorithms.

I take from this the following:

1) MFE discs will be backwards compatible with any current Blu-ray player, for which they will output standard 16:9 letterboxed video.
2) You will need a special MFE-enhanced Blu-ray player to benefit from the other three playback modes. (Could existing players be upgraded via firmware? That's an open question, but I expect probably not many.)
3) The additional pixels for anamorphically-enhanced 1920x1080 represent true picture detail that's hidden in the letterbox space, and can be inserted into the image upon playback.
4) The other 691,200 pixels for 2560x1080 playback will be interpolated, not true picture detail.
post #13 of 92
Wow! This is one of the more exciting things I've seen in a while. I'm hoping they can accomplish this without artifacting. Get ready to re-purchase your collection!

Please keep us updated!

Kevin
post #14 of 92
Thread Starter 
I would only re-purchase a very select few. I've done A/B tests sending the projector a scaled image verses scaling at the projector and unless there is a night day difference, and it certainly was not in my tests, I would not be re-buying. I look forward to this though.
post #15 of 92
Hello all! Thought I'd post here to let you know that we at Folded Space are listening. We are all very encouraged by the positive response here

From time to time one of us will pop in to answer questions. Of course, our main focus is to continue to get our process in front of those who will in turn get it in front of you, so if we don't respond right away please know that is the reason. I will try to answer the questions already posted here as fully as I can.

Thanks!
post #16 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yzfbossman View Post

Sounds great! Hopefully it's just a firmware update to the oppo if it comes to pass.

Implementation (FW vs chip) will be dependent on the chipset being used within each manufacturer's product. A PS3 will be a totally different implementation than an entry level Blu-ray player, for example.
post #17 of 92
Thanks for getting involved, John.

I'd be interested in finding out exactly how the process functions. i.e. How the extra picture data is stored, and how the extra data can then be extracted and utilized with an anamorphic lens.

Thanks!

Kevin
post #18 of 92
Great job John! Best of luck with it.
post #19 of 92
  1. 16:9 letter box: Means backwards compatibility for those not wanting to upgrade.
  2. 16:9 full screen: Will this be like a P&S? Great for those that hate black bars and love their 16:9 screens.
  3. Anamorphic 16:9: What everyone that uses an A-Lens wants. The previous Subtitle issue will be no longer either.
  4. True 21:9: Forward and future thinking. Got to be happy with that.
Question is, when do we begin to see this?[/quote]

To go down your list:

1. Exactly. There will be a basic letterboxed version of the movie with quality *at least as good* as current letterboxed Blu-ray. This is how any non-MFE equipped Blu-ray player will play back the film and requires no special hardware or display.

2. Again, you have this exactly right. This mode is for those who can't stand black bars on their 16:9 TVs and don't mind cropping off the sides of the image, and would be equivalent to what HBO does with most 2.35:1 / 2.40:1 content. The advantage here, though, is that instead of just a "zoomed" 1920 x 810 image, the viewer would have full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution.

3. You nailed it - full resolution anamorphic. This mode will also be the one used by current 21:9 sets, since as of this writing none of them actually accept a full 2560 x 1080 resolution image.

4. Yes, true 21:9 at 2560 x 1080. As displays become capable of accepting this new resolution, MFE will already have the capability built in.

As to your last question, when will we begin to see this, please stay tuned to this channel. Studio demos are already being lined up and we are in discussions with Blu-ray manufacturers.

Please keep in mind that MFE is not only for constant height fans, but for everyone. The idea is to have maximum versatility, in that no matter what type of display you have -16:9 or 21:9 - you can watch movies in whichever format you prefer, and at full resolution. For those who just can't stand the letterbox bars and have 16:9 displays, they now have a full resolution version of the movie to chose. Those with 21:9 displays or anamorphic projection systems get the best of all worlds - no black bars, full resolution, and the highest performance implementation of the MFE process.
post #20 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by HogPilot View Post

Interesting:

The key question in all of this is whether or not the BDA and studios are going to jump on this new codec, as it will require an amendment to the BD spec.

Personally I'd rather see BD updated for 4K, as this would provide even higher resolution than 1080p 'scope. And it would be nice if they allowed anamorphic 4K as part of that update, although at such a high resolution I'm not sure the benefits would justify the added effort.

The MFE process is totally compatible with 4K resolutions and provides for anamorphic and 21:9 enhanced versions even out to 5120 x 2160.
post #21 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

It says in the bottom portion "with decoder" so I wonder if this is a special player or other VP that is required?

Yes, MFE needs to be decoded either within the BD player or at the display. See above for whether or not this could be accomplished with a firmware update.
post #22 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

I would only re-purchase a very select few. I've done A/B tests sending the projector a scaled image verses scaling at the projector and unless there is a night day difference, and it certainly was not in my tests, I would not be re-buying. I look forward to this though.

We played back test footage supplied by a major studio today at our labs, and the MFE enhanced footage was clearly sharper and more detailed than the scaled footage. This was clear even when I played back the same Blu-ray on my laptop. Our current test disc has identical 960 x 1080 clips synchronized and displaying simultaneously, with the footage on the left scaled from 1920 x 810 standard letterbox and the footage on the right processed using MFE algorithms, both originally pulled from a 4K master. Here is how this was accomplished:

2560x1080 -> 1920x810 -> 2560x1080 using standard scaling techniques on the left, and 2560x1080 -> 1920x810 -> 2560x1080 using MFE on the right, then we just crop out a 960x1080 area of each for the split.

Using this method, the difference is obvious to anyone. And that's not marketing hyperbole.
post #23 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Snyder View Post

Thanks for getting involved, John.

I'd be interested in finding out exactly how the process functions. i.e. How the extra picture data is stored, and how the extra data can then be extracted and utilized with an anamorphic lens.

Thanks!

Kevin

As mentioned in our press release, the extra resolution for anamorphic is simply stored "behind" the black letterbox bars, and then extracted and re-integrated into the image by the MFE process.
post #24 of 92
It's all wonderful...moving forward, but does this make my BD collection obsolete? Even many of us will draw the line at taking the step to replace a large collection.
post #25 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post

We played back test footage supplied by a major studio today at our labs, and the MFE enhanced footage was clearly sharper and more detailed than the scaled footage.

Having read your response, yes I will have to agree because the new discs will be mapped 1:1, so like my true anamorphic test pattern and bees footage, yes extremely sharp. I might upload my anamorphic bees footage to You Tube soon now that 1080P is available as a playback option.
post #26 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post

1. Exactly. There will be a basic letterboxed version of the movie with quality *at least as good* as current letterboxed Blu-ray. This is how any non-MFE equipped Blu-ray player will play back the film and requires no special hardware or display.

2. Again, you have this exactly right. This mode is for those who can't stand black bars on their 16:9 TVs and don't mind cropping off the sides of the image, and would be equivalent to what HBO does with most 2.35:1 / 2.40:1 content. The advantage here, though, is that instead of just a "zoomed" 1920 x 810 image, the viewer would have full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution.

3. You nailed it - full resolution anamorphic. This mode will also be the one used by current 21:9 sets, since as of this writing none of them actually accept a full 2560 x 1080 resolution image.

4. Yes, true 21:9 at 2560 x 1080. As displays become capable of accepting this new resolution, MFE will already have the capability built in.

So are you actually storing 4 versions of the content on the disc? If I had to guess, I would say you're storing the extra info for the 2560x1080 image, plus the information for the cropping, and then it's up to the decoder to do the video processing to convert/scale the 2560x1080 to 1) 1920x810 letterbox, 2) 1920x1080 P&S, 3) 1920x1080 anamorphic, or 4) 2560x1080?

Have you had occasion to compare the MFE 2560x1080 to "native" 2560x1080?

Oh, and did I read right that the display (or presumably video processor) could implement MFE? So if we had a player that didn't support it we could instead upgrade to a Video Processor or display with MFE?
post #27 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

It's all wonderful...moving forward, but does this make my BD collection obsolete? Even many of us will draw the line at taking the step to replace a large collection.

Hard to say. Of course, all of this depends on what the studios feel is cost justified when it comes to re-releasing catalog titles. Of course, we believe that MFE would actually justify re-issuing some of the perennial favorites like "Blade Runner," Terminator 2," "Indiana Jones," etc by offering substantially improved picture quality along with new supplementary features.
post #28 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

So are you actually storing 4 versions of the content on the disc? If I had to guess, I would say you're storing the extra info for the 2560x1080 image, plus the information for the cropping, and then it's up to the decoder to do the video processing to convert/scale the 2560x1080 to 1) 1920x810 letterbox, 2) 1920x1080 P&S, 3) 1920x1080 anamorphic, or 4) 2560x1080?

Have you had occasion to compare the MFE 2560x1080 to "native" 2560x1080?

Oh, and did I read right that the display (or presumably video processor) could implement MFE? So if we had a player that didn't support it we could instead upgrade to a Video Processor or display with MFE?

Yes - four versions of the film on one disc. Your breakdown is essentially correct, although we don't really do any "scaling" - it's more a matter of reintegrating information into the 16:9 letterboxed version (which is essentially the image that is "left over" once the additional rez is removed).

How all of this will be implemented is still being worked out, but we anticipate that there will be some kind of MFE button to toggle between the four modes much like the "aspect" button on many current displays.

There is currently no reason why the processing could not be built into the display or external video processor, but in our view the most logical place to put it is in the Blu-ray player (and least expensive place, from a "re-purchase of hardware" perspective).

In the case of 2560 horizontal, I have been authorized to share this information on how that is accomplished, since I know there is skepticism around this part of the MFE process:

Multi Format Encoding/Decoding (MFE/D) is fundamentally based on revolutionary and proprietary new forms of reversible, digital, algorithmic relationships between specific image resolutions that yield exceptional, natural results due to engineered minimal information loss. High resolution images can be quickly converted to very high quality representations using fewer pixels while generating extra pixel data that can be use to losslessly reconstruct the high resolution image with virtually no error.

All content displayed at 1080 resolution includes an actual 33% greater vertical resolution than the letterbox version due to extra pixel data hidden behind the black letterbox bars on the Blu-ray disc. Full and 2560 modes use MFD reconstruction in the horizontal direction to reconstruct 2560 columns of pixels exploiting MFD's minimal predictive error.
post #29 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post

Multi Format Encoding/Decoding (MFE/D) is fundamentally based on revolutionary and proprietary new forms of reversible, digital, algorithmic relationships between specific image resolutions that yield exceptional, natural results due to engineered minimal information loss. High resolution images can be quickly converted to very high quality representations using fewer pixels while generating extra pixel data that can be use to losslessly reconstruct the high resolution image with virtually no error.

All content displayed at 1080 resolution includes an actual 33% greater vertical resolution than the letterbox version due to extra pixel data hidden behind the black letterbox bars on the Blu-ray disc. Full and 2560 modes use MFD reconstruction in the horizontal direction to reconstruct 2560 columns of pixels exploiting MFD's minimal predictive error.

John, I guess I'm still confused as to whether the extra 691,200 pixels for 2560x1080 playback are actual genuine, unique picture detail, or interpolated from the 1920x1080 data.
post #30 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

John, I guess I'm still confused as to whether the extra 691,200 pixels for 2560x1080 playback are actual genuine, unique picture detail, or interpolated from the 1920x1080 data.

It sounds like he's saying that the anamorphic 1920x1080 (i.e. stretched vertically with no black bars) is all real picture data; when presented in either a 16:9 "pan&scan" version or a 2560x1080 version, they use processing to interpolate the extra image data.
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