I work in film post production as a finishing artist for vfx and film titles and we often get demo's of the latest 4K projectors and prototype 4K monitors. Myself and the colorists typically evaluate the new gear to advise the execs/owners on what to purchase. In a real sense our task is to get past the hype - yes, even in the pro gear market hype is a big problem ; )
Originally Posted by Devedander
The only legit use I can see is Passive 1080p 3D... which of course is kind of an odd one because by the time 4K screens become reasonably priced we will probably start seeing 4K content come along and then you will hit another passive 3D half resolution wall...
It's a big plus for Passive 3D. But don't expect a lot of "native" 4K content anytime soon. (More down below on that.)
Originally Posted by tuxedocivic
... Oh and by the way, I've never understood the argument "you can't see it on X" screen unless you're Y' away". I've always found 1080 to be a better image than 720, even on small screens. It just looks more real. Not that I can pick out the individual pixels.
Actually the "you can't see it on X" screen unless you're Y' away" is a very salient argument. Assuming you're dealing with two calibrated, equal quality monitors (not an easy setup to find/create) there are clearly sizes at which increased resolution matters and doesn't matter. I would guess that the consumer perception of this is often skewed because typically newer, higher-resolution monitors also have improved picture quality overall - better color, better blacks, etc. Regularly during our testing A-list colorists (the artists who do final color and QC on feature films) sitting at normal viewing distance could not accurately pick out which monitor was 1080p and which was 4K on screens less than 75" or 80". If anything the colorists as often as not picked the 1080p screen as better - this is because it is still technically difficult to get evenly distributed color/luminance on the 4K monitors, often making the 1080p monitor the more accurate of the two.
Originally Posted by Frosteh
I'd like to see 4K simply because it means seeing it natively as it was edited, not a scaled down version for home. Too often you see poor transfers to Blu Ray: hopefully the advent of 4k will allow studios to not have to compromise on quality when they release for home ...
Two different issues really. A bad transfer to Blu-Ray has less to do with resolution than it does with colorspace issues:
For the last few years films are typically "finished" digitally in P3 colorspace while blu-rays are in Rec709 colorspace. Converting between those two colorspace's is not a simple, linear process, and often includes re-timing (or re-grading) a large percentage of the movie's shots individually (P3 has ranges/variations in color/luminance that don't exist in Rec709). The last couple of years there has been a trend with higher profile movies to do more than one grade in the movie's original color/finishing sessions - i.e. they do separate color-timings for projection (P3), BluRay/Broadcast (Rec709) and streaming (RGB/sRGB linear). This new trend is also because movies are making more of their money post theatrical-release on BR, broadcast, streaming etc. And of course on top of all this there is the issue of how the blu-ray compression is handled.
"I'd like to see 4K simply because it means seeing it natively as it was edited, not a scaled down version for home."
An understandable comment but not a very accurate one. Almost no feature films (excluding IMAX) are shot, posted and finished in 4K.
HD resolution is 1920x1080. DCP (digitial cinema projection) resolution is only 2048x1080. So 2K projection has the same top/bottom resolution as HD and is only 9% wider.
Doing the vfx and post on a 2K project can often cost as much as 50% more than doing the vfx and post on an HD project, so, a lot of A-list movies (most movies with budgets under 100 million and many "blockbusters" with budgets over that) are actually posted/finished in HD. These "HD" finished movies are converted to 2K (DCP) by either up-scaling them 9% or adding 64 pixel wide black columns to each side. 99% of the IMAX theatrical releases of "Hollywood" movies are high-quality up-rez's. The higher-end digital projectors (such as Christi) at theaters with larger screens read 2K DCP files and up-convert on-the-fly to 4K for projection.
Viewing native 4K content won't be much of a reason to upgrade to 4K TV's for another 10 years or so.