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I'm new to HDTV, and am getting HD package on Dish next week. Was just wondering if the movies shown in HD (like on HBO and HDNet) come from HD source or upconverted from 480p DVDs?
 

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All HDNet Movies are from HD Masters and are OAR. Almost all HBO are, but most are cropped/zoomed to 16:9 instead of OAR. TNT has a nasty habit of calling everything HD, including stuff that is stretched from 4:3 SD TV frames (not even DVD). Everyone else is somewhere in between. Fox's HD movies usually look exactly like the DVD--impossible to tell. Disney movies on ABC tend to look fantastic.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRMan
All HDNet Movies are from HD Masters and are OAR. Almost all HBO are, but most are cropped/zoomed to 16:9 instead of OAR. TNT has a nasty habit of calling everything HD, including stuff that is stretched from 4:3 SD TV frames (not even DVD). Everyone else is somewhere in between. Fox's HD movies usually look exactly like the DVD--impossible to tell. Disney movies on ABC tend to look fantastic.
I'm not sure that's quite technically accurate. Films like "Auntie Mame" and "My Fair Lady" aren't HD masters, they're film. I wouldn't call them "upconverted" but they are *converted* from film. Film is an analog medium and doesn't really have a particular resolution like HD video does.
 

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Originally Posted by AcuraCL
I'm not sure that's quite technically accurate. Films like "Auntie Mame" and "My Fair Lady" aren't HD masters, they're film. I wouldn't call them "upconverted" but they are *converted* from film. Film is an analog medium and doesn't really have a particular resolution like HD video does.
It's all technically accurate but the terminology gets confusing. I guess it's not clear what they call the thing you get when a movie has been converted directly to HD. You can't call it an "HD Print" so they're calling them "HD Masters" even though a copy of an HD Master can still be called an HD Master since it's exactly the same as the original.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuraCL
I'm not sure that's quite technically accurate. Films like "Auntie Mame" and "My Fair Lady" aren't HD masters, they're film. I wouldn't call them "upconverted" but they are *converted* from film. Film is an analog medium and doesn't really have a particular resolution like HD video does.
True, but the resolution of film is considerably higher than the resolution of HD video, so transferring a film to HD video would create an HD master.
 

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Originally Posted by spwace
True, but the resolution of film is considerably higher than the resolution of HD video, so transferring a film to HD video would create an HD master.
The resolution of the thing scanning the film is higher than HD, but we've seen there are lots of old prints out there that look as soft as upconverts in HD. It's hard to know sometimes.
 

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Those in the industry here have pointed out that the film studios usually provide the 1080/24p master tapes, telecined from various quality film prints. The masters are used with 'pull-down' (frame duplication) for broadcast at 1080/60i (30i) or, with downconversion/deinterlacing, 720/60p. The master might also be used for DVD production. HBO uses its own telecining facilities to create master tapes.


TV productions, also say the experts here, may use 16/35-mm negatives for telecining. That might have the potential for superior-resolution tapes/disks, but I can't really say the results are noticeably superior here. More productions are bypassing film and video taping in a 24psf (segmented-frame) format that emulates film.


Haven't read it's happened yet, but supposedly a film scanned for D.I. (digital intermediate) production processing at, say, 4Kx2K, then downconverted to 1080/24p, could deliver much better HD image quality to homes--perhaps double the resolution we're seeing now. That's if all the higher resolutions didn't get filtered off for MPEG-2 delivery with OTA, DBS, and cable.


Also, you'd likely need a new 1080p display to fully appreciate doubled resolution. And many STBs wouldn't help; my two cable STBs, for two companies, limit horizontal resolution to ~1290 or ~1335 lines per 16:9 picture width. A CableCard might deliver ~1600 lines maximum if it was present as effective resolution (resolvable detail), but my display lacks a CableCard slot.


Looks like there's yet another have/have-nots class growing for HD movie watching, too. Some sets/processors have reverse telecine for 1080i. That extracts nearly the original 24p frames from the pulldown sequence, then the frame rate is boosted to avoid display flicker. The reversing process should eliminate some motion artifacts (judder).


And while it's mostly the fixed-pixel displays equipped to handle 1080 reverse telecine, it appears that most of these displays diminish vertical resolution by bobbing 1080i down to 540p for video processing. (Reportedly, member Gary Merson tested and confirmed this in his latest news letter.) Plus, better and cost-effective algorithms/hardware for processing motion within images are still needed to avoid unnecessary blurring of details. -- John
 

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AFAICT, some movies on HBO-HD and SHO-HD are upconverts from DVD. They fill the 16:9 screen, but they're not labelled as HDTV, as least not in the DirecTV guide. They're sometimes flagged as Letterbox. The movies that say "HDTV" in the guide really are.
 

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I am not sure how good of resolution that 35 mm movies are when converted. The old story I always been told is that those movies are close to 720p in equivilency. Some of the newer movies are now shot totally digital. Star Wars Episode II was the first movie to be shot that way i believe. It was 1080 24p and makes an excellent transition to HD and even DVD because since it was shot in digital, it doesnt have the imperfections that 35mm strips carry. If you compare Episode I to Episode II (and eventually III when it hits dvd November 1st) you can tell the diference, even though they been downgraded to 480p.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by houselog442
Star Wars Episode II was the first movie to be shot that way i believe.
It wasn't the first.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by houselog442
I am not sure how good of resolution that 35 mm movies are when converted. The old story I always been told is that those movies are close to 720p in equivilency.
The resolution of 35mm film cannot be measured in terms of pixels (because it doesn't have any), but equates to much, much higher than any HDTV format.
 

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720p-equivalent effective resolution (resolvable detail on screen) is what consultant Matt Cowan reported in this paper (pdf format). Believe either Cowan or a later similar SMPTE paper outlines how you equate video/computer resolutions (lines/pixels) with film's line pairs. Went though this recently in another post I can't find now, and someone posted Kodak's published reply to the SMPTE paper [Edit: found it ]. Kodak disputed the ITU's (data source) method of testing with sine-wave test patterns instead of square waves, claiming the roughly 720p-equivalent on-screen resolution average (from a number of cities and theaters) would be somewhat higher with square-wave patterns. The SMPTE authors outlined why they used sine-wave patterns. -- John
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z
The resolution of 35mm film cannot be measured in terms of pixels (because it doesn't have any), but equates to much, much higher than any HDTV format.
Yes - this is true of a 35mm camera negative.


However as the film production process continues through to a distribution print resolution can be lost at each stage in the duplication process. The prints that reach cinemas may have no greater resolution (and more artefacts) than an HD telecine of the camera negative.


I agree that an original 35mm negative can capture more information than an HDTV acquisition system. Whether the final result of an all-film 35mm production process delivers more resolution at the cinema than an HDTV system is more open to question. An HDTV production system fixes a resolution at acquisition - and in theory maintains it through production to display. The same cannot always be said for an optical 35mm process - though with DI and 2k/4k scanning the situation is different.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000
Yes - this is true of a 35mm camera negative.


However as the film production process continues through to a distribution print resolution can be lost at each stage in the duplication process. The prints that reach cinemas may have no greater resolution (and more artefacts) than an HD telecine of the camera negative.


I agree that an original 35mm negative can capture more information than an HDTV acquisition system. Whether the final result of an all-film 35mm production process delivers more resolution at the cinema than an HDTV system is more open to question. An HDTV production system fixes a resolution at acquisition - and in theory maintains it through production to display. The same cannot always be said for an optical 35mm process - though with DI and 2k/4k scanning the situation is different.
But, isn't it true that transfers from film to HD video are generally made from prints that are much closer to the negative than the distribution prints?
 

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But, isn't it true that transfers from film to HD video are generally made from prints that are much closer to the negative than the distribution prints?
That seems to be getting at the nub of what we're seeing. Believe so-called answer prints, made in very limited numbers for special showings such as movie festivals, are among the highest quality prints. In the Cowan paper I linked above he provides a frequency response chart (vertical/horizontal resolution) for both answer prints and subsequent film distribution stages, showing the falloff. Also, as I mentioned earlier, a colorist (telecine operator) has mentioned here that negatives are used for TV-production telecines; Glimmie pointed out this isn't possible with major-feature negatives since they're too precious.


So, with movie studios making and supplying most feature-film telecines, it's still ambiguous what's limiting the fidelity of master tapes. A few years back a post by member sspears indicated typical 1080/24p telecine master tapes had 800--1300 lines, and a video magazine editor/publisher, working with a cinematographer, also wrote that
 
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