Entertainment Question for A/V guys, re: old shows in hi-def

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by Mr Pink, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. Mr Pink

    Mr Pink Well-Known Member

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    Was watching Seinfeld on CW and it was in hi-def. It filled my TV screen and looked as clear as the commercials. The OTA broadcasts this channel in 720p.

    So how is it that these old shows -- and even older -- can now be shown in hi-def? Is the source material hi-def but downgraded back in the day for OTA CRT low-res viewing? Old film and video tape, by nature, has the fidelity to be viewed in hi-def today??

    Were old shows filmed/recorded in 4:3 or 16:9? If the former then I assume they crop the image to fit the latter?
     
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  2. Lemmy

    Lemmy Douchebag Extraordinaire Gold

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  3. Bro

    Bro Oligarchical Corporatocracy VIP Gold

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    I think the answer is obvious.
     
  4. JameGumb

    JameGumb We're all out of toner!

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    Does this involves MS: DOS?
     
  5. killallposers

    killallposers VIP Extreme Gold

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    Seinfeld was shot on film and then edited to standard def video. Those edited video masters could not be made HD, they are frozen as standard def. Best they could do is upscale them to HD resolution, but that's just faking it. So they went back to the original film elements and re-edited the shows together in HD digital. Now, because film is the source, they can transfer it to true HD. The show would've been shot 4:3, so they have to crop the picture to make it 16:9. However, they can choose the best framing for each scene and sometimes the film will have some more picture on the sides than was originally used, so the top/bottom cropping doesn't have to be as severe.

    Basically if film is the source, it can be transferred to true HD. If standard resolution video is the source, the detail is frozen at that resolution and can only be interpolated/upscaled to HD resolution. For example, All in the Family was shot on video. It can never be real HD.
     
  6. Donkey Patrol

    Donkey Patrol The Mouthy One Gold

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    This will blow your fuckin mind, Three Stooges in color, Holy Shit!

     
  7. Mr Pink

    Mr Pink Well-Known Member

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    Great explanation. Thanks for that!
     
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  8. buried20kleague

    buried20kleague Well-Known Member VIP

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    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Mr Pink

    Mr Pink Well-Known Member

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    So, there is different film stock for cinema movies vs TV shows -- 1.85:1 vs 4:3? You would think they'd just shoot it all in wide and then crop in post.

    I'm surprised photographic film has the resolution of HD (or near to it). Do they assign film stock a corresponding resolution e.g. 720 1080? Is it based on the ISO?
     
  10. killallposers

    killallposers VIP Extreme Gold

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    4:3 was originally the film standard (some examples being Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind). I assume that's why 4:3 was chosen for TV, but then films moved towards widescreen ratios (and it then took a long time before a TV format switch). Film frame is 4:3, so for widescreen films they have a couple processes for getting the widescreen image. You can shoot with an anamorphic lens which stretches the image tall (the amount depends on what final WS ratio you want) and then a lens is used on projection to squash it back to proper proportions. This allows for the WS image to benefit from using the full film frame. The other way is to shoot the film with the viewer framed to a widescreen ratio and then matte out the unwanted area. A lot of times, for the full frame release and TV version, they would simply remove the matte (called open-matte). So in this case, you were gaining picture on the full frame version instead of losing it. However, it was usually picture the director never intended to be seen (though sometimes it would be framed with both in mind). Pee-Wee's super long chain seen being fed up through the bottom of the bike is not something Burton wanted anyone seeing.

    The reason TV shows wouldn't have been shot in WS during Senfeld's era is they just simply didn't know what to expect with the future and there was no reason to do anything other than what worked best at the time. Once 16:9 TVs were gaining popularity, TV shows did switch to shooting in 16:9. They would still mostly film with the action falling within the 4:3 area, though, knowing a lot of people were still viewing on 4:3 TVs. Now it's just mostly all shot in HD digital and framed with the expectation that it will be watched in 16:9 (though graphics and such might still be placed within the 4:3 safe area to make sure everyone sees them).

    The thing about film is that there isn't exactly a finite amount of resolution in the same way as video. You are using optics to blow up or scan a film frame and the more video resolution you give it, the more detail you will capture from the film. Of course, at some point, especially depending on the stock and optics, you are maybe going to stop seeing benefit by going higher. But we're not just talking about people watching on TVs at home. This stuff is now projected in digital theaters and some people have projectors at home. When you blow it up that big, is when you'll really see the difference in going higher. I don't believe there is any formula for when deciding what resolution to scan something at, but I'm not sure. I think about anything is going to get at least 1080p now as it's the standard and we're moving towards 4k.

    The Seinfeld re-edits from film were done in 1080, but the station is scaling it down if it's 720. I've also heard they have been speeding it up to get in more commercials. I hate watching classic shit on TV. They butcher it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
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  11. Mr Pink

    Mr Pink Well-Known Member

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    Don't know why but I find all of that fascinating. Thanks!

    The station I was watching Seinfeld on is far away from my antenna so I don't know if the 720p is a function of distance or that's just what resolution they broadcast that station locally
     
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  12. killallposers

    killallposers VIP Extreme Gold

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    No problem.

    I would guess it's probably just how your local station broadcasts, but I really don't know much about OTA HDTV and have never dealt with it myself.
     
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  13. lilbuddy67

    lilbuddy67 A man with breath-taking anger management issues Banned User

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    They say that movies on film have about 10 x's the resolution of Blu-Ray, so even with 4K, we still have some ways to go.
     
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  14. DrivenByDemons

    DrivenByDemons Spinoff Jesus Staff Member

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    Don't worry about the film or 4k as much as your eyes. We are truly at a point where unless you are projecting a 12' image in your living room and sitting 10' away you simply cannot see anymore detail.
     
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  15. Rabid Dogman

    Rabid Dogman Well-Known Member

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    They did a really good job remastering Star Trek: The Next Generation. Even if you're not a fan, watch a couple of episodes to see an example of high-def remastering done right.
     
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  16. Roland Schwinn

    Roland Schwinn *Likes reported as of October 14, 2016 Gold

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    Yeah, fucking resolution is getting to be a bit nutty. I mean what percentage of the population even has a true 4k monitor?

    I work in the video world and am just now getting ready to start my capital request for new gear, and frankly higher frame rates at 1080 are more appealing to me than shooting in 4, 5, or 6k. As for getting high frame rates at those resolutions are super pricey.

    The beefed up resolutions and data rates do have their place especially in multi million dollar production, I don't work those!

    I was, however, working on post production for a green screen shoot and it was much much easier keying out the green screen on the 6k footage as apposed to the 1080 footage. I think this has more to do with data rate than resolution though.
     
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  17. Irish Joe

    Irish Joe Well-Known Member

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    Cheers in HD looks better than a lot of television shows filmed today.
     
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  18. Rabid Dogman

    Rabid Dogman Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know they had remastered it, are the high-def episodes on Netflix? The fact that Frasier seemingly hasn't received the HD treatment yet is sacrilege
     
  19. jcice

    jcice Well-Known Member

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    Even the classics shot on film like "I Love Lucy", "The Honeymooners" (Classic 39), and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" have been given the 1080p remastering treatment and Blu-ray release (although keeping their 4:3 aspect ratio). I have several of these remastered HD classics on my home NAS and they look amazing.
     
  20. Irish Joe

    Irish Joe Well-Known Member

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    I think they are on Netflix, but ever since CBS got its own streaming service, they come and go. They are for sure on Hulu, though, if you have that.
     
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