What's new
Signup for GameFly to rent the newest 4k UHD movies!

New trend of videotaped TV shows being upconverted to HD (1 Viewer)

Mark-P

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2005
Messages
6,518
Location
Camas, WA
Real Name
Mark Probst
There is a new trend of classic TV shows that were shot on NTSC videotape being remastered and upconverted to HD. Two recent examples are Night Court and Welcome Back Kotter, which are now available for purchase in HD on iTunes. You can sample preview clips and I must say the upconversion process is pretty impressive. Historically, the digitization of videotaped productions have looked pretty atrocious, but they have gone back to the master videotapes and found a way to digitize and upconvert that preserves all the original detail but also make them appear to mimic HD quality. No they don’t look like real HD, but they do look much better than the SD digital versions. The only thing that I don’t understand is why they reduced the framerate from 30 FPS to 24 FPS. That’s the one superiority of NTSC video over film, and they decided that the lower framerate helps to better mimic film by eliminating the “soap opera” effect. Anyone else have an opinion on this new trend?
 

Tom-G

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 31, 2000
Messages
1,750
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Real Name
Thomas
Was All In the Family filmed on videotape? I have been wanting to buy the entire series but I've also been waiting for a better version than the DVDs that are currently available.
 

Lord Dalek

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
7,116
Real Name
Joel Henderson
Was All In the Family filmed on videotape? I have been wanting to buy the entire series but I've also been waiting for a better version than the DVDs that are currently available.
Yes and it famously looks lousy. I wouldn't be surprised if the quads Norman used on it were on their 5th or 6th wiping at that point.
 

Lord Dalek

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
7,116
Real Name
Joel Henderson
There is a new trend of classic TV shows that were shot on NTSC videotape being remastered and upconverted to HD. Two recent examples are Night Court and Welcome Back Kotter, which are now available for purchase in HD on iTunes. You can sample preview clips and I must say the upconversion process is pretty impressive. Historically, the digitization of videotaped productions have looked pretty atrocious, but they have gone back to the master videotapes and found a way to digitize and upconvert that preserves all the original detail but also make them appear to mimic HD quality. No they don’t look like real HD, but they do look much better than the SD digital versions. The only thing that I don’t understand is why they reduced the framerate from 30 FPS to 24 FPS. That’s the one superiority of NTSC video over film, and they decided that the lower framerate helps to better mimic film by eliminating the “soap opera” effect. Anyone else have an opinion on this new trend?

While upconverting PAL material actually has some visceral benefit in the US, I personally don't see the point for 480i (especially 480i that's retained only 20% of its framerate ala old Kiniscopes).
 

TJPC

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2016
Messages
4,843
Location
Hamilton Ontario
Real Name
Terry Carroll
I don't know what process was used by the BBC, but the Blu ray sets for "The Hitchhiker's Guide" to the Galaxy" and "Monty Python's Flying Circus" look very good. I've always held up hope that the same method could be used for "Star Trek DS9" and "ST Voyager". The SciFi channel plays these shows and the picture on both is retched -- far worse than my DVD sets, which I guess are up converted by my disc player.
 

Wiseguy

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
945
Real Name
Erich P. Wise
Was All In the Family filmed on videotape? I have been wanting to buy the entire series but I've also been waiting for a better version than the DVDs that are currently available.
Don't want to be a wiseguy here but how can something be filmed on videotape?
 

Jack P

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
5,618
Real Name
Jack
It was a videotaped show. Though I recall Shout released one season that was botched and gave it a "filmy" type of look instead of the sharp clarity I associate with videotape. This has unfortunately been a trend in some other releases and I don't want to see something that tries to make videotape source material look like film because that just reminds me of the whole kinescope process of the 1950s-60s.
 

nobajoba

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
89
Real Name
Todd
There is a new trend of classic TV shows that were shot on NTSC videotape being remastered and upconverted to HD. Two recent examples are Night Court and Welcome Back Kotter, which are now available for purchase in HD on iTunes. You can sample preview clips and I must say the upconversion process is pretty impressive. Historically, the digitization of videotaped productions have looked pretty atrocious, but they have gone back to the master videotapes and found a way to digitize and upconvert that preserves all the original detail but also make them appear to mimic HD quality. No they don’t look like real HD, but they do look much better than the SD digital versions. The only thing that I don’t understand is why they reduced the framerate from 30 FPS to 24 FPS. That’s the one superiority of NTSC video over film, and they decided that the lower framerate helps to better mimic film by eliminating the “soap opera” effect. Anyone else have an opinion on this new trend?
Pluto TV has def. done this. They have drastically improved the visual quality of All In The Family. It is streaming on Pluto TV Classic Families channel and the episodes look excellent upon direct comparison to the dvds which were put out years ago.
 

nobajoba

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
89
Real Name
Todd
Yes and it famously looks lousy. I wouldn't be surprised if the quads Norman used on it were on their 5th or 6th wiping at that point.
I agree. The dvds look lousy compared to the streaming episodes on Pluto TV. I wish there was a way to get that level of quality onto physical media.
 

Philip Verdieck

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 23, 1999
Messages
983
Location
Houston, TX
Real Name
Philip Verdieck
I don't know what process was used by the BBC, but the Blu ray sets for "The Hitchhiker's Guide" to the Galaxy" and "Monty Python's Flying Circus" look very good. I've always held up hope that the same method could be used for "Star Trek DS9" and "ST Voyager". The SciFi channel plays these shows and the picture on both is retched -- far worse than my DVD sets, which I guess are up converted by my disc player.

Unfortunately, there is an extra cost to modifying SF series because of needs to redo/recreate the SFX shots.

Its been incredible seeing the remastered TOS with the replaced special effects. The detail level on 1701 and better alien ships and planets, etc.

What I am curious about, and haven't compared with my DVDs is the B5 remasters. My understanding from what JMS said a while ago is the storage/hard disks with the special effects was lost, so it would have been cost prohibitive to remaster the series. Yet we got some remasters a few years ago.

As I understand it, All ST up to Voyager used models, but by the end of Voyager they converted to digital and Enterprise was all digital.

So the remastering budget has to include enough to redo the SFX.
 

Lord Dalek

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
7,116
Real Name
Joel Henderson
What I am curious about, and haven't compared with my DVDs is the B5 remasters. My understanding from what JMS said a while ago is the storage/hard disks with the special effects was lost, so it would have been cost prohibitive to remaster the series. Yet we got some remasters a few years ago.

That point still stands as every shot with a digital effect is upscaled from the 480i D2s on Babylon 5.
 

LeoA

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
3,555
Location
North Country
Real Name
Leo
Pluto TV has def. done this. They have drastically improved the visual quality of All In The Family. It is streaming on Pluto TV Classic Families channel and the episodes look excellent upon direct comparison to the dvds which were put out years ago.
Sony probably ran it through their fancy videotape upscaler that they spent a lot of money on developing.

They did the same with Fraggle Rock, another videotaped show. Works surprisingly well in improving picture quality.
 

Lord Dalek

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
7,116
Real Name
Joel Henderson
What are "combing errors," BTW?
1661166795415.png


^that.
 

jcroy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
7,944
Real Name
jr
The only thing that I don’t understand is why they reduced the framerate from 30 FPS to 24 FPS.

Technically the framerate is not "reduced".

If the original source is 24 frames-per-second (or 25 for pal), it is more likely to be encoded as 24 fps progressive on a bluray disc. (25 fps source is a different matter). Your bluray player with your hd tv screen, will play the same frame 5 times if the tv's refresh rate is 120 hz. (ie. 5 x 24 = 120).

If your hd tv screen only has the refresh rate of 60 Hz, then your bluray player + tv setup will do an alternating sequence of 2 frames and 3 frames for each pair of consecutive frames. The math is out of 24 frames per second (progressive)

12 frames will be displayed 2 times = 24
12 frames will be displayed 3 times = 36
24 + 36 = 60
 
Last edited:

jcroy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
7,944
Real Name
jr
In the case of "30 FPS" as @Mark-P has mentioned, this is either a lazy telecine (from 24 progressive frames-per-second with the 3:2 pulldown left in) or some type of 60 interlaced frames-per-second source (such as live sports, news broadcasts, soap operas, etc ....).
 
Last edited:

Mark-P

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2005
Messages
6,518
Location
Camas, WA
Real Name
Mark Probst
Technically the framerate is not "reduced".

If the original source is 24 frames-per-second (or 25 for pal), it is more likely to be encoded as 24 fps progressive on a bluray disc. (25 fps source is a different matter). Your bluray player with your hd tv screen, will play the same frame 5 times if the tv's refresh rate is 120 hz. (ie. 5 x 24 = 120).

If your hd tv screen only has the refresh rate of 60 Hz, then your bluray player + tv setup will do an alternating sequence of 2 frames and 3 frames for each pair of consecutive frames. The math is out of 24 frames per second (progressive)

12 frames will be displayed 2 times = 24
12 frames will be displayed 3 times = 36
24 + 36 = 60
We are talking about 1970s and 1980s American videotaped shows, not filmed sources. The two shows I was referencing were Night Court and Welcome Back, Kotter which were both videotaped at 30 FPS, so yes the new HD masters have the framerate reduced to 24 FPS.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
357,301
Messages
5,135,176
Members
144,346
Latest member
Yashavi46
Recent bookmarks
0
Top