Questions about future HD-DVD discs

Discussion in 'DVD' started by John Milton, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. John Milton

    John Milton Second Unit

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    Will movies with an OAR of 1.33:1 benefit from high definition without being cropped to 1.78:1? If so, will older movies from the 30's, for example movies like Frankenstein and Dracula (both 1931), look any better in HD or does the lower quality of the film stock from back then make that impossible?
     
  2. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Kind of depends on how good the source material is. Stuff like the Chaney Hunchback, which only exists in 16mm (though some 35mm material has reportedly turned up) is never going to look much better than VHS-quality. But so far as I know Universal has kept pretty good care of the original materials for things like Frankenstein and Dracula so they may well benefit. 1930s 35mm film stock is still much higher resolution than DVD, assuming you're not dealing with a later-generation print, so HD may well be able to produce glistening DVDs. But it's all dependent on what's available for source material.
     
  3. John Milton

    John Milton Second Unit

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    Thanks for your reply Mark. It's good to hear that those classics could have good HD-DVDs. What about the aspect ratio question though? I've never seen HD presented in 1.33:1.
     
  4. Aaron_Brez

    Aaron_Brez Supporting Actor

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    They can be pillar-boxed, and still benefit from the extra vertical resolution (whether it's 720 or 1080).

    They'll even get better horizontal resolution (DVD is 720, HDTV-- even with "only" 1280x720, will offer 960 pixels in width for a 4:3 movie "pillar-boxed").

    HD-DVD is all good.

    (of course, this is only for film; material shot on video will not benefit from more vertical lines, although I assume the horizontal resolution may improve, if the original analog tapes are high-resolution enough.)
     
  5. John Milton

    John Milton Second Unit

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    HD-DVD is all good based on your reply Aaron. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  6. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    It's ironic in a sense...that DVD can be "optimized" for both 1.33:1 stuff and 1.85:1 WS stuff because the 720 x 480 matrix can encoded as a either a 4x3 frame or a 16x9 frame, whereas HD-DVD most likely will be optimized for one aspect-ratio only.

    Though, as Aaron points out...even in pillar boxed 720P form...1.33:1 OAR HD transfers still have more horizontal resolution than DVD, it still bums me out a bit that even more resolution could have been obtained by a 4x3 option to use the full horizontal resolution potential (1280 for 720P or 1920 for 1080I/P) for the 1.33:1 image.

    Of course...what *really* would be awsome would be a 20x9 aspect ratio or extended-horizontal-resolution option to optimize 2.35:1 transfers. That way, rather than wasting potential resolution on "black bars" with 2.35:1 films "letterboxed" in a 16x9 frame, HD-DVD could offer a frame-size that better fits.

    One day we'll have displays that far exceed even 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution. IMO, our HD-DVD software ought to be "open ended" or at least more forward-oriented to provide the maximum potential as our display technology evolves.

    When DVD was conceived, even most videophiles didn't "get" the 16x9 thing. They all had 4x3 dispays and very few folks were able to take advantage of the 16x9 resolution it offered. Now, just a few short years later, 16x9 res is "normal" and most folks wouldn't really consider a HT system "high end" unless it could provide full resolution of a 16x9 480P DVD.

    The next step is full-resolution for 2.35:1 films. HD-DVD should be conceived with this in mind from the start so the compatibility is built-in from the start.
     
  7. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    That's the whole reason for 16:9, though. It's as near as makes no difference to the geometrical mean of 4:3 [Academy] and 7:3 [scope], so an Academy-ratio picture at full height on the screen takes up almost exactly the same amount of area as a scoped film: they have the same pixel count, and thus the same resolution. Agreed, a TV with a switch for 4:3-16:9-7:3, so you get the full horizontal and vertical resolution no matter what you're watching, would be best, but this would only work with CRTs [or projectors with changeout of lenses] since other display technologies are fixed pixel; anyway, WideTV was introduced in the early 90s but that 4:3-16:9 switch is still rare on standard-def sets.
     
  8. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Future high-density digital dispays (that exceed 1920 x 1080 in resolution) would make good use of the added detail.

    -dave [​IMG]
     

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