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Sony asks "is 4K worth it?" Their own research says...

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#1
Andrew Reid

Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:01 AM

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Sony have published a study into 4K in theaters. Called "Does 4K really make a difference?" the advice is aimed at cinema companies upgrading to digital projection, who are faced with the choice of either 2K or 4K projection systems.

#2
gene_can_sing

Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:40 AM

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I would trust a study like this a LOT more if it did not come from Sony, who obviously has a huge vested interest in 4K. I remember reading another article about 2 years ago by a more independent source, and they concluded that in a regular sized theater, you would have to be sitting in the first 6 rows to really notice the difference in 4K.
www.builtbyUgene.com

#3
Xiong

Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:55 AM

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48fps wont be the new standard, 24fps has always been the staple and I dont see that changing. On the other hand, if cinema's wanted me to pay a premium, it'll be for watching a screen thats not horribly projected(bulb turned down for cost reasons) and being seated with actual polite audience who dont bring their kids/baby's to a Rated-R movie, and having people use their phones during a movie.

So I'd rather pay for a more polite humanity haha :D
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#4
Andrew Reid

Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:58 AM

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Oh I would pay for a more polite humanity too.

Where can we get one!?

#5
GMaximus

Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:20 AM

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Hi,
> So they key to home cinema is probably more in the seating position and screen size than whether you choose 4K or 2K

it's also the choice of how much of your viewing space (FOV) would be filled with the screen. If we match the optical resolution of 2 screens, 2k and 4k, the 4k one would go much farther into your peripheral vision. That has an interesting effect involving vestibular apparatus.

#6
Xiong

Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:58 AM

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Oh I would pay for a more polite humanity too.

Where can we get one!?


When we have to get mandatory chips installed in our necks...

#7
Axel

Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:36 AM

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As a digital projectionist and a cinéaste (getting my eyes checked at least once a year, they work perfect for distances), I can tell the difference between 2k and 4k, and of course I prefer the latter. Sony's argumentation, that viewing distance is of bigger importance than screen size, is rubbish nonetheless, because you can get audiences only so close to the screen as is necessary to let them enjoy 4k by completely rebuilding your cinema. The rows would have to be almost vertical, like in some IMAX-theaters. I watched Inception, The girl with the dragon Tattoo and Skyfall (this one 'false' 4k) on a 10m x 24m screen, from row 5. Note, that nobody voluntarily chooses these seats, because inevitably there is also a heavy distortion of the image and people consider it a disadvantage not to be able to overview the whole screen (while, in fact, this is the idea of a big screen). What is more, most content still is produced in 2k, a very high percentage is still even filmed in SD interlaced (regional ads, but astonishingly also commercials for cars, and from row 5 these often -but not always- are unendurable).

I believe that within one or two decades, 4k will be the de facto standard, but not because the audience calls and pays (more) for it, but simply because the equipment needs to be replaced anyway, and 4k will be quite affordable soon.

The reasons why videographers are attracted by 4k are:
> They think 'bigger is better', which is arguable, because bigger is just bigger.
> They never saw a true HD image in their life, because either their cameras didn't make it or (if they watch a BD on their HD-TV-set), they keep the aforementioned distance, shrinking the image to the size they are used to.
> They stare at their computer displays from the same distance, relatively, as they did with their old 800 x 600 CRTs. Tell anybody, that he should move to a one-foot-distance to his 24" display (distortion!), and he will disapprove this advice.
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Either you care - or you don't

#8
simonfilm

Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:50 AM

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Let's calculate. With a typical home 42 inch panel sitting 3 meters away. The screen width is around 1 meter, so you have 2 right triangles with major catheti of 3 and minor catheti of 0,5, ok?So the tangent of the angle of one of the triangles is 0,5/3. We need to know the arctangent of 0,5/3, arctangent (0,166) = 9,46 degrees. We have 2 triangles, 9,46*2= 18.92 degrees. You can do the calculations with the windows calc in scientific mode. With the value on the screen (0,166) press Inv and then Tan to do the arctangent.

1920 pixels divided by 18.92 degrees of vision = aprox. 101 pixels/degree.

Sitting at 2 meters from the same screen you get 68 degrees, more than that 20/20...

Well, now DIY.

Simon.

P.D. I am not very good at maths so if there is one or several errors tell me. If somebody is very interested in the design of the living room (size of TV and positon of the sofa) I could make an excel spreadsheet.

#9
jcmbender

Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:58 AM

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Living in France where the theaters are kitted out in 2K, even spectacular theaters like the Max Linder Panorama, I can say that I often find the 2K projection disappointing and far from seamless. At the Max Linder, the best seats in the house are at the front of the mezzanine, where you're just below the center of the screen and about 2.5 screen lengths away, but from there I often feel that I can see the pixels. Of course fortunately this is a city with dozens of little cinemas showing gems on 35. Got to see a fabulous, nearly pristine copy of Marker's Le joli mai in 35 the other day — stunning!

#10
Albert

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:13 AM

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Great picture! For the first time I get Sony's 'make believe' slogan :D. I don't think more resolution is a giant step forward for viewing. But 4K offers a lot more freedom in composing (cropping) the image or stabilizing it. Will moiré be less or will it just appear in finer detail?

#11
Axel

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:35 AM

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Great picture! For the first time I get Sony's 'make believe' slogan :D.


That's it. The believers join the queue at the stores, the makers are doubting Thomases, who rather believe their eyes. Moire is always an indicator that the recorded resolution is beneath the true resolution. Also, ironically, if the recorded resolution was higher than the final resolution, because with downscaling you run into more issues with interpolated pixels (and patterns, you may have heard about that) than with upscaling.
Either you care - or you don't

#12
Andrew Reid

Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:28 PM

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Living in France where the theaters are kitted out in 2K, even spectacular theaters like the Max Linder Panorama, I can say that I often find the 2K projection disappointing and far from seamless. At the Max Linder, the best seats in the house are at the front of the mezzanine, where you're just below the center of the screen and about 2.5 screen lengths away, but from there I often feel that I can see the pixels. Of course fortunately this is a city with dozens of little cinemas showing gems on 35. Got to see a fabulous, nearly pristine copy of Marker's Le joli mai in 35 the other day — stunning!


This is interesting. I value real life cinema experience about the science actually.

#13
YAUN

Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:41 PM

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No, 4K is not worth it. In fact, digital projection is a disaster and I believe the only reason the movie industry gets away with such inferior quality is because people don't care about it and, of course, there's no competition to the media. Every movie I've seen -including Skyfall - at AMC which blasts its Sony 4K notification at the start - suffers from color loss, brightness loss and poor dynamic range (Xiong's bulb turned down??). I do far better on my cheap Mits projection screen with an old Cinemascope production (viewing distance??). There's a reason why this particular form of entertainment is - or was - called the dream factory and that's because the medium's "limitations" were a way to present a story that, even in its most "realistic" tone, still had a dreamy, not of the day-to-day reality quality. That is simply not there with digital anything because neither of the ???'s or any of the new limitations, were an issue "back in the day". Without significant change in this current situation, the digital madness at theatres will only accelerate the advent of the home theatre as more people finally realize that the price they're paying for non-quality isn't a value proposition. And, with an aging population, that's a more serious problem that it might seem.
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#14
Eric Calabros

Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:37 PM

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Movie name: End of Watch
Budget: $7,000,000
Gross: $39,000,000
Camera:
Canon EOS 5D Mark II,Canon EOS 7D,Canon XA-10,GoPro HD Hero

People pay for content, not pixels

#15
FilmMan

Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:58 PM

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@Ben

Camera's used:

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon Lenses
Canon EOS 7D, Canon Lenses
Canon XA-10
GoPro HD Hero
Silicon Imaging SI-2K 'Nano', Zeiss Ultra Prime Lenses
Silicon Imaging SI-2K Mini, Zeiss Ultra Prime Lenses

Cheers

#16
Andrew Reid

Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:01 PM

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Again if we take the view that it is JUST content that is important, there's no motivation for filmmakers to put any artistry into their camera work and cinematography. A disaster.

If we take the view that it is JUST image quality that matters and that the camera is the most important thing, you lose the motivation to work on the content and just churn out pretty timelapses.

Is this balance so difficult for people to grasp?

Why is every argument in 2012 polarised, be it about cameras, politics, music, anything...

#17
Will Turner

Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

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Very interesting. Based on similar calculations, my home cinema consisting of a 720p native DLP projector on about an 80 inch screen would only benefit those sitting closest to the screen if going to a 1080p model. From my usually sitting position in the room it would theoretically make no difference. 4k in this instance would be completely pointless. I suggest the same for most homes, be it a TV or home cinema. Only on gigantic screens, sat very close do you need anything more than 1080p and if you do the chances are you are going to want 4k.

#18
haarec

Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:41 PM

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Yes, a proper balance. Mine - don't forget about resolution while thinking of content. When it comes to resolution that describe camera quality, 4K should have a 4 times more resolution not just 4 times pixel count. This is clear while watching an example of Canon 1 Dc footage - a 4K version looks like upscaled 2K footage. I would really like to have 4K equipment not just for having it, but for more details in a movie.

#19
Kev

Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

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I know this is not that relevant to the article but when I saw the shot on the article it just struck me. Male gaze!
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#20
Paddy

Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:41 PM

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"I remember reading another article about 2 years ago by a more independent source, and they concluded that in a regular sized theater, you would have to be sitting in the first 6 rows to really notice the difference in 4K."


Check this page: http://magazine.crea...uture-of-pixels

Written by a much more trustworthy source than a Sony marketer...




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