Jump to content

Capture quality, colour grading, frame rate, is it wasted on the average consumer?


Happy Daze
 Share

Recommended Posts

I feel like I am wasting my time in the pursuit of nice looking, quality, well graded footage.

The majority of people that are in my social circle have no idea what a calibrated TV looks like. Most have the colour and contrast set to "Irradiate" and sit within 6 feet of their 60-85 inch TV's whilst they tan. The sharpness is set to "stun" exhibiting awful halos and because they sit so close you can practically define each pixel. And... because frame rates used by filmmakers are not smooth enough for TV manufacturers the TV's now interpolate a few extra frames between the original frames making for a "much smoother viewing experience". On Christmas day I was watching "Singing In The Rain" on a relatives 85 inch TV, it looked dreadful with the interpolated frames and over-sharpened image but when I pointed this out it didn't go down to well, so I kept quite for the rest of the day and suffered in silence as so many classic films were simply ruined.

I've tried to explain the problem to my friends and convince them that an adjustment is required but it falls on deaf ears, they simply don't care.

I have never seen one of my videos look remotely the way it was graded with my calibrated monitor on any TV owned by people within my circle or any of the customers that I visit within my profession.

I have to blame the TV manufacturers, but I also believe that the public is generally ignorant with regards calibration, either way a lot of painstaking creativity is currently going to waste.

If you made it this far, thank you, I feel better for the rant.

Cheers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you care about it that much then I'd say get more discerning friends!

My experience is that people see / hear / smell / taste things differently and uniquely, not worse or better.  They are likely not sensitive to the things that you are attune to, and vice versa.  When I ask my wife about colour grading she has all kinds of opinions, however she doesn't know the words to use and so it's not an easy subject to communicate about, but my overall impression is that she's sensitive to different things than I am, rather than not caring.

This was my experience when I was into high-end audio equipment too, it's very common for the wives of audiophiles to be able to tell that you did a minor upgrade, but without being told and by noticing it from the other room.

The other thing to consider is that much of film-making is the deliberate crafting of things that other people find sub-conscious or completely un-conscious.  The difference between good and bad editing for example results in the viewer being able to follow the plot vs being confused by certain elements, and this is often accomplished (especially by the great directors / editors who show and don't tell) by the careful arranging of lines, shots, and edits which the viewer will correctly interpret but likely won't be aware of.

I suggest that rather than rant on the internet because the world doesn't align to your particular preferences, you take this as an opportunity to learn what they do care about and focus on that.  After all, you're making content for other people, and not yourself, right?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of this kind of thing is wasted on most people most of the time.

I make the effort to get something/anything to the best level I can and in a style that I like both for my own satisfaction and because that is what I get booked for, - my style/vision/presentation of my work.

So I guess it comes down to what your work is and for whom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In recording studios they have monitors that try to mimic the way the recording will sound through a clapped-out transistor radio on the kitchen window sill. Maybe we should all have a TV with the default setup to help grade in a way that would give our desired output on such a device.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, kye said:

If you care about it that much then I'd say get more discerning friends!

My experience is that people see / hear / smell / taste things differently and uniquely, not worse or better.  They are likely not sensitive to the things that you are attune to, and vice versa.  When I ask my wife about colour grading she has all kinds of opinions, however she doesn't know the words to use and so it's not an easy subject to communicate about, but my overall impression is that she's sensitive to different things than I am, rather than not caring.

This was my experience when I was into high-end audio equipment too, it's very common for the wives of audiophiles to be able to tell that you did a minor upgrade, but without being told and by noticing it from the other room.

The other thing to consider is that much of film-making is the deliberate crafting of things that other people find sub-conscious or completely un-conscious.  The difference between good and bad editing for example results in the viewer being able to follow the plot vs being confused by certain elements, and this is often accomplished (especially by the great directors / editors who show and don't tell) by the careful arranging of lines, shots, and edits which the viewer will correctly interpret but likely won't be aware of.

I suggest that rather than rant on the internet because the world doesn't align to your particular preferences, you take this as an opportunity to learn what they do care about and focus on that.  After all, you're making content for other people, and not yourself, right?  

This post is not particularly about my friends and family.

My main point was that people are generally ignorant about frame rates, dynamic range, calibration etc. I feel that the TV manufacturers should spend more time calibrating the TV's they sell to a similar standard to what the creative industry sees as a standard. TV's out of the box can be set to ridiculously bright/saturated levels, I assume they do this so that when they are on sale in retailers they want them to stand out as bright and beautiful against all of the other sets that are up for sale. TV's these days are technically superior and are very capable of mostly being calibrated to look the way that creators intended there material to be viewed and I know that a lot of people find their TV's quite complex and feel a sense of achievement if they can just take it from the box connect to WIFI and start watching Netflix, Amazon and Youtube.

When you consider that as a result of Covid it is likely to change the way people view going to the cinema (assuming that cinemas can survive longer than the current pandemic which I think is unlikely). So most people will consume their media choices on the TV or other devices in the home. It wouldn't hurt manufacturers to calibrate their TV's sensibly so that the experience is as close to the original creation as possible out of the box. Then those that want can ruin the experience as they desire but I feel that a calibrated look should be the starting point.

As for frame rates, again the standard appears to be interpolated out of the box (should the TV support it), my question is why? During setup a simple question such as "would you prefer to watch your movies and programming in the way it was intended or would you prefer the enhanced experience" along with a message explaining how to change that decision in the future. There is a lot of discussion surrounding shutter angles etc, with interpolation the whole point is mute.

Presently the only people that are going to appreciate the effort and the financial commitment you make to your creation are other people who create, the public will happily consume hours of Youtube videos filmed on a 720p Chinese action cam or reruns of low res TV shows from the 70's & 80's. So my point is if TV's were calibrated properly from the box more people may get to be able to appreciate the difference a little more easily.

So it's not about taste or the sub-conscious, it's about people accepting what they have bought into because they probably don't know any better and they trust that the expensive TV that they just unpacked must be set up OK, right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

You build what you want to an acceptable baseline that satisfies you and then release it into the wild.  What happens after that is anybody's guess.

If you think video is bad, you should try making music recordings and then giving it over to the world.

I had a recording studio for a good few years. It was back in the day when we crammed 24 tracks on to a roll of two inch tape. We spent thousands on monitoring equipment so our mixes would be as good as possible. It was the time when music was mostly listened to on am radios or if you were posh Stereo FM. The Sony Walkman Cassette Player was popular and CD's were only an option for those that could afford them and the players. CD-Recordable was a new emerging practically unheard of technology that was also very expensive. We pressed to Vinyl in those days and had to watch and limit dynamic range (i.e. compression) so we quite often did several different masters depending on it's eventual destination. Those days are over. My computer is now a much more powerful recording studio than equipment that cost tens of thousands back in those days, and in general most people enjoy music on devices that are of much more Hi-Fidelity than technology would allow back then.

I agree that letting any creation to the public will change the way you view it forever and if you are anything like me then any project is personal and letting it go can be a tough challenge. But, most audio media players these days or Hi-FI systems are not delivered with the bass and treble on full, the loudness button activated and the graphic EQ set to a smile. TV's in my experience are set with everything "full on" and because there are no knobs to twiddle very few people change the settings from the state in which it is received.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Anaconda_ said:

LG have a 'Film Maker Mode' on their TVs. I'm sure many other companies do too.

In fact, @Andrew Reid wrote a post about it last year.

https://www.eoshd.com/news/martin-scorsese-and-christopher-nolan-campaign-launches-filmmaker-mode-tv-settings-on-upcoming-lg-and-panasonic-sets/

Yes, some TV's have settings such as this but most people are unaware of the existence of such settings and they don't understand the benefit of using them, you know because it's something that interests you. Wouldn't it be good if all TV's were delivered this way?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean... Your calibrated monitor doesn't get delivered calibrated... if it did, you should recalibrate it before trusting it. 

I don't know how they could make what your asking for any easier. Turn the mode on and it auto detects your media's requirements and plays it as intended. No sliders, menus or anything.

TVs out the box are perfect for watching sports on, and I'd argue your average Joe would be more upset about watching sports in 24p than watching a movie at 60p. We are the minority in this instance, and the manufacturer can't cater to every possible viewing requirement with no setup needed.

If Filmmaker Mode doesn't solve your issue, then the issue isn't with the TVs or their makers, its with the people watching them. Arguing about it online, with people who are also part of the minority, isn't going to get anyone anywhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Anaconda_ said:

If Filmmaker Mode doesn't solve your issue, then the issue isn't with the TVs or their makers, its with the people watching them. Arguing about it online, with people who are also part of the minority, isn't going to get anyone anywhere.

Sorry, I thought that a forum was a suitable place for this discussion, I am not arguing with you and if this is the wrong place for this discussion then please feel free to remove it.

The same way that this very forum discussed in detail the pitfalls and limitations of a Canon R5 camera. That discussion was never going to change the outcome with Canon to any great degree, and was also in a minority, so was that purely futile?

I hadn't seen the video or that article from Andrew before so this post has proved fruitful for me and may be informative to others, so for that I thank you.

The fault IMHO lies with the lack of support that people obtain with purchases such as TV's, they generally buy them from people who either don't know, don't care and don't bother to inform. It's an important part of the viewing experience and some documentation to that effect or other ways to educate people about their purchase and it's possibilities can only be a good thing. You never know maybe an internet search will bring an unsuspecting member of the public or two to this forum, and then this entire rambling may be of use to someone and make them more aware, happy days.

Yes, some monitors do come calibrated with calibration certificates and yes I would trust them, my experiences with calibrating and calibrators have not always been positive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, my wording was a little strong. 

What I meant is :

The conversation here is about why TV companies aren't making it easy for consumers to consume the way the media was meant to be. They are, but apparently not well enough. They can only do so much and the rest is down to the user, like fiddling with the bass and treble knobs on a stereo. Some TV companies have made it as easy as possible to achieve what you're looking for, but the user needs to turn that function on if they want it on... The users who need to do that, likely aren't here, they're elsewhere.

The Canon thing is different, the issues are not user definable, they're issues from the manufacturer. It's also not a 'consumer product' in the same way a TV is. 

---

Separately, where I can and feel comfortable, I've been adjusting people TVs for them while they pop to the toilet or whatever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Happy Daze said:

This post is not particularly about my friends and family.

My main point was that people are generally ignorant about frame rates, dynamic range, calibration etc. I feel that the TV manufacturers should spend more time calibrating the TV's they sell to a similar standard to what the creative industry sees as a standard. TV's out of the box can be set to ridiculously bright/saturated levels, I assume they do this so that when they are on sale in retailers they want them to stand out as bright and beautiful against all of the other sets that are up for sale. TV's these days are technically superior and are very capable of mostly being calibrated to look the way that creators intended there material to be viewed and I know that a lot of people find their TV's quite complex and feel a sense of achievement if they can just take it from the box connect to WIFI and start watching Netflix, Amazon and Youtube.

When you consider that as a result of Covid it is likely to change the way people view going to the cinema (assuming that cinemas can survive longer than the current pandemic which I think is unlikely). So most people will consume their media choices on the TV or other devices in the home. It wouldn't hurt manufacturers to calibrate their TV's sensibly so that the experience is as close to the original creation as possible out of the box. Then those that want can ruin the experience as they desire but I feel that a calibrated look should be the starting point.

As for frame rates, again the standard appears to be interpolated out of the box (should the TV support it), my question is why? During setup a simple question such as "would you prefer to watch your movies and programming in the way it was intended or would you prefer the enhanced experience" along with a message explaining how to change that decision in the future. There is a lot of discussion surrounding shutter angles etc, with interpolation the whole point is mute.

Presently the only people that are going to appreciate the effort and the financial commitment you make to your creation are other people who create, the public will happily consume hours of Youtube videos filmed on a 720p Chinese action cam or reruns of low res TV shows from the 70's & 80's. So my point is if TV's were calibrated properly from the box more people may get to be able to appreciate the difference a little more easily.

So it's not about taste or the sub-conscious, it's about people accepting what they have bought into because they probably don't know any better and they trust that the expensive TV that they just unpacked must be set up OK, right?

TV manufacturers are in the business of selling TVs.

If you want to talk about the mis-alignment between what film-makers want, what consumers can see, and what is getting used to sell TVs, then you're wasting your time talking about anything other than resolution, and specifically 4K.  Most people can't tell the difference between 1080p and 4K at normal / sensible viewing distances, and most video content even shot in 4K looks awful when viewed close enough to see the horrific compression that gets applied to it by streaming services.

HDR is something that I think is worthwhile, and an argument can be made for why that should be something that is worth re-buying your TV for, but 4K in the consumer market is just a gimmick to sell things.

I find that the world makes zero sense when you don't look at it from the right angle - the design of a TV isn't to give the best cinematic experience, it's to put dollars into the pockets of electronic company CEOs!

Lots of discussions here on the forums are around how depressing the world has become, for a variety of reasons, and I think that a major contributor is the idea that the world should be a certain way, and that that way is different to how it is.  This is simply a recipe for frustration and depression.  

I think Fuzzynormal said it best....

13 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

You build what you want to an acceptable baseline that satisfies you and then release it into the wild.  What happens after that is anybody's guess.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a fun anecdote.  In 2019 I did a "4-wall" tour of a doc my wife and I made.  I'd set up screenings with theaters in the area that were willing to rent out their auditoriums.  Basically we took it on the road to a bunch of local meet-ups with groups that supported the theme of the film.  We did this in conjunction with our film fest run so we were able to bounce in and out of region where the film was accepted.  The story had a niche appeal so we were able to pull about 50-75 people, on average, into the theaters wherever we sold tickets.

As such, I made a DCP.  Not the first time I did that, but it was the first time I traveled with the DCP and watched it on multiple screens in multiple theaters.

Here's the deal.  It looked different in almost every theater I took it into.  The variable of sound quality was even more intense; usually in an unfortunate way.  With DCP visuals at least , theoretically, you should be getting a standardized visual experience -- as the projectors and media are supposedly tightly controlled.

Well, nah.  Far from it.  For every theater that had well informed skilled people working the projection, just as many were kids with the priority job of selling popcorn.  Sometimes it was a struggle to to explain the concept of aspect ratio to the projectionist.  The state of their DCP equipment was all over the map too.  

Although, there was one grand old theater in upstate New York that not only sounded amazing, but had the best color rendition, biggest screen, and the sharpest resolution of them all.  That one? They didn't have a DCP projector. I played the film from a PC laptop off a 8-bit 1080p .mp4 usuing a high-end consumer projector.  I don't know who their technician was at that theater, but they REALLY had it dialed in.  Restored my faith in the movie-going experience, that show.

Point is, you can round and round about standards and whatnot, but you can't really adjust for the chance of what's going to happen in the real world.  After all, you can't really overcome ignorance you can only hope to alleviate it a little bit here and there.  So, yeah, fight the good fight if you want, but it's a war of attrition and the other side has more troops.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is very true. Subtle parts of a high quality picture are getting lost especially once theaters go down the toilet, if that hasn't already happened. Maybe there will be a push by filmmakers to have TV automatically detect a video game from a movie and adjust the settings accordingly. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...