Are you watching 4K content for Resolution, HDR, or WCG?

Discussion in 'Home Theater and Stereo' started by Jay Brown, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Lately I've been thinking about why I purchase some movies released in 4K (Physical Copies). I've been focusing on older films released in 4K. I purchased Blade Runner a few weeks after I bought Blade Runner 2049. Because of 2049 I was able to appreciate and understand why Blade Runner was such an influential film which has such a large cult following. At the time, Blade Runner was the oldest 4K film I owned. Alien was released a few months ago and this was one of those "Day One" purchases for me considering it's my favorite film of all time. At the time, the HDR and Shadow Detail really stood out for me.

    Newer films viewed in 4K have been hit or miss, and as a result, I would simply rent the HD version.I recall having a few discussions on this forum regarding purchasing habits of 4K content and I was more on the "Stream the content" and purchase it if I really enjoyed the film, side of things. This is still my stance, but when it comes to older films, I'm now more willing to make the jump because I know I'm going to enjoy not only the film, but the improved presentation/resolution.

    Sunday morning, I was doing some house cleaning, and I had Lawrence of Arabia playing in the Background. I only have the Blu Ray but this film just looks incredible no matter what. After I finished cleaning, I sat down and watched the rest of the movie. I then proceeded to pull up 2001: A Space Odyssey. Again, only on Blu Ray but I plan on purchasing the 4K disc pretty soon. It's been a habit of mine to watch these two films back to back.

    For me, with these older films which now includes Apocalypse Now, its all about Resolution. Yes the HDR looks great, but if you turn off that feature, the films in SDR looks just as awesome. That's not to say I did not notice the improvement in resolution for Alien, but now I can really see an improvement. It reminds me of working with RAW files I take with my DSLR. You can adjust and pull out so much detail from an image in this format compared to a jpeg. After doing some reading here and there, this appears to be a similar process with older film prints.

    Now take a movie like "Bumblebee". The video presentation looks awesome, and it's not over-saturated like a Michael Bay film. However, in this case, the HDR and WCG really stand out compared to the resolution. Many of the Marvel Films currently streaming on Disney Plus fall into this category as well. In the case of the older Star Wars films on Disney Plus, the resolution stands out more compared to the HDR. These films are not intended to be colorful Pixar films to begin with.

    So for older films, it's Resolution. With newer films, it's HDR/WCG. Considering my 4K display is only 55 inches, the fact that I can see an improvement from just 8 feet away is all the reason to continue to focus on older titles. Also with HDR, this format is intended to be viewed in darker environments. It's intended to increase highlights in images. Now with that understanding, I'm better prepared to view films. Now, watching them with lighting adjustments as part of the equation, make the experience more enjoyable.
     
  2. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Well-Known Member

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    Great post. But I can’t add much except that I do not yet have a 4K or HDR display. My next projector will have both. Still hanging in with my RS1.
     
  3. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    No

    LOL, as bigly into this hobby as I am, I still don't have a 4K display in my main room.
     
  4. Saurav

    Saurav Well-Known Member

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    Recently got a 4K/HDR setup. I think what I notice the most is how much more detailed dark scenes are. But I can't say if that's from 4K, or HDR, or WCG, or just a better projector, or even just a new lamp.
     
  5. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    I don't have experience regarding viewing HDR content using a Projector, and there are some differences between calibrating a display vs a projector as well. You guys will definitely benefit with viewing content in 4K due to the larger display. Will it be the drastic jump we all witnessed when we transitioned from SD to HD all those years ago, not likely.

    Dustin B's LED Lighting Thread caused me to make further adjustments to my display and Bias Lighting settings.

    On my Nvidia Shield, I have an App named MrMC. This is a version of Kodi which is geared more towards the Apple TV4k and Android TV. There are no add-ons, so it's pretty vanilla. Within this App there is a Phillips Hue service which works with your Smart Lights. I have the service configured so that when I play a video, the light strip activates, and my Ceiling Fan light is dimmed. When I finish the movie, the lights turn off. I'm still working on getting the lights to work properly within MrMC, as well as my Harmony Remote.

    Getting back to viewing 4k/HDR content, one of the biggest complaints is that many of the movies or TV shows filmed in HDR are too dark to view, and thus the user will increase contrast and Gamma settings on their display. With HDR, the Brightness levels are maxed out to begin with. Increasing the Gamma to your display helps, but you run the risk of having a washed out image.

    In the Color Settings for my display, there are the typical "Warm", "Neutral", "Custom" and "Cool" settings. There are also a few additional settings which allow for the user to adjust the light and dark contrast levels for Red, Blue, and Green. adjusting RGB for lighter images is quite noticeable, but for Dark Images it takes some concentration to watch for any adjustment to image with any dark background. Not having the proper equipment to aid in these adjustments requires serious patience. Making adjustments within this section alone improved the image quality over all.

    Last night I watched the 4K version of "Apocalypse Now", the scenes with Kurtz. These scenes are dark to begin with, but there are some instances, particularly during the "you're an errand boy sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill" dialogue, where the improved contrast adjustments, along with the Biased Lighting, produced a much cleaner and detailed image.

    I also watched a little bit of "Bumblebee" and "Blade Runner 2049", and with these films, it's the HDR/WCG that I was more focused on primarily. A much improved experience for these titles as well.
     
  6. Randy Rhoton

    Randy Rhoton Well-Known Member Donor

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    Still no 4K, and won't be till my old KURO dies. It's 11 now and looks as good as when I bought it.
     
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  7. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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  8. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Finally got my hands on the 4K release of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and this time around, Resolution and HDR really bring out the the image quality of this classic film. I've always enjoyed my Blu Ray copy of the film, but this version is like an extra scoop of ice cream in the bowl. Another nod towards real models and practical effects because the space sequences are just memorizing.

    I also purchased Goodfellas (story which belongs in the Diet thread) and Casino, and again, because these were shot on film, for me, the resolution stands out, and not so much the HDR and WCG. 2001 on the other hand, Resolution, HDR, and WCG are all impressive.
     
  9. pillatier

    pillatier Well-Known Member

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    Jay aren't you in GA? Stay safe my friend, stay safe in more ways than Covid-19. BTW, did you notice your Governor's sign language interpreter looks like Santa Claus?
     
  10. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    Go to work, come home, go grocery shopping, come home. That's pretty much the daily routine for me.
     

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