Can older movies be done at the same video/audio quality as newer movies? - High-Def Digest Forums
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-26-2007, 01:56 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 311
Default Can older movies be done at the same video/audio quality as newer movies?

As the subject lines asks, can the older movies be done at the same HD quality as the newer movies that have come out?

I ask because I recently watched Transformers on HD DVD and I will be honest, I was duly impressed. The picture was sharp and the audio encompassed me. THIS was why I spent thousands of dollars on my home theater system.

But then last night I finally watched my HD DVD Apollo 13. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad, it was better than my SD copy. However, it didn't blow me away like Transformers did.

Both of these examples were HD DVD. I'll go to the Blu-Ray side as well. A few weeks ago I watched Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Like with Transformers, I was extremely impressed. Picture was super sharp and the audio was very good as well (although not as good as Transformers).

However, I watched Total Recall (Blu-Ray) and I found a huge difference in quality. I found the picture to be quite grainy and the sound couldn't even compare. And I considered this a big action movie in it's heyday (I still like it, to be honest).

Now of course both of these movies I mentioned where the quality is not as high are older movies. So I guess this gets back to my question, can older movies be done with high end HD quality (video and audio) like newer movies similar to Transformers, Fantastic Four 2, Spiderman Trilogy, King Kong, Batman Begins, etc?

Or are older movies automatically doomed to be always of lesser quality because they are older? Or, is the capability there, but the movie studios just not motivated enough (basically lazy) to make those older movies at the same quality level as the movies that are poster movies for their formats?

I hope the older movies can have the same sharpness, clarity with video and audio as a lot of my favorite movies are from the 80's and 90's (70's as well). The Indiana Jones movies and Star Wars franchises just to name a couple. Both of these franchises are pretty old now, but if they go HD, I would like them to look just as good as Transformers (or other poster type movie for their respective format). Is this possible?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-26-2007, 07:58 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 317
Default

If the job is done right, older movies can look just as good as newer movies. Warner astounded everybody with Casablanca, 2001 and The Searchers, to name three. The most recent movie on that list is 40 years old and it looks amazing.

If the restoration is done right, anything is possible. The problem comes when studios think the movie isn't worth it. They do a rush job and release the movie with an okay transfer, then it'll look like an okay transfer. If the studio goes out of their way to improve the picture and sound, then it'll show.

It also depends on the source print. A lot of movies from te '70s look like they do because the print quality wasn't the best. In some cases, no amount of fixing and tweaking is going to make the movie look perfect.

So, to answer your question, yes, to some extent. The Indy and Star Wars trilogy will look amazing. They'll be worked on until they look perfect, there's no doubt about that.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-26-2007, 08:25 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 311
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pat00139 View Post
If the job is done right, older movies can look just as good as newer movies. Warner astounded everybody with Casablanca, 2001 and The Searchers, to name three. The most recent movie on that list is 40 years old and it looks amazing.

If the restoration is done right, anything is possible. The problem comes when studios think the movie isn't worth it. They do a rush job and release the movie with an okay transfer, then it'll look like an okay transfer. If the studio goes out of their way to improve the picture and sound, then it'll show.

It also depends on the source print. A lot of movies from te '70s look like they do because the print quality wasn't the best. In some cases, no amount of fixing and tweaking is going to make the movie look perfect.

So, to answer your question, yes, to some extent. The Indy and Star Wars trilogy will look amazing. They'll be worked on until they look perfect, there's no doubt about that.
Thanks for the response.

Ok, that is good to hear. Like I said, there are a lot of movies from the 70's, 80's and 90's that are part of my all time favorites and I would hate to see me spending all that money on my home theater system be for naught if the movies don't look all that much different from my SD DVD collection. Now we just have to hope the movie studios put effort into all the movies that they release in HD.

Another question that I have had and since you brought it up, but what exactly do you mean by the "source print?" I am assuming what the movie was shot in, but what kind of film "can't" be improved or transferred into HD?

In another post, someone had indicated that the Star Trek: TNG was logged to SD video and due to that, it would be almost impossible to transfer to HD. Well, it would be possible, but extremely time consuming (i.e. expensive). Why is that the case and why can't other films be transferred to HD?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-26-2007, 09:13 PM
Aurora's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,818
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbun View Post
In another post, someone had indicated that the Star Trek: TNG was logged to SD video and due to that, it would be almost impossible to transfer to HD. Well, it would be possible, but extremely time consuming (i.e. expensive). Why is that the case and why can't other films be transferred to HD?
If the reason why TNG is stuck in SD is what I think it is, it really won't be possible, at least on a practical level. My guess as to why TNG is stuck in SD land is that it was recorded on some sort of tape, and not film, as is common for TV shows. Film stock is incredibly expensive and hard to preserve, and when you're showing it on TV anyway, which is of much lower quality than film, and uses some sort of tape as its playback medium anyway, it'd be a waste of money to shoot it on film.

Film is very high quality, and when they master titles, they scan them frame by frame. There's more than enough detail in the film to produce a great HD image (if the film is in good shape). The tapes used in broadcasting are high quality as well, but not HD good (probably just around DVD level, maybe a little higher, not sure). NTSC has 525 interlaced scanlines, only 486 of which are actually visible onscreen. Since broadcast TV has a resolution of about 330 lines, there was no reason to store TV shows on a format that had more lines of resolution than NTSC could provide. Storing something at 480 lines (DVD resolution) is more than enough for NTSC TV broadcasts.

When you master something, you can't get more than you originally had, so unless you're going to go frame by frame and enhance each image with the most amazing scaling job ever, you're not going to get much out of going to HD. Basically, you'd have to create new information to get a better picture. Such a thing might be possible, but it would be incredibly expensive and time-consuming. It also might be totally impossible.

Some shows have been shot on film, but I can't tell you which ones. I think Law and Order was one, since they have a nice HD version on TNT, at least for seasons 5 and up or so. Charmed is shown in HD as well. New shows are all shot with HD cameras, so those are fine, but you might never see older shows on HD media--and if you do, they might be at SD resolution, using new media only because of its greatly increased storage capacity.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-26-2007, 09:33 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 311
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora View Post
If the reason why TNG is stuck in SD is what I think it is, it really won't be possible, at least on a practical level. My guess as to why TNG is stuck in SD land is that it was recorded on some sort of tape, and not film, as is common for TV shows. Film stock is incredibly expensive and hard to preserve, and when you're showing it on TV anyway, which is of much lower quality than film, and uses some sort of tape as its playback medium anyway, it'd be a waste of money to shoot it on film.

Film is very high quality, and when they master titles, they scan them frame by frame. There's more than enough detail in the film to produce a great HD image (if the film is in good shape). The tapes used in broadcasting are high quality as well, but not HD good (probably just around DVD level, maybe a little higher, not sure). NTSC has 525 interlaced scanlines, only 486 of which are actually visible onscreen. Since broadcast TV has a resolution of about 330 lines, there was no reason to store TV shows on a format that had more lines of resolution than NTSC could provide. Storing something at 480 lines (DVD resolution) is more than enough for NTSC TV broadcasts.

When you master something, you can't get more than you originally had, so unless you're going to go frame by frame and enhance each image with the most amazing scaling job ever, you're not going to get much out of going to HD. Basically, you'd have to create new information to get a better picture. Such a thing might be possible, but it would be incredibly expensive and time-consuming. It also might be totally impossible.

Some shows have been shot on film, but I can't tell you which ones. I think Law and Order was one, since they have a nice HD version on TNT, at least for seasons 5 and up or so. Charmed is shown in HD as well. New shows are all shot with HD cameras, so those are fine, but you might never see older shows on HD media--and if you do, they might be at SD resolution, using new media only because of its greatly increased storage capacity.
Thanks for the explanation, that makes a lot of sense. Although I do hope you are wrong in regards to TNG as it was and is still my favorite Star Trek series. I do hope they will one day release it for HD. And I mean actual HD that you can notice a difference.

I guess we will see.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-26-2007, 09:55 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 322
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora View Post
If the reason why TNG is stuck in SD is what I think it is, it really won't be possible, at least on a practical level. My guess as to why TNG is stuck in SD land is that it was recorded on some sort of tape, and not film, as is common for TV shows. Film stock is incredibly expensive and hard to preserve, and when you're showing it on TV anyway, which is of much lower quality than film, and uses some sort of tape as its playback medium anyway, it'd be a waste of money to shoot it on film.
The live-action principal photography for Star Trek: The Next Generation was in fact done on 35mm film, but the post-production work was all done on video (standard-def, of course) - that includes the editing, sound / scoring, and visual effects compositing.

If Paramount retained all the raw film footage for the show then it'd be possible to do a "Remastered" ST:TNG la what's been done with TOS, but it'd be very time-consuming and expensive. Essentially, the film would be a nice, hi-def source, but only for the 90% to 98% of the show without effects (or credits, etc.), and in an unassembled state. They'd need to go back to the editing logs with all the old footage and completely reconstruct the show in hi-def from the raw material, using the standard-def show as a guide, in addition to redoing all the effects work as they did with TOS (and even that part by itself would surely be a greater undertaking for an average episode, since TNG tends to have more effects work in an episode). And all the audio work would have to be married to / reconstructed for the hi-def version as well.

All in all, it'd be a lot more work per episode - and since there are more than twice as many episodes of TNG as there are of TOS (seven seasons rather than three), we're really talking about a lot more work. And that's all if the original elements have been retained and preserved in usable condition, which may or may not be the case.

But (availability of elements permitting) it could be done. At least the show wasn't wholly produced on tape, which as you note would really dim the prospects.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-26-2007, 10:36 PM
mr.W's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 181
Default

when i bought my HD-DVD player back in sept. , i bought 4 flicks two new , two old. the old ones really impressed me so yes it can be done.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-27-2007, 08:22 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 311
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondie-Wan View Post
The live-action principal photography for Star Trek: The Next Generation was in fact done on 35mm film, but the post-production work was all done on video (standard-def, of course) - that includes the editing, sound / scoring, and visual effects compositing.

If Paramount retained all the raw film footage for the show then it'd be possible to do a "Remastered" ST:TNG la what's been done with TOS, but it'd be very time-consuming and expensive. Essentially, the film would be a nice, hi-def source, but only for the 90% to 98% of the show without effects (or credits, etc.), and in an unassembled state. They'd need to go back to the editing logs with all the old footage and completely reconstruct the show in hi-def from the raw material, using the standard-def show as a guide, in addition to redoing all the effects work as they did with TOS (and even that part by itself would surely be a greater undertaking for an average episode, since TNG tends to have more effects work in an episode). And all the audio work would have to be married to / reconstructed for the hi-def version as well.

All in all, it'd be a lot more work per episode - and since there are more than twice as many episodes of TNG as there are of TOS (seven seasons rather than three), we're really talking about a lot more work. And that's all if the original elements have been retained and preserved in usable condition, which may or may not be the case.

But (availability of elements permitting) it could be done. At least the show wasn't wholly produced on tape, which as you note would really dim the prospects.

Everytime I hear about the work required for TNG to be on Hi-def, I get even more depressed.

I would have figured as even though TNG is not new anymore by any stretch, it is not old by any means, either. So I would have thought it would definitely be (realistically) feasible.

IF Paramount ever decides to put TNG in Hi-Def, I hope they go all out for it like they did for the ToS, not just a slight upgrade from the SD version. I am willing to wait.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-27-2007, 09:46 AM
posters5's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,103
Default

hobbun: SEVERAL people have explained in great detail, SEVERAL times, the extraordinary amount of work required to update "TNG", "DS9", and "VOY" to high-def. please, let's not keep beating a dead horse.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-27-2007, 09:58 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 311
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by posters5 View Post
hobbun: SEVERAL people have explained in great detail, SEVERAL times, the extraordinary amount of work required to update "TNG", "DS9", and "VOY" to high-def. please, let's not keep beating a dead horse.

Yes, I know, it wasn't really my original question. The thread just kind of headed that way again when I used TNG as an example. I was actually asking originally in regards to older movies in general.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
When will we get newer game anthologies for this gen.?(see PS, Saturn, even newer) Sarang Game Room 24 04-04-2010 09:03 PM
Which PS2 system is better: older or newer version? PyramidHead80 Game Room 3 12-23-2008 09:43 PM
GT5P vs. PGR4, Same Car, Same City Corner, Same Lighting fireb0x Gaming Smackdown 194 05-21-2008 02:10 PM
newer low end or older high end freestylin59 Home Theater Gear 0 04-05-2008 08:11 PM
are there any games that I can play online at the same time in the same console? gamerforlife Gaming Smackdown 8 03-31-2008 11:50 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off