Digital Movie Remastering – Flicker

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Digital Movie Remastering – Flicker

I’ve been bombarded with questions today asking me about remastering of movies shot digitally.  There are several issues when delivering a movie shot in digital to the consumer whether using DVD, Blu-ray or OTT streaming.  These issues become greatly amplified when you start moving into the Ultra HD realm, especially with the various color space issues and HDR formats.  With the consumer TV market HDR and UHD are not standard.  Color space can be DCI-P3 or REC2020.  HDR standards include HDR-10, DolbyVision, HLG and variations that TV manufacturers are implementing.    Even within a single manufacturer you have sets that can generate different levels of brightness in HDR.   You can have sets that max out at 500nits and others at 1,000 nits.  When viewing video on the different levels of color and brightness you end up having a different threshold for the Flicker Fusion where the movement causes a visual flicker.  On lower end panels this is much more noticable than higher end panels.  It becomes really obvious when videos shot digitally at 50/60 fps is played back on sets that don’t support the higher frame rate and have to stepped down to 25/30 fps.

When preparing videos and movies to be streamed OTT you can improve the user experience substantially by creating different masters for various platforms from mobile phones to the highest end HDR Ultra HD television.


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My ongoing DirecTV 4K Experience

Category : 4K Ultra HD TV

So wanting to stay in touch with the DirecTV 4K offering I contacted them in late January to have my DirecTV serivce upgraded to 4K.  They finally came yesterday.  I stayed home from work while the technician performed my upgrade.

The first interesting issue was that I was told I had to have my “genie” unit replaced.  That is my main DVR / Receiver which seems normal as it was installed 4 years ago.  The new unit was required to support 4K, however, the unit itself does not output 4K.  In order to display 4K on my main TV, he had to install (and I had to lease or purchase) a second TV controller, a “remote genie”  For this he had to install a signal splitter in my A/V closet and have both the genie and remote genie connected.

After installing the devices and completing the setup we had to wait for the unit download an update to install the 4K support.  We waited for an hour and the unit hadn’t updated and it stated that the TV doesn’t support 4K.  My technician, who by the way was really great and courteous, said that they had reports of this delay issue in upgrading the software.  After a few hours we gave up and he gave me his number and I told him I’d ping him when the update downloaded.

Even though I was confident that my wiring was good, he was concerned that since we were connected to port 1 of the Sony TV it might not support 4K input.  To demonstrate the wiring was okay, I hooked up my NP-1 on port 1 and my Roku Ultra on port 2, and both were outputting 4K to the TV.

He’s meant to come back today and has been able to force the firmware update to allow it to support 4K.  I’ll post an update once the next chapter takes place.


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HDR Testers Needed

If you have a 4K TV that supports HDR and would be interested in testing HDR streams please contact me at david@ntek.com

 


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Surround Sound Beta Testers Needed for Dolby & DTS

I’m looking for some UltraFlix users that have a surround sound setup connected to their 4K TV willing to test some videos with various embedded surround sound streams.  I’ll provide the movies at no charge for feedback on the sound delivery.  email david@ntek.com if you would like to participate


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Encoding Engine Version 18

Final testing this evening on a new update to the encoding engine, version 18.0 which includes updates for HLS/DASH fragmentation, multiple audio streams (2ch HyperAudio/Dolby/DTS), HDR10 color space.  Adding a bunch of quality enhancements researched over the past two years including much better 360p, 480p, 720p and 1080p videos for mobile devices, AppleTV and Roku 3 boxes.

Also need to release for performance enhancements as it’s got over 1,400 movies in the queue to run through it once released.


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HDR10 & DolbyVsision

HDR Technology – Beta vs VHS all over again

As we prepare for the next generation of 4K Ultra HD content updates to the UltraFlix network we find ourselves amidst another format war.  Remember when there was Beta and VHS.  Beta was better and VHS still won out.  We appear to be on the brink of a similar battle for the next generation of 4K TVs.  While DolbyVision has superior color gamut (rec 2020 versus DCI P3) and is spec’d to a maximum of 10,000 nits versus 4,000 in HDR10, it currently appears that HDR10 is winning out with the TV manufacturers.  One of the biggest issues on the content side is that you still have to go through Dolby to get your color work done, which can be a hindrance. Fortunately we’ve always started with a 16 bit color HDR master for everything we work on, so as it’s brought down through the process, and finally delivered over the internet to your TV it’s source material can always be revisited as the 4K Ultra HD space matures.

With HDR tv’s now becoming standard fare in the consumer space, remastering everything we have into HDR capable is the next task for the studio team.  Exciting times as the home movie experience is now surpassing that of the movie theaters in terms of quality visuals.

 

 


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Quality is Important when sourcing 4K Content

I’ve had a lot of people ask us about our 4K content, and given the fact that all 4K TV’s have built in scaling hardware, who cares what the source is, that they can save money by renting a Blu-ray or watching a movie for free on Netflix or Amazon and it will be just as good.  Fortunately for us, that is simply not true.  We’ve put a lot of effort into taking what the studio delivers to us, and making sure that we provide the best version of that film to the consumer’s end viewing device, whether it be the greatest OLED TV from LG or an Android phone from T-Mobile.  You must start with the greatest quality source material, and then work your way down to the pixels that arrive to the screen, trying to do as little damage as possible along the way to recreate a cinematic like experience.  With UltraFlix we’ve been able to surpass the quality offered in many of the second tier cinemas, and we certainly far exceed the quality of content delivery from our streaming competitors.

What is even cooler for me is last night I was able to get a small peak into the future of Film restoration and remastering technology and it is really cool.  I can’t wait to be part of the next generation of digital delivery of Movies and TV shows as it’s getting better and better every year.

I’ve included a couple of comparisons of movies that we have worked on at 4K Studios and Deliver through the UltraFlix network so you can see that the source of where you get your 4K does matter, and that simple scaling by a TV does not result in the same quality experience.

 

4K Studios Robocop

Robocop Comparison UltraFlix, HBO Go, Amazon

 

4K Studios Charade

Charade UltraFlix remastered by 4K Studios vs Netflix  

My Way 4K Studios

My Way remastered by 4K Studios and delivered by UltraFlix compared to Amazon


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UltraFlix Logo

New Channel Layout

The channel layout for the Smart TV’s has been updated for optimized user experience.  Working on other platforms to integrate a common layout theme among all platforms.