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Netflix: 4K Streaming Within 2 Years, 'House of Cards' 4K Encodings This Year. Can Indies Benefit?

03.15.13 @ 1:54AM Tags : , , , ,

Consumer viewing habits are changing, and companies like Netflix are at the forefront of the streaming revolution. So it comes as no surprise that they also plan to be at the bleeding edge when it comes to 4K. Netflix’s Chief Product Officer, Neil Hunt, recently stated in an interview that they expect to have 4K streaming within a year or two, with their original series House of Cards (shot on the RED EPIC) eventually getting 4K encodings. While it’s good news for anyone selling a 4K TV, is there a way independent filmmakers could benefit from all of this?

Here is a bit from Neil Hunt’s interview with The Verge:

You don’t think this push for the 4K format and ultra high-definition by the film studios and TV manufacturers is an attempt to wall out streaming services like Netflix? That’s a lot of info to stream.

On the contrary. Streaming will be the best way to get the 4K picture into people’s homes. That’s because of the challenges involved in upgrading broadcast technologies and the fact that it isn’t anticipated within the Blu-ray disc standard. Clearly we have much work to do with the compression and decode capability, but we expect to be delivering 4K within a year or two with at least some movies and then over time become an important source of 4K. 4K will likely be streamed first before it goes anywhere else. To that point, our own original House of Cards was shot in 4K. It’s being mastered in full HD, but the raw footage, or a good chunk of it, was shot in 4K, and we hope to have some House of Cards 4K encodes later this year.

I know some of you will already be saying that the TVs are too expensive and you need a gigantic screen to see the benefits, or that the broadband speeds aren’t up to snuff yet in U.S. These are valid points, but this transition is happening, whether any of us like it or not. We’re going to get 4K screens on our computers in the next few years, and we already know at close distances, you don’t need a giant screen to get the benefits — and that particular fact is in Netflix’s favor. 4K TVs might be expensive right now, but by the end of 2014, screens capable of 4K resolution will be everywhere, if only because manufacturers need something new to push to consumers once HDTV sales growth slows to a crawl (or even begins declining).

As Neil says above, compression has a way to go, but if anyone is going to figure it out, it’s Netflix. Where are they going to be getting the content? Well, we know House of Cards will be in 4K at some point in the next year or two. Plenty of older films will get re-scanned in 4K, and some newer ones will as well — and there may even be some upscaling going on with current films that originated on lower than 4K formats. There is a chance, however, that independent films could benefit from this transition (while independent is a bit of a loose term, I’m talking about those in the few million dollar range and below).

It might be a little bit of a stretch, but let’s look at the situation. Finishing in 4K is still pretty expensive and time-consuming in Hollywood for a number of reasons — like visual effects. Costs will come down, of course, but finishing an independent film in 4K with little or no visual effects is a heck of a lot easier. Netflix already has a strained relationship with Hollywood, and streaming rights are going up every time they need renewal — will they want to pay an additional premium for 4K? We’ll still see plenty of Hollywood content on the streaming service, but Netflix is making a huge push for original shows — which could some day sustain a healthy portion of the user base. With how much they will be spending on streaming rights over the next few years, when they move to higher-resolutions, they’re going to want cheaper 4K content to bulk up their library to a respectable number, and they will probably try to do it quickly to stay ahead of providers like DirecTV and Comcast.

This could be an opportunity for indies. To make people care about the 4K abilities, Netflix will need a healthy amount of content, and with more independent films already finished in 4K than Hollywood films (with plenty more to come), we could be looking at a perfect opportunity for smaller productions to beat the big guys to the punch. Independent distributors certainly don’t get the deals Hollywood does, but it could be a potentially lucrative revenue stream until Hollywood catches up.

What do you think? Is there a window here where independent films could supply a healthy amount of 4K content early on in the life of Netflix 4K? Or is there absolutely no chance of this happening?

Link: Netflix Chief Product Officer: expect 4K streaming within a year or two — The Verge


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  • Once again 4K is getting pushed, I love the image but the data is just to much for everyday people to handle and on top of that our country is in a bad finical situation where most cant afford a new 4K TV.

    • Again, this is something I think will be solved by better encoding – just like RED is doing. But as far as financials, many metrics put the US right around where we were before the recession began.

      • I think the new RED code is amazing if it does what it says, I havent had the chance to see of mess around with it and if they can pull that off then ya date will be ok, and NAB will shown new TVs I think but for me 4K is to much to watch on a TV

        • RED is a very simplistic version of compression. It’s simply a High Complexity Video Codec. The typical client has a cheapo cpu or a lame gpu. Even the average Blu-ray player has a meager $5 decoder chip.

          The RED ASIC IS $500+ Don’t you people understand how this works?

          #1 $30,000 DLP laser projector.
          #2 $1,000 GPU for video decoding
          #3 Awesome think-ahead encoding artists that provide extremely difficult to decode tiny bitstreams that wouldn’t work without #2

      • i don’t know what those metrics are that you speak of, but most people I know are much more concerned with paying rent than upgrading to a $2000 4K tv so they can watch virtually no content that supports all it’s capabilities. And better encoding won’t help anything if hardly anyone has a 4K screen. The internet/communications infrastructure in this country needs a major overhaul to handle the amount of data necessary for people to be watching 4K streaming over the internet and through cable outlets. We already pay much more than people in other countries for less bandwidth on outdated infrastructure, that the cable companies are lobbying congress to keep from being required to upgrade. 4K will hit theaters. that will be great. it will take a lot of time to see it in massive number of homes.


          Hardly anyone has a 4K screen right now, that’s absolutely true. In 2-3 years what will the situation be like? As I said in the post above, there will probably be some lag time for Hollywood, which is why I chose to focus on a positive rather than a negative.

          Here’s an example, and while I understand it’s apples to oranges, I think it’s proof that consumer interest is difficult to measure years in advance. A few years ago, phone screen sizes were topping out around 4 inches. Why would anyone want anything bigger, it would be ridiculous? Well, Samsung has sold over 10 million giant 5.3″-screen Galaxy Note I phones, and is on pace to sell 10 million 5.5″-screen Galaxy Note II phones in half the time.

          Just under 3 years ago the iPad was released. People would have told you at that time that you were crazy to say tablets would outsell PCs. Well, tablets will likely do just that in 2013.

          I understand the prices are lower for these devices than a TV, but prices will come down for 4K TVs very quickly (in fact . I didn’t put out the $2,000 4K TV number, but in 2-3 years there will be plenty of less expensive options for 4K TVs. If there are already 55″ 4K TVs for $5,000 today, those same TVs will be $1,000 3 years from now. There is plenty of evidence that people are replacing their televisions more frequently – 4 to 5 years – and the way the trends in technology are moving, people are replacing everything more quickly, or simply adding to their collection (in the case of multiple HDTV sets per household).

          Here’s a good one, 5 years ago, 23 percent of US households had an HDTV set. That number is now 75%. The number tripled in 5 years:

          “Over the past five years, HDTV has grown from one-quarter of all U.S. households to three-quarters of all households, and many more households now have multiple HDTV sets,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Today, about 47 percent of all TV sets in US households are HDTVs, compared to 11 percent just five years ago.”

          Consumer spending continues to rise, people are replacing their sets more often, and companies like Netflix pushing forward into 4K very soon. I’m just trying to look at the potential positives for filmmakers, especially considering Hollywood is typically slow to adopt trends – and they would much rather people go to a theater to see a movie.

          • Joe,

            Thanks so much for the articles. It’s good to see that some places are reporting that the economy and people are recovering. Good news. But on the topic of 4K adoption I want to use a paragraph from one of the articles you linked to.

            “Pretty clearly the number one factor is a drastic decrease in price among HDTVs. LRG’s research shows that the mean spending on an HDTV set was about $940 in 2011. That’s down 23 percent in less than two years, and half of what consumers paid five years ago. Even at the low end, prices are no longer out of reach for most consumers: a 32-inch flat-panel LCD HDTV can typically be had for as little as $250 on”

            Notice the prices. Less than $1000, ‘half of what consumers paid five years ago.” $250. It’s not until prices get to this level that we see rampant adoption of HDTV’s. I got my first HD set in 2005, a 200 lb CRT set. It was gorgeous. But it was 1080i. So 2 years ago we got a flat panel 1080p 240Hz set with apps built in so we could get rid of cable and watch on Netflix and Hulu. I think the reason people are replacing sets is that prices are so low and there are nominal but real differences in tech. That offer improved quality and options in a market full of content.

            The next jump or difference in tech is to 4K. I agree with that. And that is exciting, because it’s gorgeous. I saw QuadHD projected 3 years ago. It’s stunning. However, how much do those sets cost? I threw out $2000 cause I thought I’d remembered that somewhere. A quick google search of “4K tv price”, shows that the first things you see are TV’s btw $15,000 and $25,000. On article says,

            “The first 4K TVs—among them 84-inch displays from Sony and LG priced between $20,00-$25,000—are out of reach for many consumers, though the Consumer Electronics Association projects that the average wholesale cost of a 4K TV will drop from $7,000 in 2013 to $2,800 in 2014 and will continue to fall in 2015.”

            You said, “Hardly anyone has a 4K screen right now, that’s absolutely true. In 2-3 years what will the situation be like?” Well it’s late 2014 to early 2015 before it gets to your average early adopter price range. (about what it was for flat panels in 2005 which I got the last of the CRT sets) How much longer till it gets to mass market price? and remember mass market prices is $250. Video game systems over $250 sell markedly slower than those under. Phone companies offer incentives to get the price of the phones under that $250 mark. (also with phones there are incentives to buy every 2 years, as well as increased functionality with each upgrade that help get people to upgrade cyclically).

            I appreciate your optimism and join you in being excited about the improvements in visual fidelity, but we’re a long way off. Especially with the lack of content. And I can’t tell you how many bars I go into or homes I go into where people don’t use their HD tv’s correctly and only watch stretched SD signals and brag to me about the clarity of the picture.

            I’m not trying to be negative. I’m trying to be realistic. It’s going to be another decade before we see this kind of market saturation. A decade is a long time. I’m also willing to bet that HD scaled up to 4K will not be nearly as noticeable an “issue” as SD content scaled to HD, especially on any TV smaller than 60″.

            Do I want a 4K camera. Yes. Am I excited about all this. Yes. I’m an AV Dork. I just think we should tone down the “It’s right around the corner”. But regardless of all this. Thanks for posting. Discussions are fun.

      • Jorge Cayon on 03.15.13 @ 11:47AM

        I see Netflix becoming what HBO was in the mid-eighties. A small core of subscribers kept it afloat in a market where no one was providing the content viewers wanted. Think tales from the krypt, sopranos, etc. Once the library got big enough they exploded. A lot of folks out there used to only subscribe when certain shows are on the air. By them producing high quality content that viewers want people will watch it. Once a 50-100mbps connection is the standard, Gbps the extreme, will we then really see the potential for recorded and live streaming high quality content.

        Tell that to the struggling filmmakers out there. Gigs that would rate for $650/12hrs are now going for $300/with gear. The DSLR craze has sorta cheapened the craft by adding so many newcomers with little experience to flood the market. Everyone wants more for less, especially producers. Sure there are upsides such as leveling the field for indies, but it’s also released an uber-load of crap out there. Sorry for the rant. Great article.

      • As far as financials, US is walking towards the edge of the abyss, while the rest of the world is wondering, if they are going to be dragged down too. Something to watch out for..

        “by the end of 2014, screens capable of 4K resolution will be everywhere” >> I think that is super optimistic. I think at best 4K screens will be in the most expensive models = not in possession of the majority of the people. It’s hardly realistic to see 4K screens in consumer devices (of any kind), when the feature will bring little VISIBLE benefit.

        “make people care about the 4K abilities” >> If you are going to pay 30%-500% more for 4K screen, you would AT LEAST WANT TO SEE what you are paying for no? You see bigger size of Galaxy Note screens. You see retina displays of iDevices. But would you see quad-retina display in an iPad? I don’t think so. So why would you pay extra for it?

        Marketers will need to seriously turn the power up on the reality distortion field. But once the practical non-visibility of 4K resolution becomes common knowledge among the consumers, it’s going to be even harder to sell any 4K stuff. Manufacturers could of course force people to buy 4K stuff by not offering or crippling HD stuff, but it’s difficult to see this strategy succeeding financially.

        “manufacturers need something new to push to consumers” >> Many Asian tech companies had some massive loses these past years. It’s not going to be easy for them to try to force-push 4K out. It doesn’t even have the crappy wow factor of 3D. And consumers have already learned that 3D is a useless gimmick. Good chance 4K will be viewed with suspicion from the start.

        Then there is no 4K content. New 4K content will be slow to arrive. Few RED Epic indie movies are not gonna change anything, if there are no 4K screens out there. No movies = no 4K screens = no movies = no 4K screens..

        To sum it up, I think that wide 4K adoption is going to be much slower and more painful than many want or believe. But it’s going to be interesting to watch. At least 4K cinema could be alrite ;-)

    • I finished a 200k indie in 4k 3 years ago on my Imac 27″. Sure it was slower than optimal but it was very doable. The raw trim footage occupied 1.2TB. I remember back then it was a pain because I had to lug two 3.5″ hdds around to the colorist but now that same 90 minute feature comfortably fits on one 2.5″ hdd. 4k finish is not nearly as complicated as everyone makes it out to be.

      I agree that network bandwidth is an issue but in 2009 i saw a RED demo of the REDRAY projecting 4K footage over a 10mbs stream. That’s half the bandwidth required for bluray and it looked absolutely stunning. I have no doubt that the wavelet compression they’re implementing is going to improve upon those numbers. Besides, down the line we may be using a vector based codec which may change everything. BTW i don’t mean to insinuate that RED is the purveyor of all things 4k — look at Cineform (gopro) and what they’re doing regarding wavelet compression for archival & distribution. 4k is coming but it needn’t be limited to million dollar projects. Everyone can leverage it. You just need a little elbow grease.

      • Sid,

        Awesome. Is there somewhere we can see the film, even it it’s only in HD? But there is a big difference between finishing a movie in 4K when there are no VFX shots. Requiring the computers and artists to render so much detail would be incredibly time consuming and expensive. And currently the only place it can be seen (and be profitable) in 4K is in a Movie theater. And seeing as I saw SkyFall projected on film last Thanksgiving, 4K projectors in theaters have not come close to market saturation. They they are in thousands of houses, but . . . .

        As for the 10mbs stream. That sounds great. I wish Time Warner Cable could consistently give me 5mbs in New York City, when I pay for something like 25mbs. The infrastructure has a long way to go. And I’m willing to bet Hollywood doesn’t both with the expense until it can be profitable on a vast scale.

        • It’s called “Go For It!”…I think netflix is still streaming it.

          My point was simply that 4k finish is very doable especially today. To your point, an indie film w/ few to no vfx is even easier. The article portends that 4k is for the million dollar budget – I don’t agree. If the film was captured on 4k it can be offlined in 1k and conformed back to 4k with little to no issue. And the question about infrastructure…well the fact is infrastructure is changing. New fiber is being laid everyday and delivery/compression is becoming more efficient.

          • I was just clarifying the way I was using the term independent – to mean movies costing a few million or less – not that you have to have spent that much money to finish in 4K, because certainly you don’t.

  • what would the data rate be for a 4k stream of enough quality to warrant said 4k stream?

    • I’d say anything over 4 meg constant will get the job done. Most Netflix HD streams run at just over 1 meg downstream speed now.
      I don’t think the bandwidth will be an issue for most households likely to have a 4K viewing device.
      There is a ton of discussion re new compression for 4K. I will hold my thoughts on RED’s because I fell like I’m too critical of them when they’re doing amazing things, but let’s just say there are others coming.
      I’ll also repeat that this looks like being another 720 vs 1080 debate where the US jumped to 720 “HD” when the rest of the world waited and then went to 1080. I don’t think Euro/Asian broadcasters will go 4K, if they can wait a year or two to get 8K to work.

  • Well… Hopefully around that time, Google Fiber with be in more places other than Kansas. Google will be playing as big of a role in the future of video on the Internet, and they know that in order for it to work they will need to provide fast Internet to their customers, they can’t let Comcast (the worst company ever) charge up the ass for slow Internet.

    This just makes Comcast look like an asshole.

    “The Full Google Experience
    Experience the Internet like never before. Instant downloads.
    Crystal clear HDTV. And endless possibilities.
    Up to one gigabit upload & download speed • Full channel TV lineup • 2 year contract • No data caps
    Nexus 7 tablet • 1 TV Box • Storage Box • Network Box • 1TB Google Drive • $120/mo + taxes and fees”

    • Jorge Cayon on 03.15.13 @ 11:56AM

      +1. Too bad the FCC didn’t let them win the old analog spectrum at auction. Google would’ve put wifi everywhere over-the-air tv signals would’ve reached. And for free most likely.

  • only one of my friends owns an HDTV set, another one has an HDTV screen, too, but the image looks like total crap. the reason? he doesn`t care that much for the image (he`s a dentist, btw), for example he runs it at 100 Hz with all settings done wrong, but not him nor anyone else cares at all, heck, when my brother (DOP) set the tv to the right settings, those guys with no background in media/film bitched around and set it back to 100 Hz. to topp it off, some time later we watched a ripped divx version of prometheus on an SD television – and hell, in that case it was ok even for me…my conclusion: 4K is BS for 80% of the average viewers and for most mainstream movies even most of that 20% that cares about image and sound quality doesn`t give much crap for 4/8/100K images.

    • Wow, that horse can now be mix with ground beef for our tacos.

      How many people use multiple 27″ WQXGA monitors? Very few.
      How many people use $5000 gaming rigs? Very few.
      How many people have $30,000 projectors? Very few.

      But they all exist and they’re FRICKKIN’ AWESOME.

      Non-avclub nerds need to go troll Gawker Media sites.

  • Michael Bishop on 03.15.13 @ 7:30AM

    I know the 4K Tv’s will have to come down to the $1000 range for a nice 55 inch in my house. Has for bandwidth Comecast just up my speed to 10 MB up and 50 MB down. But I wounder what the caps will be for the month after they get it done in the U.S. after this month.

  • Noone needs 4K. ‘Prometheus’ or ‘The Hobbit’ were finished in 2K. Did you notice? Noone needs 4K, but their goal is to make you WANT it.
    Luckily I don’t see it coming as fast as they wish though…and I’m a RED owner.

    • You wouldn’t notice because everything else is in 2k, also it is no one not noone

    • You people are probably just ASStro-turfers. Probably just getting paid by RENT-SEEKING corporate interests that just want to keep a nice income level going without reinvesting in solution supply to the real demand that pays for all of technology, the early adopters and the innovators.

      Keep licking history’s boot Mr. DVD!

  • Netflix should get the current streaming to look like Bluray first, then you move on.

    • What’s interesting, is that if you read the interview from The Verge, a lot of the quality issues are caused by Netflix getting poor source files.

      I watched House of Cards on a 50″ TV with a Netflix-enabled Blu-Ray player – it looked as good, if not better, than any HD broadcast I’ve seen – as good as some Blu-Rays I’ve seen in the brighter scenes. So while it might be easy to say to Netflix – “make your streaming look better” – I think they’ve already figured out that part of it, but they are hindered by bad source files which they are trying to fix.

      • thats an important point, however it doesnt take away the fact that there’s still a lot of room to make the current streaming process better before going for 4k. The fact is we need better images for streaming not 4K, at least for the next years, plenty of juice to squeeze with our current resolution.

        • And it must be hard for Netflix to get better sources with studios since they might not have too much leverage, studios must see Netflix as the last resource to capitalize their products.

    • Well yeah, but there’s this thing called the 1%.

      They pay for 4K monitors and 1-GigE networks to their bathrooms with solid gold toilets. Then, the regular people.

      Also, you people don’t seem to understand that 4K at the same bitrate looks better than HD at the same viewing angle. It’s called ACUTANCE. It’s called BRIGHTNESS. It’s called DYNAMIC RANGE. There are multiple factors improved with an over-sampled display. Every REAL PERSON that has seen a 4K display has said they look better than an HD display at the same close viewing distance. This is one of the oldest non-intuitive insights display experts have known about and I’m surprised you web-intellectuals didn’t know that. Just stop with your neoliberal hippy anti-capitalist anti-science

  • John Montgomery on 03.15.13 @ 11:20AM

    Is there a post on NofilmSchool on how to distribute your indie through Netflix?

    • john jeffreys on 03.16.13 @ 4:41AM

      I can’t name any off the top of my head, but there are aggregator companies in which you pay a particular amount of money and they distribute your film to a set of outlets i.e iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, etc. You then get a piece of the proceeds and I think they make a commission too. Netflix doesn’t do direct submissions, they take films from those aforementioned aggregator companies or distributors. You can also submit your film to iTunes by yourself, and if apple approves it (much like how they approve and publish apps), it’ll be on there for rent/purchase and you make a certain percentage. This one guy made a black and white short on his 5D a year or two ago and made over 200k from the rentals.

      But yeah there really needs to be a self-distribution guide or something, nobody seems to care. Everybody is too busy arguing about camera specs.

    • John, I’ve written about Distribber in the past, they are one service that will try to get you on Netflix. No guarantees, but if you don’t get on you don’t pay IIRC.

      There a few others as well, we’ll be doing a roundup soon.

  • It’s such a strange time for the industry right now. The cameras mfgs are pushing 4k or above, TV mfgs are hyping 4k and a lot of us are shooting 4-5k, including myself… Yet, Ive never seen a 4k image, only down-sampled 2k. I’m sure my eyes will pop when I eventually do see an actual 4k image, but I’m actually more appreciative of RAW than sheer resolution at this point.

    • I recently bought a 27″ 2,5K monitor and the difference between a blu-ray and a 2,5K encoding of a detailed RED scene is already very noticeable. It even asks for a different pacing and viewing experience since your eyes wander through the image absorbing the detail.

      I know that you need very big tv sets to notice this but I see the trend being precisely that:big tv sets or projections showing highly detailed 4K images, maybe in the form of stories, maybe just panoramas and soundscapes.

      • You probably wouldn’t want your viewers’ “eyes wander through the image absorbing the detail” (unless you shot a wildlife documentary). You would probably rather want your viewers to get immersed in the story etc.. Pixel-peeping brakes the spell of the movie. Not a good thing ;-)

        • You can use your narrative tools to focus attention as always, in that sense it’s not different than minidv, if you’re going for that.

          I was just stating that there are many new uses for ultraHD, a lot of them unsespected right now, and it’s amazingly narrow minded to dismiss it saying ‘I don’t need 4K’.

          • 4K is fine and it will find it’s place. I just don’t like the way it’s marketed. People are getting bullshitted way too much. And sadly NFS articles don’t really help with that. Which they could if they wanted to, but they rather choose to publish for max traffic. And that makes sense, it’s good for making money. Not that good for public education though ;-)

  • Um… I would much rather see a really nice full HD image with no f*ck’d up sky banding and blocky artifacts than an ugly 4K image. Until they can do that, reliably, it’s all bullshit and smoke.

  • If anything, it seems that most people really don’t give a shit about actual quality despite industry efforts to stuff it down everyone’s throats. In a world of 360P Youtube videos and 4″ smartphone screens, expectations are so wildly at odds with what the industry thinks they are.

  • Joe – VFX has used 35mm 4K scans forever.

    • I think his point is that plenty of films choose to finish in 2K because it’s faster and cheaper — Prometheus is a primary example, shot on RED but finished at 2K.

      • Daniel Mimura on 04.1.13 @ 2:37AM

        I may be wrong, but Prometheus and Hobbit didn’t finish in 2k because they were cheaper, but because of the limits of most 3d projectors.

  • /Rushes out and shoots a shit film on 4K to sell to Netflix…

    Interesting question but I personally couldn’t see it being a window for indies to swoop in and make dollar any more than it can today. A good film (not just a resolution number) will fill Netflix’ content demand faster than a pixel count. Nevertheless, if 4k is incentive for a sale Ill take it!

    Original Netflix programming interests me more, Is it a matter of time until they invest in new talent to create Netflix exclusibe features/shows?

    /Rubs chin and ponders…

  • Netflix 4K… Now this is just getting comical. Honestly funny.

  • So…I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I still don’t get it. I hear companies complaining about piracy and people not going to cinemas. So, going to the cinema should be an experience differienced from home or tv cinema. They spend a lot of effort/money/time in creating 4k cameras, 4k cinema projectors, super soround sound , etc. And then they make spend a lot of money to theaters to update constantly and then they favor all this thing for consumers at homes. So, why they just don’t create a unique experience at cinema and then people watch “normal” tv’s at home, so this way maybe people would see worthy going to cinema , and maybe this way the film industry won’t be so damaged. I don’t know if I’m explained my self, but I hope you get the idea.

  • I like how most people that are against the very idea of 4k can’t be taken seriously since they can’t spell it out.

    It isn’t progress for the sake of progress, anyone that I know who has seen anything in 4k wants more, at a certain point there will be diminishing returns when viewing but for vfx more resolution will always be better. Anyways if you don’t want it or you don’t think it is worth it relax, I’m not going to make you buy it.

  • john jeffreys on 03.15.13 @ 10:51PM

    In the late 90′s: “Nobody needs HD!”

    In 2004- “Nobody needs 1080p.”

    Today- “Nobody needs 4k”

    You guys never learn.

    • “16K should be enough for anybody.”

    • What is this RedUser..?
      People want better movies.
      They could care less about 4K.

      And 4K is not a night and day difference
      over 2K…it’s far too subtle to even matter..

      • john jeffreys on 03.17.13 @ 5:16PM

        You’ve probably never even seen 4k footage on something other than a 1080p display; and even then the difference is dramatic. Particularly in the details and textures of objects

    • In the late 90′s: “Nobody needs HD!”

      In 2004- “Nobody needs 1080p.”

      Today- “Nobody needs 4k”

      You guys never learn.

      Totally, why can’t people understand that being content with what you already have is for pussies. Of course I never really liked movies, I’ve always been more into impressing people.

    • john jeffreys on 03.17.13 @ 5:15PM

      I don’t know about you guys, but I personally am not satisfied with 1080p. It does not resolve as much detail as human eyes do. So we still have a gap to fill. 4k is getting there, but we still have a ways to go.

      • Just going to go out on a limb and say that if you’re not satisfied with anything that has less resolution than the human eye then the problem is most likely on your end. But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that every other aspect of your filmmaking has been developed to full capacity and that picture detail is now the only thing standing between you and the glory you deserve. I mean, I llike pretty pictures. I would never accuse anyone of using them as a crutch for a poor imagination. So if this is really the objective then yeah, i guess we do have a ways to go. But until then you could check out some puppet shows, totally full res, naked eyeballs resolve puppet detail to an equivalent of around 23K.

        • john jeffreys on 03.17.13 @ 9:07PM

          Detail is nice, Why would you want to paint with a thick brush all the time?

          • Don’t like paintings, not enough detail for my taste

          • John even for IMAX you just have to sit at a certain distance to “see the 4K”. Beyond that you can’t. So certain rows are pretty much not 4K. And most people don’t have perfect vision, so no matter where they sit, they are no gonna “resolve” 4K. So really there are many practical conditions that have to be met for 4K to be delivered to the “brains” of the viewers. Sitting in front of 4K screen at the tech presentation is not the same thing as the average viewers anywhere are going to be in. SD & HD is a big jump. HD to 4K not so much. Not in the real conditions of cinemas and peoples’ homes. THAT is the big point most people are missing. They pixel peep on computer monitors or at tech screenings.

            That’s why I find this strong push for 4K so annoying. It is not reality based. Progress is (usually) good. 4K certainly has benefits. But there are limits to those benefits, that many people just don’t get..

  • Can someone give me a quick description of what ‘finishing’ actually involves? Thanks in advance.

    • Jorge Cayon on 03.17.13 @ 3:31PM

      “Finishing” or any variables of the word can simply be put as deliverable. Whether you shoot on 35mm film stock or RED Raw @5K it all comes down to one thing, how it’s delivevered. Once your movie is complete you “finish” or deliver your movie by scanning it to film and attaching audio for a film projected theater. Or get your digital file convert it or prepare it for DCP (Digital Cinema Package) that comes with a set of standards for most theaters. Not everyone has the same projection and deliverable/receivable standards.

      Lets say you want to make a movie and distribute it yourself to 100 theaters. 50 have film projectors, 35 have 2K Barco, and 15 have new 4k projectors. That right there gives you 3 different deliverables or final finish, and each with their own different costs. Mind you this is a small example as most major films release anywhere from 1,000-3,200 theaters domestically, quite possibly the same or double internationally. And don’t think about making a few copies and traveling from theater to theater to show it. You’ll never make enough money to pay for that, and any future films. That’s why Hollywood spends so much on movies. In the hopes of getting back their $100 million budgeted summer release to be profitable they have to spend close to $50 million or more to get it out there all at once.

      As an independant filmmaker I hope that one day we can distribute a high quality film, that remains secure of piracy and can be enjoyed at home or in a theater. Viewers can spend $20 and watch a movie on a giant screen with great surround sound, or watch the same movie at home on a 60″ with a 5.1dolby home theater system instantly streamed for $9.99, the same day it’s released. In today’s world a filmmaker must be able to understand deliverables and all the various specs, such as codecs, bit rate, color profile, etc…

      Hope that helps.

  • It’s sad that they are pushing 4k to the home when they can’t even get it to the theaters.

  • Broadcast “standards”, particularly for commercials, are already a hodge podge of resolutions as it is. 4K isn’t going to help that and if combined with current resolution standards it mean that 4K/UltraHD sets will have to upscale 1080 content for the TV and you know that’s going to look like garbage.