[opendtv] HFR first impressions (no spoilers other than technical)

  • From: Olivier Houot <olho_avatar_i@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 02:52:24 +0100

I saw the hobbit tonight. Some of my impressions may be tied to choices
of settings in this specific theater, so it would be interesting to also
have your feelings, after you've seen it. I may also try to watch it in
another place.

There is smooth motion, indeed, and it is obvious right from the
beginning. I would not say motion always seems natural, though. There
would still be some motion blur in fast action, and perhaps some subtle
"multiple edges" effect. This may improve when watched in the home with
a 100 Hz motion-compensated TV set, assuming an HFR version would be
made available on blu-ray (i would suggest PAL speed-up to 50 fps, then
extraction of odd field from odd frames and even fields from even frames
to re-create 1080i/25, in the hope the display will deinterlace it to
50p, and not 25p).

In any case, some scenes seem to push it a bit beyond what even 48 fps
can handle, with rather fast camera motions. I also observed some uneven
camera movement, rather noticeable in a context of fluid motion.

I am afraid the HFR feature comes at the expense of the others, though.
After all, the DMD can only toggle its mirrors so many times per second.
And this has to be shared between colour depth, flicker-free 3D, and

I was under the impression colors had suffered with a return to a more
video-like look in some scenes, though modern digital cameras seemed to
be able to avoid that. And perhaps effective color depth was reduced. 

I was not completely satisfied with the sharpness, either. That may come
from  less than perfect focus, or perhaps i was too close to the screen.
I hope  it is not a deliberate blurring done to soften a too revealing
5K source material.

All in all, it is not just "The Lord of the rings" as i remember it with
only the framerate changed. Color, sharpness, camera handling style were
not the same either. Also, 3D takes its toll when it comes to light
power output and contrast.

Though there are many scenes were 48 fps is put to the forefront and
shines, I was not always convinced by the overall picture quality, and i
think we're not there yet.

There was also a slightly annoying delay between sound and image. Could
it be some pieces of equipment have trouble syncing when it's no longer

But then again, i will have to double check that at another place, and
also later when some appropriate blu-ray edition is out.

Your turn :-)

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