• Hisense Launches H8 Series 4K Ultra HD TVs with HDR Processing, Prices Start at $600

    Posted Fri May 20, 2016 at 01:00 PM PDT by
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    The company's latest 4K Ultra HD TVs are now shipping.  

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  • 'Deadpool' 4K HDR Demo with Director Tim Miller

    Posted Fri May 20, 2016 at 09:15 AM PDT by
    Fox Innovatin Lab logo (small slide)

    This is my final 'Deadpool' post this week, I swear!

    After getting some hands on time with the stunning 'Deadpool' Ultra HD Blu-ray (and the very strong Blu-ray) over the previous weekend, our friends at the Fox Innovation Lab invited journalists for a direct UHD vs HD demonstration. Unlike our previous demo, this time we were treated to consumer grade encodes as both the HD and UHD sources played on IDENTICAL Samsung Ultra HD displays.

    Hashtag: Science!

    For an in-depth understanding as to how this demo went, please check out the video portions of my Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray reviews.

    The short version is this: the Ultra HD Blu-ray absolutely CRUSHES the Blu-ray in side-by-side comparisons. To be fair, this effect wanes slightly in A-to-B comparisons with any sort of time delay, so don't feel too bad if you haven't upgraded yet. But side-by-side? Shoot. This is the release the earlier adopters have been waiting for. The Ultra HD offers deeper black levels, more vivid colors (hello, red!), and oodles of added highlight and CGI detail. I was really impressed.

    two Samsungs displays HD SDR vs UHD HDR

    [NOTE: the above cellphone pic is to show the demo configuration ONLY. NOT to judge either format, let alone the fine details instantly visible in UHD HDR material.]

    To help take us through what we were observing on the two displays, 'Deadpool' director, Tim Miller, as well as the film's colorist, Tim Stipan, lead a panel discussion moderated by Schawn Belston, EVP of Media and Library Services, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, where they chatted about their post-production process, the benefits of HDR, and answered a few questions.

    The entire panel is a little too long to transcribe here, so what I've done is broken down key information using direct quotes. Enjoy!

    Our Demo Setup

    Schawn Belstin: These are two identical monitors that have been calibrated to match each other. The content on one is HD, standard dynamic range, compressed the same way it is on the Blu-ray. And on the other monitor is the HDR 4K compressed the same way it is on the UHD disc.

    Two Firsts for Fox Ultra HD Blu-ray

    Schawn Belstin: This is our first disc that features all HDR content, so the menus and logos and everything are in HDR. Also, object-based audio. Dolby Atmos is on the entire disc. This might not seem like that big a deal, but trust me when I say it was. We had to re-imagine all of our technical work flows behind the scenes to make this actually possible. To give you an example, we spent two months rendering and re-rendering, trying to figure out the best way to render the Fox logo in 4K, in open EXR, to get the most out of this HDR experience, and that was just the logo. So you can imagine what goes into an entire movie. But you didn't come here to hear me talk about the logo so let's get to the movie.

    Deadpool's Multiple DI Timeline

    Tim Stipan: First we did the normal theatre pass, which is called P3 color space. Concurrently we also did two version of IMAX; we did a Xenon bulb and then we did a laser pass also. Then, actually, we did the Rec 709 HD pass. And then we did the HDR pass.

    Tim Miller: Actually, so it's six if you count that, because then we did the Dolby [Vision] pass.

    Tim Stipan: Oh, yeah, I almost forgot that. I felt like every time we were going through it we were seeing more and more and more. And the last pass that we did was the [UHD Blu-ray] HDR pass, which you are seeing here, and we were just like, "wow, gosh, we wish we had that at the beginning because you're not seeing so much detail in the skies and flames and Colossus and Deadpool's suit." Things of that nature. [HDR] allowed me to be better at my job because I could see more color information, I could match things better. By seeing all that extra color information and detail, I felt like I was doing a better job being a colorist. I felt a lot of shots now had this painterly quality to them, which I didn't quite notice as much when we were doing the normal theatrical color grade.

    'Deadpool' UHD HDR Demo at the Fox Innovation Lab

    HDR First Impressions

    Tim Miller: For a first-time filmmaker every time I walked into DI, I'd get to see it on a big screen, thinking to myself, "I made a movie, fuck yeah!" [laughter] And then for this last pass they brought me in and sat me down in front of a monitor and I'm like, "well I've done this before..." But then it started playing and I truly thought it was the best looking -- format and display medium aside -- it's the best looking version of the movie by far.

    Tim Stipan: Yeah, the amount of detail you get in flames. You see so much more of actual flame. I wouldn't say [SDR] looked like a 2D image, but all of a sudden [with HDR] it has extra dimension to it, it's almost like 3D.

    HDR Extra Detail

    Tim Miller: Having done DIs for four different outputs, the Ultra HD is just fucking amazing at the level of detail. Especially since we did it at the end of the process. Especially the skies is where I noticed it most. In a lot of the shots, particularly on the freeway fight, there is just so much more detail. It's like suddenly the sky was not a white mass the way it had been in all the other formats. Also Deadpool's costume was the other big thing I noticed. It's got a really fine weave to it and, suddenly, all the detail in that costume comes out in a way that turns to mush in all the other formats. And VFX too. Explosions, fires, things like that, the fight in the lab looks particularly cool in this super high res format.

    Tim Stipan: We're taking advantage of the camera. The camera captures this and now with HDR you're allowed to see what the camera's actually capturing.

    HDR's Effect on Filmmaking

    Tim Miller: We shot ['Deadpool' in] 3K on the Alexa. If we shot in 6K, which is the newer stuff, or I could have shot on the RED, how much better would this [Ultra HD Blu-ray with HDR / WCG] look there? Where [the Blu-ray] wouldn't benefit from the extra resolution, [the Ultra HD Blu-ray] would. So aside from all the other compositional benefits, from being able to fuck around with framing, I think we'll get a huge bump in the level of detail. But to answer your question, [HDR] would probably have a negative effect on the filmmaking process because suddenly I'd be less forgiving about all that shit I know were going to see in the background.

    Tim Stipan: The thing I keep thinking about is the faces ... I think this happened when HD first came out is that people were all of a sudden saying, "we gotta put extra makeup on". That would be my only concern with HDR, but otherwise all the extra detail you're seeing is a huge benefit.

    HDR vs CGI

    Tim Miller: It could help or hurt depending on how good the CG is. If it didn't integrate well, it would excentuate ... and just more clearly illuminate where you fucked up.

    HDR vs SDR Color Timing Differences

    Tim Stipan: It was something that just happened. We saw [the big explosion during the film's climax] in HDR and there was more of a boldness, more detail to it. It's not that we didn't like what we did in the SDR version, but the HDR version looked great and we were like, "let's go with it." Could we have tweaked the SDR to get it closer to the HDR, yes, but it still wouldn't have the detail because there is a difference between the color of the flames.

    Tim Miller: But don't you just have more range to work with [in HDR]? If you had gone after that in [SDR], it would have fucked up other things.

    Tim Stipan: It's not something we were isolating. We didn't isolate the flames, but once we color corrected the image, they kinda fell into place.

    Fox Innovation Lab hallway

    Thanks again to the Fox Innovation Lab for the invite. It's great to know, outside of our home theatre geek circles, filmmakers are as excited about this new format's capabilities as we are. Because, at the end of the day, HDR means audiences are experiencing more of a film's production than ever before.

    And for Heaven's sake, people, don't just sit there reading this, go check out the 'Deadpool' Ultra HD Blu-ray for yourselves... OR, if you're reading this on or before May 22, 2016, enter for a chance to WIN A FREE copy from your buds here at High-Def Digest.

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  • Philips Readies Ultra HD Blu-ray Player for June Release, MSRP Set for $400

    Posted Tue May 17, 2016 at 05:45 PM PDT by
    philips ultra hd blu-ray

    The BDP7501 will be the second Ultra HD Blu-ray player to hit the US market.

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  • Win 'Deadpool' on Ultra HD Blu-ray!

    Posted Tue May 17, 2016 at 04:20 PM PDT by
    Deadpool news image pic

    Courtesy of the fine folks over at Fox Innovation Labs, High-Def Digest is giving away one FREE copy of the 'Deadpool' Ultra HD Blu-ray!

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  • Denon Unveils New X-Series AV Receivers with Dolby Atmos & DTS:X, Prices Start at $599

    Posted Fri May 13, 2016 at 02:30 PM PDT by
    denon x-series

    Two new receiver models with immersive audio support have been detailed.  

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  • HDD Gear Deal Spotlight: Up to 27% off 4K Ultra HD TVs!

    Posted Thu May 12, 2016 at 05:00 PM PDT by
    hisense ultra hd h7b

    Amazon is offering discounts on select 4K displays!  

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  • Pioneer Details Entry-Level VSX-531 AV Receiver with 4K Ultra HD Support, Suggested Price Set for $270

    Posted Tue May 10, 2016 at 08:30 AM PDT by
    pioneer vsx-531

    The budget friendly receiver model is now available.  

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  • Sony Readies HDR Support for VPL-VW365ES 4K Ultra HD Home Theater Projector

    Posted Wed Apr 27, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT by
    sony hdr projector

    The VPL-VW365ES will soon gain high dynamic range support.  

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  • Director Francis Ford Coppola Praises LG OLED TV Tech & Perfect Black Levels

    Posted Tue Apr 26, 2016 at 11:00 AM PDT by
    lg oled ces 2016

    The Academy Award winning director is a big fan of OLED technology.  

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  • Onkyo Readies New Home Theater Systems, Including Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Model for $999

    Posted Mon Apr 25, 2016 at 12:30 PM PDT by
    onkyo home theater system

    Two new home theater systems have been announced.  

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  • Marantz Unveils NR1607 Ultra Slim AV Receiver with Dolby Atmos & DTS:X

    Posted Thu Apr 21, 2016 at 11:15 AM PDT by
    marantz slim receiver

    The new receiver features a slim design and immersive audio support.  

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  • Pioneer Releases VSX-1131 & VSX-831 AV Receivers, Prices Start at $450

    Posted Wed Apr 20, 2016 at 11:00 AM PDT by
    pioneer vsx-1131 receiver

    The new lineup includes a 7.2 channel Dolby Atmos/DTS:X model for $600.  

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  • Netflix Debuts Full Trailer for 'The Do-Over' Starring Adam Sandler, Premiere Set for May 27

    Posted Wed Apr 20, 2016 at 10:30 AM PDT by
    do over trailer

    A full trailer for Adam Sandler's second Netflix film has been revealed.  

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  • Netflix Launches 4K Ultra HD Content with HDR & Dolby Vision, Lineup Includes 'Marco Polo'

    Posted Tue Apr 19, 2016 at 08:00 AM PDT by
    netflix maro polo

    HDR streaming content is now rolling out to subscribers.  

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  • VIZIO Details SmartCast M-Series Ultra HD Displays with Dolby Vision HDR, Prices Start at $850

    Posted Tue Apr 19, 2016 at 06:00 AM PDT by
    vizio m-series 2016

    The new models range in size from 50 inches to 80 inches.  

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  • UHD Alliance Announces Ultra HD Premium Logo & Certification Licensing for Ultra HD Blu-ray Players

    Posted Thu Apr 14, 2016 at 01:30 PM PDT by
    Ultra HD Premium UHD Alliance news

    The Ultra HD Premium logo and classification system has been expanded to Ultra HD Blu-ray players.  

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  • Samsung Announces Pricing for 2016 4K SUHD TV Lineup, Models Start at 1,499

    Posted Tue Apr 12, 2016 at 02:00 PM PDT by
    samsung 2016 4k suhd tv

    The company's full 2016 4K TV line has been detailed.  

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  • DISH Brings 4K Ultra HD Netflix Support to Hopper 3 DVR

    Posted Fri Apr 8, 2016 at 09:15 AM PDT by
    dish logo2

    The company's 4K DVR now supports Netflix playback in Ultra HD.  

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  • Denon Readies Affordable S-Series AV Receivers with Dolby Atmos & DTS:X, Prices Start at $479

    Posted Wed Apr 6, 2016 at 11:15 AM PDT by
    denon s-series

    Two new AV receivers have been revealed.  

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  • Sony Preps ULTRA 4K Streaming Service for April 4 Launch

    Posted Tue Mar 29, 2016 at 12:30 PM PDT by
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    The new 4K Ultra HD streaming service will arrive on Sony 4K Android Ultra HD TVs next month.  

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