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HI-RES, 8K & MAGIC

svart-hvitt

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#1
Samsung is about to launch 8K TVs:

https://www.samsung.com/us/explore/qled-8k-tv/

There is very little source material in 8K resolution, a situation which will not change materially in the next year or so.

However, what reviewers like about this TV is its ability to «upsample» to 8K, so that 4K and lower-res material looks better than on existing TV sets. One reviewer example:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnar...-8k-tv-review-the-future-is-now/#6c8db95e4f2b

In other words, a fast computing chip plus some artificial intelligence is supposed to work its magic.

Doesn’t this remind us a bit about hi-res and upsampling in music? What strikes me is that all the TV reviewers like the upsampling to 8K better than no upsampling. And we know that our visual senses are comparatively better than our hearing senses. Which makes me wonder if this upsampling magic should work for audio as well; why shouldn’t it?

Of course, upsampling doesn’t give the viewer or listener more information; so there are other things at play than bringing a set amount of information from A to B.

Is there anything to learn from the world of TVs and 8K monitors that is relevant for audio? Or are visual and audio tools so different that analogies are not helpful for our understanding of human perception?

Any thoughts on 8K TVs? Progress or just marketing?
 

maverickronin

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#2
Marketing. I'd rather have lossless 1080P.

"Upsampling" that actually improves picture quality usually is more than just interpolating extra pixels. You can add all sorts of thing like temporal smoothing and sharpening to clean up compression artifacts and make the result look closer to the display's resolution. It's usually not any better than watching it on a screen of the native resolution though. Upsampling is pretty much just something you do to make old content fit a new screen better.

4K is already excessive unless you you sit super close to an absolutely giant screen so I'm unsure about how upsampling 4K to 8K could improve things unless something was already broken to begin with.

I have fairly intensive AviSynth script I use to upsample SD content to 1080P that works quite well, but I dread having to get even a 4K TV because of the extra processing power it will require.
 

svart-hvitt

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#3
Marketing. I'd rather have lossless 1080P.

"Upsampling" that actually improves picture quality usually is more than just interpolating extra pixels. You can add all sorts of thing like temporal smoothing and sharpening to clean up compression artifacts and make the result look closer to the display's resolution. It's usually not any better than watching it on a screen of the native resolution though. Upsampling is pretty much just something you do to make old content fit a new screen better.

4K is already excessive unless you you sit super close to an absolutely giant screen so I'm unsure about how upsampling 4K to 8K could improve things unless something was already broken to begin with.

I have fairly intensive AviSynth script I use to upsample SD content to 1080P that works quite well, but I dread having to get even a 4K TV because of the extra processing power it will require.
Your response is as expected, given we’re on ASR.

But your comment doesn’t explain why all TV reviewers liked the 8K upsampling.

So I wondered: Would people on VSR (Vision Science Review) be more inclined to believe the TV reviewers than people on ASR?

In other words: Is there a gap between VSR (let’s pretend that site existed) and ASR?
 

bennetng

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#4
Your response is as expected, given we’re on ASR.

But your comment doesn’t explain why all TV reviewers liked the 8K upsampling.

So I wondered: Would people on VSR (Vision Science Review) be more inclined to believe the TV reviewers than people on ASR?

In other words: Is there a gap between VSR (let’s pretend that site existed) and ASR?
I am a long time user of madVR and SVP.
http://www.madvr.com/
https://www.svp-team.com/wiki/Main_Page

madVR does pixel upsampling, for example 4k to 8k.

SVP upsamples frame rate, for example 24 to 60.

Unlike audio, the differences are very noticible, but it doesn't mean everyone like these kinds of processing, and even if some people like the processing, they have a lot of different upscaling algorithms to choose from. You have to see for yourself, madVR is free, SVP has paid version, but the free version is good enough to understand what it can do.

Archimago has an article about madVR:
http://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/01/demo-dunkirk-resolution-difference.html

In these threads you can see the differences between different pixel upscaling algorithms:
https://forum.cockos.com/showpost.php?p=1866669&postcount=83
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ing-upsampling-interpolation.1447/#post-37935
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ding-upsampling-interpolation.1447/post-55710

For frame rate upscaling, here is a demo of a 24fps video upscaled to 60fps, notice the difference of smoothness when the camera is panning and the motion of the video pattern. However some people don't like it and call it "soap opera effect". They don't even like videos filmed originally at higher frame rate, for those people it has nothing to do with the quality of upscaling.

There are some fundamental differences in visual and audio quality comparison. For example you can put two pictures side by side and evaluate them, but no one will play two audio files at the same time to evaluate them. You can pause the video and you can still see the picture, but when you pause the audio there will be no sound.

I'd separate visual acuity (e.g. can we differentiate 2k, 4k and 8k when using a TV of X inches and a distance of Y inches?) and the usefulness of pixel upscaling into two things. Unlike CRT, the display panels we use today have fixed resolutions. If we watch DVD (640*480, 720*480, 768*576 and so on) on a typical monitor/TV, then we have to upscale it to the panel's native resolution (e.g. 1920*1080) if we want to see it in full screen. Therefore the upscaling quality plays an important role here.
 

maverickronin

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#5
Unlike audio, the differences are very noticible, but it doesn't mean everyone like these kinds of processing, and even if some people like the processing, they have a lot of different upscaling algorithms to choose from.
That's something I forgot to mention. A lot of it is subjective, more or less picking which ones you prefer. The closest analogy in audio might be some kind of spatial DSP - headphone HRTF, surround sound upmixing, ambiphonics, Sonic Holography, etc.

Bringing framerate conversion into it opens up a whole new can or worms as well.

Straight upsampling is usually less noticeable than the audio examples above but combining with framerate conversion and other post processing can make it just as noticeable.
 

andreasmaaan

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#6
For frame rate upscaling, here is a demo of a 24fps video upscaled to 60fps, notice the difference of smoothness when the camera is panning and the motion of the video pattern. However some people don't like it and call it "soap opera effect". They don't even like videos filmed originally at higher frame rate, for those people it has nothing to do with the quality of upscaling.
In that youtube example you posted (which I'm just watching on a laptop monitor at 60Hz), it seemed to me that the 60Fps version was obviously smoother, with the standard frame rate version on the left looking jerky and unsmooth.

Is this a result of watching the video on a 60Hz monitor? Would the 24Fps version look as bad if that were my monitor's native frame rate?
 

bennetng

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#7
In that youtube example you posted (which I'm just watching on a laptop monitor at 60Hz), it seemed to me that the 60Fps version was obviously smoother, with the standard frame rate version on the left looking jerky and unsmooth.

Is this a result of watching the video on a 60Hz monitor? Would the 24Fps version look as bad if that were my monitor's native frame rate?
It would be better if the display refresh rate is same as the video frame rate, or its multiple (e.g. 72Hz). It depends on the capability of the monitor and display card driver.
 

andreasmaaan

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#8
It would be better if the display refresh rate is same as the video frame rate, or its multiple (e.g. 72Hz). It depends on the capability of the monitor and display card driver.
Ah ok. My only options are 59 and 60Hz it appears.

I find it hard to believe anyone would be unhappy with the (native) 60Fps version though. This is the last topic I know anything about though!
 

amirm

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#9
So I wondered: Would people on VSR (Vision Science Review) be more inclined to believe the TV reviewers than people on ASR?
I don't see a VSR type review. Such a review would put up test patterns which instantly would show any artificial sharpening of the signal to make it subjectively look better.

As noted, in the process of resampling, the filter can be tuned to also sharpen high frequencies. This unfortunately creates haloes and ringing around edges.

When Sony produced the first consumer 4 K monitor, at first everyone who saw it was excited about it. They post sill shots of it online and I showed in those how haloes were created in the upconversion.

You can simulate the same right now. Go to your TV and turn up the sharpness. You will immediately be impressed. But then look at the edges of objects on screen and you will see halos around them.
 

svart-hvitt

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#10
I don't see a VSR type review. Such a review would put up test patterns which instantly would show any artificial sharpening of the signal to make it subjectively look better.

As noted, in the process of resampling, the filter can be tuned to also sharpen high frequencies. This unfortunately creates haloes and ringing around edges.

When Sony produced the first consumer 4 K monitor, at first everyone who saw it was excited about it. They post sill shots of it online and I showed in those how haloes were created in the upconversion.

You can simulate the same right now. Go to your TV and turn up the sharpness. You will immediately be impressed. But then look at the edges of objects on screen and you will see halos around them.
So what you predict is that those reviewers will cool off afterwards. Right?

It will be interesting to see if that prognosis will hold true.

In any case, real 8K source material is years away.
 

amirm

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#11
So what you predict is that those reviewers will cool off afterwards. Right?
We will have to wait for proper tests. It seems from Forbes review that there may be logic to selectively sharpen different parts of the image. Will be interesting to see what algorithm it uses and how it misfires. Previous attempts at this have all failed to produce useful results for any videophile.

"Subjective" reviews as with audio may continue to be positive.
 

amirm

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#12
In any case, real 8K source material is years away.
Yes, earliest instantiations will be the 2020 Olympics in Japan. They always try to push state of the art in technology at these events.
 

svart-hvitt

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#13
We will have to wait for proper tests. It seems from Forbes review that there may be logic to selectively sharpen different parts of the image. Will be interesting to see what algorithm it uses and how it misfires. Previous attempts at this have all failed to produce useful results for any videophile.

"Subjective" reviews as with audio may continue to be positive.
It isn’t only Forbes who claim «magic» in 8K upsampling. Every reviewer I read (6-7) claimed that magic happens. Which could be due to whatever, from placebo to the real thing.

So we’ll have to see if the magic stays or goes away. Previous experiences suggest a somewhat mixed picture (sic!), wouldn’t you agree?
 

amirm

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#14
It isn’t only Forbes who claim «magic» in 8K upsampling. Every reviewer I read (6-7) claimed that magic happens. Which could be due to whatever, from placebo to the real thing.
It is not placebo. Sharpening the image does make it subjectively look more "high-resolution." The issue is that unless you have a good eye or put up static test patterns, the artifacts may not be visible.

There is the effect of people thinking they are getting 8K resolution from upsampling and hence don't look for artifacts. They just assume the magic is there.

So we’ll have to see if the magic stays or goes away. Previous experiences suggest a somewhat mixed picture (sic!), wouldn’t you agree?
Signal processing has become a lot better than in the past. It is possible now they are able to detect and suppress some artifacts. But I am doubtful as these algorithms always have holes.
 

NorthSky

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#15
That's a good subject for VSR (Video Science Review). :cool:

Me I'm happy that 8K TVs are with us, because I'd like to see advancements in 4K HDR and I also would like to see 3D in 4K. 8K to me is the portal to both.

As for high frame rates; yes you don't have motion blur anymore but yes too it looks like TV soap operas that play in the middle of the day for those people glued to their TV sets.

True, we won't have 8K content for a while, unless you make your own with an 8K camera.

And upscaling 2K, 4K to 8K is like upscaling a record vinyl to MQA.
It's . . . magic! :D
 

Grave

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#16
A gamer's perspective.

PC gamers are stuck with relatively low resolutions like 1080p or 1440p if we want to run games in high or ultra high settings. 2160p is not realistic. 2160p is sometimes possible with two high end GPU's, if the game actually supports SLI. I would not bother with upsampling. I think the consoles often upsample to 2160p and then they claim they have "4k gaming," but the game is actually rendered at a lower resolution.

PC gamers are obsessed with refresh rates. 60 Hz looks plenty smooth to me, but many people are buying 144 Hz or 240 Hz monitors. If you go by the minimum or consistent frame rate, these are not realistic either. The consoles run games in terrible fame rates like 20-30 fps in order to make up for the outdated hardware. These frame rates look terrible for gaming, but they are OK for recorded video I guess. Still, if you have that awful fucking shaky cam video, 24 FPS is just not enough, and it looks like shit. You can see a lot of stuttering in recorded video if the camera moves too fast. I think 48 FPS in recorded video would be a great thing to have.

Personally, I am perfectly happy with 1080p/60 for gaming.

Most movies I only want to watch once or twice and then never see them again, so I do not even own a blu-ray drive.
 
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NorthSky

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#17
Streaming music and movies is the mode.
We need AV servers with upsampling qualities; 8K and Dolby Atmos @ 128bit/1536kHz.
...Dirac Live included, plus Automatic Picture EQ (APEQ).

But yes, Sharp 8K TVs are the first to hit the shorelines, along with Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic, Hitachi, Quasar, Viktor (RCA) and Zenith. ;-)
 

Wombat

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#18
Marketing. I'd rather have lossless 1080P.

"Upsampling" that actually improves picture quality usually is more than just interpolating extra pixels. You can add all sorts of thing like temporal smoothing and sharpening to clean up compression artifacts and make the result look closer to the display's resolution. It's usually not any better than watching it on a screen of the native resolution though. Upsampling is pretty much just something you do to make old content fit a new screen better.

4K is already excessive unless you you sit super close to an absolutely giant screen so I'm unsure about how upsampling 4K to 8K could improve things unless something was already broken to begin with.

I have fairly intensive AviSynth script I use to upsample SD content to 1080P that works quite well, but I dread having to get even a 4K TV because of the extra processing power it will require.
Agree.

This chart shows that 1080p is adequate for most domestic situations:

https___blogs-images_forbes_com_kevinmurnane_files_2017_10_chart_Rtings_com_.jpg
 

Wombat

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#19
Your response is as expected, given we’re on ASR.

But your comment doesn’t explain why all TV reviewers liked the 8K upsampling.

So I wondered: Would people on VSR (Vision Science Review) be more inclined to believe the TV reviewers than people on ASR?

In other words: Is there a gap between VSR (let’s pretend that site existed) and ASR?

There is a problem with reviewer validation of subjective claims .
 

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