How to Process New Information

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Reader Comments (44)

Would this hypothetical TV simulate the film melting at a random point in the movie on its 35mm feature?

December 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwumpus

It's funny, because a TV like this would actually be really good for classic video games if it could be done without adding noticeable lag. A lot of these older games were intentionally designed to take advantage of this, such as with dithering effects that blurred together to make better shading and look like more colors than the system was actually capable of.

December 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCovarr

A lot of rereleases of retro video games have options to simulate playing on blurry old CRT TVs because the sprites were specifically designed for them. You were never really supposed to be able to see the pixels, they were supposed to blend together to make a character or a tree or whatever. So there's some trivia.

December 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoto13

I turned the color off on the TV one night when the kids were asking me what it was like before TV had color. They thought it was hilarious & great fun - for one night! I was trying to explain listening to AM radio, particularly after dark when you could pick up stations from Little Rock (KAAY The Might 1090!" WCCO "Your good neighbor to the North", WLW and others. Sometimes that old crap is fun.

December 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersillyus

Awesome. I am one of those who does not want the supernaturally crisp HD experience.
Thanks for being the most consistently hilarious webcomic!

December 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermonkeyrokker

I have never found one with no comments before! I'm torn, Do I rush and have a deliberately crappy experience to be first, or do I take the time to think of a good quip and post next week.

December 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCowb0t

I love that bit in the first panel about blowing up the Death Star!

December 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristina L

You misspelt the word "deliberately crappy experience". It's spelled n-o-s-t-a-l-g-i-a and rhymes with "Memories…Of the way we were…"

Hmmm hmm hmmmm hmm hmmmm…


December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThom

If you play old video games on an old TV, they don't look pixelated any more! They look fuzzy instead, but so does everything else, so they're much more lifelike! This logic is COMPLETELY SOUND.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLockeZ

But can it support the Raku?

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

But can it support the Roku?

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

Oh yes, I can just imagine all the hipsters replacing their televisions with Retrovision™!
... of course, it would work best as an iPhone feature.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterM

Nostalgia for sale - brilliant!

Also: a new Scott expression in panel 3!

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Well people seem to love instagram so a video version might be the next big thing.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

A TV that simulates watching an inferior TV? A TV emulator then? You might be right there would be a market for that.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKieran E

I know a lot of people (me included) who use a terminal emulator to make their high resolution PC command lines look like a 1970's IBM 3270 green screen.

So, not so far fetched idea there.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDB

Considering people keep taking B&W or sepia photos, I think this TV would sell well. Hipsters and women that think their blurry Instagram photos would love it.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThestas

Considering people keep taking B&W or sepia photos, I think this TV would sell well. Hipsters and women that think their blurry Instagram photos are art would love it.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThestas

A similar debate came out when Turner colorized some of the old black and white movies. I suggested just turn the color off. There could be a "Suck" dial with different years set on it. For the old movies / games you could just turn up the "Suck" dial until you hit the proper year.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

In Britain anyway, it's amazing how many different productions are shown on TV this month of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" - with Patrick Stewart, with Bill Murray, with Jim Carrey, with Kermit the Frog - and somehow, several channels are showing oldie-timie actor Alastair Sim in the version titled "Scrooge" - so without risking irrevocable change to our TV settings, we can choose between monochrome and colorized. It looks pretty good colorized, by the way, in my opinion. That doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make it wrong.

I wonder if they've coloured up his "Green For Danger", where the colour of a certain object is critically important in a black-and-white film. It was based on a black-and-white book. He also was in "The Green Man", which I think isn't a sequel, but maybe it is.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Carnegie

You know Scott, you almost sound anti-hipster there.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPrattle Assassin

The first thing I saw in HD was an episode of Stargate. I remember thinking "wow, the actor playing that alien has a LOT of makeup on." That is not what I watch television for.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

Original band is of far, far higher definition than your HDTV. People seing it in movie theater were having way more details than you did. But on HDTV just look like crap unless properly calibrated. Factory setting "enhance" details by basically increasing contrast and it's really terrible.
If you can watch an episode 4 version even in a good super 8 version like I did, you'll be amazed. It looks pretty incredible. Also if you wonder how come vinyle still sell quite well, and to a group of people who apparently care more about music than the average, don't search: same reason. I am an all digital guy but I know it's not unilateral progress from analog on every front.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrégory

I find that high def makes most movies/shows look like crappy Mexican Soap Operas. Blurred edges are better. :)

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

Couldn't "the world's richest man" (or even, really, just any significantly rich person) in 1977 have purchased himself a full-sized movie theater and then rented or bought the standard 35mm film print of "Star Wars" to watch? If that would be inferior to a cheap HDTV, it wouldn't be by much.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRieux

With TVs being essentially computers these days, emulating old screen technologies would seem like a trivial feature to add.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCJ

I hate to be that guy, but first off, Star Wars didn't take place in the future. It took place in the past, somewhere a long way from here. Most likely, the humanoids had evolved under the same circumstances as Earthlings and therefore developed the same physical characteristics. The English language is simply due to the babblefish. Anyway, just because it is science fiction doesn't mean it is futuristic. People often forget that.

Second, if you want true disappointment in HD, watch the original Dune with Sting, Patrick Stewart, and Dean Stockwell. Or Princess Bride. HD completely ruins them both.

And finally, I would totally buy a TV that could somehow magically restore the low definition qualities of such movies, for the sole purpose discussed here. As long as it was a free feature and in no way diminishes from Carrie Fisher's amazing physique in the Jabba scene.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThat Guy

SOOOO many shows these days simulate bad film with glitches, camera stutter, dropout-to-black-screen, lens flash, and anything they can think of to cover up the fact that the more accurate cameras can only record what's there, which is the same lame crap as ever.

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDee

Scott, I don't know how old you are, but the 70's didn't completely blow.
Back then, I watched Star Wars more than 2 dozen times in 70mm, in a theater with a curved screen. You just can't find that anymore at any price. Plus, we invented tube tops. So take that, skinny tie 80's and flannel grunge 90's!

December 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike N

A while back, I rented the DVD (not BluRay) of the restored version of "The Wizard of Oz." Even in standard definition, the restoration made everything so clear that it ruined the illusion. HD would only be worse, so a "Wizard of Oz" BluRay would be bad gift idea for me.

December 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDon

Speaking of seeing actors in make-up in HD, I got to watch Errand of Mercy a while back, on a nice big HDTV off a very nice DVD. The make-up on Kor, military governor of Organia really stood out, and suddenly I could see the tiger stripes painted on his, and the other Klingons', face(s). And then it became clear that these were Buck Rogers' Tiger Men of Mars, redux (or perhaps, reduces). And the episode became that much more fun, and I realized how much more I loved TOS, and how much more I despised its spinoffs.

The extra information you get from the high definition is, in a real sense, entirely up to you.

December 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

I like you process of new info. I think we should share and see others who are using info and then decide to use it in perfect way. Thank and You have put up a really lovely and unique post.

Wow, thanks for just calling yourself "seo". WHOOPS, accidentally stripped out your links there. Sorry. ~Missy

December 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterseo

True, the technology of the Seventies did indeed blow. But the Gulf dead zone was much smaller, the amount of native grassland left in North America was much greater, warbler populations were much higher, and my teeth were whiter and more numerous. So there's that.

December 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

No comparisons with the "Special Edition"?

December 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjaklumen

You can already get a retro terminal program that simulates working on a vt100 or adm3a, complete with busted flyback transformer and errors in the character ROMs.

December 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterResuna

Did you just download the Harmy Despecialized edition? I did the same, and had the experience described in the comic. Not with every shot, but the matte-painting set extensions definitely look faker than I'd ever realized they were, and the detention bay backdrop painting was distractingly bad. Still... I'd rather watch it that way than the SE.

Note from Scott: No, I watched the Bluray on a 1080 screen with "Motion smoothing" turned on, which really makes the details pop.

December 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFlombert

why isn't the copyright date 2014 yet?

December 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMister Tee

Scott, your thoughts on 48 fps?

Note from Scott: There's 48fps, and there's motion smoothing, which creates a similar effect.

Technically, 48fps is superior. It gives you a better picture with far greater clarity, and more of the details of the events filmed on the set are saved for posterity. It also looks like a soap opera, and can make sets and special effects look fake, because they are. I have seen both Hobbit movies in 48fps, and I enjoyed them both, (It especially helped the 3D experience, in my opinion) but I knew what I was getting into, and what to expect. Lots of people don't like it and aren't used to it, which is perfectly fair.

Motion smoothing is a setting many newer HDTVs have where the TVs processor creates intermediate frames between the ones that are actually present on the disk. This, while artificial, does a great job of bringing out the details and making things look more like they actually were on the day of filming (I.E. fake). I really enjoy putting an old SciFi movie I've seen a million times in, turning on motion smoothing, and seeing the movie in a new way. (In 2010, when Roy Scheider is on the the control deck of the Discovery, the control panel is clearly printed cardboard). I can't watch everything that way though. It's just too weird.

In the end, either Peter Jackson, James Cameron and the other directors using HFR will figure out a way to make it look good, much like it took a while to make HDTV look good, or they won't. We'll just have to wait and see.

December 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave

I'd like to point out that movies were originally shown in "analogue", and, therefore, had infinite levels of detail, while "HD" is merely an over-hyped digital version. As digital versions have a finite level of detail, and analogue does not, it will always have LESS detail in HD than analogue.

December 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Chosen One

You know, I keep looking at the Blu Ray Star Wars set, and keep skipping buying them, because I don't really like the idea of Star Wars being all shined up/high def. I love my high def movies, but because new ones are made for it. I don't like CG Jabba, or the fact they swapped out ghost-Vader with the new actor. I know many people complain about the changes made, but it kind of kills the memory I have of these movies while growing up and adoring them. I'll keep watching the old versions, myself.

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNefrai
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