The 4K TV push is about to crank up

With the market for large 1080p HD TVs basically saturated, manufacturers and retailers have been trying for the last two to three years to find the ‘next big thing’ that will get people to go out and buy new TVs like they were eight to ten years ago.

They have tried 3D TVs. This basically had zero impact. Nobody cares much for the idea of 3D movies in the first place, and even less for 3D TVs in the home where you have to sit within a 15 degree angle in front of the TV within 2.5 to 3.5 the width of the TV back from the TV and wear glasses of some kind. Hmmmm.

Then they tried the various ‘smart’ TVs. A smart TV is basically a TV with an operating system built in; usually Andriod.

Then they tried TVs that can connect to your in-house data network, either via cable connect or WiFi.

Then they tried combinations and variations of all three.

But nothing really moved the needle. What they want are big sales akin to the move from 576i CRT TVs to 1080p LCD/Plasma TVs.

So now they are about to focus on their Ace card—the 2160p UHD (Ultra-high definition) 4K TV. A 4K TV has four times the pixel density of a 1080p HD TV.

UDHTVLet’s just take a look at this 4K thing. What does the 4K mean? It basically means that there are supposed to be about 4,000 or 4K columns of pixels. On a true 4K screen the x,y pixel counts are 4,096 x 2,160. But this is actually a true 4K 16:10 computer monitor. This is NOT what you get in a 4K TV screen. Firstly TV screens are 16:9 and not 16:10. Secondly the TV industry decided to simply double the current 1,920 pixel columns from the 1080p HD screen and get 3,840 pixel columns. So a 4K TV screen is actually more like 3.9375K.

Based on this line of thinking then the current 1080p HD TV (which has 1,920 pixel columns) is a 2K TV and the original 720p HD TV (which has 1,368 pixel columns) would be a 1.3K TV.

Now I have no doubt that a 4K TV showing 4K media input is amazing.

The problem? Apart from demonstration input there is no 4K media input. None. Zip. Zero.

Even worse, at this stage about 90 percent of all free-to-air and ‘cable’ TV is not even 1080p; it is 720p or lower and your TV has to ‘up-scale’ it to 1080p—which in many cases actually makes it look slightly fuzzier than if you watched it on an actual 720p TV.

Also, depending which Web site numbers you elect to believe, only about 15 to 30 percent of Blu-ray movies are 1080p. The other 70 to 85 percent are 720p (or lower). So even if you play Blu-ray the odds are that either the TV or the Blu-ray player is still probably having to up-scale from 720p to 1080p.

On the upside most movies shot on 35mm film could be re-digitised to a more-or-less genuine 4K, but that does involve studios paying for this to be done and then transferred to Blu-ray. This costs 100s of thousands of dollars per movie to do and takes time to post-process. Then we will have a whole new slew of Blu-ray disks coming out tagged as 4K and we will have to buy our disks again for the movies we love.

In order for TV stations to broadcast anything ‘live’ in 4K they are going to have to buy new 4K cameras. So while most live sports broadcasts are currently in 1080p all their video cameras will need replacing with 4K units before they can start broadcasting sports or the morning news in 4K.

For those into downloading or streaming, once real 4K media starts to turn up—as opposed to 1080p media up-scaled to 4K—for the same quality compression the file size going to be about 4 times the size. So an episode of Game of Thrones with good quality compression will go from about 1.2GB to around 4GB. Also we know that Season 5 of Game of Thrones is going to be shot in 4K although sadly seasons 1 through 4 were only shot in 2,880 x 1,620, which in the “K” notation would be maybe 3K.

From what I can find on the Web there is no TV series currently being shot in 4K, although, as is the case for the movies, the older TV series that were shot on 35mm film could—in theory—be digitised to 4K standard.

So? To buy 4K or not?

I think the marketing of 4K TVs is going to be a lot more successful than for 3D and smart TVs. Manufacturers and retailers are desperate to sell big numbers of TVs again. People do like crisper more vibrant TVs.

The almost complete lack of actual 4K media is an issue, but the vast bulk of people will not understand or realise this, and this will work in favour of the manufacturers and retailers. And you can be sure the demonstration 4K media that they will have in the stores will look frigging awesome.

There are some 4K demonstration videos available from YouTube. You can have a look at one here although without an actual 4K TV you will not really see anything different. True 4K (4,096 x 2,160) has been available to computer users for a couple of years so if you have such a computer screen and card capable of this you could watch this YouTube demo in 4K.

Unlike with 1080p I don’t think the TV stations and media creators are going to get into creating 4K media until after they see how 4K sales go to see if the demand is really there. So it is going to be a lot more chicken-and-egg than the change over to 1080p was where the TV stations were marketing HD ahead of TV sales.

Another consideration these days is that a significant percentage of TV and movies are viewed on ‘portable’ devices such as tablets, mobile phones, and other computers. This media—from downloads or streaming services—is typically highly-compressed 1K video. If people are happy with this then there is totally no reason to even consider 4K.

I certainly won’t be rushing to upgrade to 4K. Maybe in five years if it takes off and 4K media does start to appear. Maybe.

BarryMark

It’s official then … Twin Peaks Season 3 to be made

Making a third season of the landmark TV series Twin Peaks has been talked about for a number of years, but the creators of Twin Peaks have consistently denied that they had plans for a third season—25 years after the first two seasons. But sometime yesterday David Lynch (Writer/Director) and Mark Frost (Writer/Producer) jointly confirmed that they are planning to write and produce season three for release sometime in 2016, and that Showtime has given the project the big thumbs-up.

What else do we [think we] know at this stage?

A number of the original cast members will be returning in their original roles and Kyle MacLachlan (Special Agent Dale Cooper) has indicated that his is in.

David Lynch will direct all nine of the new episodes—no rotating director roster as is customary with TV series.

Lynch and Frost will write all episodes.

I’m not too sure but I think Lynch and Frost might have a couple of firsts here. Such as making the third season of the TV series 25 years after the last season, and somehow [we are yet to see how] continuing the story with many of the same actors in the same roles.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I see one of the big issues being making the series interesting to a whole new audience who have never seen the first two seasons or the movie while still keeping the huge (and fiercely loyal) existing fan base happy. Showtime have said they will re-run seasons one and two leading up to the release of the first episode of season three, but that does not mean people will watch them.

So now we just have to watch all the titbits coming out to see what we can learn about season three.

BarryMark

Could it be that Twin Peaks is coming back?

For those of us that are paying attention there are certain little hints and wisps of smoke appearing that seem to suggest that the creators of the TV series Twin Peaks might be up to something. Something along the lines of maybe a Twin Peaks reboot, or maybe a Twin Peaks mini-series, or possibly even a second Twin Peaks movie about the town of Twin Peaks 25 years later.

TPbirdAs readers of this blog would be aware, Twin Peaks, at its time, was the most amazing TV series put to air. It was so amazing that it has stood the test of time. Because of this there are many fans who do not want to see the creators try and bring the Twin Peaks magic back because something so fine just cannot be recreated. However there are just as many fans who want to see what David Lynch and Mark Frost would do with a new Twin Peaks 25 years later.

Earlier this year David Lynch released the Blu-ray packaging of Twin Peaks called “Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery” which included the TV series and the prequel film Fire Walk With Me. This has sold exceptionally well and probably mostly to fans who already own the two previous DVD box set releases.

Each year in America the Twin Peaks festival sells out about six months before it even happens.

But Lynch and Frost have a lot of hard thinking to do if they were seriously going to try and somehow re-spawn the Twin Peaks magic today. In order for the economics to work they would need to put something together that pleased the current fan base while attracting tens of thousands of new viewers who have never heard of Twin Peaks. The new story would have to somehow dovetail into the old story but at the same time not rely too heavily on it or new viewers would not tag along.

CoopKyleAlso they would need to use some of the original actors and, to my thinking, it would be almost mandatory that Kylie MacLachlan (Special Agent Dale Cooper) had a primary part to play.

But then how do they handle the fact that at the end of the series Special Agent Dale Cooper became the host of the evil spirit ‘Bob’. Would he still be the host of Bob 25 years later? I don’t really see how that would work.

I will admit it would be seriously interesting to see how Lynch and Frost approach this, assuming they are actually even thinking of doing it.

Maybe they could get Zooey Deschanel in there somewhere. Sorry. Just thought I would drop that in there.

The other things that fans of Twin Peaks are pointing out is that in the TV series the dead Laura Palmer says to Special Agent Dale Cooper in one of his dreams “I’ll see you again in 25 years” and, depending when you count from, 2014/2015 is 25 years later.

But the big thing that has really set the Twin Peaks fan community off is this—

LynchTweet

[The image above links to the source at the Welcome to Twin Peaks site]

At exactly the same time (11:30 p.m.) on the same day (3rd of Oct) Mark Frost and David Lynch both put the following statement on their Twitter feeds: “Dear Twitter Friends: That gum you like is going to come back in style.”

So why would the primary writer and the main director of the Twin Peaks TV series (Series 1 anyway) post a well known and key phrase from the series at the same time on the same day about 25 years from when it was said?

Crap! Maybe I need to get a Twitter account now.

<<< Edit … Just thought I would add this >>>

Found this looking for Twin Peaks stuff with Google. This is Sherilyn Fenn on the cover of Playboy in December 1990. Sherilyn played Audrey Horne in the series.

AudreyTP

<<< Edit, just saw this at Welcome to Twin Peaks >>>

It was 11:30 a.m. when Special Agent Dale Cooper drove into Twin Peaks at the start of the TV series 25 years ago. It was 11:30 p.m. exactly when both Lynch and Frost tweeted their synchronised tweets.

Now that cannot be a coincidence. But I am not sure of the significance of the 12 hour difference. Is it s time zone thing? Or was the 12 hour difference intentional? And if it was intentional then what is the message in that?

BarryMark

980 mins Twin Peaks TV = 300 mins Northwest Passage movie

I heard and read about this a number of times here and there but had not really taken much notice of it.

Faneditors are folk that like a TV series or film so much that they decide to do their own ‘edit’ of it. In the case of the faneditor named Q2 and the TV series Twin Peaks, what he (or she) has done is take 980 minutes of the two seasons of Twin Peaks and edit that down to a 300 minute (five hour) movie. The resulting movie has been called Northwest Passage; which Twin Peaks fans will know was one of the original names for the Twin Peaks series.

As part of the work done, while editing over 16 hours of television down to five hours Q2 also did a pan-and-scan conversion over to the 16:9 aspect ratio at 720p (Enhanced Definition).

So what was lost in the 11 plus hours of running time that was dropped?

Reading up on Q2’s thinking the plan was to only keep scenes related to the main arc of Twin Peaks, which is the murder of Laura Palmer and who killed her. Sticking to this plan then allowed for over 11 hours of run time to be dropped; much of it from season two.

I am currently trying to download a complete copy of Northwest Passage. If I manage to achieve this then I will obviously watch it and I will publish a short review.

Q2Fanedit

Click on the image above to see a 1.5 minute teaser trailer for Northwest Passage.

BarryMark

4chan and the nude pictures of Jennifer Lawrence

JWLLying in bed trying to go to sleep I watched some American news last night and they were talking about the ‘leaked’ nude pictures of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Victoria Justice, and many other female film stars. As usual with these American round-table style news shows all the presenters looked like models and were about 23 to 28.

For anyone who is not aware of what happened here, earlier this week a truck load of nude and semi-nude pictures of lots of female film and TV stars were leaked via 4chan. The current theory is that these were copied from Apple’s iCloud picture storage using hacked or stolen credentials, and were then posted to 4chan by the thief(s).

The main spokes-girl went on for about two or three minutes on how she had never heard of 4chan and how it was some new dark evil underground place on the Web that regular folk did not use. The others on the round-table all murmured and nodded their agreement with her.

Seriously?

Just quickly, for anyone reading this who does not know about it, 4chan is a newsgroup style site with about 60 newsgroups. It includes newsgroups covering: the paranormal; Pokémon; Retro Games; Video Games; Travel; Television and Film; Sports; Photography; The Outdoors; Auto (Cars); Reading and Literature; Writing; and Technology (Computers).

Most people I know use 4chan. 4chan has a photography thread that I check into from time to time. It also has a Graphic Design group.

4chan is neither new (it goes back to about 2003) nor, in my opinion anyway, is it ‘evil and dark’.

4chan is not indexed by the main indexing engines such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo. Because of this it is sometimes referred to as being part of the ‘deep Web’. The deep Web is that part of the Web that is not indexed by the popular indexing engines (which only index the ‘shallow’ Web)—however, for those that know, there are indexing engines that do index parts of the deep Web.

Anyway, back to Jennifer Lawrence.

Having seen the 4chan nudes of Jennifer Lawrence I honestly do not think she has anything to worry about. Apart from the obvious fake ‘frosted face’ picture, which has been pointed out as fake by a number of 4chan users since it appeared (some even providing detailed forensic analysis schematics to prove their point), the other pictures are basically only Playboy-like R rated ‘boobs and bum’ pictures (with lots of digital noise)—a few of them are really quite cute; like the topless one of her sitting on the floor with a glass of red wine in her right hand and her left hand finger resting on her lips; and a sort of surprised look on her face like she might be  saying to the unknown photographer, “But I don’t have a top on.”

Seriously cute.

BarryMark

Twin Peaks article in the Big Issue

BigIssueTwinPeaks_01This is actually quite old but as it relates to Twin Peaks I decided to post it anyway.

This is a magazine published in Australia called ‘The Big Issue” and, as far as I know, is only available in Australia.. Sales of the Big Issue raise money to financially help women who have lost their husbands or find themselves in financial difficulty for other reasons.

From what I can find out on the Web the money raised goes to help employ homeless women. Something like half of the price of the Big Issue goes to this cause.

At my workplace they purchase a ‘block’ of these magazines and then distribute them throughout the workplace for people to read.

In issue no. 442 back in September 2013 there was s two page spread relating to Twin Peaks.

Following are the two pages from The Big Issue. To see larger 1200y versions of these pages stored in the Abalook SmugMug folder click on the images below.

BigIssueTwinPeaks_02

BigIssueTwinPeaks_03

I am hoping that the publishers of The Big Issue are not unhappy with my scanning and posting of these pages. I appeal to them as a huge Twin Peaks fan not to take any copyright action. Should they be unhappy with this then please leave me a comment and I will immediately remove these pages from this post and also the copies in SmugMug to which they link.

BarryMark

Titbit: 24:20:24:20

There are now just 24 days and about 20 hours until the release of the Blu-ray Director’s Cut edition of Twin Peaks—assuming this is what they actually call it.

I seriously hope it comes out in Australia the same time it is scheduled for the UK and USA.

TwinPeaks2420

David Lynch, the creator and director of Twin Peaks, has stated that the new Blu-ray version will contain “never seen before content”. You can check out a short video of David on this topic over at Welcome to Twin Peaks (here).

If I had the money I think I would try and arrange a special screening of Twin Peaks over a number of weeks. We could do two or three episodes a night once a week with a break between each episode for ‘damn good’ coffee and ‘great’ doughnuts and cherry pie—which will mean something to fans of Twin Peaks.

Sigh. Why does it take money to do anything fun?

BarryMark

Titbit: 57:21:24:25

Only 57 days and 21 hours now until the release of the Blu-ray edition of Twin Peaks, considered by many to be the best TV series ever made.

BlurayCountdown

Click on the countdown image above to go to the new posting at the “Welcome to Twin Peaks” site where they have a very brief video of David Lynch talking about the new Blu-ray release.

BluurayBirdonBranch

It seems certain now that the Blu-ray release is for sure going to contain both the complete Twin Peaks series including the full version of the pilot episode, plus a never-before-existing ‘directors’ cut version of the Twin Peaks movie “Fire Walk With Me”.

What we still don’t know is if the Blu-ray release is going to contain a 16:9 pan’n’scan version of the TV series. I for one am hoping it does, but there is a large contingent of purists that want it to only be available in the original 4:3 aspect ratio; as it was originally filmed and shown on TV.

BlurayTrainLaura

If anyone knows any more then please post a comment about it.

BarryMark

Game of Thrones Season 4 releases on the 6th of April

As any close follower of Game of Thrones will already know, Season 4 will be released on the 6th of April.

They will also know that the first of three Season 4 trailers has just been released. If you are interested then you can get to the trailer via Gizmodo from here or click on the image below.

GoT_Season4_T1

The word is that the settings and special effects are the best ever. All I can say is that they are going to have to be very good to improve on the settings in Season 3. Season 3 was a cinematic treat for the eyes. Even if you are totally not a fan of the Game of Thrones story it was worth watching Season 3 just for the settings and the scenery.

There is talk that Season 5 could be shot in 4K. If this actually happens it will be one of the most compelling reasons I have come across so far for considering actually buying a 4K TV. As things stand I have absolutely no interest at all in upgrading my TV to a 4K unit; but if it is officially confirmed that Season 5 of Game of Thrones will be shot in 4K then, assuming I still have a job, you can bet I will be looking at upgrading to 4K.

All of a sudden I can’t wait for April.

BarryMark