I like low resolution TV, movies, and video games better.

Posted:
in AppleOutsider edited January 2014
Nowadays there is this craze where everything has to be in high definition or people are unsatisfied. I grew up with the Atari 2600 and 70s and early 80s movies and I really don't like how things look in high resolution, unless there is a specific reason for it.



Let's start with movies. Movies from 1975-1985 have that film look that I like. Take the movie Halloween for instance. When you see less detail, you think more abstractly. The movie Halloween would be less mysterious in high definition. The movie has the feel of horny teenagers, a neighborhood, and a killer on the loose. I don't want to see it in high definition. I don't need to see every little detail of the jeans they are wearing or what every piece of furniture looks like or every little detail of their face. I like the way you see Jamie Lee Curtis's face and the kids faces only a little bit. If it was so detailed as if they were in front of you, you see too much.



The key is that with less detail things become more abstract. I just want to see the personality of people's faces or the neighborhood or surroundings.



I hate today's movies that give so much detail that they all feel like watching a football game on a big screen TV. Film gives me a timeless quality and seeing every detail just takes that away. On the other hand, movies like Jeepers Creepers and the American Pie series do use that level of detail to give themselves a certain feel. The high quality of filming adds something to these movies, but I think that is the exception to the rule.



The same is true for video games. I never played games past the Colecovision until recently but I like NES games and don't see much need to go past that in detail, unless there is a reason. Most of the time they just add colors in the background or textures for no artistic reason. I like the feel of Super Mario Brothers and Megaman. All the colors they add on SNES games are a distraction unless they create a certain personality. They do on the best games, but some of them I can do without the extra graphics. A game like Bionic Commando, Batman, or Adventure Island on the NES has enough detail to give me a whole feel of the little world it creates. Similarly, for 3-D graphics, the N64 is enough for me. I like things cartoonish. Things lose their magic when they are so detailed.



Anyone else agree or am I just stuck in the past?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    I detest grainy 80's music videos.
  • Reply 2 of 51
    spindlerspindler Posts: 713member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galley View Post


    I detest grainy 80's music videos.



    See that's another thing. I never noticed, having grown up with them, that there was something wrong. I haven't seen many recent videos, since most of toay's music stinks IMO, so I can't compare.
  • Reply 3 of 51
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Zork.
  • Reply 4 of 51
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Nerd.
  • Reply 5 of 51
    You need to move out of Beverly Hills and move to Lancaster County...
  • Reply 6 of 51
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spindler View Post


    Anyone else agree or am I just stuck in the past?



    This is akin to the touch-feely obsession some people have over tube amps. If you like the grainy look, there's no shame in admitting it, but you are also correct in admitting that you are clinging to the past. There isn't just one way to take a medium and bring art to it. Digital amps and high def video have much better signal integrity than do tubes or film, so it might be more difficult to evoke a "warmness" to it, but warmness is a crutch.
  • Reply 7 of 51
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,421member
    For me it's not so much about the look of old film. In fact, there is no comparison between old and new. HD is so much better it's not even funny.



    The thing I've noticed is this: Now that we have all this amazing technology (HD, $1500 plasma displays, Blu-Ray/HD-DVD, etc.) almost all the movies being made REALLY SUCK.
  • Reply 8 of 51
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    This is akin to the touch-feely obsession some people have over tube amps.



    Surely you don't disparage the warm tones of my Silvertone 1482, sir!
  • Reply 9 of 51
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


    For me it's not so much about the look of old film. In fact, there is no comparison between old and new. HD is so much better it's not even funny.



    There's little perceptual difference between 35mm and 1080. However, 35mm is still higher resolution and has a better image in most respects.



    Low-bit, low-res is great, though. It's like a painting with broad, obvious brush strokes or a clock with exposed gears. People who prefer HD in all cases remind me of 8yo girls who put ketchup on everything.
  • Reply 10 of 51
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,421member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by giant View Post


    There's little perceptual difference between 35mm and 1080. However, 35mm is still higher resolution and has a better image in most respects.



    Low-bit, low-res is great, though. It's like a painting with broad, obvious brush strokes or a clock with exposed gears. People who prefer HD in all cases remind me of 8yo girls who put ketchup on everything.







    I probably should have been more clear. I really just mean grainy looking older film versus HD or even high quality newer film. I can't see why someone would want a copy of something that doesn't look as good. Think about older movies you've seen transferred to HD. They don't look incredible?
  • Reply 11 of 51
    iposteriposter Posts: 1,560member
    There is some point to what you're saying, but that post reminded me of a guy I worked with who was an aspriring musician with a band trying to get a label. He would swear up and down that vinyl records sound better than CD's. He said that CD/Digital takes all the 'character' out of the music, in other words, they are TOO perfect.



    You could apply the same arguments to the PS3 vs Wii thread, some people just aren't happy if it's not HD, even if the underlying quality of the game/movie is worse. Some of the best games I've played, and re-play, in my life are 2D sprite based games. (Bioware/Infinity Engine)
  • Reply 12 of 51
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Just to throw another fish in the pot (wait, is that a real saying?):



    A lot of the perception of how "older movies" look is a function of watching really terrible transfers of really terrible prints on television.



    While it is true that film stocks got progressively finer grained over the years, the washed out, low contrast version of many films from the 60's, 70's and 80's that get shown on TV don't really reflect what was on the negative.



    While there has been a movement to "remaster" some classic films, doing high res digital transfers from original negative, where possible, there are a lot of second tier films that only exist as battered prints or indifferent transfers.



    Now that we have displays capable of showing higher res, and formats capable of handling same, we can get a chance to see some movies much closer to their original splendor, or, in some cases, better than the original theatrical presentation, since many audiences first saw these films as third generation prints that had been screened multiple times (with the attendant wear and tear) on poorly adjusted projectors. For my money, getting to see something like "Citizen Kane" in HD without any gate weave or scratches or flicker, in perfect focus, in the comfort of my own home, is a miracle of the age (just pulling an example out of the air, have no idea if there has been a proper HD transfer of Citizen Kane).



    Not to mention sound, which until recently was always a pale reflection of what was possible to put on the magnetic film (and later, multi-track tape) that was used to carry the track through mix down, and which we can now hear (when properly remastered) as the sound engineers did.
  • Reply 13 of 51
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iPoster View Post


    There is some point to what you're saying, but that post reminded me of a guy I worked with who was an aspriring musician with a band trying to get a label.



    Touchy feely obsessions. If you need vinyl to make you sound good, practice harder. In addition, AV technology is so good today that if you wanted to add a vinyl sound to a digital recording or a old-style video look to an HD video, that's certainly possible.
  • Reply 14 of 51
    iposteriposter Posts: 1,560member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    Touchy feely obsessions. If you need vinyl to make you sound good, practice harder. In addition, AV technology is so good today that if you wanted to add a vinyl sound to a digital recording or a old-style video look to an HD video, that's certainly possible.



    Oh, don't get me wrong, their demo album was released on CD. Just his personal taste that a given song sounded better on vinyl than digital. He also claimed that he could identify what brand and model guitar/amp/effect box an artist was using just by listening to the song (he was a guitarist).



    \
  • Reply 15 of 51
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iPoster View Post


    He also claimed that he could identify what brand and model guitar/amp/effect box an artist was using just by listening to the song (he was a guitarist).



    That's not surprising. A Les Paul has a pretty distinctive sound. A strat, too. Beyond that, it gets difficult. Is it a Les Paul or a PRS? Is it a Strat or a Godin Artisan?



    But the two main categories (Strat and Les Paul)? Sure. That's believable.



    Certain effects boxes are pretty distinctive, too. Not much else sounds like a Big Muff. Not much else sounds like an Echoplex Memory Man.
  • Reply 16 of 51
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwinter View Post


    That's not surprising. A Les Paul has a pretty distinctive sound. A strat, too. Beyond that, it gets difficult. Is it a Les Paul or a PRS? Is it a Strat or a Godin Artisan?



    But the two main categories (Strat and Les Paul)? Sure. That's believable.



    Certain effects boxes are pretty distinctive, too. Not much else sounds like a Big Muff. Not much else sounds like an Echoplex Memory Man.



    Why Professor Midwinter, that's quite a bit of guitar and effects box knowhow there...... been rockin' much?
  • Reply 17 of 51
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Why Professor Midwinter, that's quite a bit of guitar and effects box knowhow there...... been rockin' much?



    Nah. I just memorize stuff like this for fun and trivia challenges.



    I played quite a bit in college and grad school on the southern circuit (Baton Rouge, Jackson, the coast, Mobile, B'Ham, Tuscaloosa, Oxford, that kind of thing...anywhere we could drive in a day and get back for class). And I will never, ever replace my Godin Artisan ST. EDIT: this is actually closer to mine.



    I am in the market for a left-handed Taylor, concert-sized. Maybe a lefty Olsen. Anyone have one they want to give away?
  • Reply 18 of 51
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    I'd like to see the Apple 1984 ad remastered in HD. I imagine it'd look pretty cool.



    I don't necessarily agree that a lower-res version of something would give it a different feel, unlike color adjustment (The Matrix), making something only black and white (Sin City or Schindler's List), or even subtitling versus overdubbing.



    What we need to remember is that they are production choices. I imagine that all of those old movies would probably be distributed in HD if they were produced today. The only feel I get out of all those old films is that they are old. I have a hard time believing that I'd be less scared by an HD version or that a lower res version would seem better to watch.



    All else the same, if I were able to play the original Super Mario Brothers game in high definition with millions of colors I don't know that it would feel any different. Now if you started to throw in the bigger more buttony controllers or the Wiimote, then it would change.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,421member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    Touchy feely obsessions. If you need vinyl to make you sound good, practice harder. In addition, AV technology is so good today that if you wanted to add a vinyl sound to a digital recording or a old-style video look to an HD video, that's certainly possible.



    That's not the reason it sounds better. Analog recording does in fact sound better with the exception of the noise. The reason is that analog captures the entire audio wave, whereas digital only samples and recreates the wave. That is why 24 bit players using 24 bit material sound better than 16 bit.







    An analog recording shows that entire wave as being smooth. While CDs eliminate the noise of tape or vinyl, they cannot carry as much information. Ever listened to a really expensive turntable with perfectly cared for record? It's incredible in terms of depth. There is a "warmth" to the sound that doesn't exist with digital audio.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


    That's not the reason it sounds better. Analog recording does in fact sound better with the exception of the noise.



    That's an unprocessed digital signal. A digital signal can be reconstructed into the original continuous, non-quantized signal by use of an ideal low pass fiter (aka sinc interpolation). In fact, given the stipulation that the maximum component frequency is about 22kHz, the CD signal carries just as much information as the source signal. This is the basis of information theory.



    Using modern FIR filters and by oversampling, a near-ideal filter with linear phase delay can be realized. The noise in any analog system, even the stuff that comes from electron diffusion in the amps themselves, is much greater that what you're going to see from signal-degradation of the digital system. There's also the bonus that any number of FIR filters can be used on digital signals, and FIR filters basically rock -- very flexible, linear phase delay. Linear phase delay is actually a really big deal. Analog filters generally do not have this attribute.



    I've spent a few years doing this stuff.
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