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Old 01-23-2019, 03:55 AM   #21
Dubstar Dubstar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
I remember the article well, but note that it's Soderbergh who was pushing for it to be finished in 4K HDR while he had the opportunity as he's a proper techo-geek, while Criterion were like "um, okay then?". Mr S was finishing stuff like Ocean's 13 in 4K a full twelve years ago, he's always been ahead of the curve...but that still doesn't mean that Criterion will do anything with this 4K HDR master of SL&V while they still have the licence for the movie.

Their silence about 4K UHD thus far speaks volumes, them being the capo di tutti capi of indies. I ain't ruling it out completely - it took 'em long enough to make anamorphic DVDs back in the day 'cause they didn't really understand the benefit of it - I'm just saying that I'm not expecting to see Criterion UHDs (as much as I think they're waaaaay overhyped, that's got a nice ring to it) any time soon.

sadly it's now just a wait and see game when Criterion bites the bullet and actually release a 4K UHD disc/title.

what I don't see Criterion doing is a separate HDR pass of a movie just for the sake of the format - a 4K scan is just that, no enhancing the colors just for HDR's bells and whistles.
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:18 AM   #22
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I suppose I'm probably wrong, as I've been wrong about a lot of things, but I see this as a matter of "when" and not "if". To be sure, I don't expect that Criterion will re-release every film on UHD BD, and I'm not sure they will ever even get to a point where they are releasing every new title on the format. But boy, does this conversation sound a lot like the one everyone was having in 2006, 2007 and even 2008 before Criterion announced their move into Blu-ray.

My guess is that Criterion will move gently into the format once more and more of their favorite directors succumb to it, which will probably be over the next five years or so. I expect the roadblock here is that the technology is still changing/expanding, and Criterion doesn't really want to get caught with their collective pants down regarding things like HDR, so all of that will need to be settled, at least from a hardware standpoint, before Criterion even releases one title. I assume these issues, along with costs, are what also keeps other independent labels reticent, but it's worth noting that several independent labels have already released UHD BDs, especially in Germany and Japan, but also in a handful of other countries like Hong Kong and even one or two in Italy and Scandinavia.

Once all the HDR stuff is settled, I could certainly see Criterion UHD releases being sporadic at first, and limited to recent films. But, as long as the format doesn't implode, they're not going to want to be humiliated by majors for very long.

Already, one title that we know is in Criterion's wheelhouse was set to be released on UHD BD (the now-infamous Isle of Dogs that should have come from Fox) and was mysteriously scrapped. Obviously, Criterion alone could not have stopped it, but at the same time, Criterion would look kind of stupid releasing a new, extras-laden 1080p Blu-ray, when Fox would have already released the film in 4K several years earlier.

My guess is that the amount of titles released on UHD BD that Criterion would want to release is only going to increase in the next few years, and that will put additional pressure on them to adopt the format, as well.
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:38 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCrutchy View Post
I suppose I'm probably wrong, as I've been wrong about a lot of things, but I see this as a matter of "when" and not "if". To be sure, I don't expect that Criterion will re-release every film on UHD BD, and I'm not sure they will ever even get to a point where they are releasing every new title on the format. But boy, does this conversation sound a lot like the one everyone was having in 2006, 2007 and even 2008 before Criterion announced their move into Blu-ray.

My guess is that Criterion will move gently into the format once more and more of their favorite directors succumb to it, which will probably be over the next five years or so. I expect the roadblock here is that the technology is still changing/expanding, and Criterion doesn't really want to get caught with their collective pants down regarding things like HDR, so all of that will need to be settled, at least from a hardware standpoint, before Criterion even releases one title. I assume these issues, along with costs, are what also keeps other independent labels reticent, but it's worth noting that several independent labels have already released UHD BDs, especially in Germany and Japan, but also in a handful of other countries like Hong Kong and even one or two in Italy and Scandinavia.

Once all the HDR stuff is settled, I could certainly see Criterion UHD releases being sporadic at first, and limited to recent films. But, as long as the format doesn't implode, they're not going to want to be humiliated by majors for very long.

Already, one title that we know is in Criterion's wheelhouse was set to be released on UHD BD (the now-infamous Isle of Dogs that should have come from Fox) and was mysteriously scrapped. Obviously, Criterion alone could not have stopped it, but at the same time, Criterion would look kind of stupid releasing a new, extras-laden 1080p Blu-ray, when Fox would have already released the film in 4K several years earlier.

My guess is that the amount of titles released on UHD BD that Criterion would want to release is only going to increase in the next few years, and that will put additional pressure on them to adopt the format, as well.
I hope this bodes well for Malick's "Voyage of Time' which is the sheer definition of what 4K UHD can and should look like - all the imports of this title have been dodgy, at best. Malick wants to do any version of the 90 minute cut of the movie without the dialogue, and since this now is distributor-less, I would assume Criterion has been in talks with a home video release. [fingers crossed]

speaking of 4K and restorations, I can't wait to see and own the eventual release of 'Tunes of Glory' which is having it's theatrical debut at TCM's Classic Film Festival in L.A. in April [restoration done by the Academy Film Archive, The Film Foundation, MoMA and Janus Films]. The DVD of this had a really nasty visible film rip in one scene.

Last edited by Dubstar; 01-23-2019 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:58 AM   #24
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Criterion adopting 4K UHD will come much further down the line I believe. They still release DVD for most new titles (except the Bergman Box) and when I'm in B&N during the sales, I see just as many people buying DVD as Blu ray, possibly more. It's early days for 4K UHD. The first Blu rays appeared in June 2006, Criterion bowed Blu ray in December 2008 to give you an idea.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:01 AM   #25
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Criterion adopting 4K UHD will come much further down the line I believe. They still release DVD for most new titles (except the Bergman Box) and when I'm in B&N during the sales, I see just as many people buying DVD as Blu ray, possibly more. It's early days for 4K UHD. The first Blu rays appeared in June 2006, Criterion bowed Blu ray in December 2008 to give you an idea.
remind me, when did the first UHD discs hit the market / stores?
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:55 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Fever Music View Post
Criterion adopting 4K UHD will come much further down the line I believe. They still release DVD for most new titles (except the Bergman Box) and when I'm in B&N during the sales, I see just as many people buying DVD as Blu ray, possibly more. It's early days for 4K UHD. The first Blu rays appeared in June 2006, Criterion bowed Blu ray in December 2008 to give you an idea.
Again, I could be wrong, but it seems to me that Criterion are actually phasing out DVD, and have been ever since the shift back away from dual format releases. The Eclipse line is more or less dead, and box sets are now becoming unavailable on DVD. The Bergman box being Blu-ray-only is the strongest indicator yet that Criterion thinks their consumers have largely switched to Blu-ray--a theory upheld by the fact that it sold out like lightning--and I have long suspected that much of their remaining DVD sales go to schools, libraries and institutions, places which are far more likely to purchase titles individually and thus avoid the headache of breaking sets up.

And while anecdotes are often dangerous () you say anecdotally that "just as many people [buy] DVD", but my anecdotal response is that while that's definitely true of any other titles in a Barnes and Noble store, I never see people buy Criterion titles on DVD anymore, and my local stores always have Blu-ray versions of every new release Criterion title on release date, as well as most of the catalogue. In my area, Barnes and Noble having Criterion titles on Blu-ray is literally the only remaining thing I can rely on as someone who buys Blu-rays at brick and mortar shops almost every Tuesday.

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remind me, when did the first UHD discs hit the market / stores?
March 2016.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:50 AM   #27
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They can do what they want. I simply don't buy their 4K material released on Blu ray. If they want my money (often again) it has to be 4K.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:05 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Dubstar View Post
sadly it's now just a wait and see game when Criterion bites the bullet and actually release a 4K UHD disc/title.

what I don't see Criterion doing is a separate HDR pass of a movie just for the sake of the format - a 4K scan is just that, no enhancing the colors just for HDR's bells and whistles.
Yes, the HDR part is what Soderbergh had to convince them to let him do on SL&V. For me, 4K minus HDR is only half of the package and if they were to start doing 4K SDR discs then I doubt I'd be buying many of them. I think you'd get a LOT of people complaining that they hardly look any different to the BD (we get enough of that WITH extra dynamic range, never mind without) and the sort of people that Criterion appeal to are a particular type of cineaste: they care deeply about the movies, not so much about the PQ. Some would say that this is what everyone should be like, but then we wouldn't be on this forum if we were

Sure, you could argue that Criterion wouldn't have survived on BD if people didn't care about PQ at all, but I still get the feeling that BD is very much "good enough" in the minds of a LOT of punters who chase after all this arthouse/schlock/genre fayre that comes from the indies. If that is indeed the case then HDR is its own double-edged sword: it's one of the biggest upgrades in PQ that I've seen in 25 years and I think UHD really does need it to stand out from what came before, but it also comes with the sort of "revisionist" tag (rightly or wrongly) that also happens to rub those aforementioned cineastes up the wrong way.

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boy, does this conversation sound a lot like the one everyone was having in 2006, 2007 and even 2008 before Criterion announced their move into Blu-ray.
It does indeed. Could apply the same to DVD before that. But the point here is that Blu-ray wasn't up against the gun re: streaming and the general slow decline of the movie-buying mindset. Criterion also had an extra reason to sit it out because of the HD DVD/Blu-ray format war, 'twas a brave indie that took the plunge while they were still slugging it out. I suppose one could say that the HDR 'format war' is a similar thing but it's really not, HDR discs have a mandatory HDR10 layer compatible with all HDR players and TVs and the two dynamic metadata formats can now be accommodated on one disc anyway.
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:45 PM   #29
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It does indeed. Could apply the same to DVD before that. But the point here is that Blu-ray wasn't up against the gun re: streaming and the general slow decline of the movie-buying mindset. Criterion also had an extra reason to sit it out because of the HD DVD/Blu-ray format war, 'twas a brave indie that took the plunge while they were still slugging it out. I suppose one could say that the HDR 'format war' is a similar thing but it's really not, HDR discs have a mandatory HDR10 layer compatible with all HDR players and TVs and the two dynamic metadata formats can now be accommodated on one disc anyway.
But remember, this is a company that saw value in issuing $100+ Special Edition Laserdiscs for fifteen years even as the format was dying. And as with LD and DVD, they've utilized most of the genuinely useful enhancements Blu-ray has provided at one time or another, including high-resolution audio, 7.1 sound and Blu-ray 3D. It's hard to argue with UHD Blu-ray not being another of those genuine enhancements to home video, so I just can't see them sitting out on UHD Blu-ray for much longer...even if they only end up releasing a few dozen titles over a period of years.

Yes, they're doing a bit of streaming, but honestly, streaming should be anathema to them, because if they embrace it, much of their hard work will probably disappear once their license expires, creating the same problem that many of their Laserdiscs/older DVDs had and still do have today, but without physical copies to at least partially redress the situation. I would hope that they bear this in mind and proceed with extreme caution into digital, always prioritizing physical media as a way to ensure that future interviews, commentaries, and even transfer/mastering work and/or color correction not be lost to time.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:55 PM   #30
Geoff D Geoff D is online now
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Of course they kept releasing LDs, they were quite leery of DVD to begin with, but we're not talking here about them keeping a beloved but cranky format going in the face of its imminent death, we're talking about them supporting a new format. That in itself proves my point, no? That they kept on chugging along with LD and didn't fully embrace DVD for a good few years until its ubiquity was assured (not going with anamorphic transfers for several early discs because they thought it wouldn't work properly on 4:3 TVs) isn't a great sign for their potential adoption of UHD.

As for 3D, how many more 3D discs have Criterion done? Five, ten, twenty, what? And sound is by far the lesser part of this equation, they're simply using the standard for what's on each format they've adopted (PCM, analogue then AC3 for LDs, PCM, DD and DTS for DVD, PCM, lossless for BD) so claiming that that's evidence of some major technological breakthrough in their thinking is more than a bit disingenuous IMO.

Last edited by Geoff D; 01-23-2019 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:09 AM   #31
McCrutchy McCrutchy is online now
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Of course they kept releasing LDs, they were quite leery of DVD to begin with, but we're not talking here about them keeping a beloved but cranky format going in the face of its imminent death, we're talking about them supporting a new format. That in itself proves my point, no? That they kept on chugging along with LD and didn't fully embrace DVD for a good few years until its ubiquity was assured (not going with anamorphic transfers for several early discs because they thought it wouldn't work properly on 4:3 TVs) isn't a great sign for their potential adoption of UHD.
I would disagree, primarily because no one is claiming Criterion would need to abandon 1080p Blu-ray when they move to UHD Blu-ray. In fact, it's possible that a handful of titles could be released simultaneously to all three formats, but obviously, if one format has to go, it would be DVD, and there is plenty of precedent for that from boutique labels (and Criterion, particularly in the UK where they don't release any DVDs), now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
As for 3D, how many more 3D discs have Criterion done? Five, ten, twenty, what? And sound is by far the lesser part of this equation, they're simply using the standard for what's on each format they've adopted (PCM, analogue then AC3 for LDs, PCM, DD and DTS for DVD, PCM, lossless for BD) so claiming that that's evidence of some major technological breakthrough in their thinking is more than a bit disingenuous IMO.
It's not really anything to do with the technology. In fact, I believe the examples I chose are actually unique, and that's part of the point. Criterion produced a Blu-ray 3D disc for one title, probably at the director's behest. Likewise, they will utilize advanced sound formats if the filmmaker wants it, just as they will sometimes include remixed audio options (e.g. The Game), as well.

The point being that if they haven't already, then eventually, Criterion will run into a film where the director wants it presented on UHD BD, and after that, they will run into more directors that want their films presented on UHD BD, and eventually, the number of missed opportunities will be too many to ignore.

It's certainly not going to happen overnight, but every month, we're seeing new catalogue titles from majors that look good to amazing on UHD BD--from StudioCanal's admittedly flawed disc for The Deer Hunter, to Universal's amazing disc for Schindler's List, which must all but settle the idea that black and white 35mm film could benefit from UHD Blu-ray and HDR--that are much closer to what Criterion would want to release than a modern superhero film or a CGI animated film. And as I've said, unless the format implodes, that list of titles is likely to grow, especially as more labels from around the world get in on the act. Certainly, the process has been slow, but for where we are in home video, I think UHD BD is doing very well indeed, and as I say, I can't see Criterion sitting it out much longer, particularly if more titles that they have already released start getting UHD Blu-ray releases.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:43 AM   #32
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As for 3D, how many more 3D discs have Criterion done? Five, ten, twenty, what?
Just Pina, as far as I know. That was around 6 years ago.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:00 AM   #33
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I don't know what will happen to The Thin Red Line, now that Disney owns it, but it would make a fantastic first release on UHD-BD for Criterion, since it has a relatively new 4K master available.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:10 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by McCrutchy View Post
Yes, they're doing a bit of streaming...
Criterion is all in on streaming, first with FilmStruck, and soon with The Criterion Channel, and it makes sense 4K will happen in 2019 for the new platform.

They will continue to release titles on physical media simply because the two platforms are not necessarily mutually exclusive, i.e., many fans will spend for both stream and disc.

$100 a year to stream their entire catalogue? It’s a no-brainer.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:14 AM   #35
Geoff D Geoff D is online now
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Just Pina, as far as I know. That was around 6 years ago.
Thanks. One solitary 3D title is hardly evidence them embracing a techy new format extension with open arms then, is it? All the work that Bob Furmanek et al are doing in restoring all those golden age 3D movies is right in Criterion's wheelhouse, but as it was a niche of a niche then they simply weren't bothered with it and I really can see the same happening with them and 4K disc.

--------------------------

I take all your points on board McC, as I always do, but IMO the implied importance and ubiquity of 4K UHD - that someone could strongarm them into releasing such a disc - won't be anywhere near that level for a good long while yet. Sure, we've got films like Deer Hunter and Schindler's List on 4K UHD and they're hardly the feel-good movies of the year but even so, they've got the might of some rather large studios/distributors behind them who can openly distribute them in several countres and who are willing to take that chance on them in 4K, as opposed to a technologically skittish indie with a strict policy of region locking (edit: though at least the've got a UK arm now which could soften the blow of the UHD production costs, that they could sell x disc in the UK and US providing that their rights cover both countries).

TBH I do get the sense that the indies in general would like to at least dip their toes in, but until someone actually wanders out to the shoreline and tests the waters then it seems like everybody's holding back. I just hope that they don't all stay on the beach for too long while the Great White Streaming Hope gobbles everything up. We know that Kino are working on something, it may yet take that as-yet-unknown title to convince everybody else that the market is there - providing it sells well, of course!

Last edited by Geoff D; 01-24-2019 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:16 AM   #36
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Criterion is all in on streaming, first with FilmStruck, and soon with The Criterion Channel, and it makes sense 4K will happen in 2019 for the new platform.

They will continue to release titles on physical media simply because the two platforms are not necessarily mutually exclusive, i.e., many fans will spend for both stream and disc.

$100 a year to stream their entire catalogue? Itís a no-brainer.
for that amount it better showcase the 4K restorations, transfers at 4K.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:18 AM   #37
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I would buy them as long as they kept making Blu-ray discs to include with it.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:28 AM   #38
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I think they will eventually, probably within the next year or two at the most. As the market gets saturated with 4K TVs, and them having a reputation for quality, there will be pressure to release material on par with that of the major studio 4K catalog releases.

There will be no conflict or fear of losing any of the existing Blu-ray fan base because they'll just release dual format like nearly all the releases are now anyway. They'll even have the option of not having a Blu-ray-only SKU and just do the dual format on some releases. The only consideration is whether they would stick to the same SRP on dual format (or just 4k for that matter), or raise it $10 to $49.95. If they keep it the same, then surely that would increase sales because of the higher value proposition.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:47 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
I take all your points on board McC, as I always do, but IMO the implied importance and ubiquity of 4K UHD - that someone could strongarm them into releasing such a disc - won't be anywhere near that level for a good long while yet. Sure, we've got films like Deer Hunter and Schindler's List on 4K UHD and they're hardly the feel-good movies of the year but even so, they've got the might of some rather large studios/distributors behind them who can openly distribute them in several countres and who are willing to take that chance on them in 4K, as opposed to a technologically skittish indie with a strict policy of region locking (edit: though at least the've got a UK arm now which could soften the blow of the UHD production costs, that they could sell x disc in the UK and US providing that their rights cover both countries).

TBH I do get the sense that the indies in general would like to at least dip their toes in, but until someone actually wanders out to the shoreline and tests the waters then it seems like everybody's holding back. I just hope that they don't all stay on the beach for too long while the Great White Streaming Hope gobbles everything up. We know that Kino are working on something, it may yet take that as-yet-unknown title to convince everybody else that the market is there - providing it sells well, of course!
FYI: The region-locking stance has also apparently softened a bit, because the Bergman box set discs are entirely region free. It might well be a one-off, but it's still a significant change, especially given that Criterion took an unnecessarily oppressive stance on region coding by applying it to every disc as a blanket policy.

Also, we'll have to agree to disagree on Criterion being "technologically skittish". I think, far from that, they always try to be at the forefront of home video, but the difference is that they refuse to compromise their reputation or their mission by diving in early. I never expected Criterion to be first in line at the buffet because I never expected them to want to release most of the titles available on UHD Blu-ray in 2016 and 2017. Likewise, when Criterion do go to UHD Blu-ray, I don't expect there to be any easily identifiable technical flaws on the discs, for example, and I think issues like the ones StudioCanal have had would be unacceptable to them. I think ultimately, HDR and Dolby Vision need to be completely sorted with no prickly bits like whether or not to buy into HDR10+, and as I've said many months ago, Criterion may also want to see 100 GB discs come into wider use, (something which Lionsgate and Universal seem to be helping with) because several of their films are lengthy, and because they ultimately need to decide whether to place extras on the UHD Blu-ray as they did when they last graduated to Blu-ray, or whether to keep them on 1080p discs.

But yes, I do understand what you're saying Geoff , that it is taking quite a while, and streaming is definitely a spanner in the works. Hopefully, it all gets sorted to everyone's satisfaction, but I think Criterion could ultimately do really well with UHD Blu-ray and so I'd hope that they at least give themselves a chance to release some titles.

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Old 01-24-2019, 07:57 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by tyler2tall147 View Post
Isn't the 4k version of the scan they used of Silence of the Lambs on iTunes?

I think they will continue with Blu-ray releases, and then the actual studios will release the 4k version digitially.
The gorgeous iTunes version has Dolby Vision. That's large budget studio work, probably by MGM.

And in general, I'm sure these small labels would love to get into the UDH market, but they simply don't have the money, technology, or people who know what they're doing.

Look at someone like Shout!, in over a decade of trying, they can't put together a simple proper Blu-ray. UHD might as well be quantum physics to them.
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