What Shows Are Broadcast In 4k – Are you re-watching your favorite childhood TV series with your kids and ask yourself – wouldn’t it be better if I watched it in beautiful 4K? That’s a very legitimate question because the old TV shows you watch are mostly in SD quality. This translates to a resolution of 720×576 pixels at best, which is 5% of the pixel count of a 4K screen. In practice, this means that your TV will magnify each frame 20 times to fill the entire 4K screen. No wonder the picture looks so innocent.
Many old TV shows and movies like Star Trek TOS / TNG, Aladdin or the original Lion King have already been remastered in high definition and are available on popular streaming devices. However, the chances that your favorite childhood TV show or movie is at least available in full HD are pretty good. The reason for this is that high definition editing is often a difficult and expensive task. First you need to find the original 16mm or 8mm film that you hope is still in good shape. The film must be physically scanned digitally. When the film is scanned, manual color and image correction are done. All this requires a lot of time and money, which can rarely be justified in terms of business. You can read more about film restoration here and here.
What Shows Are Broadcast In 4k
AI, artificial neural networks and machine learning have all been buzzwords in the last few years. While often exaggerated, the development of artificial neural networks (ANNs) brought about by areas such as voice and image recognition or machine translation cannot be overlooked. They are basically powerful pattern recognition algorithms that can automatically learn how to transform input into a desired output based on existing data. will automatically learn how to distinguish between the two. Writing a traditional program to distinguish between cats and dogs in images takes months of coding and is probably not as good as a simple ANN that can be set up in days.
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Since ANNs can be trained on a variety of tasks, why not use them for 4K reconstruction? Give ANN enough examples of SD and 4K versions of the same photos or videos and it will learn how to reprocess the low-quality SD input into 4K detail. Remember that when you convert an image to SD 4K, you are technically converting a pixel to 20. When you watch SD content on a 4K TV, each pixel is essentially enlarged 20 times and reddened to reduce jagged edges. ANN, on the other hand, will artificially add real details to the newly extracted 19 pixels for each pixel of the original video. The end result of 4K should be crisp and with a lot of detail, which is simply missing from SD video.
You can build and train your own ANN model in 4K resolution as all neural network frameworks are open source, but luckily solutions for this already exist. One such tool is Topaz Video Enhance AI by Topaz Labs. This tool allows you to upscale your low quality videos to 4K or even 8K with just a few clicks using pre-trained ANNs.
Topaz Video Enhance AI was tested on the DVD release of the Transformers G1 Animated Series from 1984. This iconic series has never been restored in HD, let alone 4K, making it a test subject (besides the fact that it’s a great show). The mid-range Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card took about 14 hours to upscale a 22-minute long scene from SD to 4K, but the wait was worth it. Below are some comparison shots from the Season 1 intro theme:
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Left – Original SD version upscaled to 4K without AI | Right – 4K version with AI (native 4K component)
The difference between the original and the 4K version of Transformers is hard to miss. The picture is sharper and cleaner – something that a normal mount is not able to do. You’ll still see the occasional film noise and the AI mode can’t improve the animation quality, but it certainly gives the 36-year-old Transformers a much-needed boost.
The 4K upscaling results of ANNs are impressive. Is it good for cultural reform? No, but how easy it is to use is an amazing achievement. Currently, 4K upscaling ANNs are mostly used by enthusiasts and hobbyists. The average consumer will not see or use these devices because they are too slow. With the exception of the 2019 Nvidia Shield, there are no clients capable of upscaling 4K videos in real time with modern ANNs. So the question is, when can we expect this kind of AI to become mainstream? There are two possible solutions:
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We can expect to see high-end consumer products using real-time ANNs in 4K and 8K upscaling in the coming years. These can take the form of set-top boxes or consoles and must be connected to the TV. One of the current products is the Nvidia Shield 2019. Later, we can expect AI enhancement tools to be built directly into TVs. This will be especially helpful in selling 8K TVs as it will practically eliminate the lack of 8K content available.
Another possibility for promoting ANN to be general is to watch devices to use this technology. Streaming sites must upscale their SD and HD content to 4K or even 8K with ANNs similar to what is done on existing hardware. Once completed, upscaled 4K or 8K content will be available for anyone to stream. This method will require certain licensing agreements with movie studios, but from a technical point of view, there is nothing preventing broadcast platforms from using this technology now.
Whether 4K reconfiguration of modern ANNs becomes mainstream is anyone’s guess. But the results of what this kind of technology can achieve make us hope for a future that will never end.
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Disclaimer: CHANGE and all related characters are owned by Hasbro and I do not claim any rights to them. I am not affiliated with Topaz Labs or any of its employees. Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, permission is granted for “fair use” purposes such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is use permitted by copyright law that may infringe. So, you’ve invested in a 4K TV, but we still live in a world dominated by 1080p. There are several outlets where you can get real 4K footage if you have the right equipment.
Apple TV doesn’t yet support 4K, but Roku, Fire TV and Chromecast all have UHD channels (available on some, but not all, devices). You’ll also need to connect your TV to Ethernet to take advantage of its full capabilities, unless you have fast Wi-Fi. Netflix has started shooting its originals in higher formats (like 5K and 6K) and is handling 4K for viewing. Most of the time, however, studios still shoot scenes with a lot of special effects in 2K and measure them after the fact. So, if the Demogorgon seems a little funny, that’s why.
Along with 4K, we are in an HDR moment. HDR, or high dynamic range, is basically an improvement in contrast and color accuracy that gives a realistic picture. It is often the improvement of the image quality of these 4K programs that “pops” even more to the average viewer than the added resolution.
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The Netflix food documentary series “Chef’s Table” was recorded in 6K and mastered in 4K for viewing. The quality of the visible image brings out every creative detail of the chef.
The AMC series “Breaking Bad” has been removed from its original 35mm film for viewing in 4K on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Improved image quality brings the scary, underworld of crime right in your face.
“Better Call Saul,” the prequel to “Breaking Bad,” was filmed in 6K and mastered in 4K for streaming on Netflix and Amazon. The universe presented in “Breaking Bad” gets better (and rainier) with every passing pixel.
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The brilliant first season of Netflix’s “The Crown” was filmed entirely in 4K, and the UHD resolution makes the highly praised cinematography, costumes and set design more impressive.
“Marvel’s Daredevil” will be filmed and streamed in 4K HDR. Colors and images in 4K HDR mode are so clear, you feel like the Marvel Universe is unfolding in front of your eyes instead of through the lens of the camera.
The new season of the Smithsonian Channel’s “Aerial America” was filmed entirely in 4K, and you can stream the 4K video on their digital channel, available on Roku and Amazon Fire TV. The series is perfect for UHD viewing because every shot is a beautiful piece
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