Tuesday, February 04, 2020

In "4K"

I'll skip the old man grouch post about how the Super Bowl has almost entirely divorced itself from what makes football fun to watch in the first place.

Okay, one note. In the first half, there were 53 plays from scrimmage. And 48 commercials. That's why the game felt so ponderous. It was ponderous. Every year, the game has to overcome the presentation.

Also, Patrick Mahomes is a superstar, in all-caps. What a privilege it is to watch him play.

Okay, here's the actual old man rant today.

In 2002, Fox broadcast the Super Bowl in 480P resolution, after CBS had done it in 1080i the previous year. It wasn't even real 480P. Fox used 480i production trucks and used a line doubler to output 480P.

Fox crowed for weeks about how 480P was actually a superior format. It wasn't, and the Super Bowl looked like shit. Fox pretended it never happened, then started broadcasting in 720P, which was still an inferior format to 1080i.

Seventeen years later, they're still doing it (ABC, too).

This year, Fox crowed about how they were broadcasting the Super Bowl in 4K for the first time. In typical Fox fashion, they were lying. What they broadcast was 1080P upscaled, along with HDR.

Did it look good? Yes. Did it look like 4K HDR? No. I've seen college football in true 4K and it is spectacular beyond belief. This wasn't nearly as good, and why should it be? Calling upscaled 1080P 4K is like putting a bedsheet on a pole inside a rowboat and calling it a sailboat.

Fox claims upscaled 1080P in HDR is "just as good" as 4K. That's so they can cheap out and not buy 4K cameras.

Same old shit.

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