How Come Some of my Stuff Still Looks or Sounds So Awful? OR, That's Art from the School of Shoddy!

If you are serious about audio and video, know this:  The BETTER the quality of your audio and video setup the LESS forgiving it will be of crappy content!  ALL of the defects in your poorer quality content WILL now be seen and heard.

Upgrade your audio system?  You may find some of your favorite music tracks are no longer listenable.  Upgrade your video system?  You may find some of your favorite movie discs are no longer watchable.  And no amount of "enhancement" features in your electronics can "fix" such problems.  The creation of poor quality content results in a loss of information; a PERMANENT loss of information.  The most you can do for it now is "blur" the defects so they become less annoying -- at the risk of also blurring whatever's left that's GOOD in the content.

Things that strike you as odd or wrong in a piece may, of course, just be due to mistakes in the performance, or how it was captured, or in the authoring of the version you are playing.  Such mistakes do happen.  This is one of the reasons you want to confirm your setup using content of known correctness.   E.g., Calibration Discs.

You will also, from time to time, discover cases where the "Artistic Intent" of the material is simply not to your taste.  Just as with the story itself, and the acting, you may not like how the art and sound design of a piece are used to tell that story.

But that's not our topic for today.  Today's post is about trained professionals, intentionally doing stupid things because they thought they were a good idea!  This is Art from the School of Shoddy.  Let's check out the Curriculum, shall we?

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"Dunkirk" (2017) on UHD Blu-ray -- HDR and WCG done right!

Writer/Director Christopher Nolan has called his blockbuster an "experimental" film; and that is both its genius and its problem.  This shortish film (only 106 minutes) *IS* an experiential masterpiece.  But that is accomplished at the expense of traditional story-telling and character development.  It will not appeal to everyone, particularly if you come to it thinking you are about to see a typical, Hollywood-mytholgized, period history film.  Ya know, with big name stars the audience can root for!

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Digital Video, OR "Lost in Color Space!"

Few things cause as much confusion among Home Theater enthusiasts as the myriad details surrounding Digital Video formats. It is typical to run into settings choices, for example, which come with no useful explanation, nor even advice as to when or why you might prefer one over another. It is also typical to run into non-intuitive limitations: You can't do THIS because you are also trying to do THAT!

In this post, I will attempt to survey the entire topic of Digital Video formats as applied to Home Theater systems. There's way too much material here to cover everything in one post, but I will try to show you how the pieces fit together, and introduce the jargon you will see repeatedly in future posts as I get into more details.

So if you've ever wondered just what, "HDMI 4K/24 YCbCr 4:2:2 12-bit HDR10 BT.2020 with HDCP 2.2" actually MEANS (and why the heck you'd need to KNOW that), this post is for you!

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