Before reading any progress of 4K worldwide productions, we should be familiar with the lingo that we’ll be encountering, for example:
Full High Definition (Full HD video at 1920×1080 pixels) — Provides 1080 lines with progressive scanning (referred to as 1080p) and 16 × 9 aspect ratio.
ITU-R Recommendation — Commonly known by the abbreviations Rec. 709 or BT.709, it standardized the HD format with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
2K resolution — It is a generic term for display devices or content having horizontal resolution of about 2,000 pixels. The 2K resolution video standard is 2048×1080.
Ultra-High Definition — UHD includes 4K, 8K etc. Also known as Ultra HD and Super Hi-Vision.
4K resolution — In the television industry, UHD-1 is the dominant standard and describes a video format with a minimum resolution of 3840 pixels × 2160 lines in a 16:9 aspect ratio (referred as 2160 p). In the film industry, the standard resolution is 4096 pixels × 2160 lines (aspect ratio 256:135) for 4K movie projection (also known as Native Resolution).
High Dynamic Range (HDR) — It is a UHD-1 Phase 2 standard. TV sets only display a small fraction of what the average person can see. Unlike increased resolution, which works best on a very large screen, increasing the dynamic range provides tangible improvements to the viewing experience and it is applicable to any screen size. UHD-1 Phase 1 has little consumer benefit over HD, since the main 4K enhancement is a higher spatial resolution (i.e., the ability to discriminate between two adjacent high-contrast objects). UHD-1 Phase 2 has additional enhancements: it expands the range of both contrast and color significantly and works at 100/120 frames per second (fps).
Digital Cinema Package (DCP) — It is the digital equivalent of a 35mm film print. It is what distributors give to theaters so that they can screen their movies on digital (also known as “D-Cinema”) projectors. Typically uses JPEG 2000 image compression standard in a Material eXchange Format (MXF) wrapper. Projectors use DCI-P3, which is a common color space for digital movie projection for the American film industry. Like a 35mm print, a DCP is a worldwide standard.
Material eXchange Format (MXF) — A “wrapper” format that differs from an “essence” format (such as JPEG, MP3). A wrapper is similar to a ZIP file that carries many essence type formats simultaneously in one package.
Scaling video formats — A 1080p (Full HD) video source can be scaled up to 4K through doubling every pixel horizontally and vertically. Every pixel of the 1080p video source will be four pixels on the screen. Also, 720p (HD) video format sources can be upscaled by tripling every pixel horizontally and vertically.
Down conversion — Converting a video master to a lower resolution format. One example would be going from 1080 Full HD to standard definition.
Master — Any finished, completed original videotape or source file.
Mastered in 4K — A Sony term to denote a Full HD film that has been “remastered” (or downscaled) from a UHD source. A “mastered in 4K”, therefore, is not true 4K (2160 p). But a “Mastered in 4K” film is optimized to be upscaled for playback on a 4K TV set using the 4K TV’s mathematical upscaling algorithm and it will work on standard HDTVs as well. While the majority of movies are mastered in 2K resolution more and more are starting to be mastered in 4K resolution. These latter films are displayed in the 4K (2160p) resolution on 4K TV sets without upscaling.
Mastered in 4K vs. true 4K — True 4K (or Native 4K) content is mastered and stored in 4K resolution. Unlike “Mastered in 4K,” it is not upscaled by a mathematical algorithm from a lower 1080p resolution. True 4K content requires much more data storage, with an average feature film to be at least 100 gigabytes.
Linear Tape-Open (LTO) — A magnetic tape data storage technology developed in the late 1990s as an open standards alternative to the proprietary magnetic tape formats that were available at the time. Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Quantum control the LTO Consortium.