Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Video Quality Matters Less If You Enjoy the Show

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the captain-obvious-is-in-uniform dept.

Graphics 366

An anonymous reader writes "Rice University researchers say new studies show that if you like what you're watching, you're less likely to notice the difference in video quality of the TV show, Internet video or mobile movie clip, putting a lie to some of the more extravagant marketing claims of electronics manufacturers. 'If you're at home watching and enjoying a movie, we found that you're probably not going to notice or even concern yourself with how many pixels the video is or if the data is being compressed,' said the lead researcher. 'This strong relationship holds across a wide range of encoding levels and movie content when that content is viewed under longer and more naturalistic viewing conditions.'"

cancel ×


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

In other news (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 4 years ago | (#33230742)

The quality of sex matters less if you're having it.

Re:In other news (1, Insightful)

odies (1869886) | about 4 years ago | (#33230788)

Eh? I beg to differ. Especially if you're having a lot of it, quality starts to matter a lot.

But of course quality of video matters less with great movies and tv shows. I greatly enjoy watching Seinfeld even while the sound nor video quality is not up to bar with todays standards. However, I don't really like to pick up an old movie or tv show if I don't know it's great. I've always done that, even while people say the quality doesn't matter so much. But it does. While I can watch a average movie with a good video quality, I wouldn't do so with old movies.

You usually hear people saying that video quality or graphics in computer games aren't important but the story is. While certainly true, it doesn't mean you couldn't have both. After all, good video or graphics quality add to the immersion.

I certainly want both great story and good video quality. Just like I want great looks and and great sex from a girl.

Re:In other news (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33230996)

Just like I want great looks and and great sex from a girl.

Remove 1 of those 3 constraints (looks, sex, or girl) and it just might happen!

All cliche Slashdot jokes aside, I think I am always constantly judging video quality subconsciously and it does bug me sometimes when the quality isn't great even if the show is. For example, my room mate had downloaded the first season of Scrubs. Don't ask where he got it from, I'm sure it was through those intertorrentpiratebays. Anyways, the quality of each episode was about what you'd expect from a Youtube webcam video from 1998. When he put the episodes on a hard drive and watched them on the big 50 inch, he didn't really notice the quality that much. I found it painful and abysmal to watch, like each rectangular compression that occured was somehow taunting my soul.

This same room mate doesn't really see the difference between regular TV and HDTV, even though we've switched the channels back and forth on him. He claims his eye sight is 20/20, but we (me and my other room mate) doubt that, he can't read the sign down the street that we can. So I mean, I would prefer it if everything were capable of going above 1080p and more than 24 frames per second - but the entertainment industry seems to set these weird standards.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy the original star wars on VHS, but I know I would enjoy it more if it could have the higher definition of Blu Ray or other HD items, but I know thats not really going to happen since Lucas went and recorded over the original reels. Oh well, enjoy what you can I guess.

Re:In other news (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33231084)


Most of the "TV" I watch is only 70 or 150 megabytes in size (via bittorrent). As long as I'm getting to see the latest Stargate or Eureka for free, and I'm enjoying it, it doesn't matter if the quality is "only" equal to VHS.

Similarly I don't mind watching HDTV via an old analog set. It's been downgraded to DVD quality but it's still better than the old staticy signal used to be. As for games: I'd sooner play a fun game on an old Atari or Nintendo systems (like Zelda Ocarina of Time), then most of the modern HD games on my X360.

Re:In other news (0, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33231438)

>>>Just like I want great looks and and great sex from a girl.

The "great looks" part disappears around age 30. Sometimes sooner (25) if she let's herself go, or later (35) is she watches her weight but eventually the looks go-away, and your wife ends-up looking like a middle-aged grandma.

So I'd recommend just settling for the last two items.
i.e. Enjoying yourself, like this article is about.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33230848)

Beer brand matters less if you enjoy getting hammered.
Music quality matters less if you enjoy the genre.
Factor X matters less if Choice A has better qualities than Choice B.

I could go on.

Re:In other news (5, Insightful)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about 4 years ago | (#33230952)

I believe the metaphor would fit more in the line of:

The looks matter less if the person is damned good at sex.

(I was going to say something else but my politically correct reflex kicked in :( it really ruins things sometimes)

Re:In other news (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33231130)

That's ok, I don't mind if your politically correct reflex kicks in as long as your gag reflex doesn't.

Re:In other news (1)

Shin-LaC (1333529) | about 4 years ago | (#33231028)

If you're having it, you know that it's really not that special after all. Honestly, sex is the second most overrated thing in our cultural landscape.

Re:In other news (3, Insightful)

Stele (9443) | about 4 years ago | (#33231124)

Honestly, sex is the second most overrated thing in our cultural landscape

Sounds like you're not having very good sex!

Re:In other news (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | about 4 years ago | (#33231332)

I agree with the GP. It's good and all, but is it as amazingly awesome as our culture makes it out to be? I don't think so.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33231402)

Sounds like you're not having very good anything else.

I'd choose skydiving or snowboarding or jet skiing or any related number of fun sports any day of the week.

Re:In other news (1)

jbssm (961115) | about 4 years ago | (#33231220)

If you're having it, you know that it's really not that special after all.

I think the problem is that you are having it always with the same person ... that's way you don't find it special any more. Fool around a bit and you'll find that's all but overrated ... well at least most of the times.

Re:In other news (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33231376)

If you think it's overrated, you're either doing it wrong, or doing it with the wrong partner.

Re:In other news (5, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | about 4 years ago | (#33231128)

I would say that the quality of the bed (or TV, or venue) matters less if you are enjoying the sex (or move, or concert).

frosty piss? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33230754)

quality of slashdot comments don't matter if you enjoy slashdot. so frosty piss??!

And yet Hollywood... (2, Insightful)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | about 4 years ago | (#33230756)

seems to favors special effects over storyline!

Re:And yet Hollywood... (4, Informative)

Midnight's Shadow (1517137) | about 4 years ago | (#33230922)

seems to favors special effects over storyline!

Well yea, it is cheaper and easier to blow something up compared to writing something good. It is also easier to sell a 5 sec clip of special effects then a 5 sec clip of storyline. It would also say that it is harder to appreciate special effects with really crappy resolution while the story usually doesn't suffer.

Re:And yet Hollywood... (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | about 4 years ago | (#33231382)

I don't know about cheaper, but it's probably easier to make pretty explosions than come up with a good script. Also, there are people who just want pretty explosions and don't care about script at all.

Re:And yet Hollywood... (5, Insightful)

Peach Rings (1782482) | about 4 years ago | (#33230956)

Sometimes special effects can make the movie though. Jurassic Park would be ridiculous and boring if it were animated, and A Scanner Darkly [] would be melodramatic and underwhelming if it didn't have such a fascinating look (or if you watch it in standard definition).

Re:And yet Hollywood... (5, Insightful)

Ian Alexander (997430) | about 4 years ago | (#33231020)

I found A Scanner Darkly melodramatic and underwhelming anyway.

Re:And yet Hollywood... (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 years ago | (#33231214)

I've read the book for both and both were better with just the story to carry them.

frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33230764)

quality is pants

Applicable to games? (5, Interesting)

IICV (652597) | about 4 years ago | (#33230774)

Soooo... does this mean that if modern games actually had better gameplay, people wouldn't care so much about the graphics?

Surely not! That way lies madness and a complete inability to sell the next generation of consoles!
(and NetHack! The horror!)

Re:Applicable to games? (-1, Offtopic)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 years ago | (#33230936)

Since the big names are always whining about piracy on the PC platform, why can't they just completely move to consoles, and shut their traps? I guess they don't want to leave the PC platform to Blizzard and the indies.

As for pirating, what I've seen is the simplest and best way to deal with that is to have a CD key for multiplayer, and only how many instances of the key are allowed per license. Local stuff will end up being cracked anyway, so why even bother. Might as well offer online content and online servers, not bother battling the die-hard pirates, and spend the money making a better game.

I am showing my age, but with all the sequels on sequels on the market, I wonder if a company like Origin could ever come to fruition again with fresh gameplay, characterization, and plot. Something better than just another FPS with more polys and more mutated zombies.

Re:Applicable to games? (5, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | about 4 years ago | (#33230968)

I think Wii sales proved that a long time ago.

Re:Applicable to games? (1, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33231294)

Woah there partner. I think you're entering the trolling territory of claiming that Wii games have better gameplay than 360 or PS3 games - and ignoring the part that the Wii targets a different audience completely.

Don't get me wrong, I think we're all in agreeance about gameplay > graphics - but I don't think the Wii is the perfect indicator of it at all. (About 30% of wii games I see on the shelf are for lack of a better word: bad)

Re:Applicable to games? (1)

grumpyman (849537) | about 4 years ago | (#33231314)

Original StarCraft as well...

Re:Applicable to games? (3, Interesting)

arb phd slp (1144717) | about 4 years ago | (#33231320)

I think Wii sales proved that a long time ago.

Indeed. In fact, I spend as much time playing the Bit.Trip games as most Wii games, and they're made to look like 8-bit graphics. They'd be worse with better graphics.

Re:Applicable to games? (0, Troll)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#33231424)

I think Wii sales proved that a long time ago.

Not really, because:

  1. While sales of the Wii console are high, sales of Wii games are low
  2. The gameplay on most Wii games is absolutely shit

The Wii sold because it was cheap, not because the games are any good.

Re:Applicable to games? (-1, Troll)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 4 years ago | (#33231444)

I think Wii sales proved that a long time ago.

The Wii is to gaming what porn is to sex. After 20 minutes of activity you lose interest, you're all sweaty and your arm is tired. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a lot of fun, but I think the real allure of playing on a Wii is that so many of the games don't don't require a big time-investment.

Re:Applicable to games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33231078)

Because games can't have both good stories and good graphics? Oh wait, that destroys your false dichotomy.

Re:Applicable to games? (1, Insightful)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 4 years ago | (#33231144)

Many years ago, I worked with a company that ran a ship's bridge simulator for training and certification purposes. Walk into a particular room in their facility and it was laid out like a ship's bridge--real radar scopes and engine controls and all that. And, as you looked through the "windows," you would see other boats and bridges and buildings and things like that.

Of course, this was probably 1990 or so. The graphics were not all that great. But they were "good enough."

See, they weren't necessary for training and certification. You had to be able to identify a ship in your path as being a tugboat or an ocean liner. You had to identify bridges and such. But you didn't need to see the people walking around the decks or waving to you from the pier. You didn't need to have the coloring change depending on the angle of the sun and reflections off the glass of the tugboat bridge. Not for what they were doing, which was training you to bring a cargo ship into the port of Long Beach.

But this wasn't for entertainment purposes--this was for training.

You're right that a fun game is a fun game, regardless. Great graphics won't make an unfun game fun. However, I would say that great graphics can make a fun game more fun.

Re:Applicable to games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33231286)

Seems so. I know people who will still religiously play Counter-Strike 1.6 rather than upgrading to Counter-Strike Source.

They claim that CS:S just doesn't have that same charm that 1.6 has.

This is mostly true (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33230782)

There are some exceptions, such as The Fountain or anything else that is heavily visual, but for the most part I'll watch crappy quality video if I like what I'm watching.

That being said, there's no reason to settle for bad quality video...there's always a way around it (except for our copies of every Bill Nye episode...VHS tapes only age so well, know what I mean?)

Re:This is mostly true (5, Interesting)

smurfsurf (892933) | about 4 years ago | (#33231098)

What about audio?
I tolerate dropped video frames, but if the audio stutters, I will stop watching very quickly. Often seen with screencasts or demonstration videos: Buzzing or humming because of low quality or built-in micro or loud fans. I cannot stand that, but do not mind if the video is a bit blurry.

Re:This is mostly true (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33231172)

I completely agree. I'm much more sensitive to crap audio quality than to crap video quality.

Re:This is mostly true (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 4 years ago | (#33231326)

I have long said that I would watch a Kings game in blurry SD with Vaseline smeared on the lens (in other words, on FSW2).

For certain movies on Netflix streaming, I still wait for BluRay because I want to see it that way (mostly action/effects movies). On other movies (documentaries, chick flicks with my wife), I couldn't care less.

PS/3 (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 4 years ago | (#33230790)

My Playstation 3 came with a copy of the first BlueRay video I'd seen at the time: the latest Spider Man movie.

It's like Sony was trying to turn people off to BlueRay.

Re:PS/3 (1)

madddddddddd (1710534) | about 4 years ago | (#33230916)

mine came with avatar... i haven't watched it yet... the title screen alone is entertainingly hypnotizing on my 120" screen + 1080p HD projector... i just let it loop.

i'm sure there is an inverse curve here where as the quality of the media approaches sensory limits, the contents of the media would approach irrelevancy.

Re:PS/3 (5, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | about 4 years ago | (#33231140)

>i'm sure there is an inverse curve here where as the quality of the media approaches sensory limits, the contents of the media would
>approach irrelevancy.

We passed that threshold with audio quality a long time ago, to the point where the listening environment is far more important than the recording. I wonder what the equivalent plateau is with video. I'm not suggesting that "you will literally believe the moving image is real" any more than a concert recording will make you believe you are at a concert and not listening to your stereo in your living room. But there are plateaus where differences in media quality are lost beyond a threshold of human perception (and in the case of audio, we have passed dog perception but not bats.)

Re:PS/3 (1)

madddddddddd (1710534) | about 4 years ago | (#33231368)

what you are failing to consider is a medium where the listening environment could be altered by the media... approaching sensory limits implies a responsive, fully dynamic environment.

Re:PS/3 (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 4 years ago | (#33231212)

My Playstation 3 came with the same crappy Spiderman disc and a coupon for some "selected" free Blurays which included "300" (aka, "the crapfest continues"). You would think they would throw at least one adequate movie in there as a showcase, but no.

Re:PS/3 (4, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 4 years ago | (#33231360)

They're not going to give you movies that everyone will buy.

correlation is not causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33230794)

maybe enjoying the show randomizes bits

or those who enjoy shows tend to come from a lower socioeconomic status thereby causing them to buy fewwer bits

manga (2, Insightful)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 4 years ago | (#33230802)

Yep, that's the same reason some parts of Japanese comics are drawn sketchy without making it any less nice.

Good Stories = Good Viewing (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | about 4 years ago | (#33230816)

I could have told them that. My new yard stick for good TV is if it is still worth watching in low res and cut up into 10 min chunks on youtube it's good tv.

Old episodes of Dr Who and Star Trek have held up very well, however Star Wars and Enterprise don't do all that well. The best example I have found of this is Primer, I saw it first on google video and bought it within a week of viewing.

Re:Good Stories = Good Viewing (2, Interesting)

arb phd slp (1144717) | about 4 years ago | (#33231384)

My fear is that someone in Hollywood is going to realize that Primer is such a great science fiction movie and think that they need to remake it and "sexy" it up with effects and shit.
I do wish they had done some ADR, or had used some better microphones with some of the dialogue, but visually, that movie is perfect the way it is.

Re:Good Stories = Good Viewing (4, Funny)

fishybell (516991) | about 4 years ago | (#33231416)

...and with Primer it didn't even matter what order I watched the pieces on youtube!

Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33230818)

Article makes sense - I was thinking about that when I noticed all of the bad jpeg artifacts around the anus area of the Goatse guy. That plus the overall poor resolution and colour balance.

But that's just me - you probably didn't notice the image issues when you saw it...

Well Duh! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33230820)

How else would you explain You-Tube?

Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33230822)

I guess that explains why Twilight is only bearable in Ultra HDTV resolution

Confirmed by 80s teens. (5, Funny)

Spazntwich (208070) | about 4 years ago | (#33230846)

Ah scrambled porn. Waiting through 5 minutes of snow for one elliptical, green boob.

Re:Confirmed by 80s teens. (5, Funny)

MooseMuffin (799896) | about 4 years ago | (#33230960)

I don't even see the snow anymore. I just see blond, brunette, redhead...

Re:Confirmed by 80s teens. (5, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 4 years ago | (#33231108)

Best. Matrix. Reference. Evar.

Re:Confirmed by 80s teens. (2, Funny)

DWMorse (1816016) | about 4 years ago | (#33231138)

Damnit, where the hell are my mod points??

Re:Confirmed by 80s teens. (1)

Itninja (937614) | about 4 years ago | (#33231006)

One time, it came in perfectly for about three seconds. Change my life. My life.

It only took about three seconds for me to do the same thing....BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!

Re:Confirmed by 80s teens. (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 4 years ago | (#33231062)

Heh. I was gonna reference the 32nd generation VHS dubs of porn...

And if low quality, I'm less likely to enjoy it (2, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | about 4 years ago | (#33230864)

And if I'm trying to watch something that's low quality, I'm less likely to enjoy it in the first place. Only if I know I like something and really want to watch it and can't easily change the quality will I put up with low quality.

Re:And if low quality, I'm less likely to enjoy it (2, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#33230978)

And if I'm trying to watch something that's low quality, I'm less likely to enjoy it in the first place. Only if I know I like something and really want to watch it and can't easily change the quality will I put up with low quality.

The study implies that you're electing to dislike things that are of lower quality. You're looking for it, and if you stopped focusing on it, you'd not notice so long as the content was otherwise good.

My oldest son hates vegetables. The other day he accidentally grabbed a slice of supreme pizza. He'd eaten about half to three quarters of it when I pointed out to him that he was, in fact, enjoying a big pile of veggies. He immediately started retching and freaking out. Of course I forced him to finish it, this is what dads do on earth after all, but the point is he never would have noticed that his preference wasn't matched. This is likely do to the same reason, he's electing to dislike vegetables, and some are simply electing to be hawkish about quality.

Could be you... And if it is, imagine the years of time on the planet you're costing yourself by stressing about it... Kind sad, if it turns out to be true.


Re:And if low quality, I'm less likely to enjoy it (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#33231014)

due* dammit... Oh well.

Re:And if low quality, I'm less likely to enjoy it (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | about 4 years ago | (#33231072)

He'd eaten about half to three quarters of it when I pointed out to him that he was, in fact, enjoying a big pile of veggies.

Why did you chime in then, rather than waiting for the whole thing to go down? Less drama if you would have done that. I'll chalk it up to your inexperience, because I wouldn't like to assume that you believe that the best way to teach your kid is to be a dick.

Re:And if low quality, I'm less likely to enjoy it (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#33231388)

To the contrary, a parent has to 'be a dick' all the time. You sort of get used to it.

Re:And if low quality, I'm less likely to enjoy it (1)

drsmithy (35869) | about 4 years ago | (#33231132)

This is likely do to the same reason, he's electing to dislike vegetables, and some are simply electing to be hawkish about quality.

Not sure I agree completely with your logic there. I also hate most vegetables, but I can stand them so long as they're well disguised. The flavour and texture of "a big pile of veggies" on a slice of pizza (mixed with sauce, cheese, crust, etc) is vastly different to eating them on their own (not to mention a lot less healthy).

Obviously your boy was putting on a show, but that doesn't mean he is when it comes to not liking a simple plate of mixed plants.

Re:And if low quality, I'm less likely to enjoy it (1)

hviniciusg (1481907) | about 4 years ago | (#33231354)

Grow up

Re:And if low quality, I'm less likely to enjoy it (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#33231436)

You're right, of course, but your point isn't relevant. We're not talking about genuine dislike of a thing in a vacuum. We're talking about noticing, or not noticing as it were, when things are hidden by either cheese or quality programming.

They need to test comcast HD vs Directv HD PQ (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 4 years ago | (#33230872)

They need to test comcast HD vs Directv HD PQ

Not surprising (4, Insightful)

Tangential (266113) | about 4 years ago | (#33230878)

Not surprising to me. I grew up watching a B/W TV and the picture quality was definitely lower. Today, I am still happy to watch those old episodes in B/W. Its definitely about content. The thought that putting a movie in HD or 3D improves the storyline or the acting amuses me.

Re:Not surprising (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33231228)

Very true.

I watch quite a range of films, and I find it amazing how I can watch some 30s movie and only find the crackles and hairs/blobs on the screen offputting for a few minutes - but some movies the bad CGI can just ruin the entire movie (Jar Jar, for example)

Re:Not surprising (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33231344)

Today, I am still happy to watch those old episodes in B/W.

I don't get it.

You got some 'splainin' to do!

GSN's Black and White Overnight (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | about 4 years ago | (#33230938)

Game Show Network (now going by the name "GSN") had an uproar on their boards as they slowly cut back their black and white game show programming eventually to zero. It started as a Saturday Night block, then was moved to 7 days a week but in the early morning hours, and then was shrunk by infomercials and eventually canceled. It its place is "Wayback Playback" where they show game shows from the 70s and 80s... 90s and 00s game shows dominate the rest of the schedule with an occasional airing of Match Game being the only show that is still in prime position despite being old.

Yeah, people would rather see content from before they were born, even if it's before color TV, than a replay of what they've already seen enough of. TV Land, Nick at Nite, This TV, Retro Television Network and others are all proving there's enough old content to go around.

Re:GSN's Black and White Overnight (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 4 years ago | (#33231188)

Mmmmmm ... Kitty Carlisle...

Local News Stations (1)

L3370 (1421413) | about 4 years ago | (#33230946)

So this is why the local news stations were the big early adopters of HD?

Their make-up artists had to refine their techniques because HD was very unflattering on the facial pores clogged with beauty goop.

The xkcd Principle (5, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | about 4 years ago | (#33230958)

Same applies to web comics. The aged xkcd comic has virtually zero artwork at all (much less 'quality' artwork), yet it has one of the highest readership counts of any web comic. It's because it uses very intelligent humor (most of the time) and it targets a very large, but very specific, audience.

Re:The xkcd Principle (5, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#33231094)

And it always has something appropriate: []

Re:The xkcd Principle (1)

jd (1658) | about 4 years ago | (#33231412)

Same for UserFriendly. For television, I'd say that fans of series like Doctor Who and Blake's 7 have known this principle for decades.

But what you're used to matters more, I think (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | about 4 years ago | (#33230980)

I'm used to most movies and shows I like being in HD, I certainly notice how fuzzy SD suddenly looks. I find the same with video games, over many years the "state of the art" always looked great despite how much it sucked in retrospect. Nothing saves a bad movie, but there are stuff I wish was produced in much better quality and with better effects. Then again, I'm happy it was made rather than not at all under any circumstances. It just deserved more... persistance, not something you'll so easily say "OMG was that made in the 80s?" - at least those stories not actually set in the 80s...

Re:But what you're used to matters more, I think (2, Insightful)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 4 years ago | (#33231112)

Your comment reminded me of this article [] (posted on /. here [] ), where the author came to exactly the same conclusion.

What I find interesting is that when I fire up my NES and play Final Fantasy it looks pretty good because that's what I grew up with but when I load up some N64 games I can't believe how bad they look. It will be interesting to see what the generation that grows up with HD thinks.

I think this is a crock of pooh.... (4, Interesting)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | about 4 years ago | (#33230998)

I don't think the video quality matters less, I recently bought a bluray player and hooked up to netflix streaming on a 55" Samsung. One of the first things I watched was the new Alice in Wonderland movie and there were a few scenes in there (most notably when she first lands in the eat me, drink me room...) where the blacks were HORRIBLY pixelated, enough so that I commented to my wife, it was quite literally jarring to see how bad it was and definitely detracted from the viewing experience. I also had the same thing happen during a recent session on Netflix where I was watching the movie Heat. Lots of blacks in the opening sequences that were just horribly pixelated, Im not sure if it was just that the first part of the movie didn't have enough buffered up so they decreased quality in an area where it was most notable or what, but again is was jarring enough that I mentioned it to my teenage boy (he noticed it too).

Was it enough to make me stop watching in either case? No....

but it was bad enough to make me sit up and literally say...WTF is with all this pixelation? If I'm noticing that and not the plot/characters/movie, then its definitely lessoning my enjoyment of the media.

Re:I think this is a crock of pooh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33231168)

Agreed. If the conclusion of the article is true, then people would never have switched from video tapes to dvds, and then to blu-ray. I've got all three seasons of the 1960s Batman as avi files. The quality sucks, but I watch them since no better quality version exists. If the dumb-ass company that owns the rights to the series would released them on dvd, I would dump my FREE, LOW-QUALITY versions in a heartbeat, and PURCHASE the GOOD-QUALITY copies, in contradiction to the assertion in the article. (Hello MPAA, are you listening?)

Subject Data Fail? (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | about 4 years ago | (#33231050)

Perhaps their would have been a greater preference for high quality video if they had included...well, you know...among the movies and television shows. Me wants me Jenna Jameson in VERY high definition.

The Media Equation (1)

plasticpixel (323537) | about 4 years ago | (#33231082)

I believe a book titled "The Media Equation" came to this conclusion over twenty years ago. []

Good book for anyone interested in the media field.

Even B&W doesn't matter (2, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | about 4 years ago | (#33231100)

I've watched Eden Log, a refreshingly original, slow paced hard Sci-Fi movie, and enjoyed it a lot. Then I read the comments on IMDB, and someone was complaining that it's in black&white. It was funny, because I had completely forgotten the movie wasn't in color!

Re:Even B&W doesn't matter (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33231300)

First time I saw Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, I forgot it wasn't in English by the end. It is amazing what your brain can do.

Often like the crappy quality (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33231106)

I've enjoyed watching bad quality videos of sci-fi shows online. It makes the whole show seem more realistic as you do not see all the fakeness! also you can't beat the matrix when you have bad quality and asian looking subtitles. Suddenly its a foreign documentary you are not allowed to see!

Not for me. (0, Troll)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about 4 years ago | (#33231182)

When I'm watching something I enjoy, that happens to have good video quality, one of the things always in the back of my mind is the desire for better video quality. It may be that I'm more of a visual person but I really don't have patience for poor video quality. Obviously, if I don't have a choice I can tolerate it when I'm watching something I actually want to see. But even then, I'm not willing to put up with it too long. And of course, it also depends on what level of quality we're talking about.

Most people seem to have fairly low standards. Haven't there been studies that have demonstrated that most young people actually prefer the crappy audio quality present with compressed audio? That's another thing I can't stand.

Well duh (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33231186)

You could produce "Keeping up With the Kardashians" in super-HD, 3D, 240mhz video and project it onto an 40' OLED screen with a one-trillion-to-one contrast ratio, and I'm still going to gouge my eyes out with a rusty fork before I'll watch it.

Sound matters (4, Insightful)

ghostlibrary (450718) | about 4 years ago | (#33231198)

Turns out (citation needed) sound continuity is more important than video. People will put up with choppy or lossy video, as long as the soundtrack remains relatively coherent. But if the sound is dropping out or breaking up, they stop watching.

Which, if you think about it, is why we put up with crappy internet videos that speed along, but get frustrated when it's constantly buffering.

suspension of disbelief (1)

Anonymatt (1272506) | about 4 years ago | (#33231218)

Like, duh. Getting over fewer lines of resolution or compression is not as difficult as forgetting that you're staring at a box, screen, whatever and that you're watching actors and editing.

another psychological effect: (0, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#33231238)

if you show someone crappy NTSC video that looks like it is a third hand copy from a dirty VCR from the 1980s, but with high fidelity stunning THX quality sound, the technical quality of the movie overall is rated highly

but if you show someone something better than IMAX resolution video with perfect clarity and lighting and editting... but with tinny, monaural or badly editted or badly recorded sound with hums and hisses, the technical quality of the movie overall is rated poorly

in other words, the human mind seems to have a built-in intolerant and strict bias about audio quality, but is very forgiving when it comes to video quality (as this story confirms)

budding filmmakers: don't fuss that much about your lighting, camera quality, etc. but make damn sure you get good audio. video artifacts and glitches can be explained away as aesthetic quirks but apparently you will be severely punished by your audience's perceptions if your audio sucks

the human mind has a high tolerance for poor video quality, but audio quality is something it is very attentive to and picky about subconsciously

Define "matters" (1)

mdarksbane (587589) | about 4 years ago | (#33231246)

I've enjoyed and loved many anime series in crappy realmedia files and divx rips. The story, humor, and even some of the action get through incredibly well even in low video quality, and I didn't consciously notice the pixellation.

That doesn't mean I wasn't blown away when I saw the same series at full quality. I had never fully appreciated Evangelion or Cowboy Bebop for the quality of animation and visuals.

Similarly, the great football games from days before HD were just as tense and enjoyable before they were available in HD. But that doesn't mean HD isn't appreciably better.

It's like drinking good wine from plastic cups versus fine crystal. You'll still enjoy it, and I at least wouldn't feel like something is "missing", but given the choice I'd take crystal any day.

"Big-screen movie" effect (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | about 4 years ago | (#33231250)

Sure, some stories are more cerebral and require little in the way of quality to assure enjoyment. Ultimate form of this is ultra-low-budget movies where nothing is of quality yet the story & telling is engaging (El Mariachi, Babette's Feast, Cube, pi).

But some movies just have to be seen on the big screen. They're overwhelmingly visual, demanding a wide field of view and tremendous detail, because the visuals really are a significant part of the story (Watchmen, Matrix, Alice in Wonderland).

So, for those stories you enjoy which don't demand a big screen, video quality doesn't matter much either. But for those which DO demand a big forum to tell a visually big story, video quality will matter.

Same with music (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 4 years ago | (#33231264)

I worked for a while in an environment full of classical musicians. They would happily listen to old vinyl records with hisses and scratches, because what they were listening to was the music in their heads.

explains the forced obsolescence cycle (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 4 years ago | (#33231266)

since the quality of the storytelling has dropped, the technical quality of the presentation is raised.

but the truth is that a good radio story show from half a century ago, or book, is far superior to 99% of the entertainment crap marketed today.

However, the current market consists mostly of morons who are pained to use their mind

Inverse (2, Interesting)

kidcharles (908072) | about 4 years ago | (#33231278)

The inverse is true for me. If I really like the content (a movie or song I love), I just can't stand to watch or listen to it at low quality. Just the other day I was listening to Bowie's "Life on Mars?", my favorite Bowie song, but it was an MP3 sampled at 96 kbps and the compression was so obnoxious I had to stop listening. On the other hand if I'm watching some idiotic YouTube video for a quick laugh, I could care less how nice it looks.

Pixellation (1)

Sunshinerat (1114191) | about 4 years ago | (#33231370)

Until you start seeing pixel artifacts and you get more and more annoyed by the low bandwidth issues.
At that time, all you do is spot artifact after artifact and loose attention to whatever was on.

Maybe people consider this a good thing, only because their mind is no longer focussed on the bad content.

Try watching a game where your mediocre team is doing badly while there are pixel artifacts to enjoy.

What? (0, Redundant)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about 4 years ago | (#33231374)

They had to research this?

In other astonishing news: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33231378)

Graphics don't make the game. It doesn't matter how many k-pixels you have or how hi-res the textures are if the game or video content is garbage. That is why I don't watch TV anymore.

Video quality and video quality are different... (4, Insightful)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | about 4 years ago | (#33231420)

I think more important than worrying about whether or not you're shooting SD, HD, or UltraMegaSuperFineNanoHD, is worrying about how you're shooting what you're shooting.

I'm tired of the MTV syndrome, where cameras can't ever be steady, and always have to jiggle around like a 7th grader on crack in order to appear more "live" and "in the moment." What's the point of ultra-crisp resolution if you screw it up by shaking the camera so much that I can't see detail in the first place? Rather than various production companies comparing the resolution of their penises to sell movies, I'd rather they concentrate on telling a story with good, steady shooting that draws people in to the scene rather than constantly drawing attention to the fact that they're watching something recorded by a camera in a major earthquake.

Duh (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 4 years ago | (#33231434)

I think it's pretty obvious that both movies and games don't need high-end graphics if the story / gameplay is there. Awesome visuals are needed just to cover up a piss-poor movie / game or justify the outlay on a super high-end home theatre.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>