Sony to remaster “Breaking Bad” in 4K Ultra HD

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Walter White in 4K Ultra HD

As a part of Sony’s attempt to bring Ultra HD content to the mainstream, all five seasons of Sony Pictures Television’s “Breaking Bad” will be remastered in 4K Ultra HD, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The company also plans to remaster titles like Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters, Glory, Funny Girl, and On The Waterfront.

Earlier this month, several display manufacturers announced a variety of new Ultra HD TV’s and computer monitors at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. While the displays are capable of upconverting content to 4K from 720p and 1080p sources, many are asking about native 4K Ultra HD content. The process involves scanning film negatives into 4K digital formats.

“It has increased our workload somewhat; there is a need for 4K content. We are hoping to fill some of that need,” Grover Crisp, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s executive vp, asset management, film restoration and digital mastering, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The company has already 4K remastered On The Waterfront, which will be debuted at the Berlin Film Festival. Likewise, Funny Girl in 4K is expected to make an appearance at the TCM Classic Film Festival.

Much of this 4K work is being completed at Colorworks, a Sony-owned postproduction facility based on its Culver City studio lot. On Thursday, Colorworks is launching a 4K television production department.

Sony’s “Mastered in 4K” initiative will release a limited set of content onto Blu-Ray discs. Blu-Ray does not support native Ultra HD content, but Sony states that when watched on an Ultra HDTV, the “Mastered in 4K” content will be upconverted into “the best possible picture” until native 4K content arrives.

The ITU’s recent approval of High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) is a step in the right direction — bringing us ever closer to the Ultra HD reality.

“It could enable the practical introduction of 4K broadcast services on today’s over-the-air channels,” Sony Electronics’ CTOHugo Gaggioni said of HEVC, describing its standardization as “a significant next step toward enabling the transmission of high-bandwidth data, such as 4K content.”

Finally, we can watch Walter White do some crystal chemistry in crystal clarity.

– via The Hollywood Reporter

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About the Author

Andrew Michael is the Founder of Ultra HDTV Magazine. His interest in the technology began in 2008, before the term "Ultra HD" became mainstream. Andrew has contributed numerous articles, and continues to evolve Ultra HDTV into the ultimate Ultra High Definition resource.

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