HD images that weren’t meant for HD


I find it interesting to view old TV series and other works from the pre-HD era in HD.

It’s strange, for instance, to look at “Star Trek” — the original series — on Netflix on my iPad, with its Retina display.

We just weren’t meant to see every detail of Mr. Spock’s makeup, or count the pores on his face. With the TVs we had in 1966, we were lucky even to be able to tell it was Mr. Spock.

As unemotional as he was, I think even Spock himself would regard this phenomenon as… unsettling, Captain…


10 thoughts on “HD images that weren’t meant for HD

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Full disclosure here… I had to doctor those images a bit.

    Somewhere in the process of doing a screenshot from Netflix, and emailing the jpg to myself, some of the brightness and sharpness of the image as I saw it on Netflix was lost. So I PhotoShopped the images a little. You’ll note that I didn’t treat them exactly the same, which is why the background colors are different, even though both shots are from the same scene.

    I think I did a better job on the second one.

    They still don’t look quite as bright and sharp as they did on the iPad, in Netflix.

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    I like HD. It helps me remember that even stars who are famous for great skin have “flaws.” It takes away some of the artificial excellence.

  3. Brad Warthen Post author

    Except Christina Hendricks, who has no flaws.

    Did you ever see the episode of “30 Rock” when they started using the new HD cameras? Everyone who stepped in front of the camera was suddenly transformed into something like the witch character in “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” — all these gross warts, crooked, rotten teeth, comically exaggerated features.

    Everybody, that is, except Alec Baldwin. When he stepped in front of the camera, the image was of him 25 years earlier… Very funny.

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