Some classic and/or popular Warner Brothers films from the past 40 years are slated to undergo a type of restoration called "4K restoration" as a step toward releasing these movies on high-definition DVD. The quality of standard DVDs will also be improved. One of the films targeted for this type of restoration is Blade Runner, which has been lacking a decent DVD release for years. As Scott Weinberg has just reported, Warner will finally be releasing a multi-disc DVD set with multiple versions of the film later this year. No matter which cut of the film you prefer, hopefully at least one version will be restored. And if Blade Runner isn't your thing, you might be interested in one of the other films to be restored: Bonnie and Clyde, Cool Hand Luke and two films in the Dirty Harry series: Magnum Force (the second one) and Sudden Impact (the fourth one).

So what is "4K restoration"? It actually refers to 4K resolution, which is the amount of information about the picture that is stored in the DVD files -- meaning 4,000 lines of scanning per frame of film. It's four times as much data as the current standard of 2K resolution contains. Warner feels that 4K resolution is preferable for archival-quality transfers. Read the Hollywood Reporter article on the restoration if you want more technical details about the restoration process. In my experience, Warner tries to release as high-quality a DVD as possible, whether it's a box set of comedies from the 1930s or a recent movie, and I'm pleased to see the studio is continuing to focus on the quality of the print transfer when re-issuing older movies on DVD.