Author Topic: Watching movies on a laptop.  (Read 1452 times)

Glebe

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Watching movies on a laptop.
« on: August 25, 2020, 10:33:36 PM »
So I bought meself an Acer Aspire 5 (which I'm currently typing on) a little while ago, it's got a 14" screen and while the display could be a little brighter it's got a pretty decent 1080p picture. Anyway, I'm just wondering if folks consider this a little small for watching movies? I could hook up the TV and all that but it's just more convenient sitting on the couch with my laptop.

Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2020, 11:41:11 PM »
I tend to think it is more about potential for distractions than screen size.

Cinemas are the best place to see films because you have nothing to distract you (depending on the clientele, anyway), but on a laptop you have the internet always one click away.

zomgmouse

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2020, 04:47:34 AM »
my philosophy is: whatever you can get. i used to watch films on my phone as that was the only time i could squeeze them in. better than nothing

Glebe

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2020, 04:49:17 AM »
Fair enough, thanks for the responses. I tend to avoid watching films I've been really keen to see on me laptop. Thing is though, despite the smaller screen you are sitting closer to it with it on your lap and that.

notjosh

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2020, 07:27:59 AM »
Personally would never do it, and cetainly not on a phone. I think people can treat movies like they're some kind of plot download, rather than a visual experience requiring focus and immersion to be properly absorbed.

Having said that, there are plenty of modern films which give so little thought to the visual experience that I can't imagine it would make much differerence. But I'm not watching The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on a laptop, for example.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2020, 09:34:58 AM »
It's the only way I can watch films as I don't have a tv. I don't see it as an issue though, as the laptop's fairly close to my face, so it's all but the same as watching something on a tv that might be six feet away or something like that.

Thomas

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2020, 10:14:29 AM »
Yeah, I'm a laptopper. If you sit close enough, it essentially occupies the same space in your vision as a cinema screen. Brightness up, headphones in - you'll miss nowt. And there's no one muttering or crinkling M&Ms in your peripheries.

We have a TV but it's small enough that it's not worth the HDMI hassle. Especially with housemates about, ready to wander in and screech 'what are you watchingggg?' at any moment. We'll make an event of it if they're out. Drag the settee up close. Big TVs are expensive, and so is the cinema (which is also sticky with the 'vid at the moment).

Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2020, 10:27:00 AM »
I pretty much only watch films on my laptop. Started when I had a terrible tv that made everything too dark so some films I literally couldn't tell what was going on. I think it is fine.

The Mollusk

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2020, 10:49:18 AM »
I think there's something about the way a film fills a larger space that makes it properly immersive. This is especially true for the sound. I'm trying not to sound snobby but I just don't think that's how this type of media was supposed to be consumed, and limiting the experience by funnelling it into your eyes/ears at very close proximity does cheapen it. I hope you at least turn the flipping lights off.

Visually, it's harder to defend, since if the laptop is close to your face then surely it's the same? But I'd argue that it isn't. Your brain is still aware of the fact that it's smaller. Looking at a Jackson Pollock on my laptop would not be comparable to going and standing in front of the actual thing looming 8ft tall over me. A film, which is not just one image for your to ponder over but bloody loads of images with their own individual framing and lighting and scope and perspective, deserves more.

Just get an HDMI cable and stick it on the telly!

Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2020, 10:49:52 AM »
Can't be that inconvenient to just hook it up to the TV surely?

touchingcloth

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2020, 10:59:56 AM »
I only watch on my laptop or my small TV. I've been at houses where people have fancy pants home cinema setups, but they're still some distance from an actual cinema, so I don't feel like a laptop is a particular compromise. When I watch things which are particularly well photographed - yer Blade Runners and what have you - then I'll kind of wish I was in an actual cinema for it, but the same would apply if I was watching anywhere that wasn't an actual cinema.

touchingcloth

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2020, 11:14:59 AM »
I think there's something about the way a film fills a larger space that makes it properly immersive. This is especially true for the sound. I'm trying not to sound snobby but I just don't think that's how this type of media was supposed to be consumed, and limiting the experience by funnelling it into your eyes/ears at very close proximity does cheapen it. I hope you at least turn the flipping lights off.

Visually, it's harder to defend, since if the laptop is close to your face then surely it's the same? But I'd argue that it isn't. Your brain is still aware of the fact that it's smaller. Looking at a Jackson Pollock on my laptop would not be comparable to going and standing in front of the actual thing looming 8ft tall over me. A film, which is not just one image for your to ponder over but bloody loads of images with their own individual framing and lighting and scope and perspective, deserves more.

Just get an HDMI cable and stick it on the telly!

THX recommend a viewing angle of 36 degrees for cinema projections, which for a 14" laptop screen would mean having your eyes about 17" away, which would be uncomfortable at best. And even if you brought your face that close, you'd get noticeable effects like the light bouncing up off the keyboard and reducing contrast, and things like parallax would become noticeable as tiny moves of the head would shift the screen about by large amounts.

That's not specific to just laptops, though, as even with a 52" telly you'd need to be sat less than 6" away to get the "proper" viewing angle, so getting the true cinema effect is nigh on impossible in other settings because so much of the feel of the cinema is having a screen with a relatively large viewing angle which is an absolutely large distance away.

Pollock is a good example of why it's not worth getting too hung up on the "correct" way to view things. Certain Pollocks are in private collections I could never hope to see in the flesh even if I wanted to, and others are housed in public collections in the US and I'm not flush with the kind of cash I'd need to make a trip solely to see those paintings. Guernica is an example of a painting I am in total awe of, but the only place I've ever seen it is on a laptop screen.

I'd love to see all films in a dedicated cinema and all paintings up close and personal, but if a laptop is your only means then fuck it, and if the things are truly worth seeing then you'll get something out of them regardless of how you view them. Maybe not the full experience the artist intended, but not nothing.

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2020, 11:29:50 AM »
I sit in front of my 55" TV screen like I got the last front row cinema seats. I'm all about immersion.

Thomas

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2020, 11:33:35 AM »
Now, there is one film I've seen recently that I've been consciously reluctant to rewatch outside of the cinematic environment. The documentary Apollo 11 was truly breathtaking in the cinema; huge, gorgeous, crisp. A bellowing experience. Totally immersive. I would thoroughly recommend it - if you can watch on a massive screen.

It's on Netflix now, and it's definitely one film I'd be getting the HDMI cable out for - even though, relative to the bombast and absorption of the picture house, our TV screen is inconsequentially larger than the impure and dreaded laptop.

Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2020, 11:57:09 AM »
I used to have a really small tv- screen probably smaller than some laptop screens- and enjoyed the heck out of a number of films on that and in my memory the size of the screen doesn't seem to have made much of a difference. It is interesting, thinking about it. I wouldn't much want to watch a film on that now but at the time it was fine. A bit like I used to listen to music when I was a kid on a little cassette player of the type used to load Spectrum games and that was fine.

touchingcloth

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2020, 12:22:04 PM »
Now, there is one film I've seen recently that I've been consciously reluctant to rewatch outside of the cinematic environment. The documentary Apollo 11 was truly breathtaking in the cinema; huge, gorgeous, crisp. A bellowing experience. Totally immersive. I would thoroughly recommend it - if you can watch on a massive screen.

It's on Netflix now, and it's definitely one film I'd be getting the HDMI cable out for - even though, relative to the bombast and absorption of the picture house, our TV screen is inconsequentially larger than the impure and dreaded laptop.

I would have loved to have seen that on the big screen, but even on my 32" telly the look of it blew me away. I think they restored the footage from 70mm? If I ever get the chance to see that in the cinema I definitely, definitely will.

The Mollusk

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2020, 12:22:26 PM »
I used to have a really small tv- screen probably smaller than some laptop screens- and enjoyed the heck out of a number of films on that and in my memory the size of the screen doesn't seem to have made much of a difference. It is interesting, thinking about it. I wouldn't much want to watch a film on that now but at the time it was fine. A bit like I used to listen to music when I was a kid on a little cassette player of the type used to load Spectrum games and that was fine.

You can adjust pretty quickly to different scales, sizes, volumes, I've found. Like if you have some friends over and you turn the music volume down, your brain quickly adjusts to that new volume being the normal volume. But if you turn it back up again when you're on your own you suddenly have all that scope flooding back in because you're able to really appreciate the details again.

Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2020, 12:27:04 PM »
Turn the lights off (I never watch films with the lights on regardless), have it pretty close, headphones if possible, you'll be immersed enough.

Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2020, 02:09:31 PM »
Bigger screens will be brighter and more distracting if you're watching at night and trying to get to sleep. I'm awake much longer now I'm watching on laptops rather than on my phone

Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2020, 02:39:41 PM »
I love to watch Andrei Tarkovsky films on my Tamagotchi.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2020, 02:47:34 PM »
I think there's something about the way a film fills a larger space that makes it properly immersive. This is especially true for the sound. I'm trying not to sound snobby but I just don't think that's how this type of media was supposed to be consumed, and limiting the experience by funnelling it into your eyes/ears at very close proximity does cheapen it. I hope you at least turn the flipping lights off.

Bizarrely unless someone's got a fuck off big tv (60" at the very least) I find myself less likely to be immersed while watching something, I'm distracted by the surroundings or other people. Whereas if I'm watching it on my laptop (in the dark, naturally) I lose myself completely. I'm with you on the sound front though, my laptop speakers are awful and I can only enjoy watching something wearing headphones.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2020, 03:33:41 PM »
Feet up pointed at the telly is more comfortable than looking at laptop on lap/perched on armrest. Doesn't cook your bollocks either.

The tinny sound would annoy me too (got telly connected to the hifi). Yes I could wear headphones, but I'd prefer not to.

Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2020, 04:03:59 PM »
I covered this area in the 'shit uses for old gadgets' thread, but you can easily get a magnifying mirror (shaving mirror, makeup mirror) round or square, they usually come on a stand (or with a suction cup) so they're easy to position and angle. Then you set up your laptop somewhere convenient and you just set up the mirror so it's at the best position for you to watch comfortably and angle it to reflect the screen which will look much bigger in the reflection. Couple this with some bluetooth headphones and it doesn't matter how close the laptop is to you. Better than having one sat on you lap so you're hunched over staring into it.

The only problem is reading any writing, or subtitles. You could solve that by using two mirror to reflect the reflection but then that's going a bit too far into nerd twatdom.

Whenever I had to watch a movie on a laptop staying over at my parents I'd just get their footrest and put it on the coffee table with the laptop on it so it was at head height anyway.

Glebe

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2020, 06:06:10 PM »
It's the only way I can watch films as I don't have a tv. I don't see it as an issue though, as the laptop's fairly close to my face, so it's all but the same as watching something on a tv that might be six feet away or something like that.

Yeah, that's the thing, it's a smaller image but you're sitting closer to it!

We have a TV but it's small enough that it's not worth the HDMI hassle.

Can't be that inconvenient to just hook it up to the TV surely?

My laptop actually has a HDMI port. As I say though it's just a bit of hassle with the current setup chez Glebe.

Turn the lights off (I never watch films with the lights on regardless), have it pretty close, headphones if possible, you'll be immersed enough.

Yeah, I've been watching a lot of cheesy spooky movies at night in the kitchen lately (couch in the kitchen, folks) with just the little light over the cooker on.

Thanks again for the replies BTW.

itsfredtitmus

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2020, 07:09:03 PM »
I rarely ever download large file blu-ray rips so it's not like I'm missing much watching films on a screen that's only 10-15 inch smaller

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2020, 07:37:44 PM »
I'd never watch anything, let alone films, on a phone or a tablet.  I'd never go smaller than a 17" laptop screen, but I watch quite a lot on the laptop.  I tend to keep it to stuff which doesn't really necessitate a big screen - so anything which isn't the best quality (like a VHS or laserdisc rip, or a low quality DVD rip), or stuff in 4:3 ratio, or most pre 50s films.  If Mrs Nose and little Nose are both watching something that I have no interest in (musicals for example) rather than go in another room I'll plug the headphones in and watch something so we're all at least in the same room.

A mate of mine watches pretty much everything on his phone, though.  I don't understand it at all.  He went through all the Transformers recently and whilst they obviously aren't great, they at least need to be watched on something approaching a decent size screen - you struggle to work out what's going on in the battle scenes at the best of times.  But he's happy doing it, so whatever.  Mental bastard.

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2020, 07:59:05 PM »
I know someone who watches films in the corner of their laptop screen and carries on browsing the net, doing work, other stuff.

Personally, I don't get that at all. As then you're not giving it your full attention. More like 30% of it, or so. How can you say you've properly seen a film if you watch it in that way?

I understand watching something you've seen a few times before in that way. Like a comedy series, or something. But watching something for the first time like that can get right in bin

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2020, 08:26:48 PM »
I covered this area in the 'shit uses for old gadgets' thread, but you can easily get a magnifying mirror (shaving mirror, makeup mirror) round or square, they usually come on a stand (or with a suction cup) so they're easy to position and angle. Then you set up your laptop somewhere convenient and you just set up the mirror so it's at the best position for you to watch comfortably and angle it to reflect the screen which will look much bigger in the reflection. Couple this with some bluetooth headphones and it doesn't matter how close the laptop is to you. Better than having one sat on you lap so you're hunched over staring into it.

The only problem is reading any writing, or subtitles. You could solve that by using two mirror to reflect the reflection but then that's going a bit too far into nerd twatdom.

Whenever I had to watch a movie on a laptop staying over at my parents I'd just get their footrest and put it on the coffee table with the laptop on it so it was at head height anyway.

vlc can transform videos on playback.
https://www.vlchelp.com/rotating-video-in-vlc-media-player/

touchingcloth

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Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2020, 09:38:57 PM »
I'd never watch anything, let alone films, on a phone or a tablet.  I'd never go smaller than a 17" laptop screen, but I watch quite a lot on the laptop.  I tend to keep it to stuff which doesn't really necessitate a big screen - so anything which isn't the best quality (like a VHS or laserdisc rip, or a low quality DVD rip), or stuff in 4:3 ratio, or most pre 50s films.  If Mrs Nose and little Nose are both watching something that I have no interest in (musicals for example) rather than go in another room I'll plug the headphones in and watch something so we're all at least in the same room.

A mate of mine watches pretty much everything on his phone, though.  I don't understand it at all.  He went through all the Transformers recently and whilst they obviously aren't great, they at least need to be watched on something approaching a decent size screen - you struggle to work out what's going on in the battle scenes at the best of times.  But he's happy doing it, so whatever.  Mental bastard.

I don’t have a tablet or a laptop with a battery life worth a damn, so I’ll quite often load my phone with films and telly in advance of a flight, and it’s fucking brilliant. On a recent flight I pressed play on Contact as soon as I was in my seat, and it finished just as they unlocked the doors at the destination. Virgin trains used to have a Wi-Fi-based entertainment system so you could login to the trains wireless and stream their stuff. On one journey from Euston to Piccadilly I watched Deadpool, só admittedly my system doesn’t guarantee you a good time while you travel.

Re: Watching movies on a laptop.
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2020, 09:40:49 PM »
vlc can transform videos on playback.
https://www.vlchelp.com/rotating-video-in-vlc-media-player/

Yeah thanks, I was going to add this and forgot, even your OS should be able to flip/mirror the screen from your display adapter settings, Linux does, not sure about Windows 10, I'm on my phone atm but yeah a lot of video players should have the option.

I've often left a laptop angled so it reflects in the window or a dressing mirror so I can turn over in bed and keep watching something late at night, laptop on it's side, naturally. I could use the same method to artificially flip the orientation 90 degrees but it fucks with the ratio of the film so fuck it, do it manual.

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