Q. Is Better Call Saul available in 4K? A friend told me it was, but I watched last night’s episode on AMC and it doesn’t look like 4K to me. What’s the deal? — Teresa, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Teresa, you’re both right.
Better Call Saul, the prequel to the critically-acclaimed drama, Breaking Bad, is now airing episodes of season four on AMC every Monday night at 9 p.m. ET. As you know, Better Call Saul (pictured above) tells the equally intriguing tale of shyster attorney Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) before he met teacher turned drug kingpin, Walter White (Bryan Cranston.).
If you watched last night’s episode, your eyes did not fail you. It was not in 4K because AMC does not broadcast in 4K. (Nor does just about any other cable channel.) The show is available in high-def on AMC, but not 4K.
However, your friend is right that Better Call Saul is available in 4K. The first three seasons, that is. Netflix carries all episodes of seasons one to three in 4K. (And presumably when season four is finished, Netflix will add the 4K edition to its streaming lineup as well.).
I have watched both the 4K and HD versions of Better Call Saul and have found that the former offers a slightly cleaner, crisper image. The 4K difference is not dramatic, but definitely noticeable.
Last note: It should be no surprise that Better Call Saul co-creator (and Breaking Bad creator) Vince Gilligan would be a proponent of 4K. Gilligan has said that Breaking Bad, which cleverly exploited the beautiful landscapes of Albuquerque, New Mexico, would never have been as powerful if it were not shot in HD.
“All the wonderful topographical and geographical elements, we put to good use in the show (Breaking Bad),” Gilligan told The New York Times. “Especially the clouds, which you don’t see in the blank blue skies of Southern California. They allow you to perceive the immense size of the sky. They go on forever some days.”
— Phillip Swann