James Cameron’s Avatar is now streaming on Disney+. The 3x Oscar-winning film is only available in HD resolution but looks darn good especially upscaled on a 4k TV. Audio is provided in up to Dolby 5.1 channels.
The shots of space travel on the way to Pandora are quite impressive, with rich black levels and vibrant colors giving the image a lot of punch. Some of the imagery of the Na’vi, fauna, and creatures of the planet even look HDR-enhanced.
However, you can see where 4k would really benefit this film. The droplets of moisture falling to Jake Sully’s face, the heads-up-display in the cockpit of the ship that takes him to Pandora, and details of the lush planet are some examples of where 1080p gets a little mushy and would be much improved in 2160p.
Supposedly, James Cameron is working on a 4k Dolby Vision upgrade of Avatar that may be released sometime before Avatar 2 that’s slated for 2021. Until then, this Digital HD may be the best presentation of Avatar currently available.