classic TV now in HD

Through restoration technology you can achieve lead content high quality classic television viewers with high definition (HD).

By Paola Hobson *

Viewers are more demanding than ever today, when the HD programming has become the norm and large-format screens and high quality are common and affordable. At the same time, there is a high demand for classical programming and many television networks - among which are counted several Latin American - will boast extensive collections of cherished classic series such as soap operas, documentaries and comedies, whose original format was the videotape or the film.

The chains are eager to broadcast these programs or reuse them for distribution on Blu-ray, but much of the material requires substantial to meet the high quality expectations of consumers repairs.

The loss of quality programs produced decades ago occurs due to many factors such as poor production conditions, deterioration of the tape or film, or defects introduced in the early stages of transfer material. The film may have scratches, dirt, flash, among other problems. The video can present noise and loss of pixels.

Traditionally, film restoration and high-quality video has been a laborious and lengthy process that requires editing box to box, but the technology has made great strides in just a few years. In this article, we will trace the restoration of a piece containing the early 90 using the system real-time restoration Archangel Ph.C-HD Snell.

Dirt and dust
The initial review of the material by an expert reveal the presence of any quality problems, such as dirt, holes, scratches, instability, low contrast, glare or noise. Even if you have been carefully stored in the film may appear physical dirt and dust.

When a video film, dirt and dust spots appear as dots or white, black or colored lines, different sizes and shapes is transferred. The problems of dirt and dust can be very annoying for viewers, especially when moving around the screen. Meanwhile, large particles of dirt can hide the details of the image.

Dirt and dust can be removed by washing the film before scanning, but washing is not an option for content owners who have a lot of content that needs to be repaired quickly and inexpensively. Similarly, washing is obviously inadequate option for programs in which the original film was transferred to video tape and this is the only format that is available.

One way to remove dust and dirt is to use real-time processing with motion compensation to reconstruct a particular video frame from the preceding and following him pictures. If the motion vectors are accurate, this is a very fast and effective to repair areas of dirt seamless manner.

It is important to preserve the contents of the image when removing dust and dirt. All automatic or semi automatic restoration should ensure that genuine moving objects are not confused with unwanted spots, it is also important to preserve the film grain, which can be confused with dust.

In addition, any repair method based on motion compensation could damage the image if the motion vectors are not calculated accurately and if the reconstruction of the picture is not perfect.

Vertical scratches on the content may be caused by problems during the scanning process of the film. Scratches are often unacceptable to the viewers that can distract, especially when moving or hide the image of an actor's face. Once a film has undergone a rayon, the defect remains in the content unless carried out long processes physical repair.

Such repairs are often extremely costly, especially in series with several episodes. The manual removal of scratches using software tools frame to frame is very slow, and automatic detection and repair scratches mismanaged or too aggressive can damage the image and reach genuine remove vertical details.

The system uses powerful algorithms used to automatically detect and distinguish them from scratch areas with fine details in the image. Once detected scratches, apply an automatic repair and provides tools to allow operators to choose how sensitive must be the detection and repair. Thus, by combining advanced digital processing techniques with the skill of the operator to restore the best results in terms of quality.
Noise Reduction
Low illumination and outdoor scenes conducive noise generation and grains in the image, because the film sensitivity and the thermal camera noise in video productions.

A careful analysis of the image allows noise reduction observed in the area of ​​the wall at the top of the scene. Noise reduction and adaptive grain in real time is controllable by the user, it allows to vary the noise will be removed, depending on the desired end result. Because managers often deliberately introduce noise and grain in an indoors decision to increase the dramatic effect, the operator used a moderate setting noise reduction.

Instability in the film and video is produced by the movement of the camera or telecine process. The movement can be very distracting and ruin the enjoyment of the viewer. Manual correction of instability frame by frame is extremely long and involves a high cost in terms of operator time. However, you can solve any instability in TV programs with the correction of instability in real time Archangel Ph.C-HD, which balances the scene quickly.

To achieve stabilization, the system continuously analyzes the motion profile of a sequence and identifies a global motion vector for each frame. The global movement is then filtered to remove unwanted temporarily stable components (due to horizontal or vertical movements of camera) and unwanted components due to instability. Once identified the unstable movement, the system automatically corrected by adjusting the position of the image frame by frame.

In conclusion
The system is ideal for correcting common defects such as dirt, dust, grain, scratches, flashes and instability. TV networks can not only adjust these settings scene by scene, but have the ability to customize the settings according to the project requirements and protect the artistic integrity of the content.

* Paola Hobson is vice Snell product manager.

Quoting products and technical services for Latin America

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