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Old June 5th, 2006, 09:30 AM   #16
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Although I am not a professional reviewer I have tried this product.
It behaves pretty much like an old plug-in VideoPics for Premiere 6.x where an image is composed from 3 or 4 frames to give a higher resolution one. Obviously this is a very time consuming process.
The results are comparable to VHS -> S-VHS but when you compare S-VHS to DV you can plainly see the differences.
You will not get HDV quality output from any product of this type. As Kevin says you can not add what is not there to begin with.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 12:28 PM   #17
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I think this has a use when it comes to mixing HD and SD footage on the same timeline but other than that I don't see it as a viable alternative to getting the real deal. As Kevin stated, you can't add detail when non existed even if you are pulling form 4-6 frames.


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Old June 5th, 2006, 11:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
It's all this upconverting talk which is nonsense as far as I'm concerned, because it's logically impossible to create HD resolution detail from an SD video stream. Sure, you can make good SD video look a little better by upsampling it carefully, but you'll never be able to add in detail which was missing in the original image. I've said many times that to prove the quality of upsampling tools all you have to do is shoot the same scene side-by-side on SD and HD cameras and then compare the SD upampled results to the HD source, but for some odd reason I've yet to see this done by anyone advocating upsampling tools. It's a simple enough experiment; you'd think someone would have done it by now...

It had been done, check the net for the doc "Smile" they shot scenes with an SDX900 and when upconverted it looked as good as the HD material according to the ENGINEERS! I am not advocating shooting SD forever, my point is that the only way to future proof your work is to make it compelling and well produced, that will matter 1000 times more than the resolution.

Your premise is incorrect as well... the HVX has a 540 line CCD, which is less than the PAL XL2, so... I guess it is not HD because all it is doing is shifting pixels to get more resolution.

While the high end unconvert tools are still in the thousands and tens of thousands I expect them to trickle down to the consumer soon enough. I have seen some 16:9 SD DVCpro stuff running thru a Teranex Mini that looked as good as most the HD I see on cable...



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Old June 19th, 2006, 11:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enrique Galvis
[...] You will not get HDV quality output from any product of this type. As Kevin says you can not add what is not there to begin with.
Yes, for the most part, You're right. Some sharpening and anti-aliasing can help, but there are no miracles to be had.

I've got mixed feelings about Instant HD, while I think it does a nice job with anti-aliasing and presents a clean interface with convenient resizing pre-sets and sliders for sharpness, quality and anti-aliasing, I think you can achieve reasonable results with simply scaling (and maybe a little sharpening) especially if you don't have problems with jaggies to start with. SD footage that's been well shot, especially when it originated as progressive without excessive "detail" and no inter-line blurring (what's called Vert. Freq. "Thin" on the DVX100) can scale nicely to HD. Compare these images:

(1) InstantHD.jpg (Upscaled w/ Instant HD, JPEG from DVCPRO HD master, 16:9 flat, 1280×720)
(2) ScaleFCP.jpg (Upscaled w/ Final Cut Pro, JPEG from DVCPRO HD master, 16:9 flat, 1280×720)
(3) Original.jpg (Original DV progressive video, JPEG from DV master, 16:9 squeezed, 720x480).

Hmm, it's really hard to tell the difference, except in terms of render time. To be fair, Red Giant's demo footage shows off what they can do better, as it has lots of thin diagonal lines in the image. I wrote a review of Instant HD at: http://kino-eye.com/2006/06/18/instant-hd/
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Old June 19th, 2006, 12:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
It's all this upconverting talk which is nonsense as far as I'm concerned, because it's logically impossible to create HD resolution detail from an SD video stream [...]
Hmm, technically speaking, it's not really nonsense. If you have camera movement, sophisticated algorithms exist that can look at the previous and subsequent frames and extract additional image information from those frames and create an upconverted frame that is actually sharper and shows more detail than each original frame. I'm not an image processing expert, but I've seen several demonstrations of these techniques.

One example is DTS Digital Images (formerly known as Lowry Digital Images and was acquired by DTS last year) in Burbank California. They are a service bureau that offers digital restoration and image enhancement services. The comany was founded by John Lowry, who has developed a wide range of proprietary image processing algorithms for noise reduction, image enhancement, image restoration, and upconversion. For example, they did the upconversion from HD (footage shot with a pair of Cine Alta HD cameras and special wide angle lenses for underwater 3D) to 15perf/70mm IMAX for James Cameron's "Aliens of the Deep." There was no way an IMAX camera and all that film was going to fit in their undewater crafts, so they went with the Cine Alta HD cameras.

If you have seen "Aliens of the Deep" in an IMAX theatre, you know what I'm talking about, and if not, this is an IMAX worth trying to see for reasons of both the tech and the subject matter. Other than the typical video higlight problems, you'll see some amazing high-resolution frames, and I'm sure you'll be convinced that talk about upconverting is far from nonsense: the technology exists and over time might trickle down to the desktop. True, it's not cheap, the algorithms require tremendous amounts of computing power, but only a couple of decades ago it was impossible to edit video on the computers of the day.

Another company doing similar work but with still images is Salient Stills in Boston, Massachusetts, they have technology that takes video frames and can make clean, high resolution images for use in print publications or in security applciations to identify subjects in the frame. The company was founded by Laura Teodosio using technology she developed as graduate student at the MIT Media Lab called "Salient Stills."

All the cool image ehancement stuff you've seen in movies like Blade Runner is more than science fiction, it's real technology we can someday hope to see trickle down into end-user applcations. It's all a matter of time.
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