How to improve video capture quality

Apart the obvious things (better source media and player, better cables etc.) I’d like to explore some different approaches:

average/median multiple capture (using the same media/player)

I tried several times, and it works really well – it delete noise and dropouts NOT present in the media/player

average/median multiple capture (using different media/player)

usually it delete noise and dropouts ALSO if present in the media/player

hardware TBC

it improves the quality of tape based media – like VHS or Video8

hardware Comb Filter

it improves the quality of composite based media – like VHS or Laserdisc

phase-inversion trick

it deletes completely any dot crawl in theory – never found the working way in real life, though… anyone who is aware of how to make it work, please post the info here, thanks!


found here – it seems it works well (apart the change in color)… further investigations and tests are needed!

Restoration tips: Overlap matching


What is the Overlap matching?

When two images of different sizes are used to improve the final result.

Could you be more specific?

Usually this is used when two different versions of the same movie are available at different aspect ratios.

Let’s say you want to restore a movie that is not available in high definition, and you want to upscale a DVD or a laserdisc capture. If you are lucky, an anamorphic DVD is available, so a theoretical 720×576 (PAL) or 720×480 (NTSC) max resolution could be achievable. But, if the original aspect ratio of the movie is 2.35:1, then you have only 720×432 (PAL) or 720×360 (NTSC). Well, enough resolution left to do a decent upscale. However, if the DVD is not anamorphically enhanced, actual resolution drops to 720×324 (PAL) or 720×252 (NTSC).

But what if the only (or the best) available low definition sources are analog? In this case, a 2.35:1 original resolution in laserdisc could be at maximum 576×324 (PAL) or 576×262 (NTSC), while VHS could be 328×324 (PAL) or 328×262 (NTSC)… pretty poor…

So, how it’s possible to improve the quality of such low resolution sources? Continue reading

Restoration tips: the Slice Technique™

Restoration tips: the “Slice technique”


What’s about this so-called “Slice Technique™”?

In few words: achieve the widest (highest) image possible adding a “slice” of another video clip.

Be more specific…

Well, sometimes there are two editions of the same movie, where one has more image on one side, while less on the other side, and vice versa. So I thought to use the missing “slice” of one joined together with all the other, to obtain the widest image possible. Indeed, it could be only (e.g.) 3% wider than any each version, but I much prefer a 100% wide image Vs a “mere” 97%… (^^,)

Of course, it’s quite difficult – sometimes impossible – to use this technique with every movie, because what must be taken in account are the dimensions (eventual image rotation, width and heigth of sources and chosen slice, eventual resizing and cropping, exact point of matching), colors (both versions should have the same color grading, or one should color match the other), video quality (grain, resolution/definition, different compression used in the sources, frame whobbling in a version not present in the other – in particular at the beginning and ending of a shot), etc.

In these examples, I used a vertical slice and two sources, Continue reading

PaNup™: or, how to upscale PAL + NTSC capture and live (quite) happy…

Today I was thinkering with the “pyramid” LD capture, and, when I was looking for the files, I encountered an old test script for upscaling, abandoned two years ago. Idea was good, so I managed to improve it – as now I have more knowledge than at that time – and results are quite good.

The idea is simple: take two captures of the same content, one PAL, one NTSC, then merge them to “squeeze” every bit of details from it… everyone knows that a PAL capture has 576 horizontal lines, while NTSC has 480… now, when a movie was transferred to video, usually original resolution was higher than that (not all the times, but often); so, the PAL and NTSC “received” different lines of image… see the next image (obviously intentionally exagerated…):

Continue reading