December 30, 2008

UCLA Deploys da Vinci Revival to Restore Award-Winning TV Classics for DVD

Coral Springs, Fla. - Da Vinci Systems LLC, a subsidiary of JDS Uniphase Corp., announced that its Revival£ image restoration system enabled the UCLA Film & Television Archive to restore episodes from two classic television series, "The Shari Lewis Show"and "Mister Peepers."
"Shari Lewis Christmas Specials" was released on DVD in October and "Mister Peepers, Season II" came out in November. More DVDs based on the vintage shows are currently in production. Until now, these award-winning shows only survived as kinescopes -- live performances captured on film from a television monitor. Kinescopes can be uncomfortable to watch because images recorded from screens flicker. Image instability is another problem.

"Mister Peepers" had been considered "lost" because it had not been commercially available since its original airing in the mid-1950s. "We've been pleased and surprised by the excellent results achieved using Revival," says James Friedman, head of commercial development at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. "The first time we used Revival was on a film project, and I was immediately impressed by the stabilization, as well as the image repair tools for splices and other frame damage. With kinescopes, the image quality is inherently more challenging, and the results are even more impressive with these projects. Revival's image stabilization and deflicker tools allow us to create something audiences will want to watch -- something that approaches the quality of other film-to-tape transfers."
Using Revival, UCLA digital restoration artists Bryan Stephens and Pauline Stakelon reviewed the images and set a range of adjustments for automatic processes, including deflicker and image stabilization. Once the automated process was complete, UCLA utilized Revival's interactive mode to fine-tune scenes -- and sometimes individual frames -- fixing scratches and splices and removing dirt as needed.
Revival enabled the technicians to view the episode at twice regular speed (48 fps) in order to identify scenes that needed extra attention, which was another timesaver. Revival's effective tools and efficient operation enabled a product of commercially desirable quality to be created cost-effectively.
"The da Vinci Revival system is allowing UCLA to improve the technical quality of these vintage masterpieces so that they can be appreciated by audiences today," says Dean Lyon, da Vinci director of marketing. "Many live programs exist today only as kinescopes, and we look forward to Revival fulfilling its potential to make them available to new generations of fans."