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Criterion Goes Classic With Digital Vision DVNR

Leading DVD producer invests in system for work on classic films (April 14, 2005)

Digital Vision, a leader in image processing for post-production, announced today that The Criterion Collection, New York, NY, has ordered Digital Vision's DVNR HD RGB Image Processing system. The order also includes Digital Vision's latest generation Grain & Noise Management system AGR4 and Film Dirt & Scratch Concealer ASC3 with Motion Estimation. The system supports standard definition, high definition, and the new dual-link RGB/YUV formats.

The Criterion Collection, a continuously growing series of important classic and contemporary films, is dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning original supplements. Criterion began with a mission to pull the treasures of world cinema out of the film vaults and put them in the hands of collectors.

The foundation of the collection is the work of such masters of cinema as Renoir, Godard, Kurosawa, Cocteau, Fellini, Bergman, Tarkovsky, Hitchcock, Fuller, Lean, Kubrick, Lang, Sturges, Dreyer, Eisenstein, Ozu, Sirk, Bu˝uel, Powell and Pressburger. Each film is presented uncut, in its original aspect ratio, as its maker intended it to be seen. For every disc, Criterion tracks down the best available film elements in the world, uses state-of-the-art telecine equipment and a select few colorists capable of meeting its rigorous standards, and take time during the film-to-video digital transfer to create the most pristine possible image and sound. Whenever possible, Criterion works with directors and cinematographers to assure that the look of these releases does justice to their intentions. Criterion's supplements enable viewers to appreciate Criterion films in context, through audio commentaries by filmmakers and scholars, restored director's cuts, deleted scenes, documentaries, shooting scripts, early shorts, and storyboards. To date, more than 35 filmmakers have made Criterion's Director Approved library of laserdiscs and DVDs the most significant archive of contemporary filmmaking available to the home viewer.

Criterion had experience with Digital Vision products from systems installed previously, but was particularly pleased with the newest DVNR as it enables Criterion to increase its productivity as its restoration projects also increase. In particular, the motion estimation technology was cited as a strong factor in the decision. The Digital Vision system integrates smoothly with other equipment Criterion utilizes, and its ease-of-use enhances efficiency.

During evaluation, the DVNR was utilized for restoration on a 1950's English movie, The Browning Version, which had 'very bad dirt and developing problems in the remaining film elements', as well as the film Seven Samurai. Lee Kline, Technical Director at Criterion, comments, "We really liked what the DVNR was doing, and that we could see exactly what it was doing - it was more obvious what it was removing - and we were able to really fine tune the movies and clean them up in a way that we couldn't do previously. It does what we want to do - but better."

He adds, "We're going to do restoration on many more movies in the future, but we want to do it with less effort in the manual phases whenever possible. Any product we invest in has to produce better-looking results, and the DVNR accomplishes that. We're minimizing the amount of work that has to be done frame-by-frame, and it allows us to clean up more dirt and debris with less artifacts. Our relationship with Digital Vision has been a strong one, and we find the company great to work with; they're very responsive."

"We are very pleased to once again get recognition for our technology and the benefits it provide our customers. Criterion is a leader in the restoration business and their choice of technology will be followed closely by others." says Hugh Heinsohn, President of Digital Vision in the US.

The DVNR, in conjunction with the latest AGR4 and ASC3, incorporates sophisticated Motion Estimation (ME) engines that allows the system to apply a variety of temporal and spatial filters to an image, including sections that contain frame-to-frame motion. The processing power provided by the new ME algorithms will help Criterion provide faster service and improved picture quality to its clients. Automating the scratch and dirt concealment process ensures that the colorist can concentrate on the principle task of creating the 'look' of the commercial or feature film and be confident that undesirable artifacts are removed in real time and without compromising picture quality.

About Digital Vision
Digital Vision provides innovative image restoration, enhancement, colour correction and data conforming systems that major movie studios, television networks and postproduction facilities use to produce and enhance feature films, TV programs and commercials. The company's Nucoda product line provides a strong suite of products for the burgeoning digital intermediate 2K/4K market. The company's award-winning products are a standard of the media & entertainment industry and are deployed at top facilities around the world.

Digital Vision AB was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with two wholly owned subsidiaries, Digital Vision (US) in Los Angeles, California, and Nucoda Ltd in London, England. The company maintains its global presence through a network of qualified distributors. Digital Vision is listed on the Stockholm stock exchange.

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Related Keywords:Digital Vision, Criterion, DVNR, DVD producer, image processing, Criterion Collection, HD RGB Image Processing, Grain & Noise Management, AGR4, Film Dirt & Scratch Concealer, ASC3, telecine, Lee Kline, Hugh Heinsohn, Motion Estimation, digital intermediate,


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