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JCA TV Restores Filmation Classics With Snell & Wilcox

Uses Snell & Wilcox Archangel Ph.C real-time restoration system (May 03, 2005)

Vintage Saturday morning cartoons including "The Archies" and "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" are getting a new lease on life thanks to restoration work on Entertainment Rights' Filmation archive being carried out by JCA TV using the Snell & Wilcox Archangel Ph.C real-time restoration system.

Filmation catalog owner Entertainment Rights, whose portfolio ranges from classics such as "Felix the Cat" to the latest fare in children's programming, such as "Postman Pat" and "Little Red Tractor," commissioned JCA TV to provide new DigiBeta masters, ready for international distribution, for the vast Filmation archive.

When reviewing samples of the original film-derived D1 masters, Entertainment Rights saw numerous benefits in cleaning up artifacts of the original transfer process, including improvement in any subsequent encoding efficiency for transmission, and improving the image quality for potential DVD releases.

"Some of the Filmation catalog was transferred from film to D1 tape in 1994 using what was probably 'state-of-the-art' telecine technology," said Jim Duncan, chief engineer at JCA TV. "Until then, JCA TV hadn't undertaken restoration work, but in this case it seemed a necessary part of the job, and something that would add value to the Entertainment Rights' Filmation catalog."

At that point, JCA TV considered a number of different options, including software restoration packages, before asking Snell & Wilcox to provide a demonstration of its Archangel Ph.C real-time restoration system.

"Entertainment Rights was impressed with the demonstration of Archangel's capabilities. When they learned how economical it would be to include the restoration process in the creation of new masters, they agreed to apply it to the complete Filmation archive," Duncan added.

Offering a highly cost-effective alternative to traditional restoration solutions, Archangel Ph.C works in real time to correct artifacts including noise, dirt, and scratches, plus unsteadiness and flicker using Snell & Wilcox's proprietary Ph.C motion compensation technology. Archangel Ph.C cleans up, fixes, and stabilizes video material that has deteriorated or been damaged, either by age or other factors. The Archangel Ph.C process is real-time, and including set-up time, typical material can be processed in two to three times its running length.

"Artifacts such as excessive film grain, dirt, scratches, and weave can contribute up to half of the data on a DVD or satellite transmission path when raw images have to be encoded and transmitted," said Ian Ellis, Snell & Wilcox product manager for Archangel Ph.C. "Just by eliminating film weave, Archangel Ph.C can deliver a 20 percent improvement in encoding efficiency. With all the benefits it provides in terms of encoding and bandwidth efficiency, not to mention making the content itself more enjoyable, Archangel Ph.C more than pays for itself as an integral part of any transfer process."

About Snell & Wilcox
Snell & Wilcox, the leader in its field, delivers technologies and products that enable television and satellite broadcasters, post-production facilities, filmmakers, and communications professionals to move content seamlessly between analog, digital, high definition, and file-based systems and to bridge the world's multiplicity of line/field and color standards. The company provides switchers and keyers, standards conversion systems, networked infrastructure components, and products for noise reduction, image enhancement, and restoration. In business since 1973, Snell & Wilcox maintains its U.S. headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., and European headquarters in Hampshire, U.K. Additional offices are located in New York, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, and Russia.

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Related Keywords:Snell & Wilcox, Filmation, JCA TV, Archangel Ph.C, restoration, Entertainment Rights, Filmation, encoding,

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