Vision Globale transfer helps INHD make Olympic history

As the Summer Olympics approach, fans of the international games will have a chance to watch action from games past in high-definition thanks to INHD, a subsidiary of inDemand Networks, and the film-to-tape and HD restoration expertise of Vision Globale in Montreal.

Vision Globale in Montreal relies on proprietary software as well as the Revival restoration application from da Vinci to eliminate scratches and remove dust spots from classic Olympic footage it has transferred to HD for use by INHD. Photo courtesy of Vision Globale.

In January, INHD began airing Olympic competition from as far back as the 1948 games in London in high-definition. The pay-per-view programming provider plans to continue offering coverage of vintage Olympic Games in HD through the summer.

More than 40 hours of film footage from the International Olympic Committee will be transferred to HD when the project has concluded, said Paul Bellerose, chief sales officer for Vision Globale, the company responsible for the transfer and restoration of Olympic film to HD.

“In general, we feel quite privileged,” said Bellerose. “We have a lot of film elements we can select from (including) interpositives, negatives, composites prints and internegatives. We select the best elements for the transfer and restoration.”

To prepare for the transfer, Vision Globale selects the best film elements available and cleans them. In general, the original footage has been in good condition. “Only on one occasion -for one project- did we have to go back to elements and reprint them because of their condition,” said Bellerose.

Vision Globale’s team transfers the film to HD with a Philips Spirit Datacine and uses a da Vinci 2K to do scene-by-scene color correction. Then, the long process of restoration begins. Using proprietary software and the da Vinci Revival software application, technicians remove scratches and blemishes from dust particles and stabilize the image. The footage is then transferred to D5 masters.

Program audio comes from a magnetic stripe on the original footage or optical negatives and is striped to the D5 masters, which are copied to HDCAM cassettes for use as broadcast masters by INHD.

The importance of having source material originate on film for such an important HD project isn’t lost on Bellerose. “Film remains the highest quality source medium,” he said.

“HD is the best quality image that can be broadcast in real time, so the presentation of this Olympic programming is giving viewers the very best of what is possible.”

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