Did you know that mobile devices account for 75% of all video viewing? Even more interesting, 66% of people rely on video as their main source of information.

While there’s no denying that Americans love to watch videos, what about videos from yesteryear, including home videos? How do you watch them if they need video restoration?

Perhaps you have 8mm or 16mm films but no means to watch them. Luckily, video digitization allows you to transfer videos to digital format. This preserves your memories for years to come and even makes an ideal holiday gift

If you’re looking to learn more about video encoding and restoration, then be sure to keep reading. 

Benefits of Video Restoration

In 1932, the Kodak Eastman company released 8mm film for general use. Throughout the years, there have been advancements to this film, including sound in the 1960s due to new projectors. However, come the ’90s, 8mm film became much less popular. 

If you have old home movies filmed on 8mm or 16mm film, you might not have a means for watching these videos. You may not have the right type of projector, or you may damage your film.

Luckily, video restoration services exist so you can enjoy your old movies but in a fresh, new way. Video restoration lets you dust off those old videos and turn them into cherished memories you can easily watch using a DVD player or USB drive. 

Video restoration companies also help when your original video quality is poor, there’s additional noise, and they’re blurry, pixelated, grainy, or jerky. Video restoration may restore your old films, transferring them from 480p or 720p to a might higher quality, such as 1080p, 4K, and 8K. This ensures your cherished memories remain intact and in the best possible shape.  

What Is Video Restoration?

As video footage filmed a long time degrades due to folds in the film, scratches, fungus, and grains, its shelf life declines. However, video digitalization and restoration can help give your video a longer shelf life. 

Video restoration is typically a three-step process. The steps are as follows:

1. Purifying the signal

2. Capture it with a high-quality device

3. Use appropriate software to filter the video

A trained video restoration technician will skillfully scan your films, pre-process them, digitally restore them, and then check the media. 

Tools Needed for Video Restoration

When completing a video restoration job, you need advanced digital video restoration software. The accompanying tools allow you to get the best results for each project.

The tools are responsible for different functions, including noise defects, line sync issues, cross-color artifacts, and more. Special restoration software can improve your digital video quality by reducing line appearance. The software also improves the original footage’s color. 

The process of video restoration begins with digitizing the preexisting film. Next, you need to correct any color issues and work to improve the overall picture quality using advanced tools. If there’s any noise in the video, you can clean the image and reduce the film grain using these tools. 

But color improvement isn’t the only part of a video that needs restoration. Video quality is just as important as color, and some common audio problems include white noise and distorted levels. You also need to focus on improving tape hiss. 

You can also fix bad audio mixing. This includes background music that dominates any dialogue. Once you correct these issues, you can export the film and put it into the proper format. 

Trends in Digital Video Restoration 

During the video restoration process, you’ll learn about trends. These might include free software you can download to complete the restoration process yourself. You may also find paid software.

Some of these products include Film9, Phoenix Video Restoration, Digitalvision, and more. However, it’s always best to have a professional video restoration technician transfer video footage for you. This ensures the best possible quality as they know how to use this software.

Part of the reason why you want a professional instead of following online trends is that preserving digital video is a challenging task. You may encounter other issues along the way.

Professionals use special tools to locate the exact issues and can identify what format the digital file is in, correcting problems along the way. If you have a DVD with scratches, for example, there’s new technology devoted to restoring these films. 

A technician can restore your videos manually, automatically, or semiautomatically. This corrects any scratches, reduces noise, and repairs damage to frames. They can also restore the sound if it’s been damaged.

From there, they perform a series of quality control procedures to ensure they fixed everything. The entire process takes a great deal of patience and skill, which is why it’s best to let a professional handle video restoration.  

Real-Time Restoration System

Technicians also use a real-time restoration system that corrects artifacts by way of motion compensation. They’re able to clean up, fix, and stabilize video material in real time.

This includes a video that’s deteriorated over time or has been damaged. You can usually restore the material within two or three times the video’s running length. The final result is a video that looks better than the original video. 

During the conversion to digital video file format, the technician may need to work harder to correct any playback issues when using video machines. Tape conversion is used for transference from one format to another, from a disc or digital file.  

8mm Film Transfer

If you have 8mm film, you can use an old 8mm projector to view them, but confertng them takes special equipment and care. A professional service will use frame-by-fram scanning to digitize each film frame. They will then use professional software to assemble the frames back into a video.

Keep in mind that 8mm projectors are not easy to come by and if not properly maintaines, they can easily destroy your film. 

16mm Film Transfer

Another film you can convert to a DVD or digital file is 16mm film. You can use the frame-by-frame scan method. You’d need to use a system that captures every individual frame to a computer, ensuring the best quality possible, avoiding the frame traditional methods would give you. 

It’s important to work with experienced technicians so your films come out with the highest-quality results. Experienced technicians have customized techniques that create the highest quality digital videos

Types of Damage

Now that you understand more about video restoration and the tools required for the job, it’s time to learn about the various types of damage your tapes may have sustained. Keep in mind that most types of damage are repairable by trained professionals. 

Water Damage

Were your tapes affected by water damage? If there was a flood in your home, your tapes may have been completely submerged in water.

It’s also possible that your tapes could have sustained damage after another type of liquid came into contact with them. Mold, dust, and dirt can accumulate on your video footage, further affecting the quality. Things such as high humidity and heat from the warm summer months can also wreak havoc on your tapes. 

However, trained professionals can restore this type of water damage. For example, they can use magnetic tape restoration to bring an audiotape or videotape back to its original state. From here, these tapes are permanently or temporarily transcribed, putting them back into a playable condition while returning to their original condition. 

Although this process can’t preserve the life of the tape, it can make the tape playable so the technician can transfer it to another type of media. You would have a restored video without altering its quality.

Heat Damage

As mentioned, videotapes that sustain heat damage can be difficult to repair. Although they can be stored in a warm environment temporarily, excess exposure to a hot environment can damage your videos. This may lead to deteriorated color or degraded audio quality. 

Exposure to open flame greatly reduces the chance of video restoration, especially if the Mylar backing is compromised. You should always store videotapes in a cool, dark place to keep them as safe as possible. You should also opt for a storage location with low humidity. 

Magnetic Damage

When your videotapes are exposed to magnets, they can be almost irreparable. This is because magnets can erase or damage video footage. As such, always keep your videotapes away from anything magnetic. 

Chemical Residue

Technicians also have special cleaning machines and use fabric and tissue to clean chemical residue off tapes. Sometimes a tape’s underlayers delaminate, causing something known as sticky-tape syndrome. Usually, these tapes won’t play.

In certain situations, a technician can “bake” these tapes for several hours, exposing them to elevated temperatures. This “bakes”- or reattaches- the binder back to the base material. 

From here, the technician can play the tape and copy it onto something more stable. This technique is quite extreme and will physically alter the tape, and it’s not always successful. But only a trained technician would be able to attempt this type of process, as it’s not something you should try at home for the risk of damaging your tapes beyond repair. 

Broken or Damaged Video Tape

If a video tape is broken or damaged, it might be as simple as the tape pulling from the spool. It may be more involved where the casing sustained damage from being dropped, melted, or crushed. Luckily, these types of damages are restorable and can be converted to Blu-Ray, digital file format, or DVD. 

Removing Macroversion or Scattervision

If a video has Macrovision or Scattervision, then additional attention is required. Specialized technicians can remove encoding when the video is remastered or transferred to a digital file format. Keep in mind that copyrighted material can’t be copied. 

Additionally, picture jitter can be eliminated along with time base errors that occur from videotape playback. This helps to secure a stable image while watching the video.

Any misshapen horizontal and vertical sync or issues with color burst can be restored. Special processing amplifiers can correct contrast, brightness, hue, sharpness, and saturation as well. When technicians use digital comb filters to correct tape playback but can’t correct physical tape issues. 

Holiday Gift Ideas

As you can see, the video restoration process is very involved, which is why it’s best left to the professionals. It also makes a wonderful holiday gift, especially if you’re looking for unique gifts for friends and family. 

Your old film or videos can create meaningful gifts complete with heartfelt memories. If your video lacks sound, you can add music for background ambiance. 

Even better, you can choose how your old videos are digitized. This lets you customize each gift for the intended recipient.

If you have an older family member who’d prefer a DVD, you can transfer old videos to that format. However, if you have a more tech-savvy friend or family member who loves social media, you can transfer videos to a USB or other digital format so they can easily share them. 

All you need to do is locate your old videos and send them for professional video restoration. It’s that simple! You’ll have one-of-a-kind holiday gifts in no time. 

Video Restoration

Now that you understand the video restoration process, you can begin transferring your cherished videos to an upgraded digital format. Choosing a universal format- such as DVD or USB- lets you watch your films whenever you want, wherever you want. And if your video sustained any type of damage, a trained video restoration technician can work to repair them for you. 

Envision Video Services is here to help you with all your video restoration needs. We also convert audio and film and digitize photos. Contact us today to see how we can help!