HD (High Definition) Conversion and Restoration

HD (High Definition) Conversion and Restoration

DiskBank are proud to provide the ultimate in quality film transfers with our High Definition transfers for Super 8, 8mm and 16mm film.

Whilst standard definition Frame by Frame transfers have been our flagship transfer process for several years, we are pleased to now offer the dramatically improved definition that only HD (high definition) can bring.

Why should I choose High Definition for my film transfers?

Our view is that film transfers should only be undertaken once, so your decision should be made with one eye on the future and one eye on the present.

While some homes don’t have HD television, or access to HD players (Blu-ray or hard drive based media players), this is the minority. With the price of HD screens, Blu-ray media and hardware dropping rapidly (much quicker than DVD did at its inception), the writing is on the wall. HD is now considered by many to be the minimum acceptable standard and delivers a vastly superior result to standard definition.

Film footage which is scanned frame by frame and outputted to standard definition will still look great on the correct television. The resolution restrictions of SD (720 x 576) is a significant quality drop and the footage will be interlaced (which will only display properly on an interlaced set). Our high definition scans can be down converted to standard definition and outputted as either progressive or interlaced footage.

Greater Viewable Area

Our standard frame by frame transfer process offers the advantage of 100% capture area, so none of your film footage is cropped as it is when viewed on a traditional projector (where you lose about 10-20% of the footage). This important benefit over traditional film transfer methods still applies to HD transfers.
It doesn’t stop there though. A standard definition capture is done with a 4:3 aspect ratio (720 x 576 pixels), while a full HD capture utilises a 16:9 (1920 x 1080 pixels). Now both Super 8 and Standard 8 don’t use either a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio (Super 8 is about 8.3% wider than 4:3 and Standard 8 about 2.3% wider than 4:3). This means that if either of these formats are transferred to standard definition, this extra width needs to either be cropped, the ratio squashed to accommodate the 4:3 ratio, or the entire image reduced leaving black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.

With HD transfers offering the luxury of a widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio, this problem is avoided, so that the extra film width is accommodated by the wider screen width. If the entire footage is captured, there will still be black bars to the left and right of the footage, if you prefer, (while we don’t recommend it), we can zoom the capture to fill the entire 16:9 screen.

Output format

The DVD format does not have the bandwidth to cater for HD vision, so can only be used for SD footage. If you would like to take advantage of the significant benefits of HD film transfers, we can provide the final footage on Blu-ray (BD), as a lossless file (.avi, dv, mov etc), digital tape (minDV or DVCam). If you don’t already own a Blu-Ray player, a good option could be to choose one of the later 2 options, with a view to converting the footage to Blu-ray at a later date.