The Rise of High Definition Film Transfer

Posted on 6th August 2015.

The Rise of High Definition Film Transfer, Super 8, 8mm and 16mm film transfer services have seen a significant resurgence in popularity over the last 5 years and it may be that the latest move to high definition transfers by some organizations is the biggest step forward yet.

When VHS and other camcorder formats gained popularity in the late 1970’s and 80’s, it was inevitable that the quest for convenience would eventually spell the end for domestic film formats such as Super 8, 8mm and 16mm.

Whilst Kodak continue to manufacture Super 8 film (the only company still doing so) and formats such as Super 8 are still used by some professional cinematographers, usually as a means to replicate the graininess and style of the classic home move, it’s fair to say the format has lost popularity with the domestic market.

This leaves many families with a historical backlog of memories literally rotting away. Fortunately (or in some cases unfortunately), over the years many have offered various telecine services for transferring these films to a more convenient format. Throughout the 80s and 90s, the common process was to use a camcorder to record the film projection from a wall or white screen. This method provided a short term solution in that people could now enjoy their film on a TV screen without the concerns of film burning out, breaking and without the hassles of setting up a projector and screen. Unfortunately the quality of these transfers is very poor compared to current technology (amazingly some organizations still use this method now!).

So what is the new technology? While the 90’s and noughties saw the introduction of gradually improving capture technologies (telecine boxes and frame by frame scanning being two of the more popular ones), it wasn’t until recent times and the dramatic rise of HD (Blu-Ray players and full high definition screens) that the latest round of frame by frame scanning to HD touched down.

Frame by frame scanning is the method by which each individual frame of film is scanned and converted into a smooth running video steam – no flicker, no lost edges and a dramatically improved colour density and contrast. HD scanning now means that the film can be restored way beyond the quality that you experienced in most playback conditions (projection onto a wall or screen inevitable result in some lost colour depth and sharpness).

DiskBank offer HD film scanning services from each of the offices Australia wide and pride themselves on delivering the a superior quality product (perfected over more than a decade) at affordable prices.

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