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TWO PART QUESTION - We've all seen the movies/TV shows where the police/feds/spies use computer software to take a grainy photo and do a "clean-up" to see a better picture and more details. I assume the concept is executed by some sort of uber-power pixel-smoothing or anti-aliasing type of algorithms to fill in the blanks based on deductive processing.

PART 1: How real is this technology in the public/commercial software world? I'm not asking about any speculation on alleged secret gov software or such, I just want to know where we actually are with this concept today? How much is fully automated vs human-assisted.

PART 2: Assuming there actually is some reality with this technology for photographs the second part of this question is how (if at all) has this been applied to videos? Again the issue of fully automated vs human assisted is of interest here.

At the heart of this post is the ultimate question of how viable is today's software for being able to take an old VHS or DVD recording and process the frames to create a new HD-resolution remaster. Considering that doing this would mean cleaning up tens-of-thousands of frames for even a simple wedding video I am not expecting this technology to be fast of course.



NOTE: Per in-topic and meta discussions I went ahead and cross-posted this in two other suggested SE forums to acquire their viewpoints and expertise on this matter. So far (it is still a little "early in the day" so to speak) I have received some pretty interesting information in 2 of the 3.

When this is all done (when good answers have been selected) I would appreciate a way to merge these for the benefit of all three SE communities:

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My understanding is that Teranex processors are the "state of the art" in terms of bringing analog video into the digital/HD world. There may be other devices that make similar claims or that have similar signal-processing abilities, but these processors are an example of what people in the real world use to practically clean up video for HD. Of course it is nothing like the science fiction of enhancing photographs to be able to read 20M pixels of data from a 300K-pixel SD video source.

  • 300K --> 20M is certainly sci-fi, but what about 4:1 improvement (taking each pixel and deductively adding a 1px perimeter of 8 new pixels dynamically based on the central and surrounding older ones) ? – O.M.Y. Jan 9 '16 at 19:02
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    If you have a reference for a more state-of-the-art transformation than is offered by the Teranex processors, then please post it! Speculations about what might be possible are not state of the art--they are theoretical, which is a different question (and most likely not related to Video Production). – Michael Tiemann Jan 9 '16 at 19:18
  • My apologies, I was not meaning to speculate at all, but rather was asking what the capacity of these Teranex processors might be. To my mind the simplest level of quality improvement is 4:1 (four pixels replacing one). Your answer [here at SE, as opposed to any text found at the website linked] does not include any specifics of what the up conversion capacity of these units is, but did include the the "science fiction" comment which is mostly what I was replying to. – O.M.Y. Jan 10 '16 at 8:07

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