What happens when video is enhanced?


And why can’t we clean up older forms of film or “enhance” them?

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This could mean many things. Can you give an example?

In movies, when a computer wizard character “enhances” a video to see something more clearly, it usually has no basis in reality.

We do actually have the ability to redigitize movies shot on film with higher resolution due to advances in technology since they were first digitized. This only really works if the original film hasn’t decayed, though.

Depends on the context. If it was something originally shot on film, but later distributed at a lower quality for TV or early internet, it’s as simple as tracking down the physical film reel and rescanning it with better cameras. (example: Wham’s Last Christmas music video is 4k on YouTube now and looks incredible)

If it’s something that was shot on a TV camera (pretty low quality back in the day since it was for 480 televisions) then there is no higher quality version anywhere. But it can be run through a computer program to deinterlace and artificially increase the quality. A program doing this tracks what it thinks would’ve been a straight line then filling in those pixels to the best of its ability. (sometimes this looks great, sometimes not). This is usually what a video being enhanced means.

Here’s a 7 minute Tom Scott video that explains this all very well https://youtu.be/CkysCJBdGtw