Snell's Archangel Ph.C–HD realtime video restoration system has played an integral role in the production of a stunning new Blu-ray edition of the acclaimed World War II documentary, The World at War from Soho’s Eyeframe.
London-based post company Dubbs and its restoration and digital media division, Eyeframe, chose the Archangel Ph.C–HD to provide sophisticated yet cost-effective and highly efficient film restoration for the 37-year-old series.
"Since we were providing an expensive Blu-ray edition of a highly popular and well-known title, the quality of the restoration had to be top-notch. We needed to maintain the original production values whilst delivering new experiences to the viewer. At the same time, we were working with an enormous quantity of material and a tight schedule," said Simon Marbrook, head of restoration, Eyeframe. "Archangel provided the perfect solution, with a complete set of tools for restoration tasks such as stabilisation, de-flicker, and dust removal all in a single box. The system completed the restoration in just three to four times the programme's total length, and it reduced the amount of frame-by-frame work by 60 to 70%."
Originally broadcast in 1973 by ITV, The World at War is a 26-episode British television documentary series that covers World War II and the events immediately before and after. Eyeframe was contracted by FremantleMedia Enterprises to oversee the full restoration process for the series — including telecine, re-grading, and restoration — and to create a full set of HD broadcast masters, as well as a complete Blu-ray box set and DVD box set. In addition to the original 26 episodes, the Blu-ray edition includes a significant volume of extra material and "lost" footage that required extensive restoration.
As a Snell beta partner for the Archangel Ph.C–HD, Eyeframe recognised that the system would meet FremantelMedia Enterprises' exacting requirements for the restoration. Ideal for documentaries, historical series, natural history, travel, biography, music, and other genres that regularly incorporate archive footage, Archangel Ph.C–HD restoration eliminates any sudden drops in quality that could adversely affect the overall impact of the programme.
"Because Archangel operates in realtime, we were able to monitor the output continuously to ensure the highest quality and guard against damage to the film. The system gives our skilled operators plenty of control and fine-tuning abilities so that they can deliver an effective restoration that still maintains the look of the period," said Marbrook. "We are longtime users of Snell products, and Archangel definitely lives up to the Snell reputation for processing performance, image quality, and reliability. Plus, the level of support we received from Snell was amazing. Without Archangel, we possibly might not have met our deadlines for this project."
"As a growing number of films, features, and drama series are being remastered for sale on DVD and Blu-ray, Archangel Ph.C–HD offers the comprehensive restoration necessary for these productions to meet the high quality expectations of consumers watching on large-screen HDTVs and displays," said Paola Hobson, product manager at Snell. "In their role as beta partners, Eyeframe and Dubbs gave us critical input into the development of this new product, and we are excited to see it being employed for a project as popular and recognizable as the new Blu-ray edition of The World at War."