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Film2HD High Definition Film Transfer Process

Welcome to Film2HD.com, Lifetime Heritage Films’ home for High Definition Film Transfers. Here you can find out more about what it is that we do, why we do it, and how it helps you!

Preparation

Once we have your film, but before we actually transfer it there are a few things that we do. First, we perform a quick inspection to determine the current state of the film.  During inspection we repair splices, damaged sections, add leaders when necessary, and determine if we can safely digitize the film without damaging it.  If the film requires restoration we will contact you immediately before proceeding. Otherwise the next step is to carefully hand clean the physical film with a very specialized film cleaner to get rid of dust, minor mold, and grime.  Cleaning the film is important because even though we use hardware and software for correction and enhancements to get your film looking as good as possible we need to start with the best optical transfer possible.

Calibration

For each film that we transfer, we calibrate our systems to get the best image possible.  This includes adjusting the frame, color, focus, and exposure. If your old film has had its color fade or drift, we will color correct it once it has been digitized with a deluxe transfer.

Enlarged Gate Capture

We optically scan your home movies into a digital file.  The frame-by-frame process has your film passing through a special enlarged gate that captures the entire frame of the film. Gates on old standard projectors were small enough so that the sprocket holes of the film and the outer edges of the film frame were never visible.  This means that 20% of your actual film frame has never been seen. 20% cropping may mean that an important person is missing from the film frame.  Not all companies that digitize film use enlarged gates, we do because we want you to see the entire frame that you captured.

regular-gate

Put your mouse over this image to see the difference our enlarged gate makes!

High Definition Advantage

Let’s take a minute to look at the differences between Standard Definition and High Definition. Standard Definition, the format of old TVs, only has 480 lines of resolution.  Many companies still digitize film using a Standard Definition process, which may not seem like a bad idea until you consider the loss in resolution.  8mm film has an estimated resolution of about 800 lines, and 16mm has 1600 lines of resolution!  With Standard Definition transfers, up to 70% of a film’s optical information cannot be captured.

Lines of Resolution Graph

Another issue with Standard Definition digitization, is that the optical devices used to capture in Standard Definition (i.e. camcorders) use a very intense sharpening algorithm to make the picture look good leaving, however these algorithms leave noticeable artifacts in the picture.

The answer is to digitize your film using a full High Definition process. Our true High Definition process captures each and every frame of your film in 1080 lines of resolution, in a 4:2:2 color space!  Our custom-built digitizing machines capture more resolution than the actual 8mm film and almost as much as 16mm film. With our High Definition image sensors, your film will come through looking sharp, natural, and vibrant without the harsh haloing effect of Standard Definition sharpening.  This is the best possible image you can attain today.