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Thursday, 24 August, 2006

Mark Evanier is a well connected and knowledgeable media critic and participant with a particular fondness for “classic” television and comics. He has written recently of the LiveFeed video restoration process, (which he spells “Live Feed”) but without any detail. As it turns out, details for the process are difficult to find.

Boundless Googling led me to a poorly designed website with as much detail as appears to be available as a series of images in a kind of presentation. The text, which I could not resist editing, follows.

The process allegedly converts original kinescope recordings into something which looks like an original television broadcast. I can only hope that the process is implemented to a lot of the material I’ve seen over the years and the reduced-size samples I’ve seen appear promising. I tremble at the prospect that colorizing these clips will follow.

LiveFeed Video Imaging

The future of television’s past.

Currently featured on:

  • The Kingston Trio Story – Wherever We May Go (Shout
    Factory, coming 29 August, 2006) produced for public television.
  • The Ed Sullivan Show – Elvis Presley (Image
    Entertainment, coming 21 November, 2006)

The Kingston Trio documentary Wherever We May Go is
one of the first public demonstrations of LiveFeed Video Imaging.
Developed by Kevin Segura, LiveFeed is a computer-based film and video
re-imaging process which gives the original live-broadcast look to
vintage shows from television’s golden age.

Why is LiveFeed necessary?

Before the invention of videotape, the most common way to preserve a
live television broadcast was to point a modified movie camera at a
television monitor, and film the broadcast as it was airing. The
resulting reel of 16mm or 35mm film is known as a kinescope. Even after
the invention of videotape, kinescopes continued to be the preservation
tool of choice for broadcast networks and production studios. They were
inexpensive to create, and relatively easy to copy, distribute and
store.

Even through kinescope recordings did an admirable job of preserving
thousands of hours of television history which would have been lost
otherwise, many surviving films display the usual shortcomings of the
kinescoping process: a flickering or strobing of the picture, and a
staccato, stuttering movement of objects on the screen. Additionally,
the depth of field collapses to a one-dimensional appearance,
reinforcing the unfortunate attitude that “watching classic TV is like
watching an old movie.”

With the application of LiveFeed processing, a dramatic change is
immediately apparent.

  • Flicker disappears.
  • People and objects move in a smooth, life-like manner.
  • Most importantly, an almost three-dimensional depth is
    restored to the image, giving the program its original “live broadcast”
    feel.

But don’t just take our word for it, see for yourself!

What’s My Line, from February, 1965
Watch
the Video
(before)
Watch
the Video
(after)

To an amazing degree, LiveFeed is able to do something fans of classic
television could only dream about; LiveFeed brings those tired films
back to life! Just imagine: Jackie Gleason, Steve Allen, Milton Berle,
Sid Caesar, Playhouse 90, or any of the legendary, live programs from
television’s Golden Age can now be presented in a way no one has seen
in over fifty years.

What’s the future of LiveFeed?

We’re pleased to say that this is just the beginning! In addition to
our work on Wherever We May Go, LiveFeed Video
Imaging has contributed material to the 2006 Emmy Awards primetime
television broadcast, and we’re pleased to announce the upcoming
release of Elvis – The Ed Sullivan Shows, a deluxe
three-DVD presentation of Elvis Presley’s 1956 and 1957 appearances on
the legendary CBS variety show.

For information about scheduling, project pricing and availability of
LiveFeed processing, please contact:
Paul Doherty
CESD Talent Agency
310-475-2111
pdoherty@cesdtalent.com

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