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Disappointed in io/xt Upscale: Artifacts in frames with movement - DV to 1080i upscale with AJA io/xt

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Khashyar Darvich
Disappointed in io/xt Upscale: Artifacts in frames with movement - DV to 1080i upscale with AJA io/xt
on Jul 25, 2016 at 3:06:15 pm

Hi Everyone,

I'm a little disappointed.

Last August, we purchased an AJA io/xt, and a used Sony DVCAM deck with SDI out, for the specific purpose of upscaling DV footage for a prominent feature documentary.

We spent many weeks color grading the film (using the AJA upscaled video), which involved cutting and separating each clip, and color grading them individually.

We are ready to submit the film to an aggregator to be released on iTunes, when the aggregator told us that any glitch, any pixelation, any irregularity could cause the film to be flagged and rejected by Apple.

So, after we deinterlaced the final Quicktime ProRes 422 HQ, I looked at still frames of scenes where there is motion in the shot, and I saw many instances of artifacts.

We have done an After Effects upscale months ago, and I compared the same frames against the AJA upconverted footage, and where there are artifacts on the AJA upscaled footage, there are NOT artifacts on the After Effects upscaled footage.

I also looked at the original DV footage, and the artifacts are not there.

I called AJA, and a support person asked me to check my Scratch hard drive as well as Final Cut Pro (he suspected the artifacts might be occurring during the capture to the hard drive).

However, the artifacts ONLY appear in shots with motion, and not in still video. If it were a capture issue, then the artifacts should appear throughout the video.

It seems like my io/xt is incorrectly interpreting and upscaling DV video with motion.

I would appreciate your help and feedback.

Here are some stil frames (and a short clip of the original DV video)

1) side-by-side comparison of the original DV SD still frame and AJA upscale: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2nQyNrWjMCdMENjRW1XZ3pBS00

2) still frame of After Effects upscale: no artifacts: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2nQyNrWjMCdRm5UQ2Z3czJ1Y3c

3) still frame of de-interlaced (Progressive) shot of the AJA upscale (using Compressor): artifacts are magnified: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2nQyNrWjMCdUUhqZFJEZ3Y0MlE

4) VIDEO: Here is a link to watch or download the original DV (SD) video clip: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2nQyNrWjMCdTWZDX21zVm1HaWM

This will delay our iTunes release, and we may have to pay a post-production house to create a clean upscale for us, when my understanding is that this is one of the main features of the io/xt.

Thank you for your feedback and help.

Khashyar
Washington D.C.

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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Khashyar Darvich
Re: Disappointed in io/xt Upscale: Artifacts in frames with movement - DV to 1080i upscale with AJA io/xt
on Jul 25, 2016 at 5:37:29 pm

Just an update... I've been emailing back and forth with AJA, and the support representative thinks that I might have a defective unit... One one hand, I hope that the new unit results in no artifacts, but on the second hand, it would be a drag to have to re-upscale and re-apply all of the color correction filters. But, iTunes has its specs and rules.

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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Khashyar Darvich
Re: Disappointed in io/xt Upscale: Artifacts in frames with movement - DV to 1080i upscale with AJA io/xt
on Jul 25, 2016 at 10:29:47 pm

I do want to compliment AJA customer service and support that they will be sending me a new replacement unit to test whether there is a defect in the hardware.

I do appreciate their effort to solve and deal with the issue.

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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Khashyar Darvich
Re: Disappointed in io/xt Upscale: Artifacts in frames with movement - DV to 1080i upscale with AJA io/xt
on Jul 25, 2016 at 7:27:44 pm

The AJA representative wrote me that they are processing and testing all of the information that they received about the issue.

He will get back to me regarding if they feel confident whether it is an AJA hardware issue.

In the meantime, they are sending me a replacement unit (which I appreciate, but I would like to know what their best assessment is regarding what has caused this issue.

Has anyone else receive a bad AJA unit that cause artifacts during upscaling?

Thank you for everyone's feedback.

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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