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Hi Benny,

As you are the second person to post on the subject, I am beginning to get the
idea that somebody out there is telling people that there is an evil black box
called the DVNR which takes in pristine perfect film images and turns it into
video with all sorts of horrible artifacts.

The fact of the matter is that the Digital Vision Noise Reducer (that's what
DVNR stands for, a manufacturer's name followed by the main purpose the box
serves) is a very powerful and worthwhile tool.  A large percentage--but by no
means all--telecine suites operating in the world have them.  Like anything
powerful, a DVNR has to be operated by somebody who knows what they're doing
in a properly set-up environment, otherwise it can do just as much harm as
good.  Such is the case with other types of noise reducers made by other
manufacturers, or most other equipment used in a telecine suite for that

<< All of the subtle light reflections that the cinematographer has
painstakingly introduced are being eaten away at by this dreaded system. >>

Properly used, a DVNR does not compress or change light levels in video, nor
will it take out reflections.  This sounds as if a transfer was done from a
high contrast print (or made high contrast accidently or on purpose in
telecine), or if some sort of video compression was applied.

<< Also I am under the impression that there is a possibility that excessive
amounts of DVNR are being introduced into submasters, once it is out of reach
of the colorist. [...] >>

Although somebody could be using a DVNR in this fashion, it isn't normal
practice.  DVNRs are usually found in color correction suites where a colorist
can use a control system (like a daVinci) to set the DVNR parameters on a
frame-by-frame basis if necessary.  It's a rather expensive box, not the sort
of thing you'd expect to find in a rack in a dubbing facility, with all video
simply being dumped through it.

<< A couple of examples of films ruined by DVNR are "DAY THE EARTH STOOD
STILL", the titles to "DOCTOR ZHIVAGO" is a good demonstration. The
'pulsating' credits have to be seen to be believed. The list is very long, and
the problem is not going away. My plea to all Telecine Colorists is please
think about this post when
you are next faced with a problem and you have to use it. I have written to
the Laserdisc >>

Bear in mind that laserdisc is an analog video format subject to a whole host
of analog difficulties of its own.  There is nothing in a DVNR unit that will
make titles or anything else pulsate, unless there has been some sort of
failure.  While I've personally seen lots of lousy video on laserdisk, VHS,
and even DVD, it's a real stretch of the imagination to think that it all
comes from just one particular piece of equipment that might not have even
been used on a particular job!

Best regards,
Christopher Bacon

Thanks to SMA Video for supporting the TIG in 1998..
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