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Share the Memories
910 Cobb Place Manor Drive, Marietta, GA 30066        (678) 948-5735       ShareTheMemories@IntegraComputing.com




HOW 'SHARE THE MEMORIES' COMPARES

Let's look at a few film clips that compare Share the Memories' service to that provided by a firm that charges roughly three times as much. This firm, which we'll call Company 3X, has advertised with Google and is well enough connected to place near the top in search engine results.

We gave a movie to Company 3X and then processed the same film here. Each sample below contains about six seconds: three seconds from Company 3X's "full-frame, frame-by-frame, wet gate" process, followed immediately by the same section of film processed by Share the Memories. Note that no changes have been made to Company 3X's film clips, other than in compressing them to WMV files for easier viewing on the Internet (exactly the same compression was performed on the Share the Memories clips).

Click to play 'Moose, 1957' (film clip from 1957) (Windows Media Video, 6 seconds, 1.65 MB) Click to play 'Kids on a Raft, 1959' (film clip from 1959) (Windows Media Video, 6 seconds, 1.64 MB)
        Moose, 1957                             Kids on a Raft, 1959

Share the Memories makes no claims about using exotic equipment or complicated processes. So, after reviewing the above film clips, you will hopefully conclude that human supervision and careful attention to detail can be just as significant as the most novel machinery in determining the quality of a transfer. The lesson here is that you shouldn't select a transfer facility merely because of its technical claims; rather, your selection should be based upon an evaluation of its final product.

Now, let's discuss some of the features that various companies claim for their film conversion processes.


SOME COMPANIES EMPHASIZE THEIR "FULL-FRAME" PROCESSES

"Full-frame" implies that a transfer will capture nearly 100% of each film frame. If that's what you want, Share the Memories will provide it for you, but many people prefer a transfer that makes the main objects in each frame appear just a bit bigger. If you'll look at the film clips again, you'll notice that the first three seconds of each (Company 3X's portion) show a bit more scenery, but at the expense of shrinking the objects in the frame. On the other hand, the Share the Memories portion (the final three seconds) concentrates more on the central subject of the scene, inflating its size a bit, but forfeiting some of the peripheral objects. So you have a choice: do you prefer more scenery or larger subjects? Share the Memories gives you that choice.


SOME COMPANIES USE A "FRAME-BY-FRAME" PROCESS

The "frame-by-frame" process captures each frame individually, while the process used by Share the Memories blends some frames. "Frame-by-frame" is a better process in theory, but unless you run your home movies by slowly stepping through them one frame at a time, you probably won't be able to tell the difference. Look at the above film clips again. If the first three seconds of each clip (transferred on a frame-by-frame system) seem to run more smoothly than the second three seconds, you may benefit from this process. Most people, however, will find frame-by-frame to be of dubious value for home movies.


SOME COMPANIES USE A "WET GATE" PROCESS

The "wet gate" process has significant value for film that's full of scratches, because the fluid it uses will mask some of them. It's of little use, however, for well maintained movies. The above clips provide evidence to this effect. Looking at them yet again, you'll notice that the Share the Memories portions have no more noticable scratches than the Company 3X portions. But to be fair, let's compare the two processes on a section of film that's in poorer condition:

Click to play 'Acrobat under the Big Top, 1943' (film clip from 1943) (Windows Media Video, 5 seconds, 680 KB)
Acrobat under the Big Top, 1943

This clip, incidentally, demonstrates that NO PROCESS is likely to make a faded, poorly shot scene look good, since we're all limited to a great degree by the quality of the movies you provide. But take a close look, and you'll see that the first half of the clip (processed by Company 3X's wet gate machine) appears a bit cleaner than the second half (processed by Share the Memories). For instance, the second half shows a thin vertical scratch just to the right of center that is mostly absent from the first half. So here we see that the wet gate process does, indeed, improve the appearance of some film. And that raises the question of just how much of your film will benefit from wet gating. If most of your movies are badly scratched, you should definitely consider this more expensive alternative, at least for those sections that are in such condition. If, on the other hand, most of your film is in good shape, why pay extra for something of marginal benefit?


SOME COMPANIES HIGHLIGHT THEIR USE OF A "HIGH DEFINITION" CAMERA

High Definition is potentially superior to the standard definition systems used by some companies. But there's a difference between "potentially" and "actually". You see, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. To benefit optimally from a Hi-Def camera, every link between it and your TV must also be Hi-Def. If your TV or DVD player is not Hi-Def, or if the DVD provided to you by the transfer service is not an HD-DVD or Blu-ray disk, the fact that a Hi-Def camera might have been used in the transfer is of little consequence. And let's not forget that your original home movies are not Hi-Def sources. Because of limitations in the 8mm format, they have a soft focus, and reproducing them with a Hi-Def camera cannot make them any sharper than they already are. So, even though Share the Memories, indeed, uses High-Definition equipment, you will not get a Hi-Def picture from the DVDs it provides.