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Tracking error in digitized analog video: automatic detection and correction


In the last half century the most used video storage devices have been the magnetic tapes, where the information are stored in analog format based on the electromagnetism principles. When the digital technique has become the most used, it was necessary to convert analog information in digital format in order to preserve these data. Unfortunately, analog videos may be affected by drops that produce some visual defect which could be acquired during the digitization process. Despite there are many hardware to perform the digitization, just few implement the automatic correction of these defects. In some cases, drop removal is possible through the analog device. However, when a damaged already-converted video is owned, a correction based on image processing technique is the unique way to enhance the videos. In this paper, the drop, also known as “Tracking Error” or “Mistracking,” is analyzed. We propose an algorithm to detect the drops’ visual artifacts in the converted videos, as well as a digital restoration method.

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The authors thank the Italian public broadcasting company RAI department of Catania (Radiotelevisione Italiana [9]), our consultant in this research.

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Correspondence to Filippo Stanco.

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Stanco, F., Allegra, D. & Milotta, F.L.M. Tracking error in digitized analog video: automatic detection and correction. Multimed Tools Appl 75, 3733–3746 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11042-014-2068-1

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  • Mistracking
  • Tracking error
  • Analog video
  • Drop out