That was an interesting post.
Bill E. Branscum, Investigator
Naples, FL 34101
(239) 304-1639 V
(239) 304-1640 F
(239) 641-6782 C
In a message dated 4/24/2010 7:36:39 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
Seasoned investigators know that, to maximize recording times, video and
audio recording devices use slow recording speeds and sophisticated
compression. This increases recording times by a factor of ten, always at the cost
of removing significant details. That is why playback mode is never as good
as live view. Most of this lost detail can be recovered by reversing the
compression methods used. This is the process of video and audio enhancement.
Twenty years ago, enhancing an audio file required expensive hardware, and
video enhancement was nearly non-existent. Today, technology allows the
skilled technician to perform the entire process digitally using specialized
Advances in enhancement technology allow any video or audio file to become
high-res. For example, a 96-hour time-lapse VHS tape can be digitized,
then the sequenced or multiplexed video isolated, interference and artifacts
removed, viewability dramatically improved and, most importantly, the
resolution significantly increased.
Audio recordings can just as easily be enhanced to remove unwanted noise
and music, even when those sounds are louder than the desired voices. In the
right hands, the a complete enhancement takes just a few hours and the
results are stunning. What was once science fiction is now very real, although
it is still exaggerated on television.
As with any service, quality and price will vary greatly. The easiest way
to narrow your search is to choose companies that are confident about their
work, and thus provides a free evaluation. This is the only way you can
know what to expect before you purchase anything.
Pricing varies and has nothing to do with receiving quality results, and
everything to do with supporting the life styles of the company's
leadership. Today, the required enhancement software and hardware costs are under
$50,000. While clients paid thousands of dollars per enhancement ten years
ago, today a complete enhancement service (including extracted stills) sells
for about $300. Reselling these services can be a very lucrative income
How does enhancement occur? At its core, the process involves assigning
confidence levels to every dot of every image based on its existence and
placement in the adjacent video frames. The images are then layered to allow
greater detail to become visible. The end result will hold up in court
because nothing is synthesized and the results can be replicated.
If you have never used an enhancement service, you are in for a pleasant
surprise. Improving resolution means being able to positively identify
people and their actions. License plates become readable and hidden details come
into plain view. There are examples at www.ForensicProtectIf you
What have been your experiences with enhancement services?
Doug Carner, CPP/CHS 818-375-1700
American College of Forensic Examiners, Board Certified
www.ForensicProtectwww.ForensicProtect<WBR>ion.com - The eviden
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