600 Apple Power Macs used to digitally restore ultimate James Bond collection

“Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced the July 17 release of the James Bond Ultimate Edition DVD Collection – and this time the infamous secret service spy isn’t just licensed to kill, he’s also licensed to Mac. The collection – which took over two and a half years to put together – includes digitally enhanced versions of all the James Bond movies; sound and images look sharper and sound better than ever before thanks to new 5:1 surround sound,” MI6 reports. “All twenty James Bond movies are available as part of this collection, from 1962’s ‘Dr No’ to 2002’s ‘Die Another Day’. The videos also offer a vast range of meticulously researched archive material, including host of never-before-seen interviews and on-set footage.”

“The images and sound were remastered by DTS Digital Images (once Lowry Digital Images) using a huge installation of 600 Power Mac G5s,” MI6 reports. “The project needed that kind of horsepower, explained DTS Images vice president of strategy and marketing, Mike Inchalik, who stressed: ‘Certainly, the Mac is the only computer that’s touched this project.’ Inchalik, who used PCs extensively in his previous career at Eastman Kodak, stressed that his company is very happy with how reliable Macs are: ‘Historically, when I joined the company it had about 200 Power Mac G4s. It was refreshing how reliable they were,’ he explained.”

“Reliability matters: DTS had to check an astonishing 42-miles of film as part of the project. The company had to digitally remove a mind-boggling 37 million pieces of dirt and 74,000 hairs before it even began to touch-up the colour, so that even the oldest Bond movies now look as fresh as if they had been made this year. The company deployed 700 Terabytes of storage to support the project. Company founder John Lowry explained: ‘This is true frame-by-frame digital restoration. When you have 42 miles of film, there’s a lot to clean up.’ The project team also worked to a higher resolution than DVDs support, offering a route forward to release the digitised classics on other formats in future. The film was scanned at a resolution of 4,000 x 3,000 pixels, in contrast with the 720 x 576 pixel resolution of DVDs. This meant that each frame of each movie weighed in at 45MB,” MI6 reports.

MI6 reports, “Inchalik (who led the team that designed Kodak’s very first digital film scanner in the 1970s), explained why his company chose Macs – and cost of ownership is critical. ‘Apple is our defacto solution,’ he said. ‘Costs of ownership include repair, power and heat demands. Power is a big issue for us, as we are based in South California. We basically look at how many gigaflops of computing performance we get per operating dollar.’ Apple needs to remain focused on the same matter to retain these large-scale Mac deployments, he warned: ‘Power Mac G5s remain at the top of that heap, but it may not be easy for them to stay there,’ he said.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jim” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Those 600 Power Macs have had quite a workout: see related articles below.

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Related articles:
600 Apple Power Mac G5s used to restore Star Wars trilogy for DVD release – September 13, 2004
Lowry Digital’s 600 Power Mac G5s are forging the future of 4,000 line ultra HD DVD – April 17, 2004

19 Comments

  1. 45 megs per frame, that IS large and in charge. I used to do graphics for video and loved working at 72 dpi & RGB in Photoshop. How many layers? Who cares? Of course that was on an 8100. When the G3s came out I was not happy with my cheapskate boss who would not upgrade. He had interesting ways to spend his, whoops, company money.

  2. Off-topic: I know and accept that MDN needs advertising in order to give us a place to scream at them for doing so, but still, I have to smile every time I see the Napster ad I’m looking at now…

  3. Thelonious, I remember when 700 *Mega* bytes was science fiction…” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue laugh” style=”border:0;” />

    Thanks for that ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

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