Startup Uses Military Tech to Fix Low Res Video

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Motion DSP is creating a simple web based interface that will significantly enhance low resolution camera phone video into surprisingly high quality stuff. It started off in 1998 as a U.S. military funded project at UC Santa Cruz. In January 2005, Professor Peyman Milanfar, the primary researcher behind the technology, co-founded Motion DSP.

The company compares multiple frames in a video to find and replace lost pixels in a given frame, significantly enhancing the experience with little increase in overall file size after compression. The service works best when a video is not moving rapidly or in a jerking fashion, but tends to improve just about any low quality video. To see a demonstration, check out this page on the site that contains three different before and after video shots.

The service will go into consumer beta sometime this year, CEO and co-founder Sean Varah told us. The service will be free and will allow users to upload a video and download an enhanced version. But he also stressed that the focus will be on getting deals done with the large online video sites, such as YouTube, to enhance user-uploaded videos.

Motion DSP is headquartered in San Mateo, California and outsource large parts of software development to Serbia. They’ve raised a $500,000 angel round and are currently pitching a Series A round of financing.

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