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VR.5 - AI Upscaled Edition

I have the Russian TV rip, which is the version from Internet Archive. The first episode was very yellow and I couldn’t fully fix that with VLC. It also has a lot of VHS artifacts in the VR scenes, especially on the bus. I found that too distracting, so I’ve been working on upscaling a different lower-resolution copy that doesn’t have these issues. It does look like the other Russian episodes don’t need color correction nearly as much.

I did order a VHS tape of this episode recently, but it hasn’t arrived yet. I think some but not all of the episodes were released on VHS, but maybe I’m wrong about that. The big issue is that they are very hard to find now. I was only able to locate 3 episodes available for sale. Planning to pick up the tape with the other two after my next paycheck comes in.

What I would really like to do is get a copy of all the tapes available, make full 480p scans of them, and then upscale those. Maybe someone who has the VHS tapes would be willing to lend me them for this, or make copies and send them. Any chance that somebody would be you?

The first episode is now on its 3rd pass, which is estimated to take 29 hours by itself. It currently says it has a little over 12 hours left. The preview images look very crisp, but they are also small. More information when I have it.

VR.5 - AI Upscaled Edition

I’ve long been frustrated that one of my favorite canceled shows, VR.5, was only ever available on VHS. And not even commercial VHS - fans have had to rely on home recorded copies. The best ones I was able to find online were at 320x240 resolution. After finding some open-source AI upscaling software (Video2x) that’s about as easy to use as Handbrake, I decided to see how much I can clean up the video. The audio sounds pretty good anyway.

This is going to be somewhat slow, but I should have the first episode ready within about a day. My computer is a 12th-generation Core i5 with a GeForce 1660 Super in it, and 32GB of RAM. It can play any game I want, usually at maximum settings for 1080p. And Video2x is using Vulkan for upscaling, which should mean it can use as many of the video card’s cores as it needs. But still, it runs three passes for each file, and each one takes 8 or more hours. Still, after seeing what AI upscaling was able to do with Xena: Warrior Princess and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, I am cautiously optimistic that this will be a good deal better.

I’ll post some Dropbox links to screenshots when I have them.