For those who have recently digitized their home videotape collection, the reality of low 720 x 480 resolution VHS, Video8 and other analog tape formats may have you looking for a way to improve your digital videos. Video enhancers using Artificial Intelligence (AI) allow you to upscale your video resolution from standard definition to high definition while greatly improving the clarity, colors, video noise levels and overall picture quality. If you already have high definition videos, you can upscale to 4K or 8K. We will look at some of the best options for AI video enhancement in 2023.
AI Video Enhancers are offered in both software that runs on a desktop or laptop computer or as a service that allows you to upload your video to a website for enhancements performed in the cloud. With either option, you do not require computer expertise to use the latest programs or cloud services to improve the look of your home videos.
If you are already using a video editing program, AI video enhancement software is a great addition. Even if you don't use a video editor, AI enhancement programs are generally much easier to use than a typical video editing application so they are easily mastered by non-technical users. We'll look at the vendors with the leading market share in this space.
Topaz Video Enhance AI is an impressive program that uses AI to upscale videos 200% or 400% while denoising the video noise artifacts. The software uses a simple Low, Medium, High option so you can choose the intensity of the cleanup based on the original quality of your video. There are also options for deinterlacing, sharpening blurred images, motion interpolation and other features. While the final results are quite stunning, the performance is slow on even the fastest multi-core CPU machines and the program has stability issues that are still being ironed out in the latest v3 version. Still, the final results are worth the wait and occasional crashes. Topaz provides versions for Windows and Mac and the price is around $300 for a perpetual license.
AVCLabs Video Enhancer AI is similar to Topaz but also uses a neural network to auto adjust the contrast, exposure and color of your video footage. Not quite as impressive a final product as Topaz, in our view, but a very good solution. AVCLabs offer monthly, yearly or
lifetime licensing. As with Topaz, you will need a gaming/video creator machine with a multi-core CPU and a powerful graphics processing unit. Licensing is available for both Windows and Mac and is offered in monthly, yearly and lifetime license structures.
A lower cost alternative to both AVCLabs and Topaz is a software package called DVDFab Video Enhancer AI. This software uses the open source TensorFlow machine learning and AI framework developed by Google researchers to analyze your footage and provide color/exposure enhancements and upscaling. You can let the software's automation enhance the image using AI with no need to configure any parameters or settings. It supports both Mac and Windows. Licensing is available in monthly, yearly or perpetual versions with prices ranging from $40 to $100.
If you do not have a fast computer or want a simpler way to improve your video files, you may consider one of the AI video enhancing companies using a Software as a Service (SAAS) model. This is a nice option for those who have a limited number of videos to improve or for those who have no interest in doing hands-on video work.
Service companies like Pixop, Neural.love and Cutout.Pro let you upload your video to a cloud AI service for a variety of enhancements. These include upscaling, denoising, deep restoration, frame rate conversion, motion smoothing and other options. The upside is that you do not need to invest in high powered computing machines and AI software licenses. These service models are easy to use and you will see your results right away. They are an especially good option for enhancing social media video clips. Some of the drawbacks include limits on the maximum video file sizes (2gb maximum file size for Cutout.Pro) and trusting the privacy of your footage to the encryption and 3rd party policies of the service company.
While AI technology has greatly improved over the past several years, this is still a post production process that takes an incredible amount of computing capability. The best AI video enhancers can recover details, greatly reduce noise artifacts, sharpen images, smooth slow motion scenes, reduce flickering and deblur video images. But this video magic requires the AI engine to sometimes fill in millions of additional pixels on top of your original video and do this frame by frame. So whether you use an AI service or run AI enhancement software on your own computer, the process can take a while. Just have patience and enjoy the final results that should noticeably improve your digitized videotape movies.