A Star Trek fan wants to revise the Star Trek Voyager series with machine learning. The show, which was broadcast in SD quality at the time, is to be revised as a 4K remaster. The maker and Reddit user theboomsterz has published a first short video clip on YouTube. A whole episode has already been rendered. It is episode 4 of the sixth season: “Lady, Doctor, Ace, Spy”. Well-known characters such as Robert Picardo’s character of the medical emergency hologram and Jeri Ryan as Seven-of-Nine can be seen there.
“Very funny to see Voyager without the kind of noise that the show always had,” a user writes under the reddit post of the maker. With the help of the already completed Gigapixel AI AI software, the film grain could be largely removed. The aspect ratio of 4: 3 – typical for TV series from the 1990s to the early 2000s – is retained. The audio quality of the remaster remains unaffected.
It is striking, however, that there are a lot of artifacts that appear to have been rendered by the AI, especially when panning the camera. The problem: The software can scale up and sharpen individual images; however, if the source material was only captured at 24 frames per second, these individual frames in motion are out of focus right from the start. The program apparently has problems with these streaks.
Some users on Reddit would like the full length of the episode. However, the file is 10 GB in size because the maker encoded it in the older H.264. He has an older version of Adobe Premiere Pro, apparently a dedicated offline license. There may also be legal problems if entire episodes of a legally protected series are released.
There is a similar dilemma with the 4K remake of Deep Space Nine, which was also revised by a fan using machine learning. It is therefore not certain whether the series will ever be fully available in such a revised version – at least not legally.