SK Telecom changes old TV masterpieces into full high definition

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : November 2, 2020, 10:17 | Updated : November 2, 2020, 10:17

[Courtesy of MBC]

SEOUL -- Dae Jang Geum, known as Jewel in the Palace, a 2003 historical drama TV series that provided a catalyst for the spread of Hallyu (Korean cultural wave) abroad, will be remastered as a full high-definition version by using an AI-based media upscaling solution developed by SK Telecom, a top mobile carrier in South Korea.

SK Telecom (SKT) said it would apply 5GX Supernova in broadcasting media through a contract with MBC, a major TV network, to improve the image and sound quality of past works kept in archives. 5GX Supernova based on deep learning algorithms uses DeOldify, an open-source deep-learning model, to colorize, restore and give new life to old images and film footage.

5GX Supernova can be utilized in content platforms, security solutions and e-commerce. The solution has been used by SK hynix, a microchip producer in South Korea, to shorten the time required for product quality inspection.

SKT and MBC have optimized 5GX Supernova's artificial neural network for MBC content produced before 2011 when domestic broadcasting companies switched to high definition. Manual upscaling takes months, but SKT said 5G Supernova enables high-definition conversion in almost real-time. Content produced in analog or standard definition has limited over-the-top (OTT) streaming or video on demand (VOD) services. 

SKT said 5GX Supernova would provide viewers with various past content in high definition and contribute to the spread of Hallyu. Starting with Dae Jang Geum, which has been exported to more than 90 countries, earning $103.4 million worldwide, MBC will use 5GX Supernova to change past masterpieces to high-definition.

"We hope that popular previous content held only by broadcasters in archives will once again attract viewers' attention," said SKT's 5GX media business head Kim Hyuk. "SK Telecom will continue to contribute to expanding the overseas distribution channel of Hallyu content through AI technology."

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