Reference-Based Restoration of Digitized Analog Videotapes

Lorenzo Agnolucci, Leonardo Galteri, Marco Bertini, Alberto Del Bimbo; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2024, pp. 1659-1668


Analog magnetic tapes have been the main video data storage device for several decades. Videos stored on analog videotapes exhibit unique degradation patterns caused by tape aging and reader device malfunctioning that are different from those observed in film and digital video restoration tasks. In this work, we present a reference-based approach for the resToration of digitized Analog videotaPEs (TAPE). We leverage CLIP for zero-shot artifact detection to identify the cleanest frames of each video through textual prompts describing different artifacts. Then, we select the clean frames most similar to the input ones and employ them as references. We design a transformer-based Swin-UNet network that exploits both neighboring and reference frames via our Multi-Reference Spatial Feature Fusion (MRSFF) blocks. MRSFF blocks rely on cross-attention and attention pooling to take advantage of the most useful parts of each reference frame. To address the absence of ground truth in real-world videos, we create a synthetic dataset of videos exhibiting artifacts that closely resemble those commonly found in analog videotapes. Both quantitative and qualitative experiments show the effectiveness of our approach compared to other state-of-the-art methods. The code, the model, and the synthetic dataset are publicly available at

Related Material

[pdf] [supp] [arXiv]
@InProceedings{Agnolucci_2024_WACV, author = {Agnolucci, Lorenzo and Galteri, Leonardo and Bertini, Marco and Del Bimbo, Alberto}, title = {Reference-Based Restoration of Digitized Analog Videotapes}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)}, month = {January}, year = {2024}, pages = {1659-1668} }