YouTubers are upscaling the past to 4K. Historians want them to stop

Found on Wired on Friday, 09 October 2020
Browse Various

The first time you see Denis Shiryaev’s videos, they feel pretty miraculous. You can walk through New York as it was in 1911, or ride on Wuppertal’s flying train at the turn of the 20th century, or witness the birth of the moving image in a Leeds garden in 1888.

The colours that suddenly flood into the streets of 1910s New York aren’t drawn from the celluloid itself; that information was never captured there. The extra frames added to smooth those New Yorkers’ 60 frame-a-second strolls are brand new too.

It sure is impressive, but it also changes the originals. New data is added, changed, moved and adjusted; and that data has never been present in the original, so it is rather random.