Lowry Digital

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Lowry Digital
IndustryFilm restoration
HeadquartersBurbank, California
Key people
John D. Lowry, founder
Michael Inchalik, President
ParentReliance MediaWorks

Lowry Digital is a digital film restoration company based in Burbank, California. It is part of India's Reliance Big Entertainment, which is part of the Reliance ADA Group.

John D. Lowry gained industry recognition in 1971 for his computer-based proprietary algorithms used in the restoration of the NASA Apollo missions 16 and 17 films.[1] As of December 15, 2006, Lowry Digital has 700 Apple Power Mac G5s, a server bay with 700 terabytes of storage and two $300,000 digital motion picture film scanners. The company is becoming increasingly involved in work on digital 3-D films, such as U2 3D and Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D.[2] Reliance MediaWorks (formerly known as Lowry Digital) was instrumental in adapting existing technology and developing new image processing techniques that set a new standard for 3-D in the landmark film Avatar. The Burbank, California subsidiary was lauded in helping Avatar — the highest-grossing film in history — to earn its Academy Awards for technical achievement.[3]

Lowry describes the restoration process as overcoming three obstacles: wear and tear, age, and multiple generations of optical copies. Each frame is scanned into a high-resolution digital format, where the computer first checks for standard problems like size alterations or jitter. Then the files go through the lab's render farm for speck removal, which is then eye-checked frame-by-frame. The system works natively in 32-bit floating point, can process any format like HD and 4K, and outputs to a pristine digital master. Lowry Digital’s advanced digital image processing is also used to minimize grain in image quality without losing any quality, even in modern major motion-picture releases like Miami Vice and Zodiac.[4]

On 16 July 2009, in time for the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, NASA tasked Lowry Digital to restore original video footage of the missing Apollo moon landing tapes. At a cost of $230,000 the refurbishing effort is only three weeks into a months-long project, with about 40 percent of the work completed. Lowry president Mike Inchalik commented that the video "is by far and away the lowest quality," the company has dealt with.[5]


It was founded as Lowry Digital Images in 1988 by John D. Lowry. The company was known as DTS Digital Images while it was owned by digital audio company DTS from 2005–2008.[6] The company changed its name to Lowry Digital in April 2008, when it was acquired by India's Reliance Big Entertainment, which is part of the Reliance ADA Group, owned by Anil Ambani.[7][8] In 2010 Lowry Digital's name was changed to Reliance MediaWorks to bring the brand in unity with AdLabs Films, an Indian film and media services company, whose name in September 2009 was also changed to Reliance Mediaworks[9]

The founder of the company, John D. Lowry, died on January 21, 2012.[10]

Films worked on[edit]


  1. ^ Cellini, Joe. "John D. Lowry, Restoration Software". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 2008-10-26. Retrieved 2008-09-23.
  2. ^ "DTS Digital Images Fine Tunes Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D for Upcoming Summer 2008 Release". Business Wire. Reuters. 2008-03-26. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  3. ^ "'Avatar' producer lauds Reliance MediaWorks for its Oscar". Reliance – Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
  4. ^ http://www.lowrydigital.com/noise.html
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-19. Retrieved 2009-07-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "DTS Extends Business With Lowry Digital Images Acquisition". 2005-01-18. Archived from the original on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  7. ^ "Reliance Big Entertainment acquires Digital Images Business of DTS Inc". Reliance – Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. 2008-04-09. Archived from the original on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  8. ^ "DTS Sells Digital Images Business to Reliance Big Entertainment". TradingMarkets. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2008-08-04.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Adlabs Films to be renamed Reliance MediaWorks". Reliance – Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. 2009-09-04. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
  10. ^ "John D. Lowry dies at 79; innovative film-restoration executive". Los Angeles Times. 2011-02-01. Retrieved 2012-02-11.

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