The video signal is undersaturated when chrominance amplitude is restricted to values under reference standard level (i.e., 75% SMPTE color bars), causing colors to appear washed out and unnaturally pale. Undersaturation can be difficult to identify because video is sometimes intentionally given a desaturated “look” during post-production treatment or finishing. However, raw camera footage should always be appropriately saturated and calibrated to reference color bars, if available, unless otherwise stated in production notes.

NOTE: If the video was previously transferred from film, color fade from the original film may be present. A fading of the cyan and yellow dyes resulting in an oversaturation of magenta is the most common manifestation of this problem.

Can it be fixed?

Yes, this is correctable through retransfer and adjustment of the VTR output using a processing amplifier to adjust the chroma levels for flesh tone using a vectorscope.


The image below has been corrected for undersaturation in the original (seen above)

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