Large-scale Video Digitisation with NOA
Having started off in the area around transfer and management of audio legacy material in the year 2000, NOA decided to also venture into the field of SD-video digitisation. Since then, four European broadcasters (SRF Sweden, rtv Slovenia, rtvs Slovakia, and Austrian national broadcaster ORF), after already having migrated their radio archives with NOA systems, decided to go with NOA to digitise their video archives.
For large-scale digitisation, a project does not only require ingest stations (in case of video: FrameLector) but also a sturdy backbone for workflow and user management, project supervision, triggering and configuration of 3rd party modules and hardware (e.g. servers), and much more - and all that often over the course of several years. In a NOA environment, those complex tasks are taken care of by either jobDB or mediARC (depending on requirements).
In December 2015, the DiMi (Digital Migration) project started with the enormous task of digitizing ORF’s entire video archive of 600.000 cassettes (IMX and Digital Betacam) within the next 10 years. In cooperation with international service provider Atos, the DiMi project is nearing its successful first year anniversary in December 2016 exactly as planned. Using NOA FrameLector and jobDB, Atos is able to deliver close to 100 hours (resp. up to 130 h if required) of video content per day, running a 2-shift operation with 16 parallel streams and only 1.5 ingest employees per shift. With the tapes already being the 2nd generation of the content (a migration from 1” to IMX/DigiBeta was conducted in late 80s), one of the most important requirements was the capability of differentiation between “error on tape” and “error during transfer”. With FrameLectors means of ISR event and RF trace logging this requirement could be fulfilled, allowing for (logged) 2nd ingest of tapes only when necessary as well as direct comparison of actual physical errors with errors in the video detected by baseband analysis tools. NOA’s workflow system jobDB also specifically supports labour separation of ingest and quality control, allowing for higher efficiency in both parts of the large project, as time-consuming validation of semi-automatic quality control is dedicated exclusively to highly trained QC staff.
Starting in 2006, Swedish broadcaster SRF took on the task of digitizing their TV archives. 120.000 hours of material (1”, Digibeta, BetaCam SP, and U-matic) were transferred within 3 years in what was then one of Europe’s biggest video transfer projects. NOA systems were instrumental in the project, also when it came to maintain effective communication between the main building of SRF and the site of ingest, which was located some 750 km further north.
In 2014, Slovakian national broadcaster rtvs embarked on a project to upgrade its archive system and create a national TV archive including its legacy SD material. Besides NOA FrameLector, the installation includes a five-server transcoding farm based upon NOA MediaButler for export from lossless FFV1 towards production formats in use at rtvs. NOA was chosen for the project particularly for its ability to create mathematically lossless archive files based upon FFV1 and for its RF logging of ingested material for perfect quality control. From 2014 to 2017, some 80.000 video carriers are to be digitised.
After successfully migrating their radio archives of over 100.000 hours of audio material, rtv Slovenia extended their project to also digitise the TV archives. Starting and gradually expanding their FrameLector setup in 2015, rtv is going to digitise 95.000 Betacam cassettes until 2018. rtv’s “Mediateka”, an entire digitisation facility following highest standards, designed and built from scratch for the sole purpose of AV-preservation, offers the perfect environment for audio, video, and film digitisation. The backbone of rtv’s Mediateka is comprised of a mediARC system, which with its comprehensive Archive Asset management facilitates the entire archival environment.