Reference Project C

Empowering<br>giant service provider ATOS

giant service provider ATOS

to perform a 600.000 DigiBeta cassette digitization service to national broadcater ORF

ATOS about NOA

Christoph Schramm

Account Manager, ATOS/ORF

“The scalability is an advantage which we didn’t find in other products. We can tell in each moment where each tape is currently located.”

1. Workflow Control

The Workflow Control system of jobDB ensured that no single item/carrier or segment would get lost from its position and from its file location. Processing around 30 tasks for around 200-400 carriers per day (100-200 hours per day) led to a total of 6000 tasks that were processed per day - partly by users and partly by systems. Data security via MD5 checksum comparisons on successful uploads was as important as a complete statistical overview of achievements per day.

2. Transfer Control

The Transfer Control procedure from NOA FrameLector revealed immediately issues that might have been caused by the interaction between tape and head. As a matter of fact - it must not be allowed to introduce a new error through preservation. NOA systems have been known for decades to focus on exactly this procedure: Be it azimuth control, DAT BLER logging, or ISR & RF logging from VTRs: If the machine is faulty, if the tape or the head is not well cleaned - the system will tell you and ask you for measures. At ATOS, based on transfer quality, up to 3 transfers are then made, to be sure that the best transfer is taken.

3. Wrapper QC

As all files need to be delivered to a dedicated MXF wrapper, ORF was very sensitive about taking care of wrapper consistency. An independent wrapper consistency tool has been integrated via NOA DBScripter, which would reveal errors from wrongly written MXF files.

4. Baseband QC

As we have here a situation of a secondary migration, ORF wanted to know - besides the fact whether the best transfer has been tried - whether previous migrations have led to artifacts.

Back then in the late 80s, no intelligent software-driven QC was applied, so you could face DigiBeta or IMX tapes that do NOT have any transfer problems, but a jammed video signal, or smeared heads coming from not well maintained legacy VTR machines in the 80s/90s.

Different tools on the market exist - here a tool from the Austrian University Joanneum has been chosen to be integrated via NOA CLIP to the NOA jobDB solution. Finally, it turned out that such a minor amount of tapes really answered the initial user story, most of the checks were concentrating on lip sync, correct in and out markers, unexpected content, and of course also jammed video signals.

5. User Checks

User Checks were finally performed by users from ORF on a sample basis to make sure that what was considered "OK" from ATOS was also considered "OK" from ORF. Here a certain minimum percentage was set, which also regulated the throughput.

CPS: Carrier Positioning System

With several racks being sent back and forth between the preservation center and the ORF, a complete tracking system was set up to know where exactly each carrier currently was.

NOA's Carrier Positioning System powerd by jobDB Archive Workflow Management system checked tapes to lots, lots to racks, and racks to locations even if they were moving. This created not only a thorough handling of items along the process, but also confidence and true knowledge of the actual position of a video tape in case of the need for a fast broadcast access.


Besides the industrial shape of NOA products, which did not need to be built on purpose but just configured to the needs for the processes, and the possibility to be able to rely on hundreds of years of experience of NOA engineers, it was a win-win for both sides.

The process optimization especially led to a huge internal financial success for ATOS, who could save millions of euros and turn its preservation factory into a very successful cost center.

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