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LTFS Not another acronym! What is LTFS L TFS stands for Linear Tape File System. It is a file system for data archives, developed by IBM but published as an open standard and now widely adopted by all the leading vendors of large-scale data archiving. If it is a data product, why am I reading about it in a broadcast magazine? part of our social and cultural history. We take it for granted today that we can watch clips from the 1948 London Olympics, or the coronation in 1953. Because we have lots of data to archive. Indeed, so important is the broadcast and media archive market that LTFS was not launched at an IT event but at NAB, on 12 April 2010. What is wrong with archiving the original material? Still not sure I get the point of data archives. Why do I even need to keep my content? Ask the experts Tony Taylor, TMD 46 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 80 AUGUST 2013 Taking the last point first, for most people the need to keep content is clear: you may make money from it in the future. You have the opportunity to sell programmes to new channels and new delivery platforms which we have not even heard about. Have a look around the more obscure corners of your EPG and see how many broadcasters are serving up content from any back catalogue they can get hold of: programmes which are 40 or 50 years old in some cases. It is not just whole programmes you can sell: you might get some business in clips from your content. What if you have a particularly spectacular shot, or the first appearance of an actor who goes on to be very famous? Good to be able to drag it out of the archive and sell it for a modest fee. Some people – like major broadcasters and audiovisual archives – are committed to keeping large amounts of content as an important In broadcast, formats come and go very quickly indeed. If you have material on 2” quad or 1” B-format tape, then it is virtually inaccessible today unless you are prepared to pay a lot of money for an expert restoration company to transfer it. In the last decades of the 20th century we saw new video formats launched at virtually every NAB, most of which are unavailable today. One of the most pressing reasons for anyone to implement an asset management system today is to maintain access to modern content: it will get increasingly hard to source BetaSP and DigiBeta VTRs in the coming years. So it makes sense to digitise and archive as data. Especially as the IT industry has vastly more R&D resources than we do, so will come up with a well-designed standard that we can just adopt for ourselves. I thought that was LTO tape? Indeed, LTO tape is an excellent solution, a well-designed standard that we can just adopt for ourselves. Many media archives already use LTO tape