Longevity of media archives Howard Twine, SGL Product Manager T he role of the archive has evolved rapidly, delivering not only new revenue opportunities but crucial conservation possibilities for historical and cultural libraries that have lain dormant for many years. The economic downturn means that now more than ever cost saving is a huge issue; facilities need to create new revenue opportunities whilst reducing costs. Old devices that take up vast floor space are redundant in both technical and ecological terms. Open solutions enable broadcasters to choose best-of-breed for their infrastructure and the workflow becomes far greener. By using a central archive, broadcasters can wrap an open architecture around their workflow, thereby increasing productivity, and enabling them to better manage assets, having confidence that those assets are also protected while increasing ROI and being environmentally aware. For broadcasters across the globe floor space is a key issue and one that should be addressed. Paul Koopmann, Director of Engineering at US national sports network VERSUS puts it clearly, "Broadcasters simply cannot afford to throw their tape out. Tape is our asset; it's our bread and butter. The problem that we are faced with is the cost to manage the content, and in a tapebased world that cost is exponential - the more tapes the more cost and the more times you use those tapes the costs increase further. If you start to calculate what it costs to have one tape on a shelf in your facility on an annual basis calculated by the price per square foot for rent and then you factor in environmental costs, real estate taxes, librarians and shelving costs you come up with a tangible figure on an annual basis, which is never represented on any budget anywhere. You then say, now I want to use that tape twice or three times in a year and every time you touch that tape and move it into a tape machine you add on VTR maintenance costs, you add on digitising time, you add on tracking time and lost time of the edit room; it starts costing you tremendous amounts of money for that one tape. This is an operational cost that is not represented on any budget in any broadcast facility anywhere in the world!" The VERSUS media conveyor belt project is a prime real-world example of how a correctly installed and used archive system can provide huge additional value to a broadcaster or facility. Implemented by Avid and SGL it has paid for itself by reducing tape stock, post/production labour, reclamation of valuable real estate, and delivery of digital content to all departments at VERSUS and all screens (TV, web, mobile). VERSUS sends its tapes to MediaKive, a company based in New Hampshire, who digitise the network's old content so that it can be re-ingested back into the newly created SGL/ Avid solution. VERSUS sends in the region of 1000 tapes per month to MediaKive. The digitised content is then encoded in an MXF file format (DV50), and wrapped with the metadata extracted from VERSUS' library management system - Nesbit. When the media comes back to VERSUS it is delivered on 1TB E-SATA drives with approximately two hundred hours of content on each drive. VERSUS reclaims its much needed real estate space, saves money, becomes greener and has the capability to repurpose its content as often as it likes: everyone's a winner. These issues aren't limited to storage: they affect the >> Page 34 of 100