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Audiovisual Mega-Preservation Status and Prospects of the Audiovisual Heritage Richard Wright, Technology Manager, BBC Information & Archives, London …

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Presentation on theme: "Audiovisual Mega-Preservation Status and Prospects of the Audiovisual Heritage Richard Wright, Technology Manager, BBC Information & Archives, London …"— Presentation transcript:

1 Audiovisual Mega-Preservation Status and Prospects of the Audiovisual Heritage Richard Wright, Technology Manager, BBC Information & Archives, London … and JISC/NSF Spoken Word … and JISC audiovisual digitisation initiatives JISC CNI Fifth International Conference Brighton 8-9 July 2004

2 Summary Status of BBC Archives … and European Broadcast Archives … and even North American audio Saving audio and video: the case for a Preservation Factory Film: the only medium that will last … but not in television Preservation and Access … and Creative Commons and Creative Archive

3 What are Broadcast Archives? Purpose –Research material and footage for making NEW radio and television –And internet and new media Content –Audiovisual record of the 20 th C –5 million hours in 10 Broadcast archives –50 to 100 million hours of audiovisual material across Europe

4 Whats in the BBC Archives? 1.5 million items of film and videotape 750,000 radio recordings 3 million photographs 1.2 million commercial recordings 4 million items of sheet music 22 million newspaper cuttings 550,000 document files 20,000 rolls of microfilm 500,000 phonetic pronunciations

5 Use of the Archive The BBC Archive is a key resource for public service and commercial exploitation –1 million issues per annum –600,000 enquiries per annum The Customers are mostly internal to the BBC –Programme makers 70% –News 20% –Commercial Arm 6% –Others 4%

6 Preservation of the BBC Archive The BBC has made provision for a ten year preservation programme 2000-2010 Budget provision of 90M - 100m Approved spend of 30M over 1 st three years Approved spend of 22M over 2 nd three years Method: Transfer to the most economical and appropriate format

7 BBC TV Holdings: 1,500,000 items representing 600,000 hours of content Standard Film 30% D3 16% Digibeta 1% Betacam 11% VHS 14% Umatic 4.5% 1 C Format 12% 2 Quad 1% Ektachrome Reversal 12%

8 TV Archive: Work Completed 2 transfers completed November 1999 46,000 videotapes have been transferred to D3 and Digibeta (BBC digital formats) -- and VHS Project began in 1994 Overall cost was £6.7 million 2 was 1st videotape fomat used by the BBC -- from early 1960s to c.1980 Programmes include Dr Who, Dads Army, Steptoe & Son, Forsythe Saga, Fawlty Towers, Secret Army

9 TV Archive: Work in Progress (1) 1 transfers begun in 1999 Over 80,000 videotapes identified for transfer Cost over the three years: £6 million to transfer 35,000 videotapes Transferred to D3, Digibeta, VHS and a digitised compressed browse version on CD Rom (MPEG-1) C Format used from late 1970s to early 1990s Programmes include: Yes Minister, Eastenders, Angels, Wogan, All Our Working Lives

10 TV Archive: Work Completed The film soundtrack transfer began in 1998 88,000 soundtracks on acetate vulnerable to vinegar syndrome Estimated spend over three years: £5.8 million to preserve 63,000 items Transferred to polyester-based stock and CD Acetate stock in use from the 1940s to the early 1970s Programmes on this format include Man Alive, 1984, Ascent of Man, British Empire, Omnibus

11 TV Archive: Work in Progress (2) Umatic (¾ inch cassette) transfer began 1999 Over 60,000 Umatic cassettes identified for transfer Cost to preserve 30,000 cassettes over three years is £1.6 million The Umatics are transferred to DVCPRO (Digital videotape) and DVD-Rom (MPEG II, 20 MHz) Umatic used by BBC News between 1982 and the early 1990s News stories include Lockerbie, General Elections in 1983 & 1987, the Gulf War

12 TV Archive : Work in Progress (3) News colour film (Ektachrome reversal) – 2001 72,000 items selected for preservation 43,000 transferred over 3 years: cost of £1.8M Masters are cleaned, compiled into day reels and transferred to Digibeta, VHS and MPEG-1 Used by BBC for News from 1967-1982. Stories include the Vietnam War, Yom Kippur war, all major domestic stories Also used for many current affairs programmes

13 Radio Archive Radio holdings: 750,000 recordings; 300,000 hours Fewer technical problems with Radio; more obsolescence CD Sound effects LP Sound effects DAT 1/4 News Cassette CD compilation 1/4 complete programmes 1/4 film unit tapes DAT 1/4 tapes in regions 1/4 tapes in London LP & 78RPM Programme Extract,

14 Radio Archive: Work Completed Transfer has begun on the rock/pop music sessions BBC recording from the 1960s to present. Most made for Radio One There are 40,000 tapes containing 14,000 hours of unique recordings Cost over two years to preserve all of this Radio One Archive is £2.6 million Transferred to audio CD and files on DVD-Rom Artists include Rolling Stones, Beatles, Who, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Fall

15 Radio Archive: Work Completed Also transferred DAT and cassette material –News sequences Transferred all 78 and LP BBC recordings –Material from 20s to 60s Finishing transfer of LP sound effects Transferring from ¼ tape, for Radio 7 (classic spoken-word radio) – 60k items/yr

16 GOAL: reduce preservation cost 30% 24 months, 10 partners, 4.8 M BBC, INA, RAI 7 technology partners Audio: ACS Video: EVOD, S&W, Vectracom Film: NTEC (also ITK) General: Joanneum, ITC/IRST and SVT, ORF, SWR, NRK, YLE, NAA, TTR Vectracom EC Project PRESTO

17 State of European Broadcast Archives A survey of ten major archives found about –1 million hours of film –1.6 million hours of video recordings –2 million hours of audio recordings Total European holdings of broadcast material are AT LEAST ten times larger: –10 million hours of film –20 million hours of video –20 million hours of audio

18 Preservation Status: Obsolescence: At least 2/3 of the material in archives cannot easily be used in its existing form Deterioration: Approximately 1/3 of the material has one form or another of deterioration Fragile media: Roughly ¼ of the material cannot be released for access because the media are too easily damaged

19 Obsolescence Videotape –2; 1; U-Matic: no playback equipment Film –Disappearing in post production Audio formats –Grams : no playback equipment –¼ no longer accepted in BBC radio production and playout systems

20 Deterioration Videotape – decay of adhesive –2; 1; U-Matic (30% read failures at BBC) Audio – decay of adhesive –¼ tape (depends upon brand) Magnetic sound tracks –Vinegar syndrome Other Acetate – other sources of acetic acid Decay of film splices General decay of polymer materials

21 Fragile Media Vinyl –and shellac Film –10 plays per print (videotape: 50) Video or audiotape can easily be physically damaged or affected be magnetic fields

22 Cost / Effective Preservation Main issue – the overall process Mass transfer – assembly line Model: RAI radio: 200k hours in 2.5 yrs on-demand preservation can seem free, but true cost is approx 3x GREATER than cost using an efficient mass transfer process Key factors: quality, metadata

23 Preservation Funding In General - Broadcast Archives have NO standard funding for preservation Commercial basis (business case): –solid for most broadcast archive material –Commercial value of TV footage: 100 – 500 per minute (or more) –harder for both film and audio Heritage basis: –again, no standard funding

24 Reducing cost per use Reduce cost Increase use So- access is vital, and not just for BBCs charter renewal.

25 Cost per use: total lifecycle cost –True cost of an asset is total lifecycle cost. –True benefit is related to the number of times that asset is used over the lifecycle. Archive preservation strategy: –lowest cost per use over the life cycle of the new media, –NOT the lowest transfer cost.

26 Access to the BBC archives Already a BBC charter obligation Reduces cost per use Opens a resource that has been funded by UK license-fee payers Creative Archive: 2000 3-minute clips, this Autumn For download and re-use Under a Creative Commons licence

27 Access to all European Audiovisual Heritage: EC ProjectPresto-Space Preservation Factories on a pay-as-you-use basis Small and medium collections can migrate at lowest cost – at archive quality With new methods of access as the way to obtain funding for the whole process

28 What it will deliver A full solution: old material comes in, website and catalogue and new access technology come out A digital solution for film, beginning with 16mm black & white A pay-as-you-use service at factory prices Based on working with professional media services in your local area

29 Who is Presto-Space? INA, BBC, RAI, ORF, B&G Joanneum Research and Sheffield University And about 30 more, mainly SMEs WHY US? There is a problem with all audiovisual media Broadcasters have demonstrated that we have a solution: the preservation factory Presto-Space brings that solution to collections of all sizes

30 Four Work Areas Digitisation Storage and Archive Management Metadata, Access and Delivery Restoration (… here) (or here)

31 Thank you Presto-Space: Richard Wright

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