At the recent FIAT/IFTA Archive Achievement Awards, SBS TV and DAMsmart took the honours in the Excellence in Media Preservation category for SBS’ Preserving Australian TV History Digitisation Project.
The award is the culmination of over five years of DAMsmart and SBS working together to digitise over 42,000 videotapes from SBS’ broadcast archive. The collection contains truly unique content that has been created by the broadcaster to entertain, inform and engage multicultural Australia since 1980.
The content on Betacam, DVCPro, MiniDV and 1” tape was digitised using Lossless JPEG2000 for preservation, DV50 for the broadcast master and an H.264 proxy. The digitisation project has transformed SBS’s physical tape collection into a useable digital archive, ready for today’s contemporary broadcast environment.
At the conclusion of the project, SBS, together with DAMsmart, nominated the project for the FIAT/IFTA awards. The awards developed by FIAT/IFTA, the International Federation of Television Archives, are designed to honour outstanding archival initiatives and projects in the international broadcast sector that significantly improve how the archives are preserved, managed and used.
Maddy Kortegast, SBS’ Manager – Archives & Digitisation Project, said, “The FIAT Award win is fabulous international recognition of SBS’ commitment to preserving its truly unique, multicultural broadcast assets for future discovery, education and enjoyment. It also highlights and acknowledges the superior work of all involved in the project, including our digitisation partner DAMsmart whose knowledge, professionalism and support was crucial to this success.”
Key factors in the success of the project were: a strong working relationship between SBS and DAMsmart; the choice to take a “standards-based” preservation format as well as broadcast masters; SBS’ meticulous approach to metadata and content selection; maintaining access and control over a live working broadcast archive; and the high-quality of digitisation with almost zero file rejections.
DAMsmart’s knowledge, experience and technology were used to transform the physical collection into a digital archive with the highest rate of content recovery. Through good communication and strong project management, the two organisations ensured that the project was completed on time and on budget; thereby maximising the scope of what was achieved for SBS’s Archive.
Adam Hodgkinson, Business Manager at DAMsmart, said, “We are delighted that SBS were proud enough of the project to enter it into the awards. The award win is great recognition for the small and highly-efficient SBS archive team that have made this project a success. Our team at DAMsmart is dedicated to achieving the best digitisation outcomes for our clients and the fact that SBS chose to acknowledge our contribution to their project publicly, reaffirms our commitment to providing best quality outcomes.”
He went on to say, “This was a satisfying project because it showcases the breadth of DAMsmart’s technical and project management capabilities that delivered SBS with a digitisation service that they could be confident in. From the temporary relocation of the collection between Artarmon and Canberra, to digitisation, to QC workflows that delivered TX-ready files, we were able to provide SBS with a complete digitisation solution.”