Have you got compile tapes? Check out our new clipping service.

by Adam Hodgkinson

We are excited to let you know that we have just introduced a new service to target the headache associated with segment clipping as part of a mass-digitisation project; a costly and problematic process associated with digitising compile tapes. The service provides a fully automated clipping workflow, which is completely integrated into our video digitisation solution. The service delivers individual TX or production-ready files for each segment on a compile tape as opposed to the traditional approach of capturing the entire tape as a single file. The speed and quality of the service are a highlight, as we have leveraged the benefits of MPEG2 and MXF to create individual clips in a lossless fashion - no additional transcoding or file conversion - retaining the same quality as the original.

It has long been standard practice for broadcasters to compile segments of content onto a single videotape master, including sporting highlights, program inserts or news stories. Now that videotapes and VTR’s have reached end of life, broadcasters need to make archival content available in a file-based environment through mass-digitisation of their archives. However, apart from the challenges of the digitisation process itself, one of the important decisions is how to treat compiled content. 

For many libraries and archives, the most effective outcome is the creation of individual files that represent each segment on a tape. This enables better control and does away with the requirement for more complex MAM workflows such as partial file restores, and generally requires less data storage when compared to a traditional 1 tape-1 file process. Restore times from data tapes are reduced, and the volume of data transferred across networks is also reduced.

Recent projects, such as the digitisation of the SBS News and Sports archive and the Olympic Council of Asia videotape archive have given us a real insight into the management of segmented data. Drawing from this experience, we worked with key technology partners to develop and test integrated workflows that frame accurately create individual files from compile tapes using smart EDL creation and verification, and unwrapping and re-wrapping of MPEG2 and MXF master files. 

Broadcasters and content owners stand to benefit most from reduced timelines thanks to the sophisticated automated workflows used to create frame accurate clipped files. The other notable advantage of our new service is multiple custom quality checks embedded in the workflow to continually monitor the segment creation process to protect the integrity of the file. The inclusion of this service as part of a digitation project with us can mean an end to resource intensive clipping of master files prior to TX or production work post encoding, and no more clumsy partial file restore processes from digital archives.

The new workflow is already in use as we undertake the digitisation of approximately 50,000 compile tapes for Radio Television Hong Kong.