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Click below to access background information, project timetables, templates and published reports. The Public document links below lead to abstracts with the option to download the complete PDF. To download the PDF as a sepparate file (from Microsoft Internet Explorer), right click on the link and select "Save Target As...". Consortium and Admin Documents require a password for access.

Public Documents PRESTO BROCHURE.pdf 2.69 MB
Archive Preservation Survey D2
Technical State of the Art Report D3.1
Key Link System Specifications D3.2
Preserving the Future (Project Overview May 2001)
Admin Documents Timetable (.pdf 9.03 KB)
Templates (.zip 130 KB)

Archive Preservation Survey D2 Abstract

A survey was made of the holdings and preservation status of ten major broadcast archives. These archives represent a significant portion of total European broadcast archives, including some of the largest individual collections.

The survey found about 1 million hours of film, 1.6 million hours of video recordings, and 2 million hours of audio recordings in the ten archives. It is estimated that the total European holdings of broadcast material are probably ten times larger

10 million hours of film
20 million hours of video
20 million hours of audio

The content is unavailable to the general public and often unavailable even to national archives and educational institutions. Much of the content is unique, e.g. master material that cannot be allowed to circulate generally, and all of the content has rights issues. A major goal of preservation work for broadcast archives must be to find joint solutions to preservation and access problems: preservation for acces

Archive Preservation Survey D2 Download PDF 444KB // top

Technical State of the Art Report D3.1 Abstract

Technical questions related to preservation and archiving of film, audio and video media are taking a new dimension in the digital era.

Every one agrees that digitisation (transfer from analogue media to a digital media) is unavoidable because:

Analogue devices will be no longer available and it will become more and more expensive to acquire and maintain them. Even if the analogue media is in a pretty good condition, it will be more and more difficult to play them. For example 1/4-inch audiotape recorders are now manufactured on demand only, video heads for 2-inch VTRs are refurbished by very few companies over the world and are very expensive.

Old media inevitably degrade, carrying their own "diseases" due to their manufacturing and / or their preservation conditions (archivists have now more feedback and knowledge about old media performance. Fundamental reasons of these diseases are studied, and the techniques to survey, stop or, at least slow down degradation, begin to exist but are not completely in use).

In the analogue domain, a good restitution of picture and sound depends not only on the physical media status, but also on the original recording quality and the playback device. To ensure the best conditions for preservation, a survey about playback devices is required: not all the devices are able to playback correctly the same recordings.

Digital coding has brought a universal dimension and appears less "tied" to the media than analogue coding. For this, future migration from one  digital media to another should be easier. But it is also well-known that digital has its own drawbacks. A digital recording may deliver excellent picture and sound until bit error rates become too high. Then error concealment techniques become inefficient and the digital picture and sound may suddenly become unrecoverable: This is known as the cliff edge effect.

The use of digital compression techniques seems unavoidable in order to reduce costs (storage and transmission costs) but compression techniques have brought their own types of degradation. Compression re introduces the notion of levels of quality in the digital domain. There are numerous Compression techniques and they are evolving and improving very quickly. Because Quality is a major requirement in a preservation process, their use in a preservation process should be carefully balanced.

New media for digital recordings will probably bring their own problems. Some of them have already revealed their limits for long-term preservation, for example CD-R for audio. Though manufacturers have techniques to try to determine their future performance, we can"t absolutely be sure of their future behaviour. It is important to note here that the durability of new physical media will also be tied to the durability and reliability of the recording and playback devices.

In the digital era, the development of servers and networks will greatly improve the access to the archived media. To facilitate exchanges, normalisation and use of standards are key points. In this context, metadata will play an important role particularly in archives management and processes.

Technical State of the Art Report D3.1 Download PDF 1.34 MB // top


Preserving the Future Abstract

A survey has been made of the holdings and preservation Requirements of ten major European public service broadcast archives. The survey also covered "the business they do and how they do it": the contribution made by the archives to the business of broadcasting. The archives gave their plans for future services as media moves from "tapes on shelves" to mass storage and electronic distribution. This paper links the urgent requirements for preservation to a strategy for building the digital archives needed for the future.

Preserving the Future  Download PDF 50.6 KB// top


Key Links Systems Specifications D3.2 Abstract

Starting from the generic preservation process, consisting of composition, digitisation, new media creation and archive update, a first level decomposition of the PRESTO preservation chain is provided:

Analogue media archive
Composition, pre-processing and transfer
Playback and digitisation (multiple formats)
Quality monitoring and validation
Features extraction,
Metadata and documentation management
Digital media store and browsing

Then, the compliance of the identified preservation chains components to the user requirements as gathered in [AD3], Archive Preservation and Exploitation Requirements is shown.Chapter 3, "Identification of key links". First, paragraph 3.1, the Presto key links, described in detail in Chapter 4, are mapped to the video, audio and film preservation chains derived by the high level functional model described in Chapter 2. Then, paragraph 3.2, the preservation chains infrastructure, conceived as a distributed solution framework, cooperating to the production and management of media assets, is outlined as part of the overall broadcaster"s content management system. Finally, paragraph 3.3, the role of the preservation chain databases, allowing to physically store and access essence and metadata, is shortly recalled.

Chapters 4 to 6 outline "Key link technology", provides the detailed requirements of the preservation chain elements to be developed:

Video: Chapter 4
VT1, VT3-Video quality control over digitisation process
VT2-Time base corrector with drop out detection and compensation
VT4-Multi-level encoding
VT5-Lossless compression for video
Audio: Chapter 5
AT1-Audio playback devices improvement
AT2-Audio quality control
AT3-Lossless compression for audio
Film: Chapter 6
FT2-Alternative handling, specific scanner & procedures
FT3-Film Format Converter
FT4-Lossless compression for film
Metadata management: MT1-Common access to broadcast archives (Broadcast OPAC)

Key Links Systems Specifications D3.2  Download PDF   1.26 MB // top

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