ADMC ropes in Ascent for key preservation projects
Abu Dhabi, June 14, 2008
Ascent Media Systems & Technology Services (S&TS) has bagged a key contract from Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) for preservation of its historical video archive.
S&TS is a provider of consulting, systems integration, and technical support services for the electronic media and entertainment industry.
The project will involve several phases including the design and build of a complete infrastructure capable of converting legacy material into digital files.
Once digitised, ADMC’s film archive can be repurposed for a variety of digital delivery methods. Crucially, the archive material will also be preserved for use by future generations, said a company official.
The video collection documents the social history of the UAE from the 1950’s to the present day but is currently recorded on film and four obsolete videotape formats, all of which are deteriorating over time.
Ascent Media Systems and Technology Services spent many months refining its solution to best meet the needs expressed by ADMC. It’s innovative approach to the preservation of the archive was selected as it best combined suitability of purpose, quality, service reliability, previous experience, lifecycle cost and an ability to deliver,
Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, chairman of Abu Dhabi Media Company, said that the company was committed to leveraging the power of the latest technological developments and "this agreement enables access to the wealth of the company’s archive and creates opportunities for utilizing it in new ways."
Al Mazrouei added, “We are confident that Ascent Media has the technological capability and know-how to plan and implement this project which will safeguard our country’s rich heritage”
“We consider this project of crucial significance because of the irreplaceable historical value of the archive,” said Abdul Hadi Al Sheikh, chief technology officer, ADMC.
“In view of this and knowing that we could under no circumstances allow this nationally important material to deteriorate beyond recovery, we wanted to ensure the archive’s continuity and future use. We are confident that Ascent Media has the expert technical knowledge to design and execute a solution which we believe will contribute greatly to our country’s heritage,” Al Sheikh observed.
The infrastructure build phase will encompass a wide range of technologies from legacy analogue audio and PAL video formats through to the latest file based workflow on IT platforms.
In addition to establishing system preservation parameters according to the media type to be ingested, a second phase will also involve training ADMC’s operational team to perform the digitisation process.
"This phase relies on the combined technical and operational experience of Ascent Media to achieve the best possible results locally in Abu Dhabi, an important requirement for ADMC in view of the fact that none of the original material is permitted to leave the country."
“This is a complex project which will draw on our business and technology know-how across a number of different disciplines,” said Hassan Ghoul, business development director, Middle East, Ascent Media Systems & Technology Services.
“It is a perfect showcase of how we are able to tailor-make a solution to fit very specific customer requirements. By applying state-of-the-art technologies to manage ADMC’s legacy material we are not only helping to halt its degradation and safeguard such a valuable national archive for future generations, we are also making access to the material much more user-friendly and allowing it to be shared in ways that have not previously been possible,” Ghoul noted.
Much of the digitised material will be incorporated into new television productions. For immediate use it can be stored in broadcast compatible formats both ‘on the shelf’ and in a data tape archive.&nbs