Post Magazine

April 2013

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Bits & Pieces Smithsonian Channel archives to LTO W Just one of the shows whose assets are being protected. ASHINGTON, DC — Smithsonian Networks' Smithsonian Channel is the result of a 2007 joint venture between Showtime Networks and The Smithsonian Institution. The channel's programming is largely inspired by the assets of the Smithsonian Institution, one of world's largest museum complexes. Smithsonian Channel features original documentaries, series and programs highlighting America's historical, cultural and scientific heritage. It maintains a large collection of original field footage, as well as production copies of archival footage from the Smithsonian Institu- tion, the US National Archives and establishments such as NASA. To keep these assets protected for the long-term, while also maintaining a working archive, Smithsonian Channel made the decision in 2012 to base its archive future around LTO tape, using the LTFS format and Cache-A archive equipment. The channel's growing show catalog already numbers well over 500 titles. Older productions, shot mainly on videotape, are now being systematically digitized and transferred to LTO tape, alongside newer programs that have been shot and posted using file-based tools and formats. The network has VISIT US AT NAB! BOOTH #SL8016 8 Post • April 2013 Post0413_004-6, 8-BitsRAV4FINALREAD.indd 8 been using Cache-A's Power-Cache with dual LTO-5 drives, supplied by Mac Business Solutions in Maryland, since August of last year. "As a TV channel we exist to make programming, and there is a strong business argument for protecting our media assets and keeping them accessible for re-use," says Smithsonian Channel archivist Karma Foley. "In addition, many of our programs and outtakes have real cultural value, so we also have a responsibility to preserve these materials and keep them accessible for future generations. Archiving our back catalog, new productions, as well as planning for the future, is a big project, and we have our work cut out. We have found a user-friendly, scalable solution that allows us to protect all of these assets for posterity, while facilitating a working archive so that we can repurpose material as required for new programs and other uses." Foley heads-up the design and implementation of workflows that secure tapeless and tape-based video footage from the moment of creation through to long-term archival storage on LTO tape. She is also implementing Smithsonian Channel's first collection management system and searchable database for collections of video, audio, photographs and other assets, and oversees preparation of stock footage clips for sale by licensed partners. "Prior to 2012, we were handling around 70 percent tape and 30 percent tapeless material," she notes. "But, following the tragic Japanese tsunami in 2011, there was a shortage of videotape, and many producers and DPs switched to file-based formats, such as Red R3D, XDCAM and P2. Very little footage was being shot to tape. Every time the recording media changes, the shooting ratio increases." Smithsonian Channel has four editing bays networked to an 80TB XSAN server. The editorial team uses Final Cut Pro and can draw on and deposit materials as required from the XSAN. The Power-Cache system is connected to the local network via Gig-E with the XSAN shown as a mounted volume. 3/26/13 7:29 PM

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