The BBC has about a million hours of video and audio content, plus a wealth of documents, including the original scripts. Most of this content is still on magnetic tape, film, records or paper and so needs to be digitised and made searchable before it can be contributed to the Digital Public Space which was the subject of a recent technology podcast from the Guardian. BBC R&D has a long track record of developing innovative technology for the BBC’s archives, including the Ingex digitisation process for D3 videotape [BBC R&D White Paper WHP 155], and Reverse Standards Conversion, which reverse engineers the processes applied by pioneering standards converters of the 1960’s to programmes of that era provided to broadcasters abroad and lost from our own archives. Research is continuing to extend the digitisation process to other types of video tape and to develop automated methods to detect picture and sound faults to ensure good quality digitisation and to assist restoration.
Source: BBC Research & Development Blog