IBM to digitally preserve ABC's archive

IBM to digitally preserve ABC's archive

The preservation of ABC favourites such as Kath and Kim and Bananas In Pyjamas to be enjoyed by future generations is now assured, thanks to IBM Global Services, which has secured a contract worth $10 million to digitally archive all of the network's television and radio history.

Over 40 years of television history and 60 years of radio programming which is currently stored on aging analogue tape will be converted into digital data by IBM, in what – according to IBM - is the first such move by an Australian broadcaster.

Stephen Camerlengo, General Manager, Communications Sector at IBM Global Services Australia/New Zealand, says: "There is a unique digital divide within the broadcast industry. The future is digital, and the past has been captured in analogue."

Many ABC programs are already being recorded in a digital format as standard, therefore the challenge ahead for IBM is to convert the older analogue programs, as they don't allow the flexibility and immediacy offered by digital.

"This project will mean the ABC has one ongoing archive, past, present and future, all in the same format and all easily accessed at any moment.

"The project's goal is to re-purpose the audio and footage that is otherwise destined to become useless as the tapes grow old. The ABC recognised that improving access to its archives would unlock historical capital and provide greater value to the organisation," says Mr Camerlengo.

The digital conversion will begin later this year and is expected to be completed by 2006.

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