Regional broadcast, central storage: Focus-WTV, RTV and Bruzz
Regional broadcasters bring local news reports and features into people’s living rooms, producing new image material every day. We can help them store this new content safely and sustainably, so they can focus on their daily broadcasts. We’ve worked with several broadcasters to work out how to stream their digital collections into the meemoo archive system, and a successful initial pilot project with Focus-WTV has led to RTV and Bruzz also coming on board.
Why do regional broadcasters choose to have their image material stored digitally at meemoo? First and foremost, meemoo has previously digitised material from BRUZZ and RTV, so they’re already familiar with our working methods as a content partner. They also need secure, redundant storage which they can use efficiently for their digital collections. They often also have servers with copies of the media in their own buildings, but this means the entire archive could be lost in the event of a catastrophe, such as a fire.
That’s why meemoo stores archive material in three separate locations. But building this redundancy into a system is complex and expensive. Fortunately, our large-scale operation means we can provide a cost-efficient solution. We’ve been scaling up the influx of digital collections since the start of 2019, so more organisations can store their digital collections with us safely and sustainably. We’re working in waves with the aim of rolling out this service to all our content partners in a phased process.
Focus-WTV pilot project
Focus-WTV was the first regional broadcaster whose digital image material we streamed into our meemoo archive system. Pilot projects always involve a bit of trial and error, and that was no different here. A few issues needed ironing out both internally and between meemoo and Focus-WTV, including journalists and technicians reviewing and simplifying their workflows, for example. This new intake was one of our first continuous influx types, which means that new material from Focus-WTV is stored in the meemoo archive every day.
On top of this daily influx of newly produced material, existing digital archive material is also transferred from Focus-WTV to the meemoo archive system. A dedicated team of volunteers has been digitising analogue material on XDCAM cassettes since 2007, and directly uploading it to the meemoo archive system on a regular basis since July 2017. ‘It’s a lot of work, but fortunately they enjoy it,’ says Tom Vandepitte, IT and Multimedia Manager at Focus-WTV. ‘The fact that we encountered some minor difficulties at the start means that other regional broadcasters can benefit from avoiding some of the same initial pitfalls, so their image material can be introduced smoothly.’ Images can now be viewed in the video player, so journalists can search for the media they want in a much more targeted way, which is a clear gain in efficiency, according to Tom.
Wave 1: RTV and Bruzz
After we paved the way with Focus-WTV, two more regional broadcasters came to us with their digital collections: RTV and Bruzz. Both needed a user-friendly digital system with a high level of performance, and were very attracted by the improved access that meemoo’s processes offer. Storing their collections with meemoo also means they can be used in the classroom as part of the Archive for Education programme, and other meemoo content partners can view the material on Catalogus Pro too.
Both broadcasters are running a continuous influx project, which means there are additional guidelines for the metadata that’s sent in together with the media. Following an analysis performed together with meemoo, RTV was able to present much clearer documentation to its external IT partner. ‘Having our digital collection stored at meemoo was a logical next step on the route we were already taking,’ says Farid Khetouta (Managing Director at RTV). ‘We ultimately want to see if we can scale back our own archive software and instead search directly in the meemoo archive system for the material we want to use in our reports.’
Bruzz used to work with an external partner to provide the link between its own and meemoo’s systems. Following a tricky start, because the link between these systems turned out to be rather complex, the process has now been operational since the end of March thanks to help from meemoo and partner Videohouse. The Bruzz material was initially searched through by two college teacher in primary education, in the context of a practical scientific research project, who found lots of useful material. ‘Bruzz doesn’t just produce news; there’s also lots of material about Brussels itself,’ confirms Robert Esselinckx, Bruzz Executive Director.