Saudi TV nears end of mammoth archiving project

Content of 270,000 legacy tapes has now been digitised and archived.
TV archiving project could be a model for others to follow, says Dr Riyadh Najm.
TV archiving project could be a model for others to follow, says Dr Riyadh Najm.


Saudi TV has nearly finished an archiving and restoration project involving the contents of around 270,000 legacy TV tapes.

Work has involved digitising the content of the tapes, attaching metadata to it and placing it into long term, tape-based and shorter term, disk-based storage libraries.

“For TV, we are almost finished; we have a few thousand tapes left,” Dr Riyadh Najm, assistant deputy minister for engineering, Ministry of Culture & Information, told

“It’s one of the projects that we are very proud of and hopefully when it is finished, it will be a good model for others to follow.”

Two copies of each item of content have been created, one in Jeddah and one in Riyadh. A low resolution version of each item has also been made, to facilitate search and retrieval.

Over the next two years, Saudi TV plans to link all its production centres nationwide and allow them to access the archive through a private network.

A plan to open up parts of the content archive to the public, through the internet, is also in the pipeline.

In addition to the TV restoration project, work on archiving the contents of around half a million radio tapes is 65% complete.

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