Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (SBA, formerly known as Sharjah Media Corporation), the government organization dedicated to developing the media industry in the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, has ordered a second Archive Asset Management (AAM) mediARC system from AV digitizing and archiving specialist NOA GmbH.
SMB realized its first mediARC in Q2 2017 for the digitization and management of its entire legacy video archive consisting of 140,000 hours of Betacam, DigiBeta, U-matic, One Inch, and MiniDV tapes to SBA’s enterprise datacentre.
In March 2019, the media house purchased a second mediARC system as part of its disaster recovery plan to ensure the preservation of its archive now and in the future in a distant location. Consisting of several mediARC GUIs alongside NOA applications mediARC ProcessorHost, MediaButler, StorageConnector, DBScripter and FileManager, the additional system is an identical copy of the original mediARC installation and will allow SBA to duplicate — and access — all data, even if the central archive is unavailable. SBA is the first in the region to apply the method of keeping three copies of documents in two separate locations that are accessible at all times within the context of an Archive Asset Management system.
“Our patrimony is simply too important to have it stored in only one location,” said Aisha Alzaaref, Director of Broadcast IT at SBA. That’s why we decided to apply this innovative approach to having it accessible as a complete replica with reliable availability. This is crucial for the long-term preservation of our archive.”
“This concept is quite unique for a legacy archive in the region,” said Jean-Christophe Kummer, managing partner of NOA. “SBA will benefit from having a full duplication of its repertoire constantly available at two sites. The setup will also permit future born digital material to be collected in one central repository, which is duplicated in two sites.”
At the recently held 10th Annual Meeting of the ‘Arab HDTV and Beyond Group’ Jean-Christophe Kummer, CEO of NOA, described the Archive Transfer Technology processes and highlighted the criticality of the need to start digitising audio-visual assets and their associated metadata On the topic of AI in Archives, Jean-Christophe stressed that although AI is nice, there are many steps that need to be done before AI tools could be used. Primary sources need adequate intellectual annotation, so there is no way to eliminate the archivist. AI gets in only if the archives are already digital and give value only if the ‘context’ is correct. Jean-Christophe compared the OPEX versus CAPEX models of large-scale digitisation projects and the advantages and disadvantages of each of the models.