Ascent Media Secures Mideast Preservation Project


Ascent Media Systems & Technology Services has won a contract in the Middle East with Abu Dhabi Media Co. to preserve its historical video archive, officials said Tuesday.

 The project will involve several phases, including the design and build of a complete infrastructure capable of converting legacy material into digital files. Once digitized, ADMC’s film archive can be repurposed for a variety of digital-delivery methods. The archive material will also be preserved for use by future generations.

The video collection documents the social history of the United Arab Emirates from the 1950’s to the present day, but it is currently recorded on film and four obsolete videotape formats, all of which are deteriorating over time.

His Excellency Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, chairman of Abu Dhabi Media, said the company is committed to leveraging the power of the latest technological developments and this agreement enables access to the wealth of the company’s archive and creates opportunities for utilizing it in new ways.

“We consider this project of crucial significance because of the irreplaceable historical value of the archive,” Abdul Hadi Al Sheikh, Abu Dhabi Media’s chief technology officer, said in a prepared statement. “In view of this and knowing that we could under no circumstances allow this nationally important material to deteriorate beyond recovery, we wanted to ensure the archive’s continuity and future use. We are confident that Ascent Media has the expert technical knowledge to design and execute a solution which we believe will contribute greatly to our country’s heritage.”

Much of the newly digitized material will be incorporated into new television productions. For immediate use, it can be stored in broadcast compatible formats both “on the shelf” and in a data tape archive. The asset could also be re-purposed for other digital delivery methods or converted to any future physical storage medium, making it substantially format independent.