SBS (Special Broadcast Services) - DAMsmart

“SBS had a real need for a detailed and professional digitisation expertise which DAMsmart were able to provide, this enabled us to deliver on all of our objectives in digitising over 30,000 tapes across multiple formats”
Bianca Batalha, Digitisation Project Team Lead & Coordinator, SBS

About SBS

The principal function of SBS is to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services, which inform, educate and entertain all Australians. SBS commenced operation in 1978 providing radio services, before the establishment of its television division in 1980. SBS now broadcasts in more than 100 languages and is watched by more than 7 million Australians each week.

Their challenge

In 2010, SBS introduced a digital file system for the creation and broadcast of all television content, however, most of SBS’s content created prior to 2010 is kept on videotape. SBS’s collection holds news, current affairs, NITV, entertainment and sports content, all of which represents significant value to the broadcaster.

With so much of its content on videotape, SBS recognised two principal challenges – inefficiencies of managing physical media in a file-based environment and risk to content due to aging physical media.


The collection

By the completion of the current phase of the project, there will be in excess of 30,000 videotapes digitised including DVCPro, Betacam, 1-inch, MiniDV and DVCAM.

How DAMsmart helped make the content accessible

We were appointed to the project to undertake the digitisation of SBS’s priority content.

We delivered a comprehensive solution that included –

– Cleaning and preparation of all media due to the age and condition of some of the media.
– Data management of SBS’s comprehensive collection database.
– The creation of three file formats simultaneously, which included JPEG2000, DV50 and H.264.
– Archiving the collection to LTO5 data tape, and LTO6 in later phases, and replicated for redundancy.
– For phase one, we also provided SBS with an interim control and access solution for the digitised content build on Mediaflex and StorageDNA’s LTO archiving platform.

The project was completed over multiple phases, and has delivered SBS with content that is more accessible to the organisation. The project also yielded preservation outcomes, with SBS adopting the Lossless JPEG2000 format to preserve the content as part of a strategy to mitigate the risks inherent with aging tape archives.

Learn about how we can digitise you collection.

Contact us
MC3 Design