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Chinese Public to Access CCTV's Archive in Digital Format

Restores 30-year archive with Snell & Wilcox Archangel Ph.C restoration system (February 28, 2005)

CCTV, China's national broadcaster, will provide public access to its 30-year archive containing key moments in China's television history with the help of a digital archive restoration system from Snell & Wilcox.

On cassettes and carts ranging from Betacam to the long-forgotten U-matic, the world's first professional portable tape format, the CCTV archive had risked oblivion in storage until the technology was recently developed that could effectively save hundreds of thousands of hours of historical news footage, entertainment, and informational programs and convert them to a digital format.

Footage from the newly restored CCTV programs will be available to the public at special browser stations in the national archive.

"CCTV's archive, which stretches back to the early 1970s, is an incomparable resource containing some of the most important moments of China's recent history," said Mark Parlett, managing director of Snell & Wilcox Asia Pacific Limited. "The recent implementation of Snell & Wilcox's Archangel Ph.C enables CCTV to restore and preserve the huge volume of materials in the archive. Without the real-time restoration capability and minimum operator intervention that Archangel Ph.C provides, this would be a near-impossible task."

Archangel Ph.C cleans up, fixes, and stabilizes, in real time, any video or film-based material that has deteriorated or been damaged, either by age or other factors. Typical material can be restored within two or three times its running length, and the end result is often better than when it was first shot. The Archangel system at CCTV is controlled by the Synergy timeline control system, which allows users to control the tape transports and the Archangel through one control surface. Operators can then fine-tune the restoration to maximum benefit in the best possible time and, once the project is complete, the timeline can be archived for future reference.

"Until now this level of restoration quality could only be achieved by laborious, time-consuming and expensive processes," said Parlett. "Now, people will be able to see the programs that form part of their history, but without the prohibitive cost of frame-by-frame restoration."

The Archangel Ph.C is also used by commercial production studios to repair advertising footage and was recently installed at Australian Caption Centre in Sydney to restore 50 classic films and DVD titles per month, as well as at Metro Broadcast in London to restore damaged footage from past decades to create a Led Zeppelin music DVD.

CCTV's archive restoration project began in May 2004 and will continue throughout this year. Along with the Archangel Ph.C, Snell & Wilcox also provided a set of NRS 70 with noise reduction, equipment that provides an interface between the older, unstable analog sources and the archive restoration equipment.

About Snell & Wilcox
Snell & Wilcox, the leader in its field, delivers technologies and products that give television and satellite broadcasters, post production facilities, filmmakers, and communications professionals the freedom to move content seamlessly between analog, digital, high definition, and file-based systems and to bridge the world's multiplicity of line/field and color standards without sacrificing picture quality. The company provides switchers and keyers, standards conversion systems, networked infrastructure components, and products for noise reduction, image enhancement, and restoration. In business since 1973, Snell & Wilcox maintains its Asia Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong and its European headquarters in Hampshire, United Kingdom. Additional offices are located in New York, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, and Russia.

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Related Keywords:CCTV, Snell & Wilcox, Archangel Ph.C, restoration, Mark Parlett, Synergy timeline control system, NRS 70,


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