Belgian broadcaster taps Netia for archive digitisation

Sonuma, the subsidiary of Belgian broadcaster RTBF responsible for the digitisation and commercialisation of audiovisual archives, is using Netia’s Content Management System (CMS) to digitise a substantial proportion of RTBF’s 120,000-hour radio and television archive, giving the broadcaster’s journalists, columnists and technicians a richer resource to use in their work.

Sonuma is using the Netia CMS not only to preserve and manage RBTF’s legacy of content on a variety of media, including VCR tape, DAT tape, LP, MD, 16mm film and 78rpm vinyl, but also to provide access to the library for RTBF journalists who use it to enhance their daily output. To achieve the metadata structure required, Sonuma has incorporated a range of metadata sources and formats, using the CMS to overhaul its existing thesaurus and build in the facility for multilevel, multicriteria searches.

Netia’s CMS provides workflow automation in ingest, metadata logging, and output to streamline the process initiated when an item is ordered in a specific format. These automated processes have allowed Sonuma and RTBF to improve delivery of archived media to the company’s partner news organisations, according to Netia. The broadcaster’s website provides the general public with selections from the archive representing the history of radio and television in French-speaking Belgium, with a workflow that enables journalists to select the chosen material using the Netia media asset management module, provide a short summary and then post the content online.

The CMS organises Sonuma’s media management processes, harmonizes exchanges between different applications, handles prioritisation across the system, and automates content distribution processes. To streamline content delivery itself, the CMS provides tools for content packaging, metadata tagging and rights management, with workflow supervision guiding these processes. The system is integrated with RTBF’s newsroom systems to provide journalists, directors and producers with access to Sonuma’s archived media.

“Our archive is a real goldmine, stretching back more than 80 years of radio and nearly 60 years of television, but digitising all that material to preserve it for posterity is only part of the challenge. A critical part of the project is to provide high-quality access to it for the journalists and staff,” said Eric Denis, IT manager at Sonuma. “The more sophisticated and powerful the search criteria you build in, the better use your people can make of your priceless assets.”

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