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It's DAMsmart! Behind the scenes: photos

Australian media preservation and digitisation company DAMsmart is responsible for processing thousands and thousands of hours of culturally significant footage. Here's a glimpse at some of the tech used behind-the-scenes at their Canberra office.

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Topic: Government
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1 of 9 Colin Ho/ZDNet

(Credit: DAMsmart)

DAMsmart operator Olga Aleksandrova operating one-inch C-format videotapes. This format, according to DAMsmart's Joe Robertson, was the first colour TV format to be used in Australia.

Recently, the company took on a job to digitise over 50,000 hours of parliamentary footage.

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2 of 9 Colin Ho/ZDNet

(Credit: DAMsmart)

A quality-control system used at DAMsmart. The systems come from a range of manufacturers in two flavours: automated and manual. The one above is a manual video monitor.

DAMsmart also uses film transfer units purpose-built for digitising archival collections, which also include high-definition outputs.

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3 of 9 Colin Ho/ZDNet

(Credit: DAMsmart)

Amy Kilty transferring Sony D2 format tapes into digital format for the Parliament of Australia.

The DAMsmart team draws on a range of talents from the broadcast industry and preservation organisations such as the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

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4 of 9 Colin Ho/ZDNet

(Credit: DAMsmart)

Pictured here is a collection of Betacam and Umatic tapes from television network Prime's news archive.

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5 of 9 Colin Ho/ZDNet

(Credit: DAMsmart)

In-house specialists provide expert preparation and colour-grading to maximise the film digitisation process. Here, David McGrouther is inspecting and preparing 16mm film for digitisation.

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6 of 9 Colin Ho/ZDNet

(Credit: DAMsmart)

Baked not fried! Ageing collections need to be handled carefully, and often there's only one chance to preserve them. DAMsmart uses a range of video conversion techniques to do this; in this case, Andrew Martin is placing obsolete tapes into an environmental chamber (which is essentially an oven) to be baked and cleaned for rejuvenation.

This enables DAMsmart to recondition tapes that are very old to get a good replay out of them.

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7 of 9 Colin Ho/ZDNet

(Credit: DAMsmart)

Audiovisual assets are registered in the DAMsmart databases for work-flow tracking. Projects are managed by barcodes.

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8 of 9 Colin Ho/ZDNet

(Credit: DAMsmart)

DAMsmart's storage facility for archived media. Kirstie Day is double-checking the inventory and physical holdings of customer archival libraries. This is where the original tapes and pieces are stored.

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9 of 9 Colin Ho/ZDNet

(Credit: DAMsmart)

A snapshot of the kinds of tape that DAMsmart deals with daily. Pictured above is 16mm news film from the early 1960s.

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