Interview with Bruno Burtre (VectraCom)

Vectracom, La Plaine Saint-Denis, October 11, 2010


Bruno Burtre is Sales Manager for VectraCom, a company created in Paris in 1991 by three engineers formerly employed by the Société Française de Production (SFP). Bruno Burtre started working for VectraCom in 2010, following the closure of the Sony Factory near Dax. VectraCom is a company that specialises in the preservation of audiovisual archives, and offers a complete range of services including digitisation and restoration of audio and video documents and film, as well as various postproduction services. Packed met Bruno Burtre to learn more about his years of experience with Sony, about the way of working at VectraCom and about managing day-to-day problems linked to the obsolescence of formats.


PACKED: What is your professional background, and what did you do before coming to VectraCom?

Bruno Burtre: In 1990, I started my career with Sony as a support technician. For fifteen years I was in charge of customer support for magnetic tapes, and for professional formats in particular. I was also in charge of the packaging engineering, where we worked on the design and personalisation of cassettes whenever a customer made a specific request.

I was then Quality Manager Europe for Sony magnetic products, in Dax where the production unit manufacturing Betacam1, Digital Betacam2, VHS3, DV4 and 8 mm5 for the whole of Europe and part of the American market was situated.


PACKED: What formats were aimed at the American market?

Bruno Burtre: From 1991 onwards, all Betacam SP6 sold in Europe were produced in Dax, and part of the production went to the USA. Today, Digital Betacam cassettes sold in the USA are made in Japan.


PACKED: Why did you start working on the preservation of video material at Sony?

Bruno Burtre: To begin with, we set up a restoration lab for magnetic tapes, as more and more of our European clients were asking us for solutions for their archives. It is by working on their problems that Sony decided to launch a preservation lab. The idea of creating it came rather naturally, as we knew how the tapes were made and also the best ways to restore them.

Denis Mahé, the technician who worked with me at the time, is now the technical director of VectraCom. Our backgrounds are similar; we both had audiovisual training before working in broadcasting with Sony making magnetic tapes. At the time, companies such as VectraCom were competing with us in certain cases, and they were part of European projects such as PrestoSpace7.


PACKED: How has your work changed since you arrived at VectraCom?

Bruno Burtre:At Sony, our efforts were mainly focussed on preserving the document, that is to say the digitisation of tapes. We didn’t know how to do restoration and we dealt only with magnetic tapes. At VectraCom we transfer both audio and videotapes, but we also do Telecine transferring as well as all SD8, HD film media9 and 2K10. For certain clients, we also do calibration and colour-correction.

Then there is the whole restoration stage, which is done with tools such as Archangel11, allowing real-time restoration, and also with software such as Revival12 and Nucoda13.


PACKED: What formats are you capable of transferring?

Bruno Burtre:We are able to process any of the main professional or amateur formats produced in Europe: 2"14, 1" IVC15, 1"type A16, 1" type B17, 1" type C18, MII19, BETAMAX20, U-MATIC21, BVU22, 1⁄2" EIAJ and pre-EIAJ23, 1⁄4”24, VCR25, V200026, BETACAM, Betacam SP, Digital Betacam, DVCAM27, DVC PRO28, VHS, digital VHS29, D130, D231 and D332. For almost all of these formats, we also possess NTSC players33, as well as the Time-Base Correctors34 from the time, which are essential to obtain a useable signal with 1” or U-matic formats.

We are also capable of digitising 16mm35 and 35mm36 film in High Definition, 2K, and in the future very soon in Motion JPEG200037 and DCP38. We have an 819-line monitor that we use for the telerecording of certain archival footage.

We can then provide the material on any type of media the client wishes and we can also do tape-to-tape transfers on Digital Betacam, HDCAM39, HDCAM SR40, DVCPRO 25/50 etc. We are equipped with all of the necessary hardware. The only media we do not process for now is DVC Pro 100, also known as DVC Pro HD41.


PACKED: Do you use tape-cleaning machines?

Bruno Burtre: Yes, we use an RTI machine42 for U-matic formats and we have Recortec machines43 for 2” tapes. However, we do not use cleaning machines for any other formats. The RTI machine works by running the tape over a fabric, or dusting paper as we call it, to remove the dust that is present. But often these machines are mechanically unreliable. If the machine is clogged and the dust sticks to the fabric, there is a high risk of scratching the tapes. This is why we use the cleaning machines here cautiously, and only under the supervision of experienced technicians, as they do not have the same mechanical precision as a videotape recorder. If they are not well maintained, we risk damaging the tape rather than cleaning it.

To clean other formats, we often use the videotape recorder itself, which is why we have two types of recorders: those used to transfer, and those used only to ventilate the tape by winding or rewinding it. In some cases, we will even play the tape in its entirety and the video head will act as a tape-cleaner, because when a video head rubs against a magnetic tape, the main advantage compared to fabric is that it sweeps the tape with an air-cushion at a pressure of a few grams, which will blow away any undesirable particles. Of course, these particles will then re-settle around the recorder, but without leaving marks on the tape. We possess so many recorders that we prefer to dedicate a machine to cleaning by fitting it with old video heads, which no longer have the necessary protuberance and can no longer be used for transferring because the image quality they produce is too poor. On the other hand, they prove to be very efficient for cleaning tapes.


A Recortec cleaning machine for 2" videotapes. Photo: PACKED vzw.


PACKED: A video head on its own works almost as well as knives and fabric?

Bruno Burtre: Yes, quite often, and above all it is less of a risk for the tape. We processed part of the INA’s U-matic archives44, and the procedure that was developed by the INA in collaboration with VectraCom was to pre-play the tape in a dedicated recorder. The ideal situation is therefore to have two machines, one to wind and another to transfer. In the worst-case scenario, we use the RTI cleaners, but only in certain cases, such as when the tapes are sticky, for example.


PACKED: Do the tapes need cleaning systematically?

Bruno Burtre: I would say that all recent formats can be digitised directly, and by recent I mean all tapes that date from 1996-1997 to the present. Beyond 15 years of age, ventilation is necessary. We use this ventilation technique before playing the tape, for formats such as 1” type B for example. For 2” we possess very good cleaners that have been slightly modified so that the particles are sucked up and do not accumulate on the dusting papers. For U-matic cassettes, we use RTI cleaners or other videotape recorders. Apart from the Samma cleaner45 – a very good product for the Betacam tapes family – RTI cleaners are, as I said, a little too violent from a mechanical point of view. Samma cleaners for the Betacam tapes family are really well designed, as they monitor the clogging of the fabric in real-time, allowing the speed of the reeling to be increased, or to tell the machine that more cleaning is necessary.


PACKED: Do you sometimes modify the players used for transfers?

Bruno Burtre: Yes, the erase heads have often been removed and fixed to the player’s chassis, so as not to create problems with static charge, and also simply to avoid erasing archives. This might seem silly but it is an additional safety factor. Sometimes we place little paper tabs instead to make a first cleaning.


Paper tabs on a 1" videotape player. Photo: PACKED vzw.


Paper tabs on a 1" videotape player. Photo: PACKED vzw.


We even had to rebuild the chassis of certain machines because they had been stored in attics and rather badly damaged. Sometimes we also modify a machine for a particular format. For example, at one point there was one model of 1” player that could read large spools. Now, this machine was very rare and we had to modify a standard machine by adjusting the axle so that the large spools could be read.


A 1" SONY deck modified to transfer larger spools. Photo: PACKED vzw.


A 1" SONY deck modified to transfer larger spools. Photo: PACKED vzw.


In any case, at VectraCom, all the machine’s covers have been removed. When you work in archiving, it is impossible to put a cassette into a recorder thinking that the transfer will work the first time round. There will always be a cassette that will stick, get damaged or the tape will get scratched, deposit magnetic residue and deteriorate the player and therefore all the following transfers. When working with old formats, all transfers are different and must be done on a case-by-case basis.


For some machines chassis have been redesigned. Photo: PACKED vzw.


PACKED: Do you use an “oven” for particularly damaged tapes?

Bruno Burtre: At Sony, we used baking nine times out of ten for 2” and 1” type B, and less frequently for U-matic cassettes. The oven allows the magnetism to be stabilised, but this beneficial effect lasts only about five days and the tape must be transferred during this window. At VectraCom, we usually process the tape within two days of it coming out of the oven, because you must allow sufficient time for the tape to return to ambient temperature. Without revealing our precise protocol, the process is as follows: raising the temperature, stabilisation for a certain duration, and then we transfer the tape after a period of respite. At VectraCom, the cleaning stage is carried out after baking.


PACKED: Why does baking come before cleaning?

Bruno Burtre: Because when a tape is baked, its magnetic coating is regenerated, and it becomes more resistant, as it were. Therefore if a cleaning is done first, there is the risk that particles that could be useful after the baking might be lost. Baking is nothing other than a process that is used during the manufacturing of tapes. When you produce a tape, you apply a magnetic paint to a plastic carrier and once this has been done, the tape is left for two days at a temperature that corresponds to that which is used during baking. In industry, this baking time is necessary for the magnetic coating of the full jumbo roll – that is to say the twenty kilometre-long roll of magnetic tape – to be sufficiently robust. As the years go by, the binders, the glues and all the additives that are used in the production of the tape disintegrate. When the tape is brought to a high temperature two phenomena happen: the humidity present in the tape is withdrawn and the binders are regenerated somewhat. Therefore if the tape is cleaned beforehand, there is a risk of removing unstable particles from the magnetic coating that would have been more stable after baking.


PACKED: Is there not a risk of the dust present on the tape becoming ingrained if it is not removed beforehand?

Bruno Burtre: No. If the dust is volatile, it will not become ingrained, because during baking the temperature does not increase that much; it is close to the temperature used during the production of the tape.


PACKED: Is baking a process that can be repeated several times?

Bruno Burtre: I have never read or heard of any reason why it shouldn’t, and here we have had cases where it was repeated up to two or three times. However in our case, the idea is not to reuse the original tape at a later date, as our goal is to digitise and backup the material, and therefore we have no experience of what may happen over time; once the material is backed up, the long term effects on the tape are of no concern to us.


PACKED: Which type of oven do you use?

Bruno Burtre: It consists of a straightforward climatic chamber, which is also used by industrial quality control departments. They are adjustable in terms of temperature and humidity, and allow heating cycles to be performed. At Sony, they were used for testing with a chamber at 80% humidity and a temperature of 45 °C, and another chamber at 5 °C and 0% humidity for example, to see how the tapes would react.


A climatic chamber used for baking operations. Photo: PACKED vzw.


PACKED: What other cleaning techniques do you use?

Bruno Burtre: For film, we use CTM Debrie cleaning systems and we have a Lipsner-Smith46 machine that permits to immerse the film in an emulsion that cleans its surface. At VectraCom, three technicians know how to use the Lipsner-Smith cleaner, and to do this they must wear gloves and a facemask. This machine requires the use of gloves and a facemask, and an air extraction system for the vapours and smells of the solvents, as it works using rather toxic tetrachloroethylene. The procedure is rather complicated, as the solvents must be checked, and the guiding system cleaned, etc. The Telecine operators use it, because if the cleaning stage is not done properly, they will get a poor quality image during transfer.

When we worked for Sony, Denis Mahé had developed a machine that used solvents and ultrasounds to clean magnetic tapes. It was a prototype that used a similar method to that of Lipsner-Smith; the tape was dipped into a solution of solvents and then dried. We mainly used it to clean 2” tapes from the so-called “3M Great Years”, when 3M had the great idea of producing flanges with foam on the inside surface so as not to deteriorate the edges of the tape. The problem was that they stuck the foam with neoprene glue, which then got onto the tapes. In the prototype we had developed, the solvent broke down the glue without damaging the magnetic tape.

We had also developed a solution to lubricate the surface of the magnetic tape, and we mainly used this for ½” open reel formats.


The Lipsner Smith cleaning machine used to clean film reels. Photo: PACKED vzw.


PACKED: What is the theory behind this process?

Bruno Burtre: When you make a U-matic tape, for example, you insert lubricating agents into the magnetic paint and after a few years of storage, you will sometimes see white powder appear on the tape. This powder may come from two different origins. Firstly, it might be mould such as that which is found on audiotapes from the 1950s for example, where you may often find mould that appears as a white powder. Prior to 1985, certain formats were not treated with fungicides but from the mid-eighties, their use had become standard to tape production at Sony and most other manufacturers. That’s why from the mid-eighties onwards, tapes no longer have any problems with mould.

In recent tapes, this white powder is made up of lubricants that have solidified on the surface. This indicates that the tape’s lubrication has gone. Even with cleaning to remove the powder, the picture disappears after five minutes. The only solution then is to apply a thin film of lubricant on the tape with a rag.


PACKED: So this was a manual process?

Bruno Burtre: At Sony, we had developed a tool that deposited a thin layer of lubricant by tempography. At the time we were able to develop a machine to do this, but here it is something we do by hand with a rag directly onto the tape while it is on the machine.


PACKED: You were not able to bring this machine to VectraCom when you left Sony?

Bruno Burtre: Unfortunately not, as Sony did not want to sell the machines to us. Having said this, the machine in itself was nothing special, but the product we found was. It was a product that came into the manufacturing of the magnetic tape, and the proportions had been elaborated with Sony’s chemistry laboratory. At the time, we were able to carry out several tests, because for it to work, the proportions had to be rather precise. With the wrong proportions, the tape would stick even more and would no longer run through the videotape recorder at all. The major problem with lubricating surfaces is that when you apply a thin coat of a product, you must be able to dry it quickly and sufficiently, otherwise the tape gets damp and will no longer slip.


PACKED: Was the capability to develop this type of solution one of the advantages of working with a major company such as Sony?

Bruno Burtre: Yes, because there were more employees, and greater resources. We had four technicians, and this allowed us to do research and development as well as transferring. During this period, we made a huge amount of progress. We could produce prototypes thanks to the engineering workshop where parts could be manufactured on-site, and also thanks to the chemistry laboratory where solutions could be developed. For a company of the size of VectraCom, this is of course more complicated, but the advantage is that Denis Mahé and myself came to VectraCom with the knowledge acquired and developed at Sony.


PACKED: Does the sticky shed syndrome concern mainly U-matic tapes?

Bruno Burtre: It is a problem we also get with 1” type B, where we have disastrous experiences with certain brands. This is a paradox as I have seen the same brands in Spain and they work very well. Channel TVE has launched a major project to digitise 1” type B tapes; we carried out a case study for them and it was the first time I saw 1” type B tapes working that well. All the 1” type B tapes from Germany and England that I had previously had to transfer caused a lot of problems.


PACKED: Was this linked to climatic conditions?

Bruno Burtre: Yes, it is an essential factor. When we receive a batch of tapes, it doesn’t matter if we know that they are U-matic from such and such a year, or any other very precise information. The conditions under which the tapes were stored make all the difference. Out of two identical U-matic cassettes from two different clients, one may be very easy to transfer, whereas the other might pose huge problems.

We have just transferred some archives that came from Nigeria. They are the archives of an African art festival called Festac47, which took place in 1977, and the failure rate here is more than 20%. The tapes are 2”, 1” and U-matic. For the U-matic, as the guides inside the cassette had rusted, we had to take apart each cassette and put the tape in a new cartridge in order to digitise it. Cleaning them or playing them as they were would have damaged the tapes irremediably. All the 2” Memorex tapes from this festival are sticky and stick when put into the machines, even after going through baking and cleaning.


PACKED: So certain tapes are identified as being more problematic than others?

Bruno Burtre: Yes, there are brands that, depending on the year, are known to be problematic. For example, 2”, Memorex tapes from certain years, even after going through the oven and being cleaned, cause problems with clogging where other tapes will work after just cleaning and without having to be baked. This varies depending on the brand and the year, but also depending on the format. Sometimes, for 2” for example, Agfa tapes will work very well, whereas the 1” tapes of the same brand will cause many problems.

At the moment we are transferring BASF 1” type B tapes from channel RFO for the INA and they also cause a lot of problems because of the climate. Out of one hundred tapes, we have a failure rate of 10% due to the tapes sticking despite having gone through the oven.

I do know that Fuji 1” format tapes are excellent, but each brand has had its ups and downs depending on the format and you cannot say that one is better than the others. It remains quite empirical. What’s more, the tapes of smaller brands were sometimes manufactured by major brands.


PACKED: And only the name and the packaging were different?

Bruno Burtre: Quite often, yes. There are partnerships between manufacturers and few production lines in the world.


PACKED: Do certain “sick” tapes have to be isolated from the others?

Bruno Burtre: Yes. I have quite often smelt vinegar upon entering the archives of certain clients. Now, in Dax we ran some tests by putting a Betacam cassette inside a climatic chamber with a jar of vinegar and the results were catastrophic. When a magnetic tape is stored in a vinegary environment, the magnetic coating is attacked and causes clogging very quickly. Based on this research, we always advise our clients to single out and isolate any vinegary film.


PACKED: What tools do you use for restoration?

Bruno BurtreWe use a lot of products from Snell & Wilcox48 such as the Archangel system, both in HD and in SD, for which VectraCom is and was a beta tester, which allows us to tell them what we would like them to improve in the system. In addition, we use the Revival software tool developed first of all by DaVinci, and now by Blackmagic and we recently purchased a Digital Vision Nucoda with all the restoration DVO. Archangel is a restoration tool that works in real time. Physically, it is a large rack with cards; it is hardware. It includes a picture stabiliser, anti-scratching filters, etc. with the possibility of adjusting the parameters in real time. It is a system that was developed in collaboration with the INA and PrestoSpace, as the PrestoSpace project provided for the creation of a restoration tool. It has a command panel that allows control of all the machine’s adjustments.

Tools such as Revival however require lengthy rendering when working on images so that the processing being carried out can be visualised. If we had to do everything with Revival, six months of processing would be necessary. With Archangel, we remove 90% of the defects: dust, scratches, etc. and we can really refine our adjustments to act on the grain of the image, the noise, etc. Then, for a more detailed retouch, we use Revival, which works frame-by-frame. Investing in restoration software is relatively inexpensive, but the ability to digitise, restore in real time, and finalise using software only when necessary is a big advantage. Both of these two tools are truly complementary.


Snell & Wilcox's Archangel. Photo: PACKED vzw.


PACKED: The idea is to make maximum use of the capabilities of Archangel in order to use Revival as little as possible?

Bruno Burtre: Yes, because the processing time is much longer with Revival. But the objective is above all to get the most out of the original and this starts by a good cleaning of the tape to have as little dust as possible. No matter how advanced the machines we use, with re-grain and contrast or contour enhancing functions, in the end, we denature the work somewhat by losing detail. With good cleaning and subtle adjustments of Archangel, we remove most of the defects without heading towards restoration that is irreversible. If we remove too much noise, for example, in the end there will be too many flat colours in the image, and not enough matter to reverse the process.


The Archangel workstation at Vectracom. Photo: PACKED vzw.


PACKED: In addition, the video image has a certain patina that could be lost with too much treatment.

Bruno Burtre: Yes, and sometimes the artist included the defects intentionally. Another problem concerns video artworks that come from television channels, because broadcasters want a perfect picture and their encoders need a smooth picture.


PACKED: What are the most common means of storage?

Bruno BurtreAt present, many clients use LTO-449. More and more, we also work with hard drives, such as with the INA for example. In this way, they can carry out quality control without having to unload an LTO cartridge. Hard drives have a practical side.


PACKED: But it is not a recommended format for archiving.

Bruno Burtre: No, of course, it is just an exchange media, as a hard drive may stop working overnight for many different reasons. Magnetic tape may also encounter problems, but the greatest difficulty lies within the durability of the players. Today, it can be hard to find an LTO-1 drive. There is backward compatibility, but it is not eternal. LTO-4 drives can read LTO-3 and LTO-2 cartridges, but not LTO-1 cartridges. This technological evolution obliges us to migrate data. The INA encountered this problem when Sony stopped supporting the DTF format50.


PACKED: Do you always work with the same kind of customers?

Bruno Burtre:We may work with television channels such as NRJ 12 and TF1 as well as institutions such as the BNF51 and the INA, or even town and county councils that send out requests for digitisation proposals. We also work with cultural centres, and companies such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, or Gaumont Pathé Archives for the digitisation of film. We have quite a variety of customers. At present, we are working on a batch for the BNF, which includes a lot of old formats; V2000, EIAJ, 1” type A, 2”, etc.


PACKED: Does the nature of the material influence the way you work? For example, is there any difference if the client is the INA or the Pompidou Centre?

Bruno Burtre: No, there is no difference in the procedure. Whatever the archive, the operator will be as meticulous as possible during digitisation in order to have as few corrections as possible to carry out. We are not artists, we are not here to give our view of a work, and our role is to reproduce it as accurately as possible.


PACKED: Does the INA send you their most problematic tapes?

Bruno Burtre: No, most of the times they prefer to do this internally, as they have the qualified personnel and the right solutions. The INA sets the standards in the world of video archives, and also the production costs are relatively high as soon as you leave the framework of mass digitisation. We can do it, but the price is rather prohibitive, so quite often customers such as the INA will prefer to do it themselves. A tape transfer that requires three days’ work will inevitably cost more than an hour-long tape requiring just one hour to transfer.

When we work for the INA, it is in large volumes, and a room is dedicated to them. We do not mix articles or customers. Once the tapes enter the digitisation room, the customer files are created, which specify who the contacts are, and what formats and destination media are demanded. The operator knows straight away whom he is working for, and what specifications he must apply.


A videotape storage room at Vectracom. Photo: PACKED vzw.


The process is always more or less similar and standardised, as whoever the customer is, the goal is the same: get the most out of the tape. It is cleaned and if it is sticky, it goes through the baking process, and is transferred two days later. When the tape is ready, the video and audio parameters of the player are adjusted, as well as the tracking, that is to say the optimisation of the video head’s signal. Then we digitise using the format chosen by the customer. For the Montreux Jazz Festival, specifically, we do a full-width uncompressed 10-bit capture. For the audiotapes, we use 24-bit 96 kHz, as this is the specification they asked for.

In the case of the INA, we do the capture in DV25 and then transcode to MPEG-2 8 Mbit/s, which is the INA’s storage standard. They are currently mulling a switch to MPEG-4 or to Motion JPEG2000, so if they adopt these new specifications next year, we will have to do uncompressed captures.


PACKED: MPEG-2 appears to be a strange choice for a heritage institution such as the INA?

Bruno Burtre: The INA chose this standard nearly ten years ago now, and at the time they made the best and most reasonable choice in terms of quality. Today, people are used to HD television and always having superb picture quality. Now, when Sony launched the DV-Cam and Betacam SX formats, for example, and we saw these on SD (Standard Definition) screens, we thought that there was little difference between Digital Betacam and DV Cam pictures. Today, things are different, because on HD screens you can see that compression creates visible artefacts. Our way of viewing has changed and the size of the resulting file was of greater importance at the time. Storage costs are one tenth of what they were, which is why we now almost exclusively work with uncompressed files or DPX52 for Telecine. Then, if the client wants MPEG-4, we encode afterwards.


PACKED: Have the low cost of storage also raised the standard in terms of quality.

Bruno Burtre: Yes, however we do recommend DV2553 for transferring VHS, U-matic or EIAJ tapes. There is no point in creating uncompressed files, as the picture quality of the original media is inferior to DV25. On the other hand, for 2”, 1” and all Betacam formats, uncompressed video is justified, because there is a big difference.

What’s more, whenever we work on uncompressed video, we dedicate a server to a customer and we cannot work after eight o’clock. The encoding is done at night, and if the files are uncompressed, the necessary data rates are high and the costs are also different. The infrastructure is always adapted to the demands of our customers.


PACKED: What container formats do you use for uncompressed files?

Bruno Burtre: At the moment we use uncompressed AVI, but this always depends on the client, some of them want QuickTime, MXF, or MJPEG4 H.264 for compressed video.


PACKED: Have you had any demands for MJPEG-2000?

Bruno Burtre: We’ve been hearing about the MJPEG-2000 standard for several years, and as I said the INA is considering it. Until now, we’ve been hearing about this format within the PrestoSpace project for the past five years, but none of the editing tools, like Final Cut Pro54, Avid55, or any others, are capable of playing it back, so it would appear to be a difficult format to work with.

Today, software and plugins are being developed and MJPEG-2000 will certainly gain growing support and become more widespread. None of our clients have asked us for MJPEG-2000 yet, but we are starting to see it in certain requests for tender. More surprising however, is the rather strong demand for encoding in Apple’s ProRes format56.


PACKED: It is surprising, since it’s a proprietary format.

Bruno Burtre: Exactly, especially coming from archivists, who usually prefer open formats. Once again, VectraCom is just a service provider, so we do not set the rules; it is up to the archivist to determine beforehand what format he wants. What the field of video archiving lacks is a sort of regulation, of standardisation implemented by an international institution, which is what PrestoSpace and FIAT57 did for a time. But I think that if there are no clear recommendations, it is also because nobody wants to fall out with the manufacturers.


PACKED: Do you also work for foreign clients?

Bruno Burtre: Yes, VectraCom is even capable of setting up in situ installations for certain clients who do not want their tapes to leave their country. This is the case notably in Saudi Arabia, where we are part of a consortium entrusted with the preservation of 250,000 hours of video for that country. VectraCom has a technical team that has been over there for eighteen months, and which manages a local workforce. We hire the equipment: four 2” players, four 1” type B players, a Telecine as well as a few U-matic decks.


PACKED: That concerns a big project. How do you manage a smaller one?

Bruno Burtre: If we take on, for example, some EIAJ tapes, and there are a few tapes for about fifty hours of material, it will be possible for us to fit it into our production calendar within two or three months.


PACKED: Do only your operators perform quality control here, or does the client also sometimes come himself?

Bruno Burtre: If the customer wants to come, then our doors are open and he can then see how the backup of his material takes place. We are used to working with artists, editors, etc. When we are working on the restoration or the calibration of a film, for example, the client is often present.

When the artist is present we can often do more, because in his absence, we must stay as neutral as possible. This was the case when we processed certain works of the Pompidou Centre, these being looped sequences on tape, as at the time it was the way continuous works were shown. In a situation like this, we cannot know what is important and what is not, so we copy everything. Without the artist, we cannot decide what is part of the work and what is not.


PACKED: How is the quality control?

Bruno Burtre: During digitisation, an operator checks the levels, looks for defects, and adds any comments that are necessary. Once the digitisation is complete, the operator checks the beginning, the middle and the end of the file. Then there is a random check by the technician who sets the encoding parameters, and validates the file before it is copied to the final media. For the Montreux Jazz Festival, we chose operators who are also musicians, and who have a certain sensitivity that may be important.

Whatever happens, the customer carries out quality control on reception. He will be entitled to an inspection period, the duration of which has been agreed on beforehand. The INA, for example, has twelve weeks to carry out this inspection and during this period we keep the files on our servers. When this period is over, we erase them. In the case of the Montreux Jazz Festival, we send the LTO cartridges, the XD-Cam58 and the DVDs and we keep a copy of the LTO tapes here for the duration of the project. In this way, if an anomaly is detected upon delivery, we can find it on the LTO.


"We mainly use Blackmagic capture cards." Photo: PACKED vzw.


PACKED: What acquisition cards do you use?

Bruno Burtre: We mainly use Blackmagic cards59, in particular the Extreme HD cards, which appeared lately. Blackmagic offers the best value for cards and, as a consequence, they are ever more widespread. Blackmagic design cards are fitted as standard in a large amount of equipment and if you buy a Resolve system60 for calibrating, it uses a Blackmagic card. Cards made by Aja61 and Matrox62 are comparatively expensive.

As a general rule, customers only specify what they want in terms of a final product and then we choose which configuration we are going to use to get there. However, for major projects, the client sometimes specifies which acquisition card must be used. This was the case for the Montreux Jazz Festival, as they wanted to work directly with uncompressed 4:2:2 and a specific Aja codec. They asked us to use a specific Snell & Wilcox 10-bit converter with an Aja acquisition card. As soon as the production line was ready, they came to inspect it and left with files that they validated themselves. Only then did we receive the go-ahead for the operation.


PACKED: How is the maintenance of the equipment managed?

Bruno Burtre: We follow the ISO 9000 standards63, which recommend that we reference each machine, and do periodic inspections, etc. The standard describes quality control of maintenance as well as results, but also how quality control is implemented, the control monitors calibrated, the machines labelled, what are the tools used to certify that a video signal conforms to the original, etc. For the time being, we call on a maintenance company situated in the same building. This company carries out maintenance on all our recording appliances: HD-Cam, Digital Betacam, etc. and of all the equipment that enables us to produce the final media so that we can certify that the recorded signal conforms to the original. Then, we look after the maintenance of all the video players: 1”, U-matic, 2”, etc.


PACKED: When you have to transfer ½” tapes or V2000 cassettes, is the maintenance of these players done in-house?

Bruno Burtre: Yes, we have our own “old-school” maintenance department for the old formats. We have kept the technical documentation of this equipment, it is very important to be able to do this work internally.


An open U-matic player. Photo: PACKED vzw.


PACKED: Is the documentation also something that you organise, in a certain way?

Bruno Burtre: No, not really, as the standard does not oblige us to do so. On the other hand, the manuals and diagrams are all put away in specific cupboards.


PACKED: Do you also keep defective machines that could be used for spare parts?

Bruno Burtre: Yes, but usually, we only take parts from a machine that works perfectly well. If a machine currently being used for transferring breaks down, we will take a card from a machine that is reported as being functional. If we take a card from storage, we cannot be sure that it will work. It is only afterwards that we use the cards from our store, when we want to make the broken machine operational again. Machines can be cannibalised, but not carelessly. For 2”, for example, we have eight machines that are ready and working, and a store of spare cards.


PACKED: Is it the same as for cassettes, some equipment manufacturers are more reliable than others?

Bruno Burtre: No, here we have both professional and non-professional recorders, for example. The paradox lies in that, the latest non-professional VHS recorders are often of better quality than older professional recorders, partly because they have automatic tracking or gain adjustment, etc. Quite often, we get a much more stable picture with a non-professional recorder than with a professional one. On the other hand, tapes such as certain Super-VHS are only readable on professional recorders. This is why we keep Panasonic professional players for S-VHS and Digital-VHS.


PACKED: How is your equipment stored?

Bruno Burtre: Our spare equipment, which is not being used in the transfer rooms, is stored with the archives. It is an area with air-conditioning, because if you store equipment in a place that is too damp, there will be problems with rust, and with grease becoming tacky, etc. It is stored on shelves, at 20°C and 40 to 50 % of relative humidity.


Le stockage des lecteurs utilisés pour le transfert d'anciens formats amateurs. Sur le côté la documentation technique nécessaire à leur maintenance. Photo: PACKED vzw.


PACKED: This might not concern you because you use them frequently, but do you think it is necessary to switch on a machine from time to time if it is not used for a long period of time? Is this something you have thought about?

Bruno Burtre: We don’t have the time to do this, but we do however warm up a machine that has not been used for a long time. We simply switch it to “on”, to avoid the capacitors64 blowing. Then we clean it thoroughly, before putting a tape into it. When a machine has been in storage for a long time, there are often mechanical problems, connected with the silicon-based grease still used in modern video recorders. When this grease becomes solid over time, it has to be cleaned and greased again.


PACKED: How do you manage the expertise of the machines at VectraCom?

Bruno Burtre: The hardest part is finding experienced technicians in electronics, because the young technicians who have just graduated in electronics are hardly capable of recognising a chemical capacitor. Today, electronics are taught using a numeric keypad, but for working on video archives, this is not enough. André Grasset, one of the three directors of VectraCom, is now 73 years old and he is one of the very first technicians to have worked with 2” tapes. He is currently passing on his knowledge to Denis Mahé, but acquiring this type of knowledge requires being an old-school electronics engineer.


PACKED: Your colleague Denis Mahé was already an electronic engineer to begin with?

Bruno Burtre: Yes, Denis Mahé obtained a Baccalaureate in electronics before graduating in audiovisual studies. But he is above all a true enthusiast, who is used to working with audiovisual electronics. You have to be able to tinker around, in a good sense, and such skills are becoming very hard to find. That is why we are thinking ahead, and preparing for André Grasset’s retirement. We are trying to recover of much of his know-how as possible, but it is above all his daily experience of repairing that we are trying to pass on. As the machines get ever older, and the tapes are often in poor condition, failures are very frequent. Recently for example, we experienced a true disaster during which four U-matic video recorders broke down, one after the other.


PACKED: Do the technicians take notes on the failures?

Bruno Burtre: Yes, but these are usually personal documents proper to each technician, or reminders, etc. We have whole notebooks regarding the different formats, 2”, 1”, EIAJ, etc. For ½”, because we only have a few technical diagrams, some have been drawn up by hand.


PACKED: At what point does maintenance come in?

Bruno Burtre: We carry out preventive maintenance on all our recorders, and corrective maintenance on other equipment. For players of old formats, we cannot do preventive maintenance; we only intervene if a breakdown occurs. However, cleaning is done systematically before each use. This includes cleaning the video heads, of all the guide rollers, and the re-lubrication of certain components if it is necessary.


PACKED: How do you manage the required spare parts?

Bruno Burtre: Sony guarantees maintenance up to seven years after an item is removed from sale, so for example they no longer supply parts for Betacam SP players. We currently have a large stock of spare parts and enough video heads, but the solution that we have found for the 2” players is to send them to video head refurbishing companies based in the USA, such as Videomagnetics65 and Aheadtek66. We dispatch our worn-out drum and they will refurbish it completely.

For the EIAJ players, as there are no longer any spare parts at all, we have them custom built. Generally, these machines haven’t had many hours of use, about five hundred, and the guide rollers inside them are not deteriorated. On the other hand, the pinch rollers are often in very poor condition, and in response to this, we found a company that is capable of making the rollers, and recovering old guides, etc. When we had to modify a Telecine in order to transfer 9.5mm film, André Grasset called on them after calculating the necessary diameter of the components.


PACKED: Do you still buy equipment?

Bruno Burtre: Yes, it still happens frequently. We have just bought two audio decks for the Montreux Jazz Festival, one is a 24-track analogue, and the other is 32-tracks digital. These are appliances that we bought from private individuals on the Internet.


PACKED: Internet is the source of choice for buying equipment?

Bruno Burtre: Yes. At Sony we bought ten EIAJ players on the Internet, only two of which actually worked. The others were used for spares. It is not easy to find this type of equipment and it almost always requires repairs. But the electronics of these machines is distinctive and complex. Often the technicians of the era knew how to use the player, without necessarily knowing how to repair it. For broadcasting equipment such as the U-matic players or 1”, we sometimes buy from certain brokers.


PACKED: Do you communicate on your methods of preservation?

Bruno Burtre: VectraCom has always had a fairly open policy with the clients; we have nothing really confidential to keep from them. Of course, we do not give away all of our little secrets, however I think it is better to tell and to explain all the difficulties in transferring a video, so that the archivists do not turn to charlatans. A lot of companies offer archive duplication services, but these are people who do not know the old machines and the rigor that is required for processing audio and video archives; they risk causing even more damage.

It is for this reason that our customers have the possibility of coming when the project is launched, or having us go to meet them to explain everything we intend to do. We have a partnership with the archivists, as they most often know what they want, but do not necessarily know how to get it. It is up to us to find the solutions that are most suited to their demand.


PACKED: Do clients always have very precise demands?

Bruno Burtre: No, a lot of clients ask for “average” restoration in their specifications. But this does not exist; it may take six months just as it may take a few days, depending on the material and the media. In these cases, we do formulate a reply otherwise someone else will be awarded the contract, but it would be better to have a real discussion, as a partnership is not set up in ten minutes. When we give an estimation, it always includes baking and standard cleaning. If But if we have to use lubrication or cleaning with solvents, the cost for the customer will be higher different. Because they often do not even know what is on the tape, the cost of the operation makes them back out.





  • 1. Betacam is a professional videotape format developed by Sony from 1982 and launched in 1983. Like with VHS, the cassettes, with a ½ inch tape, come in two sizes: S and L, which are of two different colours. It was the first professional analog format that allowed separate recording of luminance and chrominance signals.
  • 2. Digital Betacam or DigiBeta is a digital version of the Betacam tape format. For a very long time it has been considered by television and other audiovisual archives as a good archival format because there is no generational loss between two copies.Linear Tape-Open (or LTO) is an open format developed in the late nineties for storing data on magnetic tape.
  • 3. VHS designates a recording standard of video signal onto ½ inch tape developed by JVC in the late 1970s. Its mass distribution was launched in 1976. During the 1980s and 1990s, VHS became the standard format of general public video ahead of its competitors: Sony Betamax and Philips V2000.
  • 4. Digital Video. A format initially used by SONY™ for the output of a digital camera or VCR. The DV format uses a special communication protocol: IEEE1394* (a.k.a. Firewire*, iLink*). The format is basically a digital component video format (YUV*). In PAL it is based on 50 fields/sec and 625 lines per frame and the encoding system is 4:2:0. In NTSC there are 60 fields/sec and 525 lines and the encoding system is 4:1:1. These field and line rates are similar to those used in the analog formats. The audio part of the DV format is digitally encoded but uncompressed, with sampling rates that can be selected by the user: 44.1 kHz @16bits for two sound channels (similar to an audio CD) or @ 12 bit and 32 kHz sampling rate, for four audio channels. The compression rate is about 5:1 and this standard provides a 25Mbit/sec data rate. Every compressed frame is fed in parallel to ten channels during recording (NTSC) or to 12 channels (PAL), therefore, dropout* effects become almost obsolete. There are two cassette sizes for this format: a mini cassette for up to 60 minutes of recording and a regular cassette for up to 240 minutes of recording. Source: Kramer Electronics, LTD.
  • 5. This was a highly popular video system for recording and playback* of video images on 8-mm wide magnetic tape. The advantages of 8-mm systems are flexibility, lightweight cameras, reduced storage space for tapes and the high quality of 8-mm. The system was further developed to use Y/C (s-Video) signals, named Hi-8, but the introduction of the miniDV digital cameras made those standards almost obsolete. Source: Kramer Electronics, LTD.
  • 6. Betacam SP is an analogue video format that came onto the market in 1986 and consists of a ½ inch magnetic video tape in a cassette. It was generally considered to be a stable format of high quality.
  • 7. See:
  • 8. The term Standard Definition (SD) refers to an image resolution of 480 picture lines (for NTSC) or 576 picture lines (for PAL). The resolution describes how many picture lines (horizontal rows of visual information) the video picture is composed of.
  • 9. The term High Definition (HD) currently refers to video formats with a resolution higher than Standard Definition (SD). At the moment there are two HD resolutions, 720 and 1080 picture lines.
  • 10. The term 2K means "2000". This is an abbreviation from the unit of measurement that represents 1000 kilogram. A 2K image resolution is a digital image corresponding to approximately 2048 by 1080 pixels which is 2 kilobytes per line. This particular image definition is used by digital cinema. Source: Wikipedia
  • 11. See:
  • 12. See:
  • 13. See:
  • 14. 2-inch quadruplex (also called 2″ quad, or just quad, for short) was the first practical and commercially successful videotape format. It was developed and released for the broadcast television industry in 1956 by the American Company Ampex.
  • 15. International Video Corporation, or IVC, was a California company that manufactured several models of low to middle-end videotape recorders, or VTRs, for industrial and professional use. Their products were quite popular in the industrial and institutional markets. IVC 800 series 1 Inch VTR was a very popular are reel to reel helical 'mid band' color portable VTR using 1 inch/25mm tape running at 17.2 cm per second/6.77 inches/second. Source: Wikipedia.
  • 16. 1 inch type A (designated Type A by SMPTE) is a reel-to-reel helical scan analog recording videotape format developed by Ampex in 1965, that was one of the first standardized reel-to-reel magnetic tape formats in the 1 inch (25 mm) width; most others of that size at that time were proprietary.
  • 17. 1-inch type B is a videotape format developed by the Bosch Fernseh division of Bosch in Germany in 1976. Its 1”tape was stored on a reel. It was not as successful as its direct competitor, the 1 inch type C.
  • 18. 1 inch Type C is an open-reel professional videotape format co-developed and introduced by Ampex and Sony in 1976. It became the replacement for the then-dominant Quadruplex (2 inch Quad for short) open-reel format, due to the smaller size and slightly higher video quality.
  • 19. MII was a professional analog recording videocassette format developed by Panasonic in 1986 as their answer and competitive product to Sony's Betacam SP format. It was technically similar to Betacam SP, using metal-formulated tape loaded in the cassette, and utilizing component video recording. Source: Wikipedia.
  • 20. Betamax is a type of videocassette with a ½ inch tape. The format was created by Sony in 1975 and was intended for the domestic recording of television.
  • 21. U-matic ¾ inch is an analog video format that was developed by Sony in the late 1960s and consisted of a ¾ inch tape inside a cassette. Its successor was the Betacam analog format.
  • 22. U-matic spawned two variants: BVU (Broadcast Video U-matic), introduced in 1978, and BVU SP (Broadcast Video U-matic Superior Performance), introduced in 1988. These two variants were both designed to improve picture quality.
  • 23. ½” open reel is an analogue video format introduced in 1965. The ½-inch tape is not inside a cassette but on an open spool. The tapes were used in combination with the first portable video recorders and were widely used by artists, lecturers and activists. Broadly speaking, there are two categories of ½” open reel: CV (Consumer Video/Commercial Video) and AV (EIAJ Type 1). Although the tapes look identical, the players are not compatible.
  • 24. The Akai 1/4 inch is a videotape recording format produced by Akai Electric LTD in Tokyo in Japan. The portable system with its camera, came with a small removable video monitor and an optional RF (radio frequency) modulator to enable the use with a television set.
  • 25. VCR (or Video Cassette Recording) is a format for recording video to ½ inch magnetic tape, developed by Philips in 1972. A long-playing version (VCR LP) appeared in 1976.
  • 26. Video 2000 (V2000, Video Compact Cassette, or VCC) is a ½ inch magnetic tape videocassette format produced by Philips and Grundig, designed for the domestic recording of television. It was used from 1979 to 1988 almost exclusively in Europe and competed with VHS and Betamax.
  • 27. A digital video format introduced by SONY™. This format uses DV*-like cassettes, has a 4:1:1 encoding scheme and outputs a 25Mbits/sec data rate. Cassettes come in two sizes- 46 minutes for field use and 180 minutes for desktop VCRs. Source: Kramer Electronics, LTD.
  • 28. A digital component video format introduced by Panasonic™ and Philips BTS™. The format uses two cassette sizes- 6.35mm and 0.5 inch. It provides a stream of digital information @ 25 Mbits/sec and has two uncompressed audio channels. It operated initially at 4:1:1 encoding and 5:1 DCT* compression, but was recently re-introduced at 4:2:2 encoding and a lower, 3:3:1 rate of compression. This has changed the amount of time that can be recorded on tape from 123 minutes for the desktop DVCPRO VCR operating at 4:1:1 to 61.5 minutes at 4:2:2. Source: Kramer Electronics, LTD.
  • 29. D-VHS is a digital recording format developed by JVC, in collaboration with Hitachi, Matsushita, and Philips. The "D" in D-VHS originally stood for Data VHS, but with the expansion of the format from standard definition to high definition capability, JVC renamed it Digital VHS and uses that designation on its website. It uses the same physical cassette format and recording mechanism as S-VHS (but needs higher quality and more expensive tapes), and is capable of recording and displaying both standard definition and high definition content. The content data format is in MPEG transport stream, the same data format used for most digital television applications. The format was introduced in 1998. Source: Wikipedia
  • 30. A recording format utilizing a 19 mm-wide (3/4") video tape and digital component video signals conforming to the ITU-R BT.601-2 (CCIR 601*) standard. Source: Kramer Electronics, LTD.
  • 31. A recording format utilizing a 19 mm-wide (3/4") video tape and digital composite video signals conforming to the SMPTE 244M* standard. Source: Kramer Electronics, LTD.
  • 32. A recording format utilizing a 1/2"-wide video tape and digital composite video signals conforming to the SMPTE 244M* standard.
  • 33. NTSC (National Television Systems Committee) is the American standard for the video colour system. It uses 525 picture lines that are scanned at a speed of 30 images per second. The European standard PAL (Phase Alternate Line) uses 625 pictures lines that are scanned at a speed of 25 images per second.
  • 34. A device used to rectify the results of distorted sync* pulses which are due to mechanical faults (tape transport, tape stretch, etc.). TBCs are also used to synchronize two video sources to allow mixing. In the past, CCD* technology was used to move or alter a video signal in an analog* memory chip which was suitable for simple analog synchronization. However, CCDs had very limited memory capabilities. Therefore, digital TBCs are now common. They usually break down the video signal into its components. This is extremely flexible as it permits storage of a full frame or more in a digital memory device (RAM type chips). They operate in full bandwidth with 8 or more bit conversion schemes and are suitable for professional applications. In the digital domain a similar process is used, named reclocking, which restores stability of a digital signal by restoring the original clock signals and fixing the jittering signal with a stable time base. Source: Kramer Electronics, LTD.
  • 35. 16mm film was introduced by Eastman Kodak in 1923 as an inexpensive amateur alternative to the conventional 35mm film format. 16mm refers to the width of the film. The format was initially directed toward the amateur market and was often referred to as sub-standard film by the professional industry. But 16mm has been extensively used for television production, and is still used by experimental filmmakers and other artists. The two major suppliers of 16mm film today are Kodak and Fujifilm.
  • 36. Le format 35 mm est un standard de pellicule photographique d'une largeur de 35 millimètres, créé à l’origine pour le cinéma. Il reste relativement inchangé depuis son introduction en 1892 par William Dickson et Thomas Edison. Le défilement standard pour le cinéma est de quatre perforations par image, soit environ 53 images par mètre. Le 35 mm a été désigné comme standard international en 1909 et est resté de loin le format dominant, grâce au bon compromis offert entre la qualité de l'image capturée et le coût de la pellicule. L'omniprésence du 35 mm en fait le seul format de l'industrie du cinéma, argentique ou numérique, à pouvoir être projeté dans la quasi-totalité des cinémas du monde. (Source: Wikipédia)
  • 37. Motion JPEG 2000 is defined in ISO/IEC 15444-3 and in ITU-T T.802. It specifies the use of the JPEG 2000 format for timed sequences of images (motion sequences), possibly combined with audio, and composed into an overall presentation. It also defines a file format, based on ISO base media file format (ISO 15444-12). Filename extensions for Motion JPEG 2000 video files are .mj2 and .mjp2 according to RFC 3745.

    Motion JPEG 2000 (often referenced as MJ2 or MJP2) also is under consideration as a digital archival format by the Library of Congress. It is an open ISO standard and an advanced update to MJPEG (or MJ), which was based on the legacy JPEG format. Unlike common video formats, such as MPEG-4 Part 2, WMV, and H.264, MJ2 does not employ temporal or inter-frame compression. Instead, each frame is an independent entity encoded by either a lossy or lossless variant of JPEG 2000. Its physical structure does not depend on time ordering, but it does employ a separate profile to complement the data. For audio, it supports LPCM encoding, as well as various MPEG-4 variants, as "raw" or complement data. Source: Wikipedia

  • 38. A Digital Cinema Package (DCP) is a collection of digital files used to store and convey Digital cinema (DC) audio, image, and data streams. Source: Wikipedia
  • 39. HDCAM, introduced in 1997, is a high-definition video digital recording videocassette version of digital Betacam, using an 8-bit discrete cosine transform (DCT) compressed 3:1:1 recording, in 1080i-compatible down-sampled resolution of 1440×1080, and adding 24p and 23.976 progressive segmented frame (PsF) modes to later models. The HDCAM codec uses rectangular pixels and as such the recorded 1440×1080 content is upsampled to 1920×1080 on playback. The recorded video bit rate is 144 Mbit/s. Audio is also similar, with four channels of AES3 20-bit, 48 kHz digital audio. Like Betacam, HDCAM tapes are produced in small and large cassette sizes; the small cassette uses the same form factor as the original Betamax. The main competitor to HDCAM is the DVCPRO HD format offered by Panasonic. It uses a similar compression scheme and bit rates ranging from 40 Mbit/s to 100 Mbit/s depending on frame rate. Source: Wikipedia
  • 40. HDCAM, introduced in 1997, is an HD version of Digital Betacam, using an 8-bit DCT compressed 3:1:1 recording, in 1080i-compatible downsampled resolution of 1440×1080, and adding 24p and 23.976 PsF modes to later models. The HDCAM codec uses rectangular pixels and as such the recorded 1440×1080 content is upsampled to 1920×1080 on playback. HDCAM SR was introduced in 2003 and standardised in SMPTE 409M-2005. It uses a higher particle density tape and is capable of recording in 10 bits 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 RGB with a video bitrate of 440 Mbit/s, and a total data rate of approx. 600 Mbit/s. Source: Wikipedia
  • 41. DVCPRO HD, also known as DVCPRO100 is a high-definition video format that can be thought of as four DV codecs that work in parallel. Video data rate depends on frame rate and can be as low as 40 Mbit/s for 24 frame/s mode and as high as 100 Mbit/s for 50/60 frame/s modes. Like DVCPRO50, DVCPRO HD employs 4:2:2 color sampling. DVCPRO HD uses smaller raster size than broadcast high definition television: 960x720 pixels for 720p, 1280x1080 for 1080/59.94i and 1440x1080 for 1080/50i. Source: Wikipedia
  • 42. RTI is an American company that sells, amongst other things, machines that clean and evaluate videotapes of different formats such as 1 inch or U-matic.
  • 43. Recortec was a Silicon Valley firm, which built machines for cleaning several tape formats.
  • 44. The Institut National de l' Audiovisuel is located in Bry-sur-Marne in the east of Paris. Since its creation in 1975, INA is the repository of all the archives of the French Radio and Television broadcasting. Its mission is to preserve, restore, preserve and provide thousands of hours of radio and television programs. See the interview with INA on our site:
  • 45. See:
  • 46. See:
  • 47. The Festac was a Festival of Arts and Culture of the Black World held in Lagos, Nigeria in 1977.
  • 48. See:
  • 49. LTO is an acronym for Linear Tape-Open, an open format developed in the late 1990s for storing data on magnetic tape. It quickly became a standard and the most widely used format for storing data. The latest version is LTO-5; launched in 2008, with a capacity of 1.5 TB and a speed of 140 MB/s. LTO-6 has a planned capacity of 3.2 TB and a speed of 270 MB/s.
  • 50. DTF (for Digital Tape Format) is a tape format for data storage developed by Sony. It consists of a cassette that holds a ½ inch tape. There were two versions of DTF; DTF-1 and DTF-2, as well as two different cassette sizes, S and L. Today, Sony has completely stopped the production of this format.
  • 51. The French National Library located in Paris.
  • 52. The Digital Picture Exchange (DPX) is a file format commonly used to work with digital cinema and is a ANSI / SMPTE (268M-2003) standard.
  • 53. There are three tape formats known as DV format: the MiniDV, DVCAM and DVCPRO. All three use the same compression method called DV25 (sometimes referred to as DV compression). The data recorded on each format are the same, but how they are physically on the tape is different. However, a compressed video in DV25 does not need to be recorded on magnetic tape, video files on a computer can also use a DV compression.
  • 54. Final Cut Pro is a non-linear video editing software developed by Macromedia Inc. and then Apple Inc. The most recent version, Final Cut Pro X, runs on Mac personal computers powered by Mac OS X version 10.6.7 or later and using Intel processors. The software allows users to log and transfer video onto a hard drive (internal or external), where it can be edited, processed, and output to a wide variety of formats. Source: Wikipedia.
  • 55. Avid Technology, Inc. is an American company specializing in video and audio production technology; specifically, digital non-linear editing (NLE) systems, management and distribution services. It was created in 1987 and became a publicly traded company in 1993. Avid is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts. Avid products are now used in the television and video industry to create television shows, feature films, and commercials. Media Composer, a professional software-based non-linear editing system is Avid's flagship product. Source: Wikipedia.
  • 56. ProRes 422 is a standard definition and high definition video format developed by Apple Inc. for use in post-production. It was introduced in 2007 with Final Cut Studio 2 and is comparable to the Avid DNxHD codec, which has the same purpose and uses similar data rates. It is a lossy compressed format.
  • 57. The International Federation of Television Archives was founded in 1977. It promotes cooperation among television archives, multimedia and audiovisual archives of libraries, and all those involved in the preservation and use of moving images, sound materials and associated documentation. See:
  • 58. XDCAM is a data carrier for digital cameras and professional player introduced by Sony in 2003. XDCAM cameras use as a media disk or memory cards rather than tape. Bruno Burtre speaks here of the Sony Professional Disc. These discs have a size of 12 cm and are housed in a protective cartridge. They can hold 23 GB of data in a single layer, 50 GB in double layer or 128 GB in quad. layer. Source: Wikipedia.
  • 59. See:
  • 60. See:
  • 61. See:
  • 62.
  • 63. ISO 9000 is a set of standards for quality management published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Source: Wikipedia.
  • 64. A capacitor (formerly known as condenser) is a passive electronic component consisting of a pair of conductors separated by a dielectric (insulator). When a potential difference (voltage) exists across the conductors, an electric field is present in the dielectric. This field stores energy and produces a mechanical force between the conductors. The effect is greatest when there is a narrow separation between large areas of conductor, hence capacitor conductors are often called plates. Practical capacitors are available commercially in many different forms. The type of internal dielectric, the structure of the plates and the device packaging all strongly affect the characteristics of the capacitor, and its applications.
  • 65. See:
  • 66. See:
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