Cambridge Imaging Systems help build British Library Moving Image Archive

A highly prestigious contract to supply the British Library with an advanced digital archive management system, known as Box of Broadcasts or simply ‘BoB', has been secured by Cambridge Imaging Systems.

The British Library contains over 150 million items including a moving image collection of around 40,000 titles. As part of the Library's extensive plans to improve digital access, the Library has brought in Cambridge Imaging Systems to provide the digital video management technology required to host selected digital video files from the archives and to record, store, describe, locate and deliver access within the Library to television and radio news programmes.

Cambridge Imaging Systems' Box of Broadcasts package is an advanced off-air recording system which has been developed over a number of years, principally for use by the BBC, BUFVC (British Universities Film and Video Council) and the Ministry of Defence.

BoB is capable of capturing tens of thousands of hours of television and radio content per year from many channels and distributing that content to many users via the computer's normal web browser. The system also enables users to search for archived material using a variety of search criteria. The British Library project will extend the functionality and scalability of BoB by integration with Imagen2, the latest edition of Cambridge Imaging Systems Media Asset Management and Digital Workflow Manager.

Kristian Jensen, Head of British Collections at the British Library, said:

“This project marks the beginning of a far greater role for moving images at the British Library. It will vastly improve onsite access to the Library's existing moving image collections. It will also allow us to expand the archive to include a significant volume of television and radio news programming, enabling us to better meet researchers' increasing demands for access to multimedia content. The Library's moving image collection will increasingly become integrated with other related material, such as the Library's digital newspaper collections, providing researchers with a unique archive of the UK's media output.”

Tone Blake of Cambridge Imaging Systems said:

“We are delighted to work with The British Library on this important project. BoB is becoming increasingly popular throughout the academic and archive sectors and with each new project we are developing additional features and expanding BoB's uses. We look forward to completing the project by early summer this year.”

Notes to Editors

The Box of Broadcasts system uses T-Gate DVB receivers to tune into digital television stations – as directed by the system management software. T-Gates were developed by Cambridge Imaging Systems and are now manufactured under license by CableTime.

T-Gate is a solid state DVB-T to IP gateway. Each T-Gate blade takes an RF DVB-T feed, extracts and filters the MPEG-2 Transport Stream packets and retransmits them to multiple multicast or unicast UDP targets via an Ethernet interface. Using a single T-Gate blade, a number of Digital Terrestrial TV and Radio services can be transferred to standard Ethernet networks and then saved to networked storage servers.

Once a transport stream for an entire programme has been captured the MPEG-2 file is sent to the CIS TranscoderServer application which can convert the file into an access copy. This is typically H.264 in a Flash Video wrapper for video or MP3 or AAC for audio, but many other file formats can also be generated.

Cambridge Imaging Systems Media Contact - John Foster +44 (0)1473 652195 / mediamatters@mac.com

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The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - www.bl.uk - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.