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Leveraging Artificial Intelligence in Digitization

Leveraging Artificial Intelligence in Digitization

Digitization is a necessity today – both for restoring and making it searchable. Be it physical libraries or digital media, media organizations and content owners are investing in digitization and archiving of legacy content. Organizations often spend hours in recreating or searching for content that already exists. Aged and untreated content, discounting metadata, and not choosing the right storage solution often takes a hit on the broadcasters.

While you’re oblivious, artificial intelligence (AI) is changing this scenario. Think of personalized playlists on YouTube or Spotify or recommendations on Netflix and Amazon Prime; broadcasters are using AI to curate a selection of tailormade content.

Few weeks after Donald Trump was elected, the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive aggregated more than 520 hours of televised Trump speeches, debates, interviews, and other broadcasts way back from 2009. Thanks to the Trump Archive, the footage doesn’t get lost in the crowd of news giving journalists, scholars and citizens a chance can track and analyze Trump’s statements on public policy issues.

Netflix claims to save about US$1bn annually due to AI technology’s ability to automate workflows and reduce customer churn.

After Wimbledon 2017, IBM Watson used a cognitive algorithm to produce highlight reels of what it believed were the best shots of the tournament. By automatically analyzing audio and video from the footage to identify highlight worthy shots and points, artificial intelligence saved hundreds of manhours of editors.

Here are five ways in which artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the way we archive, process, and store documents and extract information out of it.

Automated processing

Optical character recognition can recognize texts. AI can additionally read, classify, and automate workflows based on that information in minutes. Initially fed with a set of rules, AI uses machine learning to improve its identification and processing capabilities.

Data extraction

Data extraction reaches a whole new level with AI-powered document management system, which can accurately read the information and understand the context.

Document clustering

AI can also group unclassified documents based on topics, which can help organizations understand the documents within a larger context, find resemblances, and draw conclusions that would otherwise be time-consuming or impossible.

Advanced security

Document management system powered by AI can help impose user access. By using secure biometric techniques like facial recognition to identify employees who can access the data, it can prevent unauthorized viewing or alteration of documents.

Data analytics

Cognitive platforms as a service (PaaS) like Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services and IBM Watson apply techniques like predictive analytics, machine learning, and data visualization to analyze the collected data to improve decision making.

The way ahead…

At IBC2017, for the first time, AI was one of the main themes, which speaks loads about its adoption. Recently, a company named Ripcord has patented and built robots to scan and sort a box full of paper from business cards to legal documents and enter the contents into a searchable database in the cloud. As AI adoption across industries is increasing, we can only hope to see better and faster analysis, and improved decision making across the broadcast industry.

Future of Linear Tape-Open (LTO)

Future of Linear Tape-Open (LTO)

In today’s scenario, so much content is being produced that handling it is the biggest challenge every company is facing. It won’t be wrong to say that every moment becomes a data for further reference from time to time. And where there is data, there is a need for its storage and preservation. The importance is one notch higher in broadcasting and media industry. There is already an ocean of heritage content to be taken care of and the volume is only increasing day by day. Innovators, over a period of time, have come up with various technologies to manage and optimize content to its best possible condition.

It all started in late 1990’s when technology providers Hewlett Packard, IBM Corporation and Quantum Corporation developed and finally introduced the first generation of Linear Tape-Open (LTO), a magnetic tape storage technology in the year 2000 which could hold 100 GB of data in a cartridge. The standard form factor of LTO technology is known by the name Ultrium which is highly scalable and adaptable on multi-platforms like MAC, Linux, and Windows.

LTO has proved revolutionary in terms of data storage with its outstanding performance, capacity, and reliability, combining the advantages of linear multi-channel, data compression, track layout and error correction.
Due to its high success outcome and market demand, regular enhancements have been done and 2017 could see the launch of its 8th generation which can hold data up to 12 TB in a cartridge of the same size. Although, between generations, there are strict compatibility rules clearly defining which drives and cartridges can be used together.

WHY HAS THE INDUSTRY TURNED TO LTO?

The word ‘Tape’ may sound old school but breakthrough enhancement features have made LTO the most suited backup storage medium. Every company needs a storage solution which is high on speed and capacity and has adequate protection levels. Content is available in various forms. LTO Ultrium, being an open format technology provides its users to source data from multiple platforms and store it in a very convenient and easily restored format.
LTO, with each version, have come up with better speed resulting in quick access and recovery. Capacity to store data has increased manifolds. Functionalities like WORM and data encryption provide adequate protection of the valuable data thus by preventing it from getting tampered.

LTO based archiving also proves cost-effective in terms of reduced energy bills and also since storage capacity is ever increasing with each new generation thereby further reducing the cost.

WHAT DOES LTO-8 OFFER?

LTO-8 was recently revealed in 2017, two years after LTO-7. It is obvious to get attracted to the new improved version but many factors go into this big decision making.If we look at the specifications, LTO-8 offers 12 TB of raw data capacity which is 50% more than what is provided by its previous version. The head channel count also goes up to 32 from 16. The compressed transfer rate has also increased from 750 MB/s to 1180 MB/s. The encryption and WORM feature remains the same.

A new feature which aces up LTO-8 is its ability to increase the cartridge capacity of LTO-7 by 50%. LTO-8 drives can also read and write to LTO-7 tapes thus by saving on the huge investments already made.2

So, before making any decision to consider the switchover, a lot of factors have to be considered in terms of budget, usage, last upgraded time and also to what extent the capabilities of new tapes can be leveraged.

To sum up, we can say that when we think of tapes as a storage and recovery solution, we are focussing on future demands of the ever-increasing volume of data which can be stored and accessed in an environment which is secured as well as cost-effective. And LTO, with its roadmap and growth capabilities, promises to be able to endure Big Data challenges with its continuous breakthroughs.

Cultural institutions preserving heritage in digitization era

Cultural institutions preserving heritage in digitization era

Culture forms the backbone of each place and its people are identified by their cultural uniqueness. Some great thinkers started preserving it over the time to keep it alive even after thousands and thousands of years.

Today, each country or community has so much heritage of such great value, it is unimaginable. There is audiovisual history, artifacts, material objects, paper preserves, books and the list of items goes on. This heritage is only adding up with each passing day. Museums, libraries, galleries, cultural institutions are full of priceless content.

When it all started off, no one must have ever thought of the challenges humankind will face to take care of them and keep them alive for generations and generations to come. But slowly and gradually, these institutions started facing issues as far as the quality of these preserves was concerned. With changing times and depleting environmental conditions, it became very difficult to upkeep with the quality of each heritage. The need to secure these valuables became such a worrisome issue and needed a permanent and a highly durable solution to it.

WORLD OF DIGITIZATION AND ITS CHALLENGES

A lot of research went into it and Digitization provided the one-stop solution to all problems these institutions were facing. It brought new life to the ever-diminishing rich cultural heritage of our very existence. But it was just a start. With the onset of digitization journey, cropped up, many challenges.

What to Digitize & How to Store

Not everything could be digitized or preserved. There were various forms in which our history existed and that too in varied conditions. Selecting a thing which was possible to revive and then deciding on how to preserve it became the first and foremost task of digitization specialists. The content had to be selective, holds significance with the motive of preservation and be in a revival condition.

Another concern for the custodians of these historical assets is storing the items once a digital copy has been created. It is a speculated decision of investing resources to store old physical items, such as obsolete audio-video material, or frail paper items or let them go after they have been archived digitally.

The Copyright Issue

Another major issue which affected many digitization projects was The Copyright Issue which had to go through a lot of clearances. In such cases, there was the high risk of content being frail or sub judice. Google Books Library Project is a well-known example for when it started digitizing books of US libraries in 2002, never had they thought what lay ahead. In 2005, members of Association of American Publishers and Authors’ Guild brought proceedings of copyright infringement against Google. It was only after a long battle that in late 2013, Google’s activities were protected as fair use.

Money Matters

Cost is another major issue. Any digitization project – audio, video, or manuscript etc. – involves a huge investment in terms of technology and highly skilled manpower. A fair amount of budget needs to be allocated which depends largely on the content, in its present analog form and how will it be converted digitally. Initially, the main purpose to digitize content was to create a repository. Further commercial use was not something high on agenda. But, over the period of time, its future viability became a major deciding factor before undertaking any project.

SOME OF THE SUCCESSFUL DIGITIZATION PROJECTS

Overcoming all hindrances and obstacles, many digitization projects were undertaken and accomplished the feat.

To name a few, The Star East Asian Library at Columbia University holds a unique collection of over 200 Chinese “paper gods” which were conserved and digitized.

Digitizing history of Australian Museum and South Australian Museum in 2010 is another example wherein digitizing workstations were built to reduce cost and increase productivity. They also enjoyed the luxury of increased budgets from time to time seeing the outcome.

In 2015, a major digitization project was undertaken by University of Michigan Biological Collections to digitize close to 50,000 natural history specimens.

Many libraries namely Library of Congress, The British Library, Australian Islamic Library, South Carolina State Library, German National Library of Medicine, National Library of Indonesia, National Library of Whales are few of the names who have successfully preserved their rich heritage. Furthermore, world-class universities also went the digital way to not only preserve their assets but also made them available for references.

THE IMPACT & ROAD AHEAD

Consistent and sustainable efforts showed positive results and slowly and gradually, all institutions started adopting digitization or digital archiving to save and preserve their assets. Now, it has become a worldwide phenomenon and every place, big or small, has adopted technology to give a new life to their collection.

It is even envisaged that in years to come, the word ‘Digital’ would have no meaning of its own. It would actually mean ‘Default’. Digital libraries and repositories have helped our cultural organizations in not only preserving the vast history but has also aided in its accessibility to a wider audience thus by satisfying its commercial viability as well.

Digitization seems to be the need of present and future to preserve our glory and pass it on to our coming generations for them to understand their roots, their forefathers’ journey of life and evolvement of the human brain. It helps in beautifully integrating the past into the present and together advance towards the future.

The Tube Goes Personal- My Television, My Time, My Way

The Tube Goes Personal- My Television, My Time, My Way

The Tube Goes Personal

It was just another lazy Saturday noon at 41, Manchester lane for the Smiths. Everyone in the family was busy with their routine weekend affairs. Jenny was busy with her preparations for the dinner they were hosting for their family friends and was hoping to get a helping hand from her teenage kids Amber and Alex. She exclaimed looking at her teenage son, Alex “God knows what these kids to up to! They are always hooked to their mobile phones and iPads.”  It was half past seven and Alex was still completely engrossed in his tablet, watching something with rapt attention. Out of sheer curiosity and a bit of anger, Jenny took a peak into Alex’s screen trying to figure what he was glued to.

What Alex shared was a revelation for his mother. He explained how he can catch up on his favorite TV series on his smart phone or a tablet as and when he gets time. The very thought of watching her favorite shows without having to fight for the remote made Jenny smile, and she was super excited to learn that she can enjoy all of her sops simply by downloading an app on her mobile.

A global research suggests that an adult-internet user spends almost 20 hours per week online – consuming media. Interestingly, for the first time ever, Britons will spend around GBP 1.31 billion on video streaming subscriptions and film/TV downloads in 2016, more than on buying and renting DVDs.

My Television, My Way:  Happy Viewers

Television has been constantly reinventing itself and today, it has transformed itself from an idiot box to a smart device offering a personalized experience.  There were times when watching television was a family affair but with growing options, reach and changing preferences, there is a major change in content consumption patterns. While the previous generations fret over missing an episode, the modern viewer is consuming content in a whole new way.

OTT services providers like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon , beIN Connect etc. are now offering subscription based services to consumers on one end and are investing on sourcing content. Netflix has even taken a step forward by entering into production of content.

Cord cutting (the term used for viewers cancelling their television subscription services for alternate content sources) is now catching up with millennials around the world. As a viewer, on-demand TV gives them a choice to watch the content they like anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Getting Heard:  A Marketer’s Delight    

OTT, SVOD, Mobile TV are a fantastic medium for marketers to reach out their audience. Not only does it offer targeted advertising options but it offers meaningful insights for marketers to analyze and optimize their campaigns.  The result is impactful campaigns, reduced media spill and improved ROI.

Feed the Appetite: Content for the Consumers

With this trend shift, the industry is more focused on creating content to cater to the diverse set of viewers. While creating new content is important, re-purposing old content to make it accessible is also equally important. Digitization and management of old content in various formats is necessary for the survival of the heritage. Because, the new generation may not have read the works of Jane Austen, but chances are they would not have missed ‘Emma Approved’, the web-series based on her popular novel Emma.

The Comeback of the Vinyl Records,Thanks to Digital Archiving

The Comeback of the Vinyl Records,Thanks to Digital Archiving

As sunshine peeped through the window today morning, Larry smiled. A long lost smile for the 70-year old gentleman, whose children have moved to greener pastures to pursue their dreams. What remains now is eternal wait – wait for Christmas and Easter holidays, when his big mansion turns to a home.

However, today’s sunshine has a different story to share. Story of a different comeback is waiting for Larry. No, not of his children. But of his passion. Today is Saturday. And Larry is excited to watch Vinyl, which will be aired on television in sometime.

A series that made Larry nostalgic and excited like a child simultaneously. That made him travel back 40 years. And he suddenly started living it all in flashback.

A banker in the prime of youth, Larry was passionate about music. Every day, before numbers and finances took control of his day, he had 30 minutes for himself. 30-minutes of absolute bliss, when, as sunshine peeped through the window, he would close his eyes enjoying Earl Grey tea as Beethoven played in his record player. Those 30-minutes of uninterrupted solitude.

Then one day, the record player broke. Leaving him with “can’t be repaired” from technicians and thousands of favorite vinyl records. And a void that his family failed to understand. Except his grandson Alan.

Alan was browsing through Larry’s collection of records one afternoon and was intrigued by his rare collection. His excitement was answered by a proud smile from Larry. And the 70-year old found camaraderie in his teenage grandson.

It was Alan who gave him the idea to digitize his collection. “It’s easy Grandpa, they’ll just convert it and give it in a USB for storage. And then you can listen to your collection anytime you want, from anywhere,” Alan said.

Alan’s easy solution seemed like a dream come true. Couple of store visits later, he realized his records can be converted to high-resolution audio files, and he can carry them anywhere. The age of technology, he smiled to himself. Who knew he can enjoy the authentic sound of vinyl, with all its warmth and smoothness, anytime and anywhere with digital convenience.

 As Larry savored his morning tea, the sunshine made him happy. His plan for the day is already made. His favorite show on television, a date with the past, and then he would head to the store to get the means to digitize his prized collection.

And then, his 40-year old morning routine would resume. Thanks to digital archiving!

It is indeed a bright sunny Saturday morning!

MediaGuru Wins APAC Stevie Award For Innovation in Digitization

MediaGuru Wins APAC Stevie Award For Innovation in Digitization

We are pleased to share that we have won the bronze Stevie® award for Innovative Services In Audiovisual Digitization in the category “Excellence in Innovation in Technology Industries.”

The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards are the only business awards program to recognize achievement in innovation in 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region. More than 600 nominations from organizations across the Asia-Pacific region were considered this year in various categories. Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners were determined by the average scores of more than 50 executives around the world acting as jury.

With over a decade of experience in delivering media services globally, MediaGuru has gained specialization in providing content digitization, media asset management and technology solutions to broadcasters and media organizations.

Details about the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards and the list of other Stevie Award winners are available at http://Asia.Stevieawards.com.

 

What Happens in Vegas Comes to the Television near You!

What Happens in Vegas Comes to the Television near You!

Vegas lights up to host the NAB Show 2016. As the industry gears up to catch the latest in the show, we bring you the top four driving forces for broadcasters in 2016.

Your Favorite Content Anytime, Anywhere

How many times have you watched all the seasons of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. till date? Or played those quizzes circulating on Facebook that determines which F.R.I.E.N.D.S. character do you resemble?

In the age of digitization, the eternal wait for when your favorite season would be telecasted on TV is over. Now, content can be accessed at the drop of a hat. Today, digital asset management has made it possible to archive, access, share and distribute content to the viewers on the platform of their choice, anytime and anywhere.

As DAM/ MAM (Digital Asset Management/Media Asset Management) vendors bring the yesteryears closer to you, watch out how they innovate to make content inter-operable between systems and broadcast workflows.

Video Digitization

Headphones plugged in, eyes glued to phone screen – a common sight at any public transport, right? While our older generation complains that we are becoming unsocial, watching videos in free time has become a routine. No time to go for a movie – watch a short film instead!

With digital archiving around the corner, we don’t miss any episode of our favorite programs? Over the top (OTT) technology ensures our favorite program gets recorded while we are busy. Video-on-demand brings entertainment to our living room at our will.

As content producers move from making two hour movies to 20-minutes short films, the industry gears up for the next big change. New innovations around interactive TV technology, cloud based media resource planning and video digitization is something to look out for at the NAB Show 2016.

World of Mobile Apps

From networking on social media to playing games, from ordering grocery to keeping a tab of finances, our daily life is ruled by various apps. Be it making travel plans, getting news across as and when it happens, sharing photos, messaging, playing games, or even measuring our steps and daily calories – apps influence almost all our daily activities.

With drones capturing videos, monitoring crops, and flying quadcopters, mobile app developers are setting new standards every day. The NAB Show 2016 promises to introduce a host of new apps to drive engagement with functionality-rich experiences for the broadcast industry.

Merger of Real and Reel Life

You don’t miss a single movie of your favorite star, read all his interviews, listened to all his shows, and follow him on social media. Wouldn’t it be great if you could meet and click a selfie with him? Or attend one of his live shows?

As reel life spills over real life, consumers are looking at extending their digital experience to real life experience. With 3D, 4D and 7D technology already popular, industry is moving from watching a movie to living it with 4DX technology, where viewers live the experience with environmental effects.

How the industry players continue to innovate to provide immersive cinematic experience to consumers is something to watch out for this year.

If you are headed to the NAB show in Las Vegas and would like to meet our experts, drop a line to marketing@mediaguru.com

Watching the 70’s Top of the Chart Movies on a 4K OLED Television

Watching the 70’s Top of the Chart Movies on a 4K OLED Television

Watch your yesteryears come to life!

How would you feel if on a lazy Sunday afternoon, the great white shark from the Jaws (1975) suddenly comes to life in your living room? Or, if you could trade a session of Star Wars on PS4 with your child for the movie?
The movies we grew up on, which made us believe in another world from another time and space are threatened. Yes, just like the genetically engineered dinosaurs that we flock to watch in theaters, our next generation would perhaps never know the excitement of watching Star Wars on screen. To them, perhaps Star Wars would be synonymous to a game you play on the play station.

How would you feel if you can gift your childhood to your child?
With the age of digitization, it is possible. As film historians struggle to save a century of history, they believe that the current state of film restoration in high quality and clarity of 4K resolution is setting a new aesthetic standard.

The rise of digital restoration has been recent. Lee Kline, technical director for The Criterion Collection , says, “We can finally call these restorations. That’s because 4K digital scanning of source material, preferably but not always old film negatives, comes close to the same image quality as traditional 35-millimeter film prints. And it is twice that of the previous (and still prevalent) high standard for digital restorations, 2K.”
Interestingly, digital archiving comes at a time when people are willing to consume good content – be it old films or videos across devices, and are ready to pay for the experience.
4K Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) television gives the viewers that experience. With a resolution of around 8,294,400 pixels or 4K progressive, 4K OLED TVs accurately render colors and provides super sharp images that almost border on life like.

So while film historians restore and preserve the digital assets from various factors like moisture, heat, and natural calamities, go ahead, grab a tub of popcorn and watch your childhood come alive in a 4K OLED television.
You can thank the digital asset managers later!