Smithsonian Channel, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and The Smithsonian Institution, maintains a large collection of original field footage, as well as production copies of archival footage from the Smithsonian Institution, the US National Archives and organizations such as NASA.
To keep these treasured assets protected for the long-term, while also maintaining a working archive, Smithsonian Channel made the strategic decision to base its archive future around LTO-tape, using the LTFS format, and harnessed Cache-A archive equipment to undertake this vital aspect of its work. Older productions, shot mainly on videotape, are now being systematically digitized, and transferred to LTO-tape, alongside newer programs, that have been shot and post produced using file-based tools and formats.
Archivist Karma Foley says,
“We looked closely at several companies offering LTO appliances, and felt Cache-A was the most approachable and offered the most user-friendly technology. Very attractive to us was the Cache-A web interface that allows staff in different areas of the office to write tapes and retrieve materials. Furthermore, we did not want to be locked into software or hardware decisions in the future, so we really liked Cache-A’s commitment to supporting open file formats, with tar and LTFS, as this would allow us to retrieve material down the line irrespective of the appliance in the future.”