If 25 years’ experience in senior media services roles have taught LMH Managing Director Gary Edwards anything, it’s the importance of preserving legacy archives for the future. He explains how content owners neglect their archives at their peril.

With VOD platforms like Amazon, Netflix and Hulu bringing about a veritable explosion of content, it’s easy to think consumers must be overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of viewing choice that they now have.

And yet the opposite is true: greater choice has led only to an insatiable demand for more and more content.

Content owners are now waking up to the potential value of previously idle legacy archives. They are a prime asset that can be a valuable commodity, both financially for commercial businesses, and creatively for national archives such as the BFI. But proper restoration and preservation is essential.

Specialists in mass legacy archive migration

As a highly experienced media services provider, LMH specialises in the preparation, digitisation, storage and onward delivery of mass archives, both for commercial needs and for historical archives. It is the specialist expertise of our team, acquired over many years working at the forefront of the industry, that lies at the heart of the service the company provides.

We work with our clients to gain a thorough understanding of the rationale behind any migration project. This enables us to correctly define and design the most suitable mass migration workflow for each project – whether that’s an uncompressed or FFV1 codec for a preservation scheme where quality is key, or – for a commercial job, with monetisation as its key driver – something like a ProRes codec. Delivery requirements and format flexibility are also a key consideration.

Pioneering Mediaflex-UMS for end-to-end legacy archive ingest

LMH is pioneering TMD’s Mediaflex-UMS (Unified Media Services) platform to manage a full end-to-end ingest, archiving and delivery service. It’s a hugely powerful tool that augments the company’s already expansive mass archive migration service offering, breathing new life into assets you may long ago have written off as obsolete. Mediaflex automates and streamlines many of our workflows, bringing time and cost savings to our clients.

But the real benefits become apparent when it comes to managing large-scale file-based workflows. The platform’s flexibility for creating highly customised workflows to manage content and its associated metadata helps us build a modular content supply chain solution that means we can be really agile in delivering bespoke digital services to each client’s needs.

Recent acquisitions mean we now boast more than 400 video tape machines, including a massive stock of Sony Betacam family HD and SD decks, as well as weird and wonderful formats ranging from S-VHS to 1”C to Ampex DCT, Panasonic D3/5 and M2. So whatever your archive format, we can help.

Unique toolkit adds value for customers

And we have developed a unique toolkit of ingest methods to aid the process and add value: SERVOLOCK automatically enables recordings, removing the need for manual timing discovery; Interactive Status Reporting (ISR) supplies us with a VTR channel condition xml with each piece of media; our full metadata reporting provides you with tape box and shell images, ISR, Vidchecker AQC, an Indelt tape-cleaning report, descriptive metadata and a Checksum report; and we offer web-based, interactive project-tracking so you know exactly how your project is progressing.

With this formidable array of tools perfectly complemented by the expert experience of our team, LMH offers an unsurpassed mass migration service for legacy archives. You can be assured of a custom-designed workflow for each migration project you undertake, with file delivery to the exact specification needed. Revitalising and monetising your content archive should no longer be daunting; it’s time to be excited instead.

To find out more about how LMH can help you to migrate your legacy format archives, call us on +44 (0)1525 450 001 or email hello@lmh.media

This article first appeared in Broadcast Film and Video in June 2019.