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The AIBs


Broadcasters throughout the world are faced with

an immense problem: how can analogue TV and film

libraries be archived effectively and efficiently to

preserve a country’s audio-visual history for future


It’s a problem on an industrial scale. In almost every

broadcaster there are tape and film libraries running to

tens or even hundreds of kilometres of shelving. The

tape and film stock is degrading. The equipment that

was used to record the programmes in the analogue

era is now obsolete and finding the kit and the spares

to enable analogue tape to be played is increasingly


However, when a country sets its mind to it, these

obstacles can be overcome. That’s what has happened

in Qatar where the Private Engineering Office (PEO)of

the Qatari government has devised and implemented a

solution to the problem.

Hidden away in a rather unassuming Doha location is

a new facility that houses the analogue tape and film

library of both Qatar TV and Al Rayyan TV. A complete

ingest to deep archiving facility has been built.

Two- and one-inch tapes, along with analogue and

digital cassettes (ranging from VHS to DigiBeta), are

cleaned and then ingested. The PEO has bought up

many of the world’s remaining analogue tape machines

and repaired and restored them to broadcast standard.

Old Film Archive Project - Private Engineering Office, Qatar


A team of trained staff ingests all the tape and film into a

central storage system from which every programme and

film is then passed through state-of-the-art computer-

based sound and vision enhancement. From there, the

content – now in a high-quality, easily-accessible digital

format – is made available to a team of historians. They

use their knowledge of Qatar’s history to add vital meta-

tags to every digital file. Through this work, the new

digital archive becomes an immediate resource to the

whole nation – now, and in the future.

The Qatar Old Film Archive Project is arguably the

most comprehensive archiving system that has been

developed in a single undertaking. For this reason, the

Association for International Broadcasting is pleased to

award its 2016 Innovation Award to the Old Film Archive

Project of the Private Engineering Office in Qatar.