Creating and delivering the NT Digital
Archive at the National Theatre
The National Theatre decided to install a remote three-camera pan and tilt setup in their main theatre, so they could create a digital archive of past performances and make finding out about a specific performer, play or scene easier for students and researchers. We helped them find the camera and capture system, then teamed up with Armadillo to build a simple, user-friendly archive interface.
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Why did they come to us?
They’d decided it was time to upgrade to a three-camera tapeless setup that would give them the ability to cover more of the stage and capture footage from more angles, as well as improving picture quality.
What did they need?
They wanted to upgrade their video setup to a three-camera tapeless system, as well as move all their existing footage into a dynamic, interactive archive that’d help users find the footage they needed without hours of searching.
How did we help?
To ensure the National’s cameras could cover the whole stage we worked with Panasonic’s engineers to design a system that would meet their requirements, providing three pan and tilt heads holding box cameras. For the archive system, our consultants helped the National team review designs from a number of user interface and user design companies. Together with Armadillo Systems, we joined forces with the National to design and build a user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI). Alongside the SAN system we also installed Qmaster, a redistribution application which speeds up compression and transcoding tasks by splitting them between computers and cores for maximum efficiency.
What were the benefits?
The National Theatre Digital Archive is now quickly, easily and centrally accessible. Students and researchers can perform searches to get access to specific clips, while the archive team have plenty of storage to house live edits and master shots of future performances, and can access them via a user-friendly, cross-platform GUI.
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Who are National Theatre?
One of Britain’s most popular and versatile theatres, National Theatre were founded in 1963 and now comprises three stages and numerous exhibition spaces.