WNET’s report on designing and deployinga preservation-compliant media asset management system for television production is now available.
This report describes the design and implementation of a functioning video production media asset management (MAM) system designed specifically to facilitate the preservation of digital public television programs and associated content at public television station WNET in New York.
The implementation of a preservation-compliant production MAM at WNET followed on the completion of the NDIIPP Preserving Digital Public Television project (PDPTV), a six-year partnership between public television stations WNET and WGBH, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and New York University. PDPTV sought to address challenges and develop solutions for the preservation of born-digital public television content, primarily by developing a prototype digital repository at New York University. After several years of testing, and many lessons learned, repository staff concluded that without the adoption of standard file formats and the consistent collection of uniform metadata at public television stations, the repository would not be able to scale to serve the wider public broadcasting community. The processing required to ingest diverse file formats and inconsistent and haphazard metadata records that did not conform to any standard was simply unsustainable. The project concluded that, “this is one of the biggest problems that public broadcasting will have to solve in order to design a successful long-term digital repository.” 
US public television production has traditionally been performed by numerous fiercely independent production units, sometimes several within a single station, using a variety of working methods, tools, and formats. Archiving in the analog era was typically an afterthought, performed locally on an ad hoc basis by only a handful of dedicated stations. The result was that databases were homegrown, catalog records incomplete, and archives contained a multitude of tape and film formats.