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PRESTOSPACE - Preservation towards storage and access. Standardised Practices for audio-visual contents in Europe

Institutions traditionally responsible for preserving audio-visual collections (broadcasters, research institutions, libraries, museums, etc.) face major challenges in taking on the migration to digital formats and the preservation of already digitised holdings. PRESTOSPACE provides technical solutions and integrated systems for digital preservation of all types of audio-visual collections.

Project website

Project type: Integrated Project
Start date: 1 February 2004
Duration: 48 months
EU funding: 9.000.000 €
Number of partners : 34
Project co-ordinator: Institut national de l'audiovisuel (INA), France
Contact: (email removed)

Project description

A wealth of historical, cultural and commercial assets produced with the audiovisual technologies of the 20th century are today at risk of loss within the next 20 years, due to either media deterioration or equipment obsolescence. PRESTOSPACE has developed methodologies and technologies to accelerate preservation and to reduce its cost, based on the concept of a 'Preservation Factory'.

"The idea is that we provide the commercial sector with the technology, the method and the contacts with the not-for-profit sector that will enable them to make use of their expensive equipment when it might otherwise sit idle. They can then offer a service that is much more affordable for the smaller institutions. Basically, we think there's a deal to be struck." ( IST Results Feature ).

R&D work carried out by the PRESTOSPACE partners addressed issues such as digitisation, quality restoration, metadata extraction, storage, network bandwidth, secure interaction, rights management, automatic quality control and effective delivery systems for end-users in the commercial and non-profit sector.

Starting point for the project's work was to run a user survey to collect information on European audiovisual collections, and to obtain an overview of the functional requirements for the tools and services to be developed. These were defined as:

  • For preservation: a fast, affordable datacine, a contactless playback tool for audio disks, automated audio and video preservation tools, a manual tape condition assessment tool and an information system for preservation management;
  • For restoration: a restoration management tool, a defect analysis and description infrastructure, a set of high-level restoration algorithms, a disk-to-disk real-time restoration tool, a film restoration software tool;
  • For storage and archive management: a web-guide and software tools for planning of storage, and for business-case planning for audio-visual preservation and organisation, a logistics and quality insurance system;
  • For metadata, delivery and access: a semi-automatic description tool, an export system for delivering preservation results to medium and large archives and a turnkey system for delivering preservation results to small archives.


Technology developments under PRESTOSPACE comprise audio, film and video scanning tools, including a film scanner specifically dedicated for archive films. Documentation and publication platforms support the encoding and retrieval of audiovisual contents, and are available as a turnkey system providing a scaled down repository tailored for small archives.

This technology set, the 'Preservation Factory' is designed to support both the commercial and non-profit sectors. The integrated semi-automated solution could help reducing costs significantly while maintaining archive quality, and delivering common standardised services available to any European archive owner, from small collections to the largest.

Furthermore, the project has produced guidelines and services for audio, video, and film restoration to manage migration processes and storage, and it has created the basis for a European competence centre for digital preservation.

PRESTOSPACE has obtained wide recognition by the different communities concerned with audiovisual preservation.


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