The Australian Television Archive is pleased to announce the successful recovery and preservation digitisation of 7 x original 1″ inch (Type C) videotapes masters of the highly regarded award-winning Australian documentaries: Banjo’s Australia & Lawson’s Australia.

Originally broadcast during the late ’80s on Network 10 (Australia) both were successfully sold overseas and aired by the BBC (UK), and PBS (USA) with Banjo’s Australia receiving a nomination for an Emmy Award.

Although entirely shot on 16mm film, the original film prints disappeared from Ten’s archives leaving only the 1″ inch videotapes. These had luckily been rescued from destruction back when Ten went into liquidation. Unfortunately, time and improper storage had taken its toll causing each reel to display its own individual problems due to the breakdown of the specific chemical formulations used by each videotape manufacturer.

Each reel was put through a process of heat treatment (ie baking) as well as a light burnishing/cleaning of the magnetic tape surface itself.

Each reel was then played back in real-time with the analogue PAL (composite) signal converted at the machine to a modern SDI signal (with the audio embedded) this then went onto the digitising rack where it was stored on a Solid State Drive (SSD) as a 10bit uncompressed video file.

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