'Antiques Roadshow' goes tapeless
January 3, 2011

'Antiques Roadshow' goes tapeless

BOSTON — The latest season of PBS’s popular Antiques Roadshow was shot using a tapeless workflow. PBS just began airing Season 15 of Antique Roadshow, which allows everyday folks to have their attic treasures appraised by experts. The show holds six one-day shoots every summer in different cities, and this year captured segments using four HD 1080i cameras feeding into four AJA Ki Pros housed in a mobile unit.

The WGBH crew shot for 10-12 hours straight, stopping only to change drives. An addition Ki Pro was used for the line cut, and five more Ki Pros were used for backup. One Ki Pro also remained at WGBH’s editing suite back in Boston, where it was used to reformat drives for the next city’s shoot. 

Season 15 marks the first time Antiques Roadshow was captured tapelessly. In its previous three seasons, Antiques Roadshow shot HD 1080i and captured on videotape, recording to HDCAM decks. 

The portable Ki Pro records native Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime media, which editors can access directly in their Apple Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer systems. 

Jeff Cronenberg is a series editor and technical director for Antiques Roadshow, and says the use of Ki Pros helped save time in production, as well as helped eliminated significant equipment rental and tape stock costs. According to Cronenberg, the team could record just under three and a half hours of footage on each drive, as opposed to one hour per tape.

Systems integrator Rule Boston Camera worked closely with the show to develop and support the AJA workflow for Season 15.