Inside WWE's massive video vault

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June 21, 2013

A huge portion of wrestling history is guarded by a robot

“This is the digital archive robot,” Staffaroni told us as we were led into a climate-controlled room housing a state-of-the-art and highly complicated large machine. “It has more than 4,000 slots inside with data tapes that we use to store footage. These tapes can hold approximately 24 hours of footage and that’s just one physical tape.”

We did get the opportunity to see the robot in action. Arms slid back and forth, grabbing tapes and moving them backwards. In the back, green lights indicated the drives that read the tapes.

“When media managers go to archive the high-resolution version of any type of content, it grabs one of these blank tapes, puts it in the drive and records high-res,” Staffaroni explained.

When we asked for the doors to be opened so we could get up close, we were swiftly denied. Maintenance workers were tending to the machine and we were told that very few people have access to open the doors.

“The maintenance in this room is non-stop,” Staffaroni continued. “It is not set to be working automatously in the background. There are people running this thing. Media managers are archiving. Our restoring engineers are constantly upgrading software, and even just mechanically tweaking this thing. There is a lot of maintenance that goes along with the digital robot.”

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