RTVA serves both researchers and students by capturing tv and radio channels' digital program stream. Program stream is being archived on a 24/7 basis from 16 radio channels and 11 television channels. Additionally, samples are saved from about seventy radio and twenty television channels. Since the archiving occurs in real-time, the material contains commercials, announcement breaks, and broadcasting errors.
The contents of the digital archive can be accessed at viewing points. These are currently available in six municipalities, at a total of nine locations. Six of them are in deposit libraries, i.e. the National Library of Finland, Oulu University Library, Turku University Library, Åbo Akademi Library, Jyväskylä University Library, and the University of Eastern Finland Library (Joensuu). The remaining three access points are at the Library of Parliament, the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Tampere at the KAVI's own premises in Sörnäinen, Helsinki.
Archive’s content may be viewed and listened to, but for copyright reasons digital copying is prevented.
However, RTVA is not only a digital archive. The law specifies certain program types (e.g. plays, documentaries, audiovisual art works and programs based on literary works, compositions or other original screenplays) which need to be deposited in KAVI in physical, master quality format. This procedure guarantees the best possible quality of the original work.