In this paper, an integrated information system is presented that offers enhanced search and retrieval capabilities to users of heterogeneous digital audiovisual (a/v) archives. This innovative system exploits the advances in handlings a/v content and related metadata, as introduced by MPEG-4 and worked out by MPEG-7, to offer advanced services characterized by the tri-fold semantic phrasing of the request (query), unified handling and personalized response. The proposed system is targeting the intelligent extraction of semantic information from a/v and text related data taking into account the nature of the queries that users my issue, and the context determined by user profiles. It also provides a personalization process of the response in order to provide end_users with desired information. From a technical point of view, the FAETHON system plays the role of an intermediate access server residing between the end users and multiple heterogeneous audiovisual archives organized according to the new MPEG standards.