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How Narrative launched a 100% cloud-based broadcast platform

Narrative

Narrative is the largest independent TV broadcaster in the UK with aportfolio spanning Movies, Entertainment and Kids’ TV. The businessincludes the largest free-to-air network of Movie and Entertainmentchannels in the U.K under the GREAT! brand, as well ascomplimentary free-to-watch digital extensions to launch this year.Additionally, the portfolio includes the largest commercial networkof kids’ channels in the country (POP, Tiny Pop and Pop Max) as wellas a kids-focused VOD service, POP Player, available via TV andmobile. Collectively, the channels offer more than 6,400 hours ofcontent across the web, mobile, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media andFreesat.

Narrative’s objective was to migrate, store and manage its vast feature film and TV show digital archive, whilst moving users and partners to an entirely online, cloud-based end-to-end broadcast workflow including ingest, quality control, editing and file delivery.
Following an in-depth consultancy and RFP managed on behalf of Narrative by the HAWK MediaPartnership, base was selected as the specialist partner to create a bespoke cloud solution for Narrative, including the development of custom software connections and integrations. base’s partner, AWS was chosen by Narrative for the back-end public cloud hosting environment. An accelerated file transfer solution was integrated into the workflow to ensure secure, affordable, and automated media delivery directly into AWS. A major benefit this provides Narrative is the ability for media to be curated from a global network of content partners, including major film studios, into one central storage hub. This streamlines the workflow and saves time for users.

A base Media Library (MAM) solution forms the foundation of the digital media workflows to enable Narrative to manage assets easily from any location as well as to trigger custom transcoding, automated quality control and broadcast file delivery workflows from one seamless interface.

The cloud-based Media Library allows for instant access to Narrative’s entire content library from anywhere via the Internet, on any device that can run a web browser. The Narrative team can check deliveries, send files to broadcast and even comment, review, and approve videos directly from their phone if required.

To enable full remote working, a virtual post-production platform running Adobe Premiere Pro software was integrated to theNarrative platform, creating a full-feature edit facility. This enables the Narrative compliance editing team to access media from anywhere, editing full HD masters using the enterprise level network speeds available within AWS. The completed projects and masters are uploaded back into the Media Library for final review, mastering, quality control and broadcast play out delivery. base collaborated with other third-party Narrative vendors to create custom connections between their Broadcast Management System(BMS), professional transcoder and Video On Demand (VOD)streaming platform.

The entire platform was designed, developed and deployed by base in record time, project directed by base CTO andProfessional Services lead consultant, Damon Neale. Now in full-time production, base provides Narrative with a fully managed cloud service, including 24/7/365 premium support SLA, user training, account management and the option to continuously improve and develop the platform with new custom features to meet Narrative’s evolving business needs.

This 100% cloud-native solution frees up time for the Narrative team to work more efficiently from anywhere, without the headache of procuring, managing and supporting complex IT hardware, networks and software systems. Narrative can focus on their core business of creating high-quality channels and serving 24/7 content to their audiences.

Overall, efficiencies have been increased due to a reduction in time waiting for deliveries. Editors can work flexibly, allowing cost-savings to be made on physical office spaces and on-premise hardware. The project is an exciting demonstration of how forward- thinking, agile companies can create sustainable and future- proof work environments.

"We selected base as our cloud solutions partner because they stood out in the crowd as a high-quality, very experienced team with a forward-looking approach to media workflows. They understood what we needed and tailored a custom cloud for us, instead of being a product company trying to push their particular tool. It is mind-blowing how far the industry has come since the days of machine rooms full of hardware. With base, my team can literally go onto wi-fi, login to a web browser and get their jobs done.” Remy Minute, CEO, Narrative Entertainment