Guardian News & Media.

Delivering a highly customised Media Asset Management
platform for journalist's video news stories

What we did

We’ve worked with The Guardian on several occasions over the last decade and in 2014, following a highly competitive tender process, NMR was awarded the MMIT project to upgrade their entire video storage and workflow infrastructure, replacing several legacy and discontinued platforms with high performance tiered storage, off site backup for Disaster Recovery and archiving to the cloud. On top of this we deployed a highly customised and sophisticated Cantemo Portal Media Asset Management system to enable their journalists to easily commission, create and publish video stories, all from a single user management interface.

Services Provided

  • Software Customisation
  • Media Content Workflow
  • Project Management & Installation
  • Support & Training

Products Used

  • Cantemo Portal MAM
  • Vidispine APIs
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CC
  • ToolsOnAir
  • Just:In
  • Quantum StorNext SAN
  • Object Matrix MatrixStore
  • AWS Elemental Server

How we did it

London, August 2014: Systems integrator and reseller NMR won a six figure contract to upgrade the digital video infrastructure at Guardian News & Media (GNM), the leading global media organisation which publishes, the Guardian newspaper and The Observer newspaper.

Transition from Old to New

The project enabled the current video editing and content creation technology to be replaced with a flexible and future-proof set-up based around Cantemo's Portal Enterprise Media Asset Management (MAM) software, using Vidispine backbone APIs.

The turnkey solution also includes Adobe Creative Cloud with Premiere Pro editing, ToolsOnAir Just:In ingest, a Quantum StorNext high performance SAN and an Object Matrix MatrixStore nearline archive with off site replication.

As well as supplying equipment through its partners, NMR provided installation, integration, customization, migration, training and on-going technical support services.

Final Cut Server Migration

A key component of the project saw current Final Cut Server content migrated to Portal creating a central repository that can be accessed by Guardian staff not only in London but also in other group offices around the world.

"Part of the driver for this upgrade was a requirement to access video from any location. One of the trends we are seeing is that people want web-based interfaces and the ability to access, upload, edit and approve rich media from anywhere in the world. This suits perfectly what Portal offers.” said NMR CEO Neil Anderson

Cantemo Portal, which was selected from a shortlist of five MAM vendors, is used not just for content management and project sharing but also for content discovery and improved distribution.

GNM creates digital video content for its websites and apps and also for TV, cinema and other platforms. Content types include interviews, news and feature items, multi-camera studio shows and re-purposed licensed online feeds. Adobe Premiere editing workstations were installed throughout, replacing the current Apple Final Cut Pro set-up, NMR provided the Final Cut Pro to Premiere training. Object Matrix MatrixStore is used as a high-speed nearline archive with offsite replication with the LTO tape being implemented for storing sensitive material internally within GNM.

Significant customisation was carried out with Swedish IT consultant CodeMill providing a User Interface design while Moo Systems provided a plug-in for the Final Cut Server to Portal migration as well integration of the Portal with the tape library, via Archiware PresSTORE software. A dedicated production management layer will be added to Portal along with rights management capabilities.

NMR have a great track record within the media space and experience of bespoke projects like this. It is not an IT project. It is digital video. But neither is it a ‘Soho’ type installation. This is a new world of broadcast, using broadband to satisfy the public’s appetite for on-demand video content viewed on mobile and other non-TV devices.

Grant Bremner, Digital Transformation Consultant.