Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 has remained a busy year for CGI, with new product launches and a selection of high-profile installations taking place, as well as integrations and partnerships forged with other leading vendors across the industry.
Innovations for newsroom and radio delivery
Scaling from single operators to thousands, and covering on-prem and cloud deployments, remote working, team collaboration and more, CGI’s new innovations highlight the company’s position at the forefront of the rapidly changing media environment and how it is responding to the challenge of shaping new workflows.
Featuring a modern and unified web user interface, NewsBoard enables journalists and editorial teams to organize story-centric production processes directly from anywhere they are working in the world. It uses a customizable and open widget architecture that allows newsrooms to stay flexible to workflow adaptations and allows journalists and editorial teams to organize the story creation process from research, to cross-media planning and distribution of news. All departments — television, radio, online — gain complete visibility into topics, while information from integrated widgets, such as Google Maps, social media, web CMS and more helps ensure journalistic teams are on top of the story.
With StudioDirector 2.0, MOS integration is extended out from the NRCS to studio automation software, enabling a whole range of time-saving tasks to be completed directly from the running order. Each studio layout for a specific show is defined within separate models that contain all mandatory graphics elements, video clips, camera, live, microphone and other directives, and the essential MOS commands for running studio automation. Journalists and directors simply select the desired studio layout for their stories in a show from a predefined list of models. Repetitive tasks, such as insertions and coding the story with the proper automation commands (graphics, camera directives etc.) are all managed by StudioDirector, dramatically freeing up valuable editorial time and reducing the chance of errors, especially when it comes to last-minute edits on fast-moving stories.
For radio, as well as the Viura visual radio solution (see below) and recognizing there are more self-operated studios in existence than ever before as the media landscape shifts, the dira OnAir Player is effectively an all-in-one studio command center. Its modular interface and features have been optimized to give solo radio DJs unmatched control over the content and presentation of their broadcasts, even in extremely demanding environments such as OB. Tasks such as adding an audio or live feed to a schedule, creating a mix between upcoming songs, or editing a text have all been designed to take as little time as possible, with most everyday jobs contained within the single platform.
Installation and integration successes
Occasionally, the pandemic has been front and center of the customer installations that have been undertaken this year. German Radio and Television Broadcaster NDR launched a special Covid-19 news show from its NDR Schwerin studio using a first-phase installation of CGI’s Viura visual radio solution to keep its audience abreast of the fast-breaking news on the virus.
Viura uses intelligent camera control in radio studios driven by CGI’s leading control software, while packaging elements, such as lower thirds or broadcast logos, can be generated automatically and are displayed in the visual playout with the press of a button.
The pop-up show was a resounding success, and NDR1 is scheduled to finalize its Viura installation, as well as integrate it with the dira Medox multi-media content management system, later in the year.
Also hoping for completion before the end of the year is a newly announced installation at Inforadio Budapest. Inforadio is a regional radio station for the greater Budapest area that primarily broadcasts news programs. The dira! system being installed consists of 1.5 studios (the second one is used for business continuity or for pre-production), backend equipment, and approximately 30 clients.
The project is being delivered in cooperation with CGI Hungary and showcases how dira solutions are equally as good fits for commercial broadcasters as they are for public sector broadcaster installations.
ProSiebenSat.1 Production’s editorial network found itself able to use its OpenMedia INFINITY installation remotely, logging into the system at the company’s Munich headquarters via their laptops. As a result, the organization was able to ride out the early days of the pandemic lockdown with only minimal disruption. The OpenMedia installation at the facility is celebrating its seventh year this year, and finds itself continually evolving, with new integrations, workflows, departments, and even external organizations being added all the time. It was just recently upgraded to version 4.4 with Hot-Stand-by capabilities added to system.