Integrating OpenMedia at MDR

Integrating OpenMedia at MDR

CGI’s OpenMedia optimizes the broadcast departments across MDR’s Regional Broadcasting Centre radio and television studios in Thuringa, a member of the German 

ARD Group. 

CGI’s OpenMedia was introduced for the first time at MDR in the Thuringia State Broadcasting Centre in Erfurt. Erfurt was the first to incorporate OpenMedia for improved news production of five MDR locations, including the Saxony-Anhalt State Broadcasting Centre in Magdeburg, the Saxony State Broadcasting Centre in Dresden and the Program Management Offices in Halle 

and Leipzig. 

News production across stations can offer potential for synergy along content creation. For example, news reports are first written by a central news editorial office, in order to be subsequently used across the various playout station channels. CGI was tasked with developing a uniform data model that best supported the various requirements for joint planning news production. 

The Challenge 

MDR was looking for an improvement for its cross-media out play content for its TV, radio and online editorial departments. All the departments were working more closely together in recent years to send out stories, highlight breaking news and connect content across teams and needed an easy to use solution for all the departments. This required the possibility of exchanging content across editorial offices and locations, which was straightforward and did not require multiple systems. 

This type of strong editorial network structure required a large number of interfaces, to a wide variety of other systems, including radio production systems. CGI settled on an implementation of dira, which encompasses the entire production workflow required for media management in radio journalism, as well as a bi-directional MOS interface were of particular focus. 

Another project goal was the gradual replacement of the existing newsroom system infrastructure and overhauling MDR’s own system for documenting copyright and royalty information. All inventory data was to be consolidated, merged and transferred to OpenMedia. In addition, parallel operational ability needed to be available for the locations and editorial offices that had not yet been converted to OpenMedia yet, which would enable constant data exchange between Erfurt and the legacy systems at the other four locations. 

“This new tool enables web applications to communicate with OpenMedia via a client-side API. With the help of this API, OpenMedia content can be read, created or edited, among other things, 

taking into account user-specific authorizations.”

The Solution 

Throughout the entire project, CGI worked in close cooperation with MDR. A data model was developed which, on the one hand, does justice to the cross-media approach and, on the other, combined the previous multiple methods into one, easy to use central system dubbed the “ReSy”. The “ReSy” system combines editorial topic and broadcast planning with the requirements for documentation (recording of fee information, copyrights, material lists) and more. 

An essential feature of the data model was the operation of two differing terms “work” and “publication”. In order to do justice to the different terms and definitions (in the television, radio and online world), the creation of an editorial contribution is initially based on a “work” which 

is published or becomes a “publication” in the respective playout path. A distinction is made between the so-called “first publication” (first broadcast) and its repeat publication. A work can be published several times, i.e. “repeated”. Both work and publication always have a unique work or publication ID within the system. All publications of the same work are linked to each other via the common work ID. The relationships thus created form the basis for the correct documentation of royalty and copyright information, improving the management and tracking of multiple use of content. 

At the first station, the MDR Broadcasting Centre in Erfurt, OpenMedia was initiated as a contemporary editorial system with central cross-media scheduling and topic planning. System-wide searches can now be used to research, not only external sources, but also content from the entire MDR. During the second stage of the project at the NewsCenter Thuringia, CGI created the possibility of central news planning, covering all workflow steps from topic planning, editorial preparation, and central provision of internal news reports for the entire MDR network. 

A specially developed interface was used both to migrate data from the legacy systems to OpenMedia and to create the possibility of permanent data exchange, which will continue to enable the exchange of content between the “new” and “old” in the future. The data is exported 

from the respective system in the form of XML files, transformed into the respective target format and then imported into the target system and made available to all users. 

In addition to the classic interfaces: agency input, teleprompter, integration graphic system, CMS system, and subtitling, numerous integrations of specialized web applications were also added through OpenMedia’s ExternalTools feature. This new tool enables web applications to communicate with OpenMedia via a client-side API. With the help of this API, OpenMedia content can be read, created or edited, among other things, taking into account user-specific authorizations. Due to its web-based user interface, account holders are able to continue producing content, anytime, anywhere as long as they have access to the internet; an important benefit for agility and business continuity in rapidly changing circumstances. 

Thanks to the implementation of OpenMedia, and the specially created “ReSy” system at five of MDR’s Broadcasting Centers across Germany, MDR was able to completely revolutionize its broadcast editorial content playout, and management, across all of its radio and television studios bringing complete synchronicity to all departments. 

About CGI 

Founded in 1976, CGI is among the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world. Operating in hundreds of locations across the globe, CGI delivers end-to-end services and solutions, including strategic IT and business consulting, systems integration, managed IT and business process services and intellectual property solutions. CGI’s merger with SCISYS Group PLC in December 2019 with deep expertise in the media and broadcast sectors, as well as the space and defense sectors. 

CGI’s Media Solutions, formerly SCISYS Media Solutions, offer a wide range of professional news and content delivery solutions for innovative media companies across local, national and international markets. This includes the market-leading flagship newsroom and radio delivery software product families OpenMedia and dira, serving many key players in broadcast and delivery. 

For more information, please visit: 

© 2020 CGI INC. 


Imagine Products Integrates ShotPut Pro and TrueCheck With Frame.ioMedia Collaboration Hubread more


Result Is Orders-of-Magnitude Improvement to Workflows for Offloading, Transcoding, and Uploading of Media Files

Anevia Drives Expansion of Argentinian OTT TV Serviceread more


One of Argentina’s leading telecommunication service providers has renewed its trust in Anevia, a leading provider of OTT and IPTV software solutions, for the expansion of its multiscreen TV service.

TVkey Cloud, developed by NAGRA and Samsung, wins Pay-TV Service Innovation of the Year at the VideoTech Innovation Awardsread more


• TVkey Cloud, recognized by industry leaders as “a much better way to watch television”, brings secure premium pay-TV services directly to Internet-connected smart TVs quickly and efficiently – no external device needed • For consumers, TVkey Cloud enables instant activation out-of-the box and direct access to pay-TV services and their favorite OTT apps • For operators, TVkey Cloud enables lower acquisition costs, extended reach to a new consumer segment and an operator-branded aggregated viewing experience on smart TVs

Leave a comment