Advanced Television

Ideal Systems integrates AI, NDI, Metaverse for blinx in Dubai

November 7, 2023

Ideal Systems has successfully delivered a state-of-the-art Media Creation Hub for Dubai based blinx, a youth-oriented media and news organisation for the Middle East. The new Hub creates multi-platform content to resonate with digital native Gen-Z and Millennials by being diverse, inclusive, and culturally relevant. The facility includes a next gen metaverse / extended reality (XR) studio, as well as cutting-edge video production facilities and control rooms. The studios are fitted with the latest live production tools including Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems to assist content creators to craft content. The setup includes a complete 4K-ready audio and video chain facilitated by modern AI, NDI and Dante tools.

blinx was created by Nakhle Elhage, a well-known Arab broadcast journalist who stated: “Our aim is to attract Gen Z viewers and millennials who prefer getting all their information, whether news or entertainment on social platforms today. We bring the live production experience to multiple smart devices and screens, creating a holistic on-demand social ecosystem where MENA youth audiences will be able to find culturally relevant content at their fingertips.”

The core of blinx’s operation is based on an end-to-end NDI/Dante video/audio chain. The 4K system was designed and implemented through the partnership between blinx and Ideal Systems teams who worked closely with a number of leading and innovative media technology manufacturers to create the state-of-the-art Media Creation Hub solution. blinx Chief Creative Officer Fadi Radi stated “Traditional broadcasters use a one-to-many communication model. Our digital platforms, however, will leverage personalisation and interactive features to engage our audience more directly and meaningfully. blinx is data-driven and uses AI extensively to reach our audience through scientific methodologies.”

The blinx core video backend is NDI based on virtual NDI infrastructure from Sienna and NDI hardware from Kiloview, which provides a comprehensive suite of NDI processing tools. blinx’s unique integration of a redundant NDI router from Sienna and Densitron’s control system for seamless routing capabilities, form a fully redundant Tier-1 broadcast grade NDI core for the facility. For audio, Ideal provided Dante audio consoles and processing modules from Solid State Logic (SSL). A notable feature of the blinx’s setup is the inclusion of XR studio sets and LED screens from Liantronics, providing a cost- effective solution for XR/AR production.

“We built an XR production studio with the help of fine pitch LED Display supplier LianTronics utilising the latest LED Technologies and Mo-sys tracking,” explained Ayman Khatib Ideal’s Head of MENA Region.

Ideal provided blinx with hybrid MAM and NRCS systems, supported by cloud and AI services from AWS. These systems enable blinx to create and manage media content effectively and provide a better user experience.

Mimir, a cloud-based video collaboration and production tool, forms the backbone of blinx’s editing suite with various AI and production workflow tools, while Dina, a cloud newsroom tool, drives the news and editorial workflows with Vizrt powered graphics and virtual studios. The integration of AI into blinx’s operations helps with content recommendation and creation, personalisation, automatic tagging, and metadata generation and enrichment, as well as content creation. By enriching video and media assets with metadata, AI helps improve searchability and the optimisation of content for search engine ranking. Videos are easily transcribed into any language, making it easy to find assets based on spoken words in transcripts, object and face detection, and many
more parameters created by AI. Videos and images are accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection, and reused across multiple applications in blinx, such as ingesting video content over NDI, for searching and adding media to their news stories in Dina.

To cater to younger audiences who prefer graphics-heavy content, blinx employs Vizrt tools to create high-quality virtual sets, augmented reality (AR) graphics, and interactive elements. Remote production and automation tools enable blinx to produce 4K ready content in the cloud, ensuring it can be delivered to various devices in the correct format, with different graphics sets on each one to fit the device optimised for how the viewers want to consume content.

“The innovative approach taken by blinx set it apart from legacy broadcasters and represents the future of news and content production, offering a modern media hub that leverages personalisation and interactive features to engage younger audiences while data-driven and AI-enabled technologies dramatically increase the speed and efficiency of multi-platform content production and creation,” said Ayman Khatib Head of MENA Region for Ideal Systems.

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