M+E Daily

NAB 2024 Wrap: EPAM, Blu Digital, 2G Digital, Iyuno

LAS VEGAS — Expanded forays into AI-based technologies, new partnerships to improve the quality of localisation, and international expansions north and south of the border. Here’s what EPAM, Blu Digital, 2G Digital, and Iyuno shared at NAB 2024.


A lot of companies used NAB 2024 to debut their first forays into the GenAI technology space.

EPAM got an earlier start than most with GenAI, and used NAB to show how far they are ahead of most everyone else.

“Our GenAI Recommendation Engine piggybacks on technology we created for other things,” said Dave Liu, principal business consultant for media and entertainment at EPAM, speaking about the new technology demoed at the AWS Theater during NAB. The solution can be used to create a personalised experience for viewers, one that drives deeper engagement with content catalogues, and can be easily integrated into existing systems.

“This is a platform we’ve been talking to a lot of customers about,” said Robert Koch global head of telecom, media and entertainment for EPAM. “They want to differentiate themselves, retain customers, optimise revenue sources, and get more usage out of the assets they have.”

And EPAM’s mid-2023 debut of the AI-powered DIAL Orchestration Platform (Deterministic Integrator of Applications and LLMs) — which merges large language models (LLMs) with deterministic code to create a scalable and customisable AI workbench for streamlined AI-driven business solutions — continued to generate interest nearly a year later, Koch said.

“Ultimately, you can use that to build out a lot of other things, subtitling, translations, you name it,” he said.

Developed by EPAM’s Reliable AI Lab (RAIL), DIAL is meant to help companies kick-start their experimentation and innovation efforts around LLMs and AI-native applications, offering a unified user interface to promote development of enterprise assets that co-exist with an organisation’s existing workflows.

EPAM also used NAB to celebrate its recent acquisition of Vates S.A., a software development company based in Argentina that will give EPAM a firm foothold in Latin America.

Blu Digital Group

Paulette Pantoja, CEO of Blu Digital Group, said aloud what a lot of people were probably thinking while hearing about AI nonstop during NAB.

“As the industry is looking to make things more efficient, it’s all about scalability,” “AI is a useful tool, but not a replacement for the human component. It still needs work.”

Interest still abounds for Blu Digital’s DubGenie, the AI-dubbing service tailored toward narrations, documentaries, audio descriptions, interviews, and more … but with the human element still indispensable in making it happen, Pantoja said.

DubGenie seamlessly merges the benefits of AI with human expertise, ensuring the results maintains a level of quality that resonates with the intended audiences.

And Blu Digital is putting in the work elsewhere, with upgrades to its cloud-based BluConductor platform announced coming into the show.

OOONA announced it was integrating its Convert and QC API into BluConductor, allowing users to seamlessly initiate, edit, conform, and undertake a wide range of subtitle tasks directly within the platform.

OOONA’s Convert and QC API is being integrated into BluQC, a sub-application within BluConductor, enriching the suite of media automation QC routines.

“We are thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Blu, who are renowned for outstanding products and services in digital media,” OOONA co-founder and CEO Wayne Garb said in an announcement before NAB. “The integration of our API into BluConductor not only exemplifies the trust and synergy between our teams but also showcases our shared dedication to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in media localisation. This partnership allows us to leverage the strengths of both our technologies, enhancing operational efficiencies and delivering superior value to our clients.”

Also NAB, Blu Digital continued to celebrate its recent expansion into Montreal, with a complete array of post-production, localisation, and distribution offerings debuting in the region.

2G Digital

It’s been more than 30 years now that 2G Digital has been servicing the media and entertainment industry, with a full range of media services, versioning, and localisation offerings, helping more than 500 studio, broadcaster, and IP streaming clients across more than 60 countries.

But don’t let the big numbers fool you, according to Allan McLennan, 2G Digital’s president of corporate growth and advancement: his company is the dream partner for middle-sized and small entertainment players, big enough to get the job done quickly and accurately, but nimble enough to try new things and pivot to new technologies.

“We have an over-arching understanding of end-to-end pipeline management, and we recognise the importance of high-quality content,” McLennan said. “Taking a technological risk shouldn’t require our clients to take a business risk.”

Gary Donnan, CEO advisor for 2G Digital, concurred, noting that his company’s history shows it’s willing to take risks on behalf of clients.

“Some things will work, some things won’t, and what we want to do is take the risk away from our clients,” he said. “We accelerate turnaround times, and find practical methods that work, deployed with the human touch.”

2G Digital arrived at NAB riding the positive feedback from its latest partnership, a team-up with XL8 that will see the companies provide advanced, hybrid AI media services for captioning and localisation, using XL8’s proprietary AI machine translation engines, combined with 2G’s captioning, localisation, and content optimisation services.

“AI is a tremendous tool, but what’s paramount to support AI is the human touch,” McLennan said. “With the XL8 partnership we’re able to lower turnaround time and provide a fast, accurate way to reach your audiences. We’re able to provide tremendous localisation capabilities, and we’ve been evaluating this type of category engagement for the last year.”

XL8’s CRO Josh Pine added in a statement prior to NAB:

“We’ve never looked at XL8’s AI technology taking away anyone’s jobs. In fact, just the opposite. We’ve always envisioned a world where our AI technology creates tremendous efficiencies for Language Service Providers and helps them future proof their business in the AI era. Having 2G Digital Post as a partner who embraces and integrates our powerful AI technology into their legacy, high-quality, human workflow provides a best of both worlds solution.”


The benefits of AI in localisation, an expanded international footprint with a Brazilian acquisition, and some upcoming, soon-to-be-announced upgrades at its Burbank, Calif.-headquarters.

With all that and a team running around NAB looking at new technologies that can improve Iyuno’s business, Nicky McBride, chief revenue officer for the company, had plenty on her plate in Las Vegas.

“It’s a brand new business, an amazing, huge opportunity for our clients to use in localisation, and it’s a very flexible space,” she said of AI permeating so much of the localisation side of the business today. “AI can certainly speed up the subtitling process, and there are benefits for certain tasks. Take live subtitling as an example of where AI isn’t there yet.

“[AI] isn’t about replacing individuals; it’s about augmenting them.”

Iyuno came into NAB ready to show the results of its recent acquisition of Unidub Brazil, a São Paulo-based dubbing studio that gives Iyuno a huge South America presence and the ability to offer end-to-end services in yet another major corner of the world.

Unidub Brazil gives Iyuno a facility with 10 recording rooms and two mixing rooms, including a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 stage, with Netflix, Paramount, Nickelodeon, Viacom, Riot Games, and Lionbridge all familiar with the lvel of work that can be done there.

“Joining Iyuno’s extensive global network is a milestone for Unidub Studios. We are eager to leverage Iyuno’s resources for future growth and continue delivering exceptional dubbing services to our clients,” Wendel Bezerra, founder and CEO of Unidub, said in statement when the deal was first announced.