Delivering More With Less: An Interview With Fintan McKiernan from Ideal Systems

headshot of victoria moseley-marinoff, community manager at NDI

Victoria Moseley-Marinoff

8 November ‘23 5 mins read Community

Fintan McKiernan is a well-known name in our Connected Community. Stationed in Singapore and responsible for the Southeast Asia region for Ideal Systems, one of the most relevant broadcast system integrators in the region, Fintan has been pushing the envelope for what can be achieved with NDI in real, performance-driven setups. We sat down with him – remotely – to learn more about his relationship with NDI and the evolution of the IP broadcast business.

Fintan McKiernan

Please tell us a bit about Ideal Systems.
Ideal Systems began its journey as a broadcast systems integrator 33 years ago and has since expanded across the Asia Pacific region. Our involvement in various media projects has encompassed not only numerous broadcasters but also unexpected players in the media landscape—companies not traditionally associated with the media industry. For instance, we’ve created and implemented media processing systems for companies like Tencent in China.

We operate within three primary domains. The first revolves around our heritage in the broadcast segment. The second is the expansive Pro AV market (which is a broad and complex market in its own right). The third domain blurs the boundaries between broadcast and Pro AV, focusing on cloud and AI. The common thread that pulls all that together is professional video, video transmission, video systems, and video production. You could say that audio and video are our DNA.

Do you remember the first time you heard about NDI?
Honestly, I don’t. It’s like taking a walk in Ireland on a damp day. You don’t exactly pinpoint the instant you became soaked. One day, I realized that it was a damp day, and I was completely drenched in NDI. It seemed to seep into me almost effortlessly, as if by osmosis.

We were aware of this technology in the background, but the first time it caught our attention was during a project during the pandemic. The Singaporean Government was organizing a significant annual conference for the Ministry of Finance. Usually, the conference would host around 20,000 attendees, with the majority flying into Singapore for a few days. However, due to the lockdowns, people couldn’t travel into the country. The situation demanded a different approach. They aimed to maintain a physical conference with delegates and locals while virtually including everyone else who couldn’t attend physically, but everyone could engage with each other.

We were playing around with a few technologies that would provide the best experience, and where we ended up was with NDI and testing NDI PTZ cameras. We were also using the Tricaster and a specific feature that allowed us to pull certain people out of their zoom as an NDI feed and have them be switchable and be able to put them on a giant LED screen we had set up. Because we were using NDI, we had a much higher resolution. This project was truly a baptism for us with NDI and Tricaster

What can be accomplished now with NDI that was previously impossible?
We’re currently exploring NDI in various domains. Once more, three contributing factors created the perfect storm for us. Firstly, our background in broadcast is a key factor. We have extensive experience in constructing numerous studios. Over the past 30 years, we’ve developed technology and designed architectures that fuel newsrooms, sports studios, and daytime television studios. Our track record includes constructing hundreds of studios across Asia.

Secondly, significant shifts have occurred in corporate communication methodologies. Historically, many larger corporations would engage an advertising company to craft a TV advertisement. This outsourcing model led to most companies not requiring in-house video production. When we look at how things are today, thanks mainly to the advances of mobile phones, which have become super effective television receivers for high-quality video and audio, video is everywhere.

We’ve got this explosion in corporate communications with video. That means you’ve got many more corporations globally producing video, whether for building out their brand or just disseminating information internally. Video has become a requirement of communications in general and has developed into a demand. And to respond to that demand, NDI came along, making video production simpler, cheaper, and quicker.

Combining those two with corporate timing put us in a perfect position because, with NDI, we can build content studios that look like TV broadcast-level but are substantially cheaper and easier to use. 

Even if those corporations have more money, they are happier with NDI because it’s easier to use, easier to train, and they get results quicker, as simple as that.

What’s an example of a workflow that Ideal System installs that incorporates NDI?
Our standard workflow for studios is a simple multicamera studio, using only NDI and IP cables. One thing that nearly all our customers like is the ability to bring in virtual sets and chroma assets within the Tricaster and then use that NDI extraction feature to remove NDI from a Zoom call and bring people directly into a live broadcast.

We provide our customers with an experience that is very professional and can compete in terms of quality with the bigger corporations out there that have access to large-scale studios, and they love that.

When your customers get geeked out because their video production looks so good that they think they’ve got a bargain, that’s great.

So that’s a huge check mark for NDI – if you can do it better and you can do it cheaper than the existing technology and still keep the quality and still keep it robust, it’s a no-brainer, right?

Further Info

Ideal Systems is Asia’s leading systems integrator for broadcast, cloud and professional AV. Check them out here.


NDI® is a registered trademark of Vizrt NDI AB.

About the author

Victoria is the Community Manager at NDI. With a background in data and AI-oriented communities, Victoria brings her expertise to the forefront as she takes charge of building and nurturing our vibrant community. Passionate about fostering strong connections, Victoria is committed to engaging and learning from each member of the NDI Connected Community.

headshot of victoria moseley-marinoff, community manager at NDI

Victoria Moseley-Marinoff

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