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TCL producing original content using AI for FAST service

"Nex Stop Paris" uses real voiceover actors to provide dialogue to AI-created characters.

"Nex Stop Paris" uses real voiceover actors to provide dialogue to AI-created characters.

"Next Stop Paris" is the first original series produced by TCL TV Plus Studios, and features voiceover actors providing dialogue for AI-generated characters.
“Next Stop Paris” is the first original series produced by TCL TV Plus Studios, and features voiceover actors providing dialogue for AI-generated characters. (Screen capture by The Desk)

Electronics maker TCL is known for its budget line of feature-filled gadgets like smart TVs and phones. Now, it wants to be known for making groundbreaking original television series and films using new forms of technology.

This week, TCL debuted its new production firm, TCL TV Plus Studios (stylized as TCLtv+ Studios), which will produce original content for its free, ad-supported streaming service of the same name.

TCL TV Plus Studios’ first series, “Next Stop Paris,” uses voiceover actors to provide dialogue for characters that are created using artificial intelligence software. The movie tells the story of a young woman who is heartbroken after her fiancé ran off with someone else at her wedding party — talk about drama.

While riding on a train, the woman has an encounter with a “mysterious stranger,” who helps her overcome her woes while exploring the city of lights together.

Executives at TCL say the film is “an early experiment bringing tech and creative together in a hybrid entertainment format.” The film was overseen by animators, virtual effects experts and AI engineers who are charting the course for what TCL hopes will be years of enabling writers and actors to produce their own premium television content.

“TCL is leading the future of television that will make watching content on TCL TV Plus a deeper, more dimensional experience, bridging the gap between rapidly changing tech to enhance storytelling,” Haohong Wang, the General Manager of TCL Research America, said in a statement.

Wang continued: “The launch of the TCL TV Plus Studio solidifies our commitment and investment in original production, providing an opportunity for exploration in genre bending formats that will help differentiate ourselves in a busy landscape.”

Chris Regina, the Chief Content Officer at TCL, said storytelling will “be at the heart of everything we do.”

“We are empowering creators and storytellers to use this new technology, so the human experience is enriched, and we believe that creatives with limitless imagination will drive endless innovation,” Regina said. “We view Next Stop Paris as an early experiment, and we’re excited to see how it’s received in the town square.”

Regina helped oversee the development of Next Stop Paris, along with TCL Chief Creative Officer Daniel Smith and a team of animators, software engineers and others who will comprise TCL TV Plus Studios’ early workforce.

“We’ve brought together a best-in-class global workforce who value the collaboration for more unique perspectives and diversity in the development space,” Smith said on Friday. “We couldn’t be more excited about the future potential of this creative endeavors.”

TCL TV Plus offers free, ad-supported streaming TV content through a dedicated app on TCL-branded Android TV sets running the latest Google TV software. TCL is planning to bring its free streaming app to other platforms, including TCL-branded Roku TVs, in the near future.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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