Intelligent time calculation system

Time calculation system of presidential debates


The presidential election in Iran is considered the most important political event in the country and the national media has always tried to cover this event in the best possible way, so that all the people, even in the most remote parts of the country, are informed about the programs of the election candidates. For this purpose, in each election period, various programs are designed and produced, one of the most important and influential of which is the debate.

Planning for the debates of the 11th round of Iran’s presidential elections began and experts worked to design a comprehensive and practical program. The final television program required an intelligent system for accurate time detection, calculation and management, which due to the sensitivity and importance of the debates, the utmost accuracy and strictness in the timing of the debates should have been considered.

Since there was a limited time left until the start of the election programs, based on the capabilities and history of cooperation, by leaving the formalities, the design and implementation of this timer system was assigned to the SAMIM Engineering Group.

According to the existing conditions, the project started quickly and immediately after the initial design was prepared, it was implemented. This system, which uses two hardware and software parts, had the possibility to add various functions, but due to the existing time limit, the main focus of the project was on the accurate measurement of the time. The software activates and deactivates the time counter of each user after receiving the audio information of each user (mute and unmute).

SAMIM Engineering Group, as one of the pioneers of the audio and video industry, designed and implemented the “Intelligent Time Calculation System” within two weeks, and after performing numerous quality control tests, provided it to the IRIB organization. This system turned the debates of the 11th presidential election into a landmark among conversational programs, which can be said with certainty that equal opportunities were provided to all election candidates.

The performance and efficiency of this system had well satisfied the expectations and needs of participants and the audience of the program, as can be seen from its news coverage. After this successful experience, the IRIB organization decided to use the same system in the 12th presidential election as well.

This time, before the start of the debate program of the 12th presidential election, IRIB invited SAMIM company to cooperate, and in this period, the new design of the time control and management system in the debates was presented by SAMIM Engineering Group. In this design, new Dome cameras were used for each of the candidates and two reservations, according to their Varifocal Lens technology, it is possible to calculate the speaking time of each candidate independently, and the probability of interference and out-of-turn statements is minimized. Also, in the new version of this project, it is possible to observe the time management status of each candidate in the control room and show it to viewers if needed.

In addition, in order to create more stability and reliability, two Multi Image Processor devices were used, which operated as main and reserve. In this way, it became possible for the director to display the video images of the candidates in a mosaic form on one screen and add the time used by each of them in real time below it.

Also, in 2017, the measurement and calculation of time was done in the form of hardware in order to provide the system with the highest accuracy and the lowest amount of error. Based on needs assessment studies and estimation, the accuracy of calculations was determined to be a thousandth of a second, and this system was designed in such a way that it can calculate and display the conversation time for 32 people. It was also designed in such a way that the sound of nearby people does not affect the timer.

Another challenging point was to recognize and apply the time threshold of “natural silence between words” or “end of conversation” for which the necessary preparations were considered.

In “Intelligent Time Calculation System”, first, the arrangement of the candidates, their specifications and timer are designed by the software on the main monitor and sent to the MIP (Multi Image) device whose production and design is completely done by the experts of SAMIM Group. The signals sent from the microphones are directed to the card and while analyzing the received signal, the counter of each candidate is activated at the hardware level.

By receiving the sound of the microphones through analog and digital audio input, this system is able to identify the time of silence and conversation online by detecting the loudness level instantly (Peak to Peak), the amount of which is based on dBFS (digital sound level unit) can be adjusted between -72 to -24 dBFS(Silent Detection).


At the same time, its intelligent latency can be adjusted between 300 thousandths of a second and 5 seconds to detect the time threshold of natural silence between words or the end of a speech. That’s mean, if the speaker is silent between 300 thousandths of a second and 5 seconds between his speech, depending on the setting, the system does not consider it as the end of the speech and the calculates this time correctly.

In addition, a screen was designed and placed in front of each candidate, which will display online the time calculated for each candidate to inform the time spent and remaining, and also to prove the accuracy of the performance and the assurance of the fair calculation of time without the influence of any possible human error.

“Intelligent time calculation system” once again showed its effectiveness in the debate TV program of the 12th presidential election which makes SAMIM Engineering Group proud, which has always been able to rely on aboriginal experts and powers to use the latest technology to provide its solutions and products and take steps towards the development and progress of the country.