During the Commonwealth Games BBC Research and Development took the opportunity to unveil a range of new trials and public demonstrations as part of its Games showcase. These experiments brought together a wide range of industry partners and are helping to shape BBC R&D’s vision for the future of TV, and included a number of broadcasting milestones:
• The first ever Ultra-HD broadcast of a Commonwealth Games
• The first major live event to be produced and delivered entirely over the internet
• The first UK trial broadcasting live coverage over 4G mobile networks
• The first live virtual reality broadcast combining 360 degree video with 3D audio
The first public outing for several cutting-edge BBC R&D projects demonstrating the editorial and creative potential of a new internet-based broadcasting system.
Matthew Postgate, Controller of BBC R&D commented, “The future isn’t being created by one company or different companies working in isolation, this is a future that is going to be created by collaboration, and the BBC is committed to open innovation and open research.” The Showcase centred on two broadcasting firsts with BBC R&D’s plans to broadcast certain elements of the Commonwealth Games in Ultra-HD and an initial version of a new internet-based broadcasting system.
The Commonwealth Games gave the perfect platform for BBC R&D to announce the first public demonstrations of projects taking advantage of this new system - demonstrating its potential for richer, more interactive and more personal ways of telling stories to audiences – as well as the first live 4G mobile broadcast in the UK. These include...
Visitors to the Showcase saw a special BBC R&D production of the Commonwealth Games in Ultra-HD, explored some of the technical challenges facing Ultra-HD production, such as using higher frame rates and higher dynamic range, and saw how it’s put together in the BBC’s experimental IP Production Gallery. Visitors also experienced what the future of TV viewing in the home may be like, with a joint demonstration from BBC R&D and Cisco. The demo explored how Ultra-HD footage from the Games could be experienced with adaptable displays and contextual applications that provide a truly immersive and enhanced viewing experience.