Vision for the future of TV


TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Issue 92 - August 2014

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...

Ultra-HD

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.

Venue Explorer

Gives users the freedom to explore multiple live events taking place in one venue at the same time. It also demonstrates how all audiences could benefit from an Ultra-HD production using standard definition devices. For the Showcase, a fixed wide-angle Ultra-HD camera provided a live feed of all the track and field action taking place in Hampden Park. This allowed users to use a standard tablet to pan around and zoom into the events they’re interested in. The audio will automatically adjust to match the view and, as it’s powered by an Ultra-HD feed, the resolution never drops below standard HD. Interactive graphics overlaid on the video provides additional information relevant to the scene.

4G mobile broadcasting

In a UK fi rst BBC R&D collaborated with EE, Huawei and Qualcomm on a trial to broadcast live footage from the Games over the EE 4G mobile network. Handheld devices are an increasingly popular way of consuming BBC programmes but conventional streaming over mobile networks can buffer or freeze at times of heavy congestion, as content needs to be sent individually to every user. 4G broadcasting offers an alternative to this, allowing live streams to be transmitted once over the mobile network to a large number of users simultaneously. Not only does this offer potential audience benefi ts due to the increased quality and reliability, it can also be a more effi cient way to deliver popular shows and live events to audiences. For further detail please see the BBC R&D website using the above QR quote..

Virtual reality

By combining existing research into 360 degree video and 3D audio, BBC R&D, with the assistance of UCL, created the most immersive live virtual reality broadcast to date. In this demonstration, a panoramic, 360 degree video camera, and a 3D audio microphone were placed into the SSE Hydro Stadium in Glasgow, streaming the live feeds to an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset in the Glasgow Science Centre. This provided the viewer with the sensation of being transported inside the stadium and being part of the crowd. This work forms part of ongoing projects to explore the creative and editorial potential of new consumer audio-visual technology.

Augmented video

An experimental extension to BBC iPlayer that can draw graphical overlays on top of video streams. As with subtitles, these graphics can be activated or deactivated by the viewer. In sport these could include putting names above player’s heads, adding text to show how fast a person is running or highlighting a ball to assist viewers with poor eyesight. Other examples could include adding zoological information about a species being shown in a nature documentary, or showing recipes during a cookery programme. At the Showcase, visitors were able to see the prototype in action, where the graphics were used to provide insights into gymnastics events.


Tags: iss092 | BBC | R&D | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • EBS at IBC 2015

    EBS at IBC 2015

  • Bluebell at NAB 2012

    Bluebell at NAB 2012


Related Shows
  • The future of audio with BBC R&D at BVE

    The future of audio with BBC R&D at BVE


Articles
Switching to Internet Based Distribution
Chris Clark

"An IP status check for the broadcast industry", "Resistance is futile", "IP points the way forward for the broadcast industry"...

Yes, we've read the headlines too. But rather than force you into submission, scare you, or leave you feeling like you have no other choice, we want to give you the information that helps you to make a sensible decision about Internet-based distribution.

So what’s stopping you from making the switch right now?

Tags: iss135 | ip | internet | distribution | cerberus | Chris Clark
Contributing Author Chris Clark Click to read or download PDF
21st Century Technology for 20th Century Content
James Hall A big challenge facing owners of legacy content is rationalising and archiving their tape and film-based media in cost effective and efficient ways, whilst also adding value. Normally the result of this is to find a low cost means of digitising the content – usually leaving them with a bunch of assets on HDD. But then what? How can content owners have their cake and eat it?
Tags: iss135 | legacy | digitising | digitizing | archive | James Hall
Contributing Author James Hall Click to read or download PDF
Future proofing post production storage
Josh Goldenhar Advancements in NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express), the storage protocol designed for flash, are revolutionising data storage. According to G2M Research, the NVMe market will grow to $60 billion by 2021, with 70 percent of all-flash arrays being based on the protocol by 2020. NVMe, acting like steroids for flash-based storage infrastructures, dynamically and dramatically accelerates data delivery.
Tags: iss135 | nvme | sas | sata | it | storage | post production | Josh Goldenhar
Contributing Author Josh Goldenhar Click to read or download PDF
Your two week editing future
Alex Macleod

So here we are - January again! Usually a good time to reflect on the year just gone by, and a good time to look forward to the coming months as the new year begins.

When I was reflecting on my 2018, and when thinking about what to write for my first article for Kit Plus - I kept coming back to one theme - organisation.

Tags: iss135 | editing | mediacity training | premiere pro | dit | Alex Macleod
Contributing Author Alex Macleod Click to read or download PDF
Test, Measurement and Standards
Alan Wheable The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), is a non-profit trade alliance that fosters the adoption of one set of common, ubiquitous, standards-based protocols for interoperability over IP in the media and entertainment, and professional audio/video industries.
Tags: iss135 | omnitek | aims | SNMP | hdr | ai | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF