BBC R&D

Posted by Matt Haynes on , last updated

The bi-weekly notes from the Internet Research and Future Services section.

With two big live events running at the BBC this was a great opportunity for Libby, Andrew N and Chris Newell to configure our ViSTA-TV Live Dashboard to provide real-time data visualisations about who's watching and listening to our many live internet streams from Glastonbury and Wimbledon as we did last year.

The dashboards and some additional statistical charts produced by Andrew McP were made available on site at the festival itself and on many screens around the editorial and social media teams in London, to help them react to what's popular with our audiences.

Diversity Initiative

Rob has been doing some interesting work by looking into how R&D can assist Tony Hall's new Diversity Initiative

On the face of it, it might seem like R&D doesn’t have much to contribute to an HR/Production problem. However, the automated monitoring radio and TV output via face and voice recognition is something which could make a significant contribution to the BBC’s approach, allowing Producers / Commissioners to have highly detailed data about on-screen representation. Rob's been working on generating ground truth data, including having meetings with casting agencies who have highly useful datasets of actors and presenters.

Radiodan

This week Dan and Andrew dug into understanding service discovery protocols by building a simple tool that finds DNS-SD and SSDP services on the local network. In parallel, Libby has also persuaded Carl from UCL to make a Radiodan - he's hopefully going to hook it up to be influenced by some body sensors.

MediaScape

Last week Chris Needham went to the MediaScape technical meeting in Frankfurt to present our work on Cross Platform Authentication and discuss plans for the device/service discovery work in the project. He's now continuing work with Michael Barroco to finalise the first release of the CPA protocol specification.

COMMA

James has been doing lots of work building some monitoring capability into COMMA this week and doing some research around that into various tools, whilst I have been working the Window on the Newsroom team to install a version of the platform within the BBC network.

Yves has done a rare bit of front-end work on the COMMA UI, whilst also adding some improvements to the Mango tagger and benchmarking the Kaldi speech processing toolkit.

Links from around the web

Andrew was impressed with Google’s new “Material design” system and the associated video and mini-site. Gareth pointed out that they’ve already implemented some of the design patterns in their Polymer framework.

Andrew also came across this article from January, entitled "Smart TVs getting dumber is a good and a bad thing”, which hints that manufacturers might be realising that cramming loads of “apps" into a TV user interface might not be such a great thing.