The audio research team at the BBC investigates the applications and challenges of various audio-related topics. These span the whole broadcast chain, from new production tools and storage formats through to how audio is delivered to and experienced in the home. Our work ranges from relatively short-term projects that address the immediate needs of production and distribution, to longer-term projects where we are conducting fundamental R&D that has the potential to radically change the way that audio is experienced in the future. We are committed to working closely with universities and have set up the Audio Research Partnership to facilitate this.
Our major areas of research are spatial audio, which investigates the various ways of delivering new immersive, flexible audio experiences to the listeners, semantic audio, to enable the characterization and visualisation of audio material for retrieval and navigation in large archives, and quality assessment, to ensure the highest level of quality by assessing audio systems using subjective and objective test methods.
In addition to these research efforts we are the BBC's main channel of representation into the international standards negotiations on the subject of audio technology. Several bodies govern global standards in this area, and our work involves representation and occasionally leadership roles in many of them.