Research & Development

Posted by Frank Melchior, Brendan Crowther on , last updated

This year at IBC, BBC Research & Development is focussed on demonstrating the department’s work around object-based media.

The term ‘object-based media’ has become commonly used to describe the representation of media content by a set of individual assets together with metadata describing their relationships and associations. In the video below Frank Melchior describes the rationale behind why BBC R&D is involved in this area of research and gives an overview of the department’s object-based research projects.

Accessibility is a key driver for Object‐Based Broadcasting. Subtitles and audio description can be viewed as the earliest form of object based content as they are additional content, which can be optionally added to the video and audio. A fully object based approach enables far more issues to be addressed, for example providing variable sound mixes. Below you can see details of just such an example of adjustable content. 

The 5 Live Radio Experiment IBC Demonstration Video

BBC R&D - Object-Based Media

BBC R&D - 2016 in Review - Object Based Broadcasting

Object-based audio content can be rendered in various reproduction scenarios based on a single representation. The options range from conventional stereo to advanced immersive audio systems with the capability to reproduce height information or spatial rendering for headphones as described by Chris Pike in this video:

The Object Based Audio Demonstration Video

Responsive Radio is a term used by BBC R&D to describe a class of radio programmes that use Object-Based Broadcasting principles to provide flexible, personalised listening experiences. Our first Responsive Radio project, a variable length radio documentary, demonstrates the delivery of a radio documentary at a duration set by the listener.

The Responsive Radio IBC Demonstration Video

Object-Based Broadcasting allows for new opportunities to create interactive experiences for our audiences. We are particularly interested in the possibilities this has for enhancing the coverage of live events, and the Venue Explorer is a novel way of giving audiences greater control over the video, audio and on-screen-graphics that comprise the coverage of these events:

The Venue Explorer IBC Demonstration Video

To see live demonstrations of the above projects at IBC this year please visit the BBC Research & Development stand at 8.F18 in the Future Zone.

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