Research & Development

, New Broadcasting House, London

BBC R&D In Session is a series of events and curated videos that aim to bring the industry together to explore key engineering issues defining the future of broadcasting and content distribution.

The inaugural In Session event took place in late 2012 at the BBC’s Radio Theatre in New Broadcasting House, chaired by BBC News correspondent Nick Higham. It featured a strong speaker line-up, with experts from the BBC and wider industry addressing key technological and societal questions around the theme of Broadcasting in 2020.

Videos of the event’s seven lectures and interviews have been made available online to encourage debate, spark ideas, inspire collaboration, and help us gauge what viewers and listeners think about the topics discussed. Our aim is to bring more events and add new video content to the In Session collection throughout the year.

We hope that the ideas expressed will encourage dialogue within the industry, and help to set the agenda on the challenges and opportunities of digital technology.


  • In Session: An introduction from Ralph Rivera

    In Session 2012: An introduction from Ralph Rivera

    Ralph Rivera, Director BBC Future Media, introduces BBC R&D's first In Session event, giving an overview of the event's key themes; digital storytelling, creating quality experiences, open standards, and user experience.

  • In Session: Digital storytelling

    In Session 2012: Digital storytelling

    Author and digital anthropologist, Frank Rose, talks about the medium of digital storytelling and addresses the arguments raised in his recent book 'The Art of Immersion'.

  • In Session: What's next? Beyond HDTV and 5.1 audio

    In Session 2012: What's next? Beyond HDTV and 5.1 audio

    Graham Thomas, BBC R&D, discusses R&D's contribution to visual effects, high resolution television, content metadata, 3D audio and the newly established Audio Research Partnership.

  • In Session: Towards a worldwide digital TV standard

    In Session 2012: Towards a worldwide digital TV standard

    Lieven Vermaele, Technical Director, EBU, explores the role of the European Broadcast Union and research and development in working toward a common goal.

  • In Session: History as metadata

    In Session 2012: History as metadata

    Filmaker, Dan Snow, tells us how he views history as metadata and shares his experience in creating the 'Timeline World War II' interactive history app.

  • In Session: The choreography of personal devices

    In Session 2012: The choreography of personal devices

    Louisa Heinrich, Director of Strategy, Fjord, on how services are influencing our behaviour, and how interaction between users and content is evolving.

  • In Session: A New Broadcast System

    In Session 2012: A New Broadcast System

    Matthew Postgate, Controller, BBC R&D, discusses the role of R&D in the information age and the evolution of broadcast systems. He also explores some of the challenges and opportunities we face in a world of content and choice.