BBC R&D

Abstract

This paper describes a study comprised of a series of observations and interviews conducted across different cities where a BBC Big Screen was located (Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Bradford and Birmingham, and a temporary screen at CanaryWarf, London).

The study covered a general look at the different ways that people come to engage with the screen on an every day basis as they go about their daily lives. Three different types of viewing are identified and explored – walk by, opportunistic waiting and viewing by appointment.

Over time, some people were able to learn regularities in the content schedule of the Screens, and this allowed people to structure some of their daily activities and routine around this content so that they could watch particular things. Other appointment based viewing centred on more event type content such as sports events or dedicated screenings of local content.

Big-screen content can be an event in itself or play a supporting role in the wider context of a ‘live’ event that is taking place in the vicinity of the screen.

We also considered the big-screens in Interactive mode. We reviewed examples of interactive applications and highlight the value of participation.

We have also looked at the supporting structures around interactivity, such as the role of guides (compere and experts) and the impact of the different types of activity on people of different ages.

Finally we looked at how big-screen managers and local councils work together to design and implement a safety structure that ensures public health and welfare are not adversely affected by the big-screens. A brief review of the types of tool utilised to ensure public safety was was considered alongside incurred costs.

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