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BBC R&D 2020 Showcase trailer
Try it 11 months left
BBC R&D is the future-gazing department of the BBC responsible for world-leading industry research and production tools. We are delighted to be able to share the latest work being developed by some of our teams and provide a glimpse into the future of broadcasting.
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The Inside Story

Welcome to the BBC R&D 2020 Showcase

In this interactive showcase, created with BBC R&D's StoryFormer toolkit, three teams will give you an insight into the innovative work being done by our research engineers, scientists, ethnographers, designers and producers.

You can find out about work being done in Sustainable Engineering, where we are modelling the environmental impact of distributing and consuming BBC television services; in Visual Data Analytics where we examine machine learning models and how to simplify and explain them; and in Data Personalisation, where we consider the issues raised by the use of personal data in today's media.

The content within responds to the choices you make, giving an experience that is personally tailored to your interest and level of understanding.

The work highlighted was due to be presented at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC), however current circumstances have provided us with the opportunity to reimagine how we communicate with audiences, making our work accessible to all.

If you'd like to know more, read on… otherwise click Try to enter the showcase.

In this experience, BBC R&D is going to give you a glimpse into some of the exciting work and experiments that our international cohort of research engineers, scientists, ethnographers, designers, producers and innovation professionals have been doing. We are undertaking work that will change broadcasting as well as producing the tools, product documentation and setting the industry standards that the community will follow for years to come.

We believe the future of broadcasting will be Internet-based, with content that is delivered and consumed over the internet and that IP-based systems will be a fundamental part of the production and distribution process. The responsive, interactive, and personal nature of IP-based services enable richer experiences. It offers opportunities to reach wider audiences and supports more cost-effective workflows. Meanwhile, the rapid growth in the use of personal devices such as smartphones and tablets also creating new possibilities, radically different from those that have come before.

However, the move to IP presents many challenges for broadcasters. The environmental impact of these new ways of working and delivering media and services is not fully understood. The growing use of machine learning technologies can result in ‘black boxes’ in production workflows with unanticipated impacts and new tools for storytelling create demands on creators, developers and production teams to meet enhanced audience expectations.

But we have confidence that these challenges can be overcome and that the benefits outweigh the risks.

In this experience, we have three living presentations each showcasing a different area of research being done by a team in BBC R&D. These living presentations are built on the idea of flexible, dynamic and personalised media and exemplify some of the opportunities that IP offers. At times within each presentation, you will be asked to make choices about where you go next and what level of detail you receive so your visit can be personally tailored to your interest and level of understanding. This kind of production is only possible through IP-based technology, and it is functionality of this kind that gives us such confidence in our direction of travel.

Our Sustainable Engineering team has been modelling the current environmental impact of distributing and consuming BBC television services. As well as how this may change in the future with new technical developments, behaviours and policies. Understanding this landscape is a crucial first step Towards Zero Carbon Broadcasting.

Our Visual Data Analytics team has been researching trained neural networks and interpretable AI examining how the models that underpin these advanced technologies work, with a view to optimising and understanding them so that systems that include them can be better managed and understood.

Our Data Personalisation team has been researching the serious questions around data stewardship and the use of personal data that radical personalisation of media experiences raises. These questions are especially relevant to public service media organisations like the BBC.

These living presentations have been constructed using the BBC Object Based Media tool, Storykit. To try the tool for yourself visit BBC MakerBox for access.

This experience makes reference to a number of papers and blog posts. Links to these can be found below.

BBC R&D research blogs
Sustainability Home
Visual Data Analytics Home
Data Personalisation Home

Sustainability research

Visual Data Analytics research
Analytic Simplification of Neural Network based Intra-Prediction Modes for Video Compression

Chroma Intra Prediction with attention-based CNN architectures

Interpreting CNN for Low Complexity Learned Sub-pixel Motion Compensation in Video Coding

Data Personalisation research

White Papers
Sustainability white paper

BBC R&D 2020 Showcase