February 25, 2022
Posted April 20, 2021

Delivering the Future of Interactive and Personalized Media at Scale

Fergal Ringrose
Live Production Community Director
NAB Amplify
Cr: BBC Research & Development
Cr: BBC Research & Development

“The UK media sector is in the midst of a transition from broadcast infrastructure and services to IP. In addition to the challenge of maintaining the scale and resilience that audiences expect from broadcast, we also need to meet the expectations that audiences have for Internet-delivered content, which they expect to be personalized and customizable to their needs.

“We’ve already done a lot of work on object-based media that lays the foundation for this, and now need to make it possible to create and distribute this kind of content on a large scale.”

Source: Graham Thomas, BBC Research & Development


BBC Research & Development has announced the start of a new five-year Prosperity Partnership with the universities of Surrey and Lancaster to develop and trial new ways to create and deliver object-based media at scale. Through ground breaking collaborative research, the partners aim to transform how audiences can enjoy personalized content and services in future.

The goal is to enable scaled delivery of a wide range of content experiences — efficiently and sustainably — to mainstream audiences via multiple platforms and devices.

Prosperity Partnerships are business-led research partnerships between leading UK-based businesses and their long-term strategic university partners, with match funding from UK Research and Innovation for the benefit of the wider UK economy and society.

The partnership will enable BBC R&D to make the production process much simpler and lower-cost. Working with the University of Surrey, the BBC will develop AI-powered techniques to allow audio and video to be separated into objects (such as individual audio tracks and distinct “layers” from a video scene) and create metadata describing the scene.


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This will allow the content to be assembled to meet particular user needs (such as accessibility), tailored to specific device characteristics (like screen size) or audience interests and context. There is a significant overhead to achieve this in the current production process, as it is geared towards creating “finished” programs rather than the individual components needed to produce flexible content.

Head over to BBC R&D to read the full story.