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BBC R&D claims broadcasting firsts for Commonwealth Games

BBC Research and Development will conduct trials and public demos as part of its Commonwealth Games coverage.

BBC Research and Development will conduct a number of new trials and public demos as part of its Commonwealth Games coverage. The experiments are designed to showcase the department’s vision for the future of TV.

BBC R&D claims the plans demonstrate a number of broadcasting milestones, including the first ever Ultra-HD broadcast of a Commonwealth Games; the first major live event to be produced and delivered entirely over the internet; the first UK trial broadcasting live coverage over 4G mobile networks; and the first live virtual reality broadcast combining 360° video with 3D audio.

Matthew Postgate, controller of BBC R&D commented, “The future isn’t being created by one company or different companies working in isolation, this is a future that is going to be created by collaboration, and the BBC is committed to open innovation and open research.”

The showcase centres on BBC R&D’s recently announced plans to broadcast certain elements of the Commonwealth Games in Ultra-HD and an initial version of a new internet-based broadcasting system.

The BBC has worked with a number of partners for the trials, including UCL, to create an immersive live virtual reality broadcast. In this demonstration, a panoramic, 360° video camera, and a 3D audio microphone will be placed into the SSE Hydro Stadium in Glasgow, streaming the live feeds to an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset in the Glasgow Science Centre.

The viewing public will be able to watch the trials and demonstrations at the Glasgow Science Centre throughout the Commonwealth Games, which open on 24 July and conclude 3 August.