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BBC R&D: Object-based media trialled

Object-based media is being seen by some as a core element of future media services. The DVB has included object-based audio in its ongoing Ultra HD format discussions and Dolby is bringing its object-based system Atmos into the home.

The BBC though has a focus on the audio and the visual element, testing both recently at the Commonwealth Games from Glasgow. Findings from these trials and revelations about its research roadmap are part of the its portfolio of innovations shown in the IBC Future Zone.

Steve Baily, general manager, BBC R&D, said: “We foresee content becoming more immersive. For example, video with more and better pixels as we look beyond HDTV, and object-based spatial audio. Audiences will demand content with greater levels of personalisation, whether their consumption is on big screens in the home, or mobile devices on the move. We believe object-based media formats will be the solution for the creation of content and services that are easily personalised and consumable on a variety of devices, and are starting to explore the potential opportunities and challenges for object-based media in our research. Our demos at IBC will show some early results, including object-based audio.”

An example of the move to personalised, immersive media in the future IP world is Venue Explorer, a web application that lets viewers explore a UHD panoramic video of a live event, allowing them to zoom into areas of interest, with audio being automatically re-mixed to match the view. Graphical overlays can be switched on to provide data about what is being seen such as background information on sports events, and live data on what is happening.