IBC2019 Set to Showcase Media-Telco Catalyst Innovation Projects


IBC, the world’s most influential media, entertainment & technology show, in collaboration with TM Forum, the industry association driving digital business transformation have announced today that a second phase of Media-Telecom Catalyst innovation projects will be showcased at IBC2019 (13-17 September) in Amsterdam.

IBC and TM Forum have been working together to bring the fast-track innovation cycle to the media and technology ecosystem, reflecting the pace of convergence in the broadcasting, entertainment, telecoms and technology sectors. Catalysts are proof-of-concept projects developed collaboratively. The projects bring together companies large and small to create innovate solutions to common industry challenges.

Three unique projects are the result of IBC and TM Forum’s collaboration aimed at driving open innovation between the media, technology and telecoms sectors. They address some of today’s most complex business and technology challenges, including 5G, data management, virtual and augmented reality, edge computing, AI and the automation of business processes for regulatory compliance.

At IBC2019, phase two results of these advanced proof-of-concept Catalyst projects will be unveiled.

These will include:

A collaboration between Al Jazeera, RTÉ, Associated Press, BBC, BT, V-Nova and Aviwest on a project designed to improve the quality and reliability of mobile news gathering and faster time-to-air for live and pre-recorded video, leveraging AI and the new MPEG-5 Part 2 LCEVC compression standard to maximise use of available mobile bandwidth.

A collaboration between the University of Bristol, BBC R&D, Aardman Entertainment, Zeetta Networks and Cambridge Communications Systems (CCS) exploits the exciting new capabilities of 5G for a VR/AR enabled immersive tourism experience at the Roman Baths.

A collaboration between Al Jazeera, RTÉ, Associated Press, V-Nova, TechMahindra, Metaliquid and QCRI (Qatar Computer Research Institute, HBKU) using highly efficient AI visual analysis to rapidly identify, index, and measure political balance and enhance accuracy of on-air content, supporting broadcasters and content owners regarding their regulatory measurement and compliance processes.

Grant Totten, Head of Cloud, Data Analytics & AI, Al Jazeera, said: “Al Jazeera has been delighted by the Media-Telco Catalyst approach, working collaboratively alongside colleagues from RTÉ, BBC, BT and Associated Press and with world-class vendor partners to address some pressing collective challenges on our digital transformation journey. Across two key projects we have utilised state-of-the-art AI and intelligent compression techniques to make significant advances; enhancing live mobile reporting capabilities for journalists and their news teams and exploiting AI to automate the processes of monitoring and measurement of on-air content, for regulatory and editorial standards compliance. With some very ambitious goals, we have been able to short circuit the typical in-house cycle for R&D considerably, as well as extend the scope of our original goals by some way. We are all very excited to be showcasing these projects at IBC2019 in September.”

Graham Thomas, Section Head for Immersive and Interactive Content of BBC R&D, said: “BBC R&D has been exploring how to create and deliver new kinds of content to delight our audiences. The Smart Tourism project has shown us how 5G can enable delivery of visually-rich VR/AR content to users, taking advantage of features such as mobile edge computing. We’re very much looking forward to showcasing the project to IBC’s media & entertainment community this September.”

Chloe Barraclough, Interactive Producer at Aardman, said: “We love exploring new ways to bring stories to life through emerging technologies, pushing creative boundaries that celebrate the craft, humour and storytelling that Aardman is famous for. Not least the Roman Baths 5G AR application where we produced beautiful 3D models of the building and its incredible history that were put to the test through advanced 5G technologies. We are thrilled to have been a part of this project and are looking forward to showcasing it as part of the media-Telecoms Catalysts initiative at IBC2019 in September.”

Mark Smith, Media & Telecoms Advisor at IBC, added: “As the boundaries between the telecoms and media industries become more and more blurred, the need for collaboration and partnerships at speed across the media-telecom value chain becomes ever more relevant and vital for enhancing audience experiences, optimising production capabilities and driving new revenue streams for broadcasters and digital service providers. At IBC2019, we look forward to showcasing some of the very impressive and ambitious projects that have been in development since just Q1 this year, demonstrating what can be achieved in a collaborative cross-organisation and sector approach.”