BBC RandD

London, United Kingdom

BBC RandD

London, United Kingdom
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Kerlin L.,BBC RandD | Cox J.,BBC RandD | Jolly S.,BBC RandD | Evans M.,BBC RandD | And 2 more authors.
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings | Year: 2016

A physical hardware prototype-The Button-was developed as a research probe to understand how radio audiences could discover, organise and consume music radio content at the touch of a physical button, the only control on a tiny handheld device. The Button allows listeners to tag tracks they like via a simple one-touch interaction, and save them to a noncommercial online playlist service: BBC Playlister1. Users can then export these tags to other music streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Deezer, etc. Following a user-centric design process, a large in-the-wild study was conducted over several weeks to investigate the value of the Button in aiding listeners' discovery of music. One group of participants was given a mobile phone app designed to facilitate tagging music heard on BBC radio stations; two other groups were given both the app and a Button (in one of two hardware versions). The findings revealed that Button users made significantly more tags on average than app users, indicating that a physical device could add significant value for radio listeners who want to tag music. Participants valued the simple one-touch interaction method, especially in situations where their smartphones were out of reach or contextual constraints meant that interaction with a complex device was undesirable or difficult.


Karamshuk D.,King's College London | Sastry N.,King's College London | Secker A.,BBC RandD | Chandaria J.,BBC RandD
Proceedings - IEEE INFOCOM | Year: 2015

In search of scalable solutions, CDNs are exploring P2P support. However, the benefits of peer assistance can be limited by various obstacle factors such as ISP friendliness - requiring peers to be within the same ISP, bitrate stratification - the need to match peers with others needing similar bitrate, and partial participation - some peers choosing not to redistribute content. This work relates potential gains from peer assistance to the average number of users in a swarm, its capacity, and empirically studies the effects of these obstacle factors at scale, using a month-long trace of over 2 million users in London accessing BBC shows online. Results indicate that even when P2P swarms are localised within ISPs, up to 88% of traffic can be saved. Surprisingly, bitrate stratification results in 2 large sub-swarms and does not significantly affect savings. However, partial participation, and the need for a minimum swarm size do affect gains. We investigate improvements to gain from increasing content availability through two well-studied techniques: content bundling- combining multiple items to increase availability, and historical caching of previously watched items. Bundling proves ineffective as increased server traffic from larger bundles outweighs benefits of availability, but simple caching can considerably boost traffic gains from peer assistance. © 2015 IEEE.


Karamshuk D.,King's College London | Sastry N.,King's College London | Secker A.,BBC RandD | Chandaria J.,BBC RandD
Proceedings - IEEE INFOCOM | Year: 2015

Using nine months of access logs comprising 1.9 Billion sessions to BBC iPlayer, we survey the UK ISP ecosystem to understand the factors affecting adoption and usage of a high bandwidth TV streaming application across different providers. We find evidence that connection speeds are important and that external events can have a huge impact for live TV usage. Then, through a temporal analysis of the access logs, we demonstrate that data usage caps imposed by mobile ISPs significantly affect usage patterns, and look for solutions. We show that product bundle discounts with a related fixed-line ISP, a strategy already employed by some mobile providers, can better support user needs and capture a bigger share of accesses. We observe that users regularly split their sessions between mobile and fixed-line connections, suggesting a straightforward strategy for offloading by speculatively pre-fetching content from a fixed-line ISP before access on mobile devices. © 2015 IEEE.


Chambers C.J.,BBC RandD
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences | Year: 2016

Providing topical information and entertainment began with wall paintings, the spoken word and face-To-face performance, then the addition of the written and printed word along with illustrations and pictures, followed by audio recording. In the early 1920s, regular broadcast radio services began, followed by television in the late 1930s, and this has provided the basis of broadcast media we know today. These innovations frequently pushed boundaries and challenged the status quo, but not all of these challenges were technical by any means. However, it could be argued that the development of accessible technologies has been fundamental to the successful deployment of information and entertainment media in all their forms throughout history. Today, the merging of audio and video media with a whole range of digital services is becoming commonplace.With the ability of such services to develop new approaches in supporting people's everyday living experiences, this will take communication networks into a new era central to the way we live. This paper postulates that the historical trends with audio and video media developments from the early 1900s will continue to push future boundaries, and attempts to highlight the key demands and the developing trends from a communication network point of view. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


Zorrilla M.,Vicomtech IK | Martin A.,Vicomtech IK | Tamayo I.,Vicomtech IK | O'Halpin S.,BBC RandD | Hazael-Massieux D.,W3C ERCIM
IEEE International Symposium on Broadband Multimedia Systems and Broadcasting, BMSB | Year: 2014

HbbTV takes advantage of the opportunity to expand the broadcast experience exploiting the common media content. However, the time to reach the audience in a different way has come. Aware of the privileged position of the TV in the living room, manufacturers and marketplace app developers have fostered their own bunch of solutions to integrate the big TV display with the mobile ones, to consume broadband media but ignoring the broadcast traction potential. One major challenge of all these approaches is the resource discovery and association step, where different strategies have been employed. A TV content-centric approach opens new possibilities. First, the possibility to enhance the offer services scheduled on a time basis according to the broadcast signalling. Second, the awareness of a common media been played at the same temporal and spatial environment can support the discovery and association of surrounding handheld devices. This paper analyses the capacity of common visual and acoustic environmental patterns to build enhanced discovery and association protocols, concluding a multi-step combined solution as a suitable approach for broadcast-related second screen services. © 2014 IEEE.


Woodcock J.,University of Salford | Davies W.J.,University of Salford | Cox T.J.,University of Salford | Melchior F.,BBC RandD | Melchior F.,University of Salford
AES: Journal of the Audio Engineering Society | Year: 2016

This paper presents a series of experiments to determine a categorization framework for broadcast audio objects. Object-based audio is becoming an evermore important paradigm for the representation of complex sound scenes. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding object level perception and cognitive processing of complex broadcast audio scenes. As categorization is a fundamental strategy in reducing cognitive load, knowledge of the categories utilized by listeners in the perception of complex scenes will be beneficial to the development of perceptually based representations and rendering strategies for object-based audio. In this study expert and non-expert listeners took part in a free card sorting task using audio objects from a variety of different types of program material. Hierarchical agglomerative clustering suggests that there are seven general categories, which relate to sounds indicating actions and movement, continuous and transient background sound, clear speech, non-diegetic music and effects, sounds indicating the presence of people, and prominent attention grabbing transient sounds. A three-dimensional perceptual space calculated via multidimensional scaling suggests that these categories vary along dimensions related to the semantic content of the objects, the temporal extent of the objects, and whether the object indicates the presence of people. © 2016 Journal of the Audio Engineering Society.


Raimond Y.,BBC RandD | Ferne T.,BBC RandD | Smethurst M.,BBC RandD | Adams G.,BBC RandD
Journal of Web Semantics | Year: 2014

Most broadcasters have accumulated large audio and video archives stretching back over many decades. For example the BBC World Service radio archive includes around 70,000 English-language programmes from over 45 years. This amounts to about three years of continuous audio and around 15 TB of data. The metadata around this archive is sparse and sometimes wrong, but the full audio content is available in digital form. We have built a system to process the existing audio and text and automatically annotate programmes within the archive with Linked Data web identifiers. The resulting interlinks are used to bootstrap search and navigation within this archive and expose it to users. Automated data will never be entirely accurate so we built crowdsourcing mechanisms for users to correct and add data. The resulting crowdsourced data is then used to improve search and navigation within the archive, as well as evaluate and improve our algorithms. As a result of this feedback cycle, the interlinks between our archive and the Semantic Web are continuously improving. This unique combination of Semantic Web technologies, automation and crowdsourcing has dramatically reduced the amount of time and effort required to publish this rich archive online. The BBC World Service archive prototype is available online at http://worldservice.prototyping.bbc.co.uk, last accessed March 2014. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Van Deventer M.O.,Applied Scientific Research | Stokking H.,Applied Scientific Research | Hammond M.,BBC RandD | Le Feuvre J.,Telecom ParisTech | Cesar P.,National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science CWI
IEEE Communications Magazine | Year: 2016

Media synchronization is getting renewed attention with ecosystems of connected devices enabling novel media consumption paradigms. Social TV, hybrid TV, and companion screens are examples that are enabling people to consume multiple media streams at multiple devices together. These novel use cases require media synchronization, as unfortunately there are substantial delay differences between the various delivery routes for television and streaming media. Broadcasters have started using proprietary solutions for over-the-top media synchronization, such as media fingerprinting or media watermarking technologies. Given the commercial interest in media synchronization and the disadvantages of proprietary technologies, consumer-equipment manufacturers, broadcasters, and telecom and cable operators have started developing a new wave of international standards for media synchronization. This article provides an overview of recently published standards from the most relevant bodies: IETF, ETSI, MPEG, DVB, HbbTV, and W3C. © 2016 IEEE.


Mu M.,Lancaster University | Ishmael J.,Lancaster University | Knowles W.,Lancaster University | Rouncefield M.,Lancaster University | And 3 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Multimedia | Year: 2012

This paper introduces the recent design and development of a converged IPTV service that has been deployed within a live test-bed (Living Lab) at Lancaster University for thousands of students. High quality audio-visual content is distributed over heterogeneous IP-based content networks, on both set-top box and web-based platforms. Peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies are exploited to provide energy efficient and low-cost delivery for commercial and user-generated content. The infrastructure and functional components are first presented exploring a number of key designs that facilitate the entire eco-system of content ingest, transcoding, P2P tracking, distribution, statistics, end systems, as well as integration of social networking. Due to the dynamic nature of P2P distribution, a quality measurement service with respect to user experience is also essential for the service evaluation and diagnosis. A multimodal QoE measurement framework which evaluates the IPTV services by collaborating measurements with a variety of different aspects is presented. Results of a use case are also described to verify the effectiveness of the measurement framework in exploiting relevant metrics from service components. © 1999-2012 IEEE.

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