IBC - BBC Broadcast showcases latest in VOD, navigation & content for mobile

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Rob Crabtree
Joined: Aug 23 2005

BBC Broadcast will be exhibiting for the first time at IBC2005, showing the very latest ways in which consumers will be accessing and navigating content both today and in the future.

Located in Hall 3, stand 3.330, BBC Broadcast will be demonstrating video-on-demand and over broadband as well as the latest in content to mobile and other portable devices. It will also be showing a specially designed HD channel played out from the Broadcast Centre in West London to the RAI Convention Centre in addition to highlights from the 64 channels and interactive streams which have recently migrated to the facility.

The IBC2005 conference programme will include Chris Howe, BBC Broadcast’s Chief Technology Officer, giving a masterclass on “The Lifecycle of a Piece of Media Content” on Friday, 9 September. On Monday, 12 September, Adam Hume, Head of Digital Publishing and Futurology, will participate on the panel for the session The PVR, “Grown Up and in Business”. Both of these sessions will take place in room L of the RAI Exhibition and Congress Centre.

BBC Broadcast has been busy since IBC2004 and, after announcing its video-on-demand (VOD) search tool at NAB in April this year, recently won the contract with Telewest Broadband to provide encoding and navigational services as well as “barker channels” (channels that provide viewers with information and promotions about content) for its new TV-on-demand service, Teleport.

Earlier in the year BBC Broadcast also won a significant contract to deliver the user interface design for another broadband broadcaster that will be launched at the beginning of 2006. These skills are increasingly sought after in Europe and BBC Broadcast has also been working with Belgian telco, Belgacom that launched Belgacom TV (a VOD service) in June this year.

Our design team also created a tool, called Piero, that enables viewers and sport commentators to view play from angles that can’t be captured by conventional cameras. The new simulated sports field system, the first technology of its kind, made its rugby debut during the RBS Six Nations Championship earlier this year.

BBC Broadcast has welcomed new channels to its Broadcast Centre in west London this year, has been transmitting ESPN Classic Sport channels to France and Italy since July and has recently begun to playout the channels locally in English, German and Dutch.

The Broadcast Centre now transmits 64 channels and interactive streams. This follows the completion of the largest migration project in broadcast history which involved relocating BBC and UKTV channels from Television Centre to Broadcast Centre. BBC Broadcast also launched a new UKTV channel, UKTV Style Gardens, in a record seven weeks coordinating services from playout to media planning to on-air promotion.

BBC Broadcast’s longstanding provision of access services - subtitling/closed captions, signing, audio description - to the BBC and cost-effective voice recognition subtitling methods led it to win contracts to subtitle and sign Emap music channels and audio describe and sign National Geographic channels this year. BBC Broadcast already provides access services to Channel 4 and FIVE.

The recent acquisition of BBC Worldwide’s subsidiary, Broadcast DataServices (BDS), which provides broadcast listing and data services, increases the range of services BBC Broadcast can provide. BDS already provides services to the BBC, ITV, FIVE, UKTV and Flextech.

In November this year, BBC Broadcast will be rebranding following its sale to Creative Broadcast Services. The sale follows the BBC’s internal review of its commercial businesses. The review team concluded that, whilst the services provided by BBC Broadcast are vital to the BBC, they did not necessarily need to remain owned by the BBC.

About BBC Broadcast Limited
Specialising in the delivery and promotion of digital media, BBC Broadcast offers the complete range of services required to promote, playout and provide access to broadcast content across all media, from television to mobile phones. Key services include: promotions, design & branded content, navigation services (electronic programme guides), access services (subtitling, signing and audio description), content playout ('video-on-demand' - video via broadband and mobile phones) and interactivity.

BBC Broadcast is the largest playout and channel management business in the UK and broadcasts 64 streams including public service and commercial channels and interactive streams from Broadcast Centre in West London. It is also growing its business overseas and is already providing creative services to clients in Europe, the USA and Asia. BBC Broadcast's fusion of creative origination and technical innovation and its unique abilities in managing digital assets mean it is best placed to capitalise on the growing need for digital media distribution and promotion.

The new owner of BBC Broadcast, Creative Broadcast Services, is owned by Macquarie Capital Alliance Group (65%) and Macquarie Bank (35%).

For more information, click http://www.bbcbroadcast.com

Press release slightly edited by Robert Crabtree