IBC Accelerators Get Set For ‘Showcase’

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The IBC Accelerator Programme 2020 is set to culminate with eight diverse innovation project teams that have been driving solutions to complex business and technology challenges over the last five months, and are set to reveal the outcomes through proof of concept demonstrations and discussions during IBC’s digital ‘Showcase’ online series from 8th-11 September 2020.

With remote collaboration and open R&D at its core, the Accelerator Programme is an IBC-led framework for agile innovation, fuelled by challenges set out by project ‘Champions’ who are content providers such as broadcasters, studios, news agencies, content platforms - typically the buyers of technology and solutions within IBC’s global media & entertainment community. IBC then helps to create project teams by recruiting vendors, suppliers and solutions provider ‘Participants’, who join the teams to address and explore solutions to the challenges through a rapid-fire, fast track approach.  

“The ultimate goal of the Accelerator programme is to provide a supportive and trusted environment to foster innovation across the sector, finding solutions to challenges that any one organisation cannot easily solve by themselves,” said Mark Smith who is leading the Accelerator Programme at IBC. “The Programme has really come into its own during these challenging times and has become a framework to serve and connect global organisations working remotely and virtually.”

While the Accelerator projects were originally due to culminate with physical sessions and showcases at IBC this September, the PoCs will now be presented as virtual showcases during a series of live online sessions, with demonstrations and discussions streamed during IBC’s Virtual ‘Showcase’ week.

The IBC Accelerator Programme was launched in February 2020, with challenge ideas pitched at the first IBC Kickstart Day event in London. Since then, some 62 Champion & Participant organisations have joined these unique and diversified projects.

Among the eight projects to be featured during the week, the 5G Remote Production Accelerator has become a key hub for learning and insights to how 5G could be deployed in a range of broadcast use cases, with ten world leading broadcast Champions collaborating to develop architectures and workflows based on 5G network and device capabilities today.

In addition, three Accelerator projects feature innovation to exploit the potential of AI in news, editorial & production workflows as well as in a virtual talent platform. Several other projects are focused on Computer Graphics, exploring Real-Time Animation workflows, as well as futureproofing formats for a Useable VFX Archive. Other projects have been exploring the future of TV distribution over IP, and an additional 5G project is exploring the potential use cases for location-based Virtual Reality applications.

“With remote and de-centralised production becoming a critical imperative across the sector, the IBC Accelerators have been widely embraced as a positive vehicle to support collaborative and virtual working.

“For Champions, it has enabled insightful dialogue with others, and also with vendors that may not usually be on their radar. For Participants, it has provided an opportunity to work directly with several customers – new and existing – to get a deep understanding of the collective pain points in terms of technology challenges. We are thrilled by how the approach has been embraced and driven forward by an impressive array of world leading organisations,” added Smith.  

5G Remote Production:

Led by the BBC, ten world leading international broadcasters have been working together to understand 5G capabilities for remote production today. The team has been developing 5G architectures and workflows, researching broadcast use cases and exploring new innovation in areas such as virtual cloud production, gateway devices and AI-assisted cameras and lighting. Champions: BBC (Lead), Al Jazeera, BT Sport, EBU, ITV, Olympic Broadcast Services, SVT, TV2, ViacomCBS, Yle Participants: Aviwest, LiveU, Mobile Viewpoint, Newtek, Sony.

TV Delivered as Objects

Exploring future distribution of TV over IP, with the assembly of programme components as close to the consumer as possible to allow full personalisation of audio-visual elements of TV services based on streaming, cloud and web technologies. Champions: ITV (Lead), BBC, Unity Technologies, TV2, Yle. Participants: Dazzl, Eluv.io, Grass Valley, Singular.

AI Assisted Shot List Creation of Video Assets

Exploiting AI to fully automate the process of producing raw and edited content shot lists for news agencies and broadcasters, enhancing the accuracy and efficiency of selecting the best shots for news productions. Champions: The Associated Press (Lead), Al Jazeera, ETC (Entertainment Technology Centre of University of Southern California). Participants: Limecraft, Metaliquid, Vidrovr.

AI in Live Content Moderation

Proving the potential value of conducting real-time, AI-driven content moderation on live broadcast content (including social media) at scale and speed, monitoring for both regulatory compliance and editorial standards. Champions: Al Jazeera (Lead), The Associated Press, Reuters, RTÉ, ETC (Entertainment Technology Centre of University of Southern California). Participants: Metaliquid, TVU, TV Conal.

CG Animation Production: New Immersive & Real-Time Workflows

Rethinking and redesigning the current approach to CG animation production pipelines to create and deliver a transformative workflow in XR, VR and AR that will ultimately make creating animated content extremely time efficient, democratised, artist-friendly, nimble, collaborative. Champions: Unity Technologies, Unreal Engine/Epic Games, Sky XR Studios Participants: AEON Productions, Blue Zoo Animation Studio, MasterpieceVR, Instalod, Tvori, National Film Board of Canada.

Usable VFX Archive

Realising and exploiting value in VFX for film, TV and games assets, and future-proofing IP through the automation of archiving 3D components. Champions: MovieLabs (Lead), Unity Technologies, Universal Studios, Paramount Studios, Sony Innovation Studios. Participants: Atmecs, Perfect Memory, Vidispine

Virtual & Interactive Live Music Talent Show

Transposing the existing, traditional talent show and new music discovery formats into a cutting-edge platform that will feature real-time, multi-user digital and virtual broadcasts, UGC interactivity and an ethical-AI backend to protect fans and showcase more music talent than ever before. Champions: MTV International/ViacomCBS Warner Music (Leads) Participants: Joi Polloi, Never.No, Grabyo

5G Centralised Streaming for Location-based Virtual Reality (LBVR)

This unique PoC will aim to showcase an advanced, high-performance 5G network via Telenet / Liberty Global to connect real-time centralised graphic and spatial XR computing power into an E2E solution operations system to centrally stream premium, immersive Virtual Reality (VR) content to head-mounted displays (HMD). Champions: Telenet/Liberty Global (Lead), Park Entertainment

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