Now in its fifth year, the EBU Technology & Innovation Award provides an opportunity to shine a light on some of the most creative technologists, developers and researchers from Europe’s public service media community.
A total of 24 projects were nominated for this year’s award; here we present a brief description of each one, along with contact details you can use to request more information or enquire about a potential collaboration.
The winner of the T&I Award 2021 will be announced during the EBU Technical Assembly on 9 June after 16:30 CEST. For information on how to access the stream, visit: tech.ebu.ch/events/ta2021
Audio Orchestrator production tool for multi- device audio experiences
BBC, UK • Contact: Jon Francombe, jon.francombe [at] bbc.co.uk
A software tool for prototyping audio experiences that are orchestrated across multiple devices, opening immersive and interactive audio to a much wider range of listeners.
EAR (EBU ADM Renderer) Production Suite
BBC, UK & IRT, Germany • Contact: Chris Pike, chris.pike [at] bbc.co.uk
A set of production tools that empowers broadcasters to create spatial and personalizable audio using open standards, driving interoperability in production tools and workflows.
BBC Sounds: an integrated audio platform
BBC, UK • Contact: Lloyd Shepherd, lloyd.shepherd.sounds [at] bbc.co.uk
Sounds is the new home for radio, music and podcasts at the BBC, giving listeners a personal, relevant experience and offering them more control and flexibility.
BBC News Virtual Production Tools
BBC, UK • Contact: Morwen Williams, morwen.williams [at] bbc.co.uk
Three transformational tools: Toucan for fast- turnaround remote TV interviews; Pre Rec for quality audio on pre-recorded distanced discussions; Virtual Audience for connecting audiences with studios.
Low-cost mobile Augmented Reality production kit
France Télévisions, France • Contact: Christophe de Vallambras, christophe.devallambras [at] francetv.fr
The “JP Tech” kit – named after its inventor – uses technology from video games and virtual reality to enable low-cost production of live, mobile and interactive AR sequences anywhere.
Newsgathering vehicles with low carbon emissions
ITV, UK • Contact: Tim Guilder, tim.guilder [at] itv.com
The ITV Daytime team developed a lightweight, agile streaming solution for remote newsgathering, housed in plug-in hybrid vehicles, reducing both operating costs and emissions.
Home Planet app to gamify sustainable living
ITV, UK • Contact: Matt O’Shea, matthew.oshea [at] itv.com
This mobile application, built in-house using a no- code platform, underpins a campaign to encourage all staff to live more sustainably, driving real cultural change within ITV.
Remote cloud-based editing solution
ITV, UK • Contact: Tim Guilder, tim.guilder [at] itv.com
The ITV Studios team accelerated its development of remote and cloud-based editing solutions that are both agile and scalable, reducing the carbon footprint and increasing productivity.
OBECA – evolving the 5G Broadcast ecosystem
ORF, Austria • Contact: Stefan Babel, stefan.babel [at] ors.at
OBECA (Open Broadcast Edge Cache Appliance) is a modular open-source 5G Broadcast receiver platform enabling the community to develop tomorrow’s hybrid “broadband meets broadcast” solutions.
Digital data hub
ORF, Austria • Contact: Jürgen Schöner, juergen.schoener [at] orf.at
A software stack to aggregate and transform the huge amounts of programme-related metadata generated by linear broadcast systems for use on non-linear online services.
Agile video editing
ORF, Austria • Contact: Sebastian Blaha, sebastian.blaha [at] orf.at
A solution for remote editing of broadcast quality video over public internet but rendered in the central broadcasting MAM. Already commercialized and in use by other broadcasters.
Efficient production of companion screen applications
Rai, Italy • Contact: Alberto Messina, alberto.messina [at] rai.it
The RaiBridge system enables editorial teams to efficiently author companion screen content, delivered on a single customizable app, greatly enriching the user experience.
An avatar for sign language applications
Rai, Italy • Contact: Gino Alberico, gino.alberico [at] rai.it
A platform based on a virtual actor (avatar), enabling applications for LIS (Italian Sign Language) such as teaching and automatic generation of weather forecast reports.
Producing live in “hyper sound”
RTVE, Spain • Contact: Carmen Pérez Cernuda, carmen.perez.cernuda [at] rtve.es
A concert streamed live from the Prado Museum was mixed and encoded using Dolby Atmos, enabling placement of sounds in three-dimensional space for total audio immersion.
Pilot broadcast of 8K UHD over DVB-T2
RTVE, Spain • Contact: Adolfo Muñoz, adolfo.mb [at] rtve.es
A broadcast in October 2020 demonstrated the feasibility of delivering 8K UHD services over terrestrial networks with existing technology, using HEVC video coding and DVB-T2.
5G and cloud for multiplatform content production and distribution
RTVE, Spain • Contact: David Corral, david.corral [at] rtve.es
A live concert produced by Radio3 was delivered to both online and broadcast platforms in multiple formats using a multi-camera signal routed via 5G to a cloud-based virtual mixer.
News values – the public service algorithm
Sveriges Radio, Sweden • Contact: Jörgen Bang, jorgen.bang [at] sr.se
The algorithm used to automate SR’s news playlists is centred on news values and gives prominence to stories rated as having high public service value.
Reimagining the future of radio apps
SWR, Germany • Contact: Daniel Freytag, lab [at] swr.de
The SWR mobile app gives users the ability to instantly replay and save both music and segments to their personal playlist, all in an easy-to- use radio service.
Virtual studio production using game engines
VRT, Belgium • Contact: Dries Tastenhoye, dries.tastenhoye [at] vrt.be
Demonstrate the capabilities of a virtual studio based on COTS hardware, leveraging the power of game engines for high-value to small-scale live productions.
Automated metadata extraction from online videos
Yle, Finland • Contact: Pia Virtanen, pia.virtanen [at] yle.fi
Implementation on the Yle Areena player of automated thumbnail selection and preview video extraction, reducing the manual work involved and increasing click-through rates.
Automated subject indexing
Yle, Finland • Contact: Irene Nikkarinen, irene.nikkarinen [at] yle.fi
Adopting an open-source subject indexing tool called Annif has reduced manual work and improved the quality of Yle’s metadata, contributing to improved discoverability of content.
Monitoring regional TV news using audio fingerprints
Yle, Finland • Contact: Toni Ljungberg, toni.ljungberg [at] yle.fi
This proof of concept uses audio fingerprinting to automatically monitor regional news output, helping to avoid the wrong content being played out in a given region.
get.it – a cloud-based metadata platform
ZDF, Germany • Contact: Thomas Urban, urban.t [at] zdf.de
A solution to map and translate data from different applications into a common ZDF-specific model, making it available to anyone, to support cross-media production and publication.
HoLo Box: an all-in-one communication box
ZDF, Germany • Contact: Michael Hoitz, hoitz.m [at] zdf.de
Compact voice-guided system allowing journalists in the field to connect to ZDF’s infrastructure via LTE/ KA-SAT, enabling communication and secure access to archives and drives.