Public service media organizations are a heterogeneous group. They vary in size, age, resources, R&D capacity, market position, and so on. Technical staff working for these companies typically share a great enthusiasm for video technology and its use, but the expertise to use it optimally is not always at hand or the scale to perform large testing exercises is missing.

The EBU helps by pooling Members together, maximizing the sharing of knowledge, experiences and available resources. History has shown this model works very well, especially in times of crisis, but also that it needs continuous adaptation. Recently the EBU’s video work has undergone such changes.The liquidation of the German research institute IRT accelerated a process that was under way already, namely the shift to a larger set of smaller projects led by different Members. Here we present four leaders of such work.

Simon Thompson (BBC)

(Top left) Simon is leading the umbrella group for the EBU’s video work, Video Systems & Workflows. Its main focus at the moment is on the measurement of professional video monitors, especially when used with HDR (high dynamic range) images. Simon has undertaken much pioneering work in this domain, including many live HDR production trials, SDR <> HDR format conversions, colour/levels research and monitor tests. The group is currently finalizing an update to EBU Tech 3325, which helps Members measure their own studio monitors. The new version will be accompanied by new test material, including more challenging test colours.

Kayatri Rangarajan (CBC / Radio-Canada)

(Top right) Kayatri is driving the creation of EBU guidance on the use of ‘non-standard’ aspect ratios in production and archiving. Social media applications often use 9:16 and even 1:1 aspect ratios, which has raised questions about the optimum way of handling such material in editing and archiving operations. An internal CBC study on the topic and an EBU Tech Roundtable have helped to define the main options and a set of do’s and don’ts. Besides writing up guidance for other Members, the work also includes encouraging better support for non-standard aspect ratios in standards and production tools.

Karl Petermichl (ORF)

(Bottom left) With his managerial background and operational expertise as a broadcast engineer, Karl understands the need for clear, practical guidance on complex topics. This is exactly what the UHDTV Strategy Support group is aiming to provide. This initiative, which Karl leads, is currently creating guidance for the contribution of UHDTV material both in live and file-based form. This will facilitate UHDTV content exchange and help Members that are not yet using UHD and NGA technologies to start putting future-proof practices in place. His energetic and to-the-point style mean the group’s calls never include a dull moment and the speed is high.

Roberto Iacoviello (RAI)

In April 2021, a new group covering work on subjective and objective evaluations was created. This Video Evaluation group covers the quality- checking of codecs, the creation of test sequences, and the testing of AI-powered algorithms. The latter are especially relevant for the upsampling of content from SD to HD and from HD to UHD. Leadership is in the trusted hands of Roberto Iacoviello (RAI). His current research is on AI techniques applied to video compression and point clouds. Roberto is actively involved in several codec standardization organizations.


This article was first published in issue 48 of tech-i magazine.

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