Hybrid Radio at European Athletics
The EBU has developed visual radio software to produce a live data slideshow with sports results and pictures from the European Athletics Championships in Zürich. European Athletics partners Swiss Timing, the official timekeeping and data-handling company, and Getty Images, the official photo agency, are feeding content from the event to Euroradio.
Producing a visual radio stream from a live event is something new. It has required the development of a complete content processing and production solution. The challenge was to make it as simple and automatic as possible to keep the production costs down. The system developed by EBU Technology & Innovation consists of the following modules:
| 1. || Data ingest - This module acquires the raw metadata in olympic data format from Swiss timing and stores them in a database. It also receives pictures and other data. |
| 2. || Data processing - This module transforms and filters the data and presents them to the production platform. |
| 3. || Content Manager - This is the production platform which renders the visual elements based of the input data. It can be operated by a producer at the event or work in automatic mode. |
| 4. ||Data dispatch - This module takes care of delivering the information stream to the participating broadcasters. It can send raw pictures via FTP or directly in RadioDNS RadioVIS format for hybrid radio or web integration.|
The tools developed will be made available as open source on the EBU.IO platform for software exchange, allowing broadcasters and industry to provide feedback, reuse the code or participate in future evolutions of the project.
In the near future, Euroradio may decide to offer more visual radio slideshows of international (sports) events, helping broadcasters to provide attractive visual elements which their audio programmes. This has become relevant since a lot of radio is nowadays being consumed on devices with a colour screen. Visual Radio should not be confused with television. The slideshows are used to provide listeners with concise summary information 'at a glance' and to add to the feel and branding of the audio programme.