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Top six trends that are shaping the future of television

Top six trends that are shaping the future of television

We don’t know how, when and why Television has always been called an Idiot Box world over. On the contrary, it is a smart device which has encapsulated our attention unabashedly over the longest period of time since its inception and the first television service by British Broadcasting Corporation in 1936. Today, even after 80 years, it rules our heart and is still a major source of entertainment and global information.

The television industry in the last few decades has grown extensively and the wave continues. Whether in terms of technology, state-of-the-art looks or content, many key players in a highly competitive market keep up with the pace of development. Advancements in terms of knowledge, exposure, urbanization, increased buying power and a continuous shift in user preferences keep the innovators on their toes to think beyond the edge.

In terms of technology, the end users might think that now the peak has arrived, and there is nothing more that innovators can come up with. But we also agree with the mystic power of human brain who, if one can anticipate the current trends, is surely preparing for something which will take television technology to an altogether another level of viewing.

Some of the trends that are shaping the future of Television include:

  1. Holographic TV

BBC has always been a front-runner as far as anything concerned with TV goes. It has trialed for a technology and content wherein a fairly big size TV is laid flat and simple, old Victorian theatre techniques are used to create 3D images which seem to float in the air.1

Though a Holographic TV is still at its nascent stage the initiation is applaudable.

  1. Data Analytics

The revolution, “Big Data Analytics” aids smart viewership. Early adopters like Netflix have used it extensively to create a niche and specialize in the domain as creative as content production. We hope to see it being widely adopted, more hands-on to optimize produced or acquired content. The steps are simple; behavioral data is collected from various sources, classified and judged to help identify end-user preferences.

  1. Virtual Reality

In terms of technology, Virtual Reality predictably is the next big thing which aims at completely revolutionizing the concept of TV watching. It’s an ever-growing popular culture wherein a consumer after wearing a VR headset can explore virtual, computer-generated worlds. It replicates an environment and simulates user’s real-time presence and allows full interaction. VR, when integrated with TV shows can help a user be a part of that show. Looks a bit far-fetched at the moment, but not too far also. In fact, Director Steven Soderbergh’s new ambitious project Mosaic, an interactive narrative app is a perfect example of this concoction. It is due to release soon where the audience becomes a part of the narration and gets the leverage to decide how the story should unfold. It’s a new way of storytelling and irrespective of its response and real-time success paves way for more such experiments.2

  1. Virtualization

Virtualization creates an ecosystem where independent services can share a common platform. It will surely take some time to realize this completely but cloud-based broadcasting wherein the content is put on public clouds for smooth broadcasting and viewing experience, is fast catching up. In fact, coming years will see major investments in cloud solutions. It does away with huge hardware investments and their maintenance and broadcasters benefit in terms of scalability and high levels of efficiency. They are extremely cost-effective with reduced turnaround time and helps manage viewer demands to a large extent. Predictably, a cloud utility model is surely going to turn Broadcasters into Orchestrators whose job would be to deliver aggregated content. The transition is already on its way. Key players like BBC, Disney/ABC Television have started making the shift as the world moves towards Virtualization. 3

  1. Immersive and Interactive Experience-Augmented Reality

Technologists have always aimed for maximum consumer participation. Tools are being developed to involve our sensory powers to blur the line between the real and digital world thereby making the viewer part of the content. A mid-world is created where 3D and 4D images give the brain a real-time perception and the user feels more involved. 3D audio effects surround sound helps manipulate a sound one hears and provides a more real-time effect. One can easily confuse this with Virtual Reality but Augmented Reality deals more with the real world. It enhances the experience by adding drama to it. And Broadcasters are making hands-on use of it by developing more interactive and engaging shows with maximum audience participation.

Plans to introduce Interactive Advertising by Channel 4 on British TV is one step forward to it where watchers would enjoy the liberty to choose different ads, watch different content or even buy the products instantly.4

  1. Humanoids, AI comes to Television Broadcasting

Robots have always fascinated us since time immemorial. Recently, a real-time robot or a Humanoid, Sophia surfaced on BBC television featuring as a spokesperson on BBC’s Earth TV. It is made of frubber (flesh rubber) and is highly sophisticated. It has a human face and also emulates real-time human emotions. It is not functioning in artificial intelligence. Rather it has scripted answers. One can only anticipate the whole experience of television watching in the future with more such humanoid interactions. 5

On the Whole

Above are some of the trends observed that are going to shape the future of TV. And it doesn’t stop here. The list is ever growing. Technologists and innovators are constantly aiming for utmost consumer participation and keep them more involved and engaged. Broadcasters are trying really hard to absorb new technologies and amalgamating them to give their audiences different forms of experiences thereby entertaining them. The game is actually to play with the human mind and show them something which ups their curiosity level. It is a new age fairy tale times which is illusionary and beautiful and forces one to be a part of those moments.

The Rise of Flying Machines: How Drones Are Transforming Broadcast and Media Production 

The Rise of Flying Machines: How Drones Are Transforming Broadcast and Media Production 

If you have watched Planet Earth II (broadcasted in 2016), a follow-up to the nature series aired in 2006 on BBC – the intimate close-ups, chases and kills, and the sweeping vistas might have left you spellbound. While the voice of Sir David Attenborough still gave us goose bumps, the sights added on to the experience – making us feel right in the middle of the action.

If you’re wondering the technology behind this transformation over a decade, read on!

Cinematographers have used the latest in camera technology to create the experience. Drones! To capture those stunning panoramas and actions, drones created the magic that you witness sitting in your living room.

If you watch television with a trained eye, you’ll notice that many series, documentaries, and movies are shot using drones to provide a real-life experience to the viewers. Movies like the Expendables 3, Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Captain America are shot using drones.

Drones are becoming popular among production companies for filming shots that require adrenalin-filled action sequences, literal birds’ eye views, dramatic panoramas or 360-degree views of subjects. In fact, 2015 witnessed the birth of the New York City Drone Film Festival, the world’s first drone film festival to recognize the remarkable usage of drone in cinematography where at least 50% of the footage is shot using a drone.

Ben Sheppard, managing director of Spider Aerial Filming, sums up the advantages of drones over static cranes and expensive helicopters. “No other filming method can start a sequence inside a building and end up at 400 feet altitude in one uncut shot,” says Sheppard. Not only does drones allow the reader to build a better mental picture of the layout of the land, but it can also get down to ground level, with smaller shadows and less air disturbance, unlike helicopters.

Media and broadcast industry, particularly journalism and documentaries witnessed a revolution in 2016 as a result of the increasing capabilities of drones. After the popularity of the New York Times story on the impact of the Syrian Civil War on Aleppo that was captured using drone footage, the newspaper published a list of top stories it covered through drone footage.

CNN uses drones to augment its traditional television coverage and provide improved vantage point. The news network has also launched a team to fly and operate drones as part of expanded news coverage to provide the benefits of planes and helicopters for a fraction of the cost.

“A news story about immigration comes alive to the viewer’s when sweeping shots are taken of the presenter over the white cliffs of Dover. Or a drone flying above a car racing down a mountain road adds to the excitement when the surrounding terrain is visible,” says Sandra Hossack, Director at SkyPower – a supplier of aerial filming platforms.

As the technology matures, using drones has its set of challenges. As the US formulates the framework for legitimizing usage of drones, regulatory barriers still prevent drone adoption. Companies need permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to work with them. For example, in August 2014, during the civil unrest Ferguson, Missouri, police requested the airspace to be closed to prevent media from gathering footage. The authorities also instituted no-fly zones at Standing Rock, North Dakota in 2016 to prevent coverage of the protests and the acts of police.

Using drones is already transforming the media. It will only increase as drones become more technically able and widespread. Drone manufacturers are developing technologies like collision avoidance and geo-fencing to make flying drones safer.

A BI Intelligence report predicts drone sales to go up to $12 billion in 2021[1], from just over $8 billion in 2016. As authorities create regulations to permit more widespread use of drones, this trend will only increase moving forward. Drones are not just toys, but a part of the new media wave.

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-drones-are-transforming-news-media-2017-1?IR=T