Redefining Television through Object-Based Broadcasting

People in the UK spend, on average, nearly 4 hours per day watching television, as factual and fictional stories unfold which help us learn about and assign meaning to the world around us.

Online TV distribution, social media, and games signal the public’s appetite for something more than linear broadcast TV and the digital convergence of media production and distribution has created new opportunities to deliver a more interactive and personalised experience.

In collaboration with the BBC we developed new forms of video-centric storytelling that are responsive to the contexts in which they are experienced, making them better at expressing multiple voices, arguments and perspectives and better at providing for personal choice of content, time, place and device.

Highlighted by the BBC as their vision for the future, Object-Based Broadcasting (OBB) represents the next logical step in the evolution of TV. OBB refers to media with the ability to reconfigure itself based upon the device, environment and/or context in which it is being consumed.

This project focused on demonstrating the power of OBB as a delivery mechanism for accessible, adaptable, autonomous, conversational, interactive, immersive and personalised televisual experiences. 

Leveraging significant prior research, we refined underlying abstract models capable of representing rich narrative spaces and implementing a mature OBB architecture, delivering a robust and scaleable end-to-end IP-based form of broadcasting.

We developed core automatic reasoning technologies and intelligent tools, essential to the realization of these new forms of TV narrative content. This resulted in production tools and workflows for OBB, co-developed with world-leading industrial partners to produce tangible examples of the potential applications of OBB.

In parallel we developed a community of practice in responsive TV narratives in the BBC, UK broadcast industry, and the wider UK media industry.