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Media-Telco Catalyst Innovation projects to present at IBC 2019

IBC and TM Forum have been working together to bring the fast-track innovation cycle to the media and technology ecosystem, reflecting the pace of convergence in the broadcasting, entertainment, telecoms, and technology sectors

IBC, the media, entertainment, and technology show based in the RAI, Amsterdam (September 13-17), in collaboration with TM Forum, the industry association driving digital business transformation have announced today that the second phase of Media-Telecom Catalyst innovation projects will be showcased at this year’s show.

IBC and TM Forum have been working together to bring the fast-track innovation cycle to the media and technology ecosystem, reflecting the pace of convergence in the broadcasting, entertainment, telecoms, and technology sectors. Catalysts are proof-of-concept projects developed collaboratively. The projects bring together companies to create innovative solutions to common industry challenges.

Three projects resulting from IBC and TM Forum’s collaboration address some of today’s most complex business and technology challenges, including 5G, data management, virtual and augmented reality, edge computing, AI and the automation of business processes for regulatory compliance.

At IBC 2019, phase two results of these advanced proof-of-concept Catalyst projects will be unveiled.

These will include:

  • A collaboration between Al Jazeera, RTÉ, Associated Press, BBC, BT, V-Nova and Aviwest on a project designed to improve the quality and reliability of mobile newsgathering and faster time-to-air for live and pre-recorded video, leveraging AI and the new MPEG-5 Part 2 LCEVC compression standard to maximise the use of available mobile bandwidth.


  • A collaboration between the University of Bristol, BBC R&D, Aardman Entertainment, Zeetta Networks and Cambridge Communications Systems (CCS) exploits the new capabilities of 5G for a VR/AR-enabled immersive tourism experience at the Roman Baths.


  • A collaboration between Al Jazeera, RTÉ, Associated Press, V-Nova, TechMahindra, Metaliquid and QCRI (Qatar Computer Research Institute, HBKU) using highly efficient AI visual analysis to rapidly identify, index, and measure political balance and enhance accuracy of on-air content, supporting broadcasters and content owners regarding their regulatory measurement and compliance processes.

Grant Totten, head of cloud, data analytics and AI, Al Jazeera, said: “Al Jazeera has been delighted by the Media-Telco Catalyst approach, working collaboratively alongside colleagues from RTÉ, BBC, BT, and Associated Press and with world-class vendor partners to address some pressing collective challenges on our digital transformation journey. Across two key projects, we have utilised state-of-the-art AI and intelligent compression techniques to make significant advances; enhancing live mobile reporting capabilities for journalists and their news teams and exploiting AI to automate the processes of monitoring and measurement of on-air content, for regulatory and editorial standards compliance. With some very ambitious goals, we have been able to short circuit the typical in-house cycle for R&D considerably, as well as extend the scope of our original goals in some way.”

Graham Thomas, section head for immersive and interactive content of BBC R&D, commented: “BBC R&D has been exploring how to create and deliver new kinds of content to delight our audiences. The Smart Tourism project has shown us how 5G can enable the delivery of visually-rich VR/AR content to users, taking advantage of features such as mobile edge computing.”

Chloe Barraclough, interactive producer at Aardman, said: “We love exploring new ways to bring stories to life through emerging technologies, pushing creative boundaries that celebrate the craft, humour, and storytelling that Aardman is famous for. Not least the Roman Baths 5G AR application where we produced beautiful 3D models of the building and its incredible history that were put to the test through advanced 5G technologies.”

Mark Smith, media and telecoms advisor at IBC, added: “As the boundaries between the telecoms and media industries become more and more blurred, the need for collaboration and partnerships at speed across the media-telecom value chain becomes ever more relevant and vital for enhancing audience experiences, optimising production capabilities and driving new revenue streams for broadcasters and digital service providers.”