IBC to showcase 2023 Accelerator projects in Amsterdam covering live, immersive, and virtual applications

An Accelerator presentation at IBC 2022

IBC has announced a line-up of eighty world-leading media brands and new players taking part in the Accelerator Media Innovation Programme, bringing together a range of industry pioneers from across the media, entertainment and technology ecosystem to enable fast-track, collaborative innovation experiments to understand and solve some of the complex challenges of transformative new technologies.

In addition, global technology leaders Microsoft and AMD are announced as associate sponsors for 2023, building on two years of key participation and support for the Accelerator Programme.

Major global media companies including the BBC, EBU, RAI, ITV, Sky Sports, ITN, TV2, Yle and DAZN return as project ‘Champions’ in 2023, harnessing the expertise and skill sets of multiple large, medium and start-up ‘Participant’ vendors to explore real-world new use cases, architectures and workflows.

New Champions this year include ITN, VRT, Fox Entertainment, IMDB, Outernet Global, Verizon Business, Xperi. Major technology leaders new to the programme include Cisco, Google, In-Sync, Limitless Broadcast, LAMA, Techex, Tinkerlist , EZDRM, CuVo, Osprey Video,  Red5, Signly, Salsa Sound, 4DR Studios, Metarex, Infuse Video, and Pluxbox among many others joining IBC’s acclaimed R&D framework designed to collaboratively tackle common pain points faced by the media and entertainment ecosystem.

They join a host of world leading Academic Institutions that have become core to the Accelerator  programme, such as University of Strathclyde, Kings College London, Goldsmiths University London, Trinity College Dublin, University of Southampton and Bowie State University.

The sport-focused Accelerator projects – for which SVG Europe is media partner – include ‘Connect & Produce Anywhere’, which will focus on the build of a distributed edge and cloud computing system to remotely produce a live sports event.

“We’re incredibly excited by the progress each project team has made this year. Aside from the challenges of transformative tech, improving accessibility and inclusion are also critical issues for the industry today, and it it’s a recurring theme across several of this year’s projects,” said IBC Innovation Lead Mark Smith.

“Whether that’s deploying AI and AR tools to bring virtual, visual sign language translators via digital ‘synthetic humans’ to life or 5G-enabled animation experiences for children in hospital wards, or taking live performance art to other parts of the world via 5G motion capture. We also have a project that is developing live IP production workflows with edge compute to cover niche,  or remote sports and cultural events more efficiently, all truly inspiring projects that are harnessing technology to serve a wide range of audiences with astonishing new experiences.”

The Accelerator Innovation Projects that will unveil their Proof of Concept (PoC) at IBC2023 are:

In the Synthetic Humans for Entertainment and Accessibility project, a team of broadcasters and immersive technologists are harnessing leading-edge motion capture, virtual production, and AI workflows in two workstreams, to showcase how digital synthetic humans can act as ‘virtual translators’ and create photorealistic sign language interpreters for accessibility in broadcasting, and secondly to recreate the experience of seeing historical performers, bringing them back to life virtually.

The Champions for synthetic humans are BBC, EBU, ITV, RAI, Unreal/Epic Games, Verizon Business, VRT, Unity Technologies, YLE, and Champions/ Academic Partners are Kings College London and University of Southampton. Participants are 4DR Studios, D&B Solutions, HAND (Human & Digital), Pluxbox, Respeecher, Signly and V-Nova.

5G Motion Capture for Live Performance & Animation taps into the capabilities offered by private and public 5G technologies to power new entertainment and immersive audience experiences. The project has two workstreams; to leverage 5G via motion capture and beam live performance art to audiences regardless of location, and secondly leveraging 5G to bring joyful, interactive animated characters to children in hospital wards.

A diverse range of Champions and Academic Partners includes University of Strathclyde, The Scotland 5G Centre, Outernet Global, Vodafone Group, Goldsmiths University London, Curing Kids Cancer and Texas Children’s Hospital. Participants are AMD, Cisco, D&B Solutions, Neutral Wireless and Noitom.

In Responsive Narrative Factory project teams are streamlining metadata-powered content customisation workflows that empower broadcasters to tailor their storytelling for diverse regions, demographics, and to suit individual needs and regulatory requirements. This new component-based approach to quickly and cost-effectively create multiple versions of content from a single master, ensures inclusive, accessible, and age-appropriate content experiences. The BBC and IET are Champions for this project, alongside the Participants Infuse Video, Metarex, CuVo, EZDRM and JPB Media Solutions.

Authenticated Data Specification, a project that set out to define a standardised distribution package for entertainment data, including artwork, imagery and usage rights and a secure and certified system that enables studios and content creators to authenticate the definitive version of their metadata for gold standard industry sources, such as IMDb, and EIDR. Champions are ITV, Fox Entertainment, IMDB, Paramount, Xperi and SMPTE. Participants are: Fabric, Flomenco, EIDR and LMT.

Connect & Produce Anywhere has been exploring end to end IP workflows for live production, with the emphasis on Cloud/ Edge as part of the workflow.

An early Accelerator project group discussion that led to the ‘Connect & Produce Anywhere’ initiative

By dynamically moving live production media processing stages between cloud and edge computing at an event, the project aims to allow production crews to deploy software to the best location making the most efficient use of resources in locations where bandwidth and connectivity can vary greatly. 

Champions: BBC, DAZN, Sky Sports, BT Media & Broadcast, TV2 Denmark, Vodafone Group, Verizon Business. Participants are: AMD, Microsoft, Techex, Google, Grass Valley, LAMA, Vizrt, Open Broadcast Systems, InSync, Limitless Broadcast, Singular.live and Zixi.

Gallery Agnostic Live Media Production The aim of this challenge is to bring our media productions into the modern, present day via Device-agnostic, Gallery-agnostic and Hybrid ways of working to prove control of both existing on prem and cloud devices. Champions are:  ITN, BBC, TV2 Denmark, News UK (TalkTV), Yle and TransMixr. Participants are Tinkerlist, Techex, Grass Valley, Singular.live and Zixi.

Real-Time XR Sport Edge aims to broadcast digital twin XR Sports, including combat MMA (mixed martial arts), and the progressive AR techno-sport into a live, immersive 3D world with high-end graphics, virtual advertising, spatial and social audio, and real-time edge-compute deliverability to fans in VR headsets, computers and mobile devices. Champions are: Prima Terra Labs, Outernet Global, Vodafone Group, Bowie State University, Kings College London, Trinity College Dublin, University of Southampton and RVPA. Participants are: AMD, D&B Solutions, Salsa Sound, HearMeCheer, Movrs, Sparkup, HAND (Human & Digital).

Real-Time Interactive Streaming Personalises Live Experiences project aims to demonstrate that additional revenue and ROI can be achieved through personalising viewer engagement from the streaming of live interactive experiences, such as sports and other major events. Essentially it has been striving for next-generation real-time (ultra-low latency) interactive experiences, with the fan in the driving seat. Champions are ABL (Alumni Basketball League), LoLGPA (Legends of Ladies Professional Golf Association) Unity Technologies and Verizon Business. Participants are: AMD, Red5, Snipitz, Osprey Video and Singular.live.

All Accelerator Programme projects will be presented on the Innovation Stage in Hall 3 at IBC2023, including a full project overview, proof of concept findings and visitor Q&A.

You can find full details of the IBC Accelerator Media Innovation Programme here. To register for IBC2023, click here.

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