State-of-the-Art and Challenges in Media Production, Broadcast and Delivery

Graham Thomas1, Arvid Engström2, Jean-François Macq3, Omar Aziz Niamut4, Ben Shirley5 and Richard Salmon1

1BBC Research & Development, London, UK

2Interactive Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

3Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, Antwerp, Belgium

4TNO, Delft, The Netherlands

5University of Salford, Manchester, UK

2.1 Introduction

To place the current technological state of media production and delivery in perspective, this chapter starts by looking at some of the key milestones in the development of the world of broadcasting, taking the BBC as an example. The BBC started its first radio broadcasts in 1922 over 25 years after Marconi first demonstrated the transmission of pulsed outdoor radio transmissions in 1895. It was the first broadcaster in the world to provide a regular 405-line ‘high definition’ television service, starting in November 1936. The BBC launched a 625-line colour service in June 1967, although the 405-line monochrome TV service continued until January 1985. Teletext services started to appear in the 1970s, with the BBC's Ceefax service launching in September 1974. The BBC started digital widescreen (16:9) broadcasting terrestrially and by satellite in 1988, including digital text services based on MHEG (ISO, 1997), and turned off the last analogue 625-line transmissions (and thus also Ceefax) in October 2012. The UK was by no means the first country to make the switch to fully-digital TV, with the ...

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