BBC are looking after our
The BBC intends to syndicate on demand
content to cable operators,
IPTV service providers, and 3G mobile
phone networks, rather than delivering
direct to these operators’ customers.
Each of these platforms uses a different
combination of technologies, some of
them proprietary. BBC R&I has helped
BBC Distribution to design the technical
facilities for preparing the content for
the various platforms.
The distribution system will be operated
by the BBC’s playout contractor Red Bee
Media. It is envisaged that a common
content ingest and media management
system called the On-Demand Production
System (ODPS) will be shared with the
broadband iPlayer to avoid needless
duplication of effort. The infrastructure
can acquire live programmes in real time
as well as the more conventional method
of ingesting tapes or files ahead of linear
transmission. A suite of encoders will then
convert the content into the appropriate
format for each platform.The resulting
media files will be staged to a ‘neutral
drop-off zone’ operated by our
technology partner Siemens, from where
the operators will retrieve them.
Metadata is sent direct to the platforms.
This metadata will populate the content
guides, and will include extras such as
artwork relating to the programmes and
promotional trailers; most on-demand
platforms allow a sequence of promotional
items to be played automatically before
and after the programme that the viewer
has selected.We hope to establish a
profile of TV-Anytime for the metadata
that is acceptable to all parties.