Monday, May 17, 2004

Future Broadcast Production - Mad thoughts

I've been thinking about collaborative filtering. - it's SO relevant to imp/tivo/epg/pvr culture. Imagine if the BBC could set the standards for TV-programme id3 tags?

The implications are huge.

Just before the first day of a shoot, the continuity lady marks up a script on a computer - with reference to the shooting schedule. This then gets donwloaded to a pda-enabled clapper board. At the head of every shot on set, the clapperloader sends tag info to the camera by bluetooth during preroll, so the scene details and script are automatically recorded on the 'tape' at the head of the scene.And Lets face it, tapes should just be hot-swappable 100 gig hard drives in a year or two...

The director's monitor has an 'approve' feature - so when the shot is 'the one', a signal can be sent to the camera to mark it as being the shot for the final assembly. Any comments or notes could go up to - again, by pda.

Thinking about it, you wouldn't actually need to store the data on the tapes - the camera would just need to broadcast synch timecode to keep all of the devices cued up.

Then you don't need to log tapes etc for editing, or rewrite script for subtitling. And instead of just finished programmes being available to search in archives, every scene of the rushes is fully marked up with cast, crew, script, location...

To capture a clip for net use, you just perform a contextual search on the info in the bbc's huge media database at I&A... and say 'squirt on to the server in this format at this bitrate, please'. of course, in a few years time, networks will be fast enough to take broadcast-quality video, so compression ceases to be an issue. (If anyone ever gets round to laying fibre optic cables... but what would happen if TV wavelengths were used for ubiquitous 'broadband by radio'?)

And to broadcast, you just send a 'playlist' to the broadcast centre, and the show streams from the media server, assembled on the fly.

Rights issues or editorial issues can be tagged in the video files data container - so no need to check, the system automatically notifies you if there's an issue with reusing footage.

And, once broadcast, the return path from the audience can be used to aggregate viewing figures, ratings, preferences... and the public slice of information kept available for Imp/Tivo/pvr users to navigate around a sea of content by aggregated reccomendations from the entire viewing public.


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