Tuesday, 27 November 2018

A very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

What a wonderfully successful year this was!

A big 'Thank You' to all who attended the conferences and made them fantastic! We got great feed back and ideas and are now working on our next conference - 'The Future of Transport', 5th - 6th March 2019, here at Adastral Park. We even vamped up our facilities and the teams did a smashing job welcoming you back.

We had a great round of summer students as well, with networking and a seaside trip, so more of this next year as well!

Our membership has grown to almost 150, despite our weird registration Formwize brought onto us through the new data security regulations. So please keep joining us here, and we now have 236 connections on LinkedIn.

It is all of YOU! who make 'Tommy Flowers Institute' happen, and we are grateful for your support

And then there is one last exciting bit of news before we are going into the run-up to Christmas. Please welcome aboard our new team member Carol Fletcher, BT, who will be taking the helm.

We now wish you all a wonderful Christmas, a Happy New Year and a well deserved holiday break.

See you all again in the New Year.

With Best wishes from your
Tommy Flowers Institute Team

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

2018 Autumn Conference - Repurposed Innovation Tech Mashup

We are slash bang in the middle of putting together another fabulous conference for you!
I am just about to get the brochure print rolling but most importantly I am discussing the menu for the dinner on the Tuesday evening, while Fraser is finalising the details of the flight of this really rather big drone.
We can't wait now to hear about IoT applied to the world of agriculture and medicine, and neuroscience applied to AI. Inspiration is sparking all directions these days and it surely does at our conference.
We will hear about blockchain applied to education. Really? Isn't blockchain all about cryptocurrencies? Well, we will find out!
We will learn what soft robotics is about, and how something that usually finds it's application in medicine can transform processes in the telecoms world, and we will hear the viewpoints of our speakers from the UK Government's Satellite and Digital Catapults, and many things more.
But most importantly we can't wait to welcoming you to this madness of mixing it up.

Please do

for the 2018 Autumn conference on 'Repurposed Innovation - Tech Mashup'
Date: 18th - 19th September
Location: Adastral Park, Ipswich, IP5 3RE
Start: 09:30 AM both days
Drinks & Dinner: Tuesday 18th
Fees: none

Friday, 11 May 2018

Report: 2018 Spring Conference - The Future of TV

The Tommy Flowers Spring Conference took place 6 – 7 March 2018 - our fourth conference and the best attended yet!

A jam-packed audience of well over 100 people attended across the two days, exploring the Future of TV. Industry experts including Ericsson and OFCOM; together with academia and post-graduate researchers joined senior representatives from some of the World’s biggest TV and production companies, including the BBC and BT Sport.

It was also brilliant to have support from our Innovation Martlesham companies: Sandvine, Huawei, Cisco; NetComm Wireless; Coderus; ADVA and Diometer – many of whom gave technology demo sessions.

Watch the video highlights here: https://youtu.be/jN0sETpHl6g

BT’s Lisa Perkins, the Research and Innovation Director for Adastral Park opened the conference. Lisa provided a great overview of the topic, highlighting that even with rapid technological change, there is always the fundamental desire to tell a good story well – people want to communicate, transact and be entertained.

Attendees were encouraged to think about changes in the delivery of TV; the way the production of TV will change and addressed the ways that we understand how our audience will change.
Sharing and communicating these ideas with each other certainly proved to be a very interactive conference.
The Story

Dr Vinoba Vinayagamoorthy, provided an amazing insight into her career, from being home schooled, chasing her ambitions as a female in science and technology, through to her current role in BBC Design & Engineering. Vinoba’s focus was about enabling richer interactions in multi-screen experiences and VR technologies. Examples given included headsets which take you to music festivals with your friends and how people can post live images onto webpages and becoming part of a TV show. She explained how Accessibility is key – enabling people to personalise the technology to meet their needs. How by using an avatar environment can give you the feeling of being in the action – the award winning documentary, “We Wait”, about Syrian refugees on a boat, was provided as an example. Vinoba explained how AI technology can actually provide additional workload but how it is also enabling a richer content.
You can get involved at Twitter: @what2donext @bbcrd

Matt Locke, founder of Storythings looked at the way technology shapes the way we tell stories. Matt compared Scheduling and Streaming. He explained how there is a dark art to scheduling! The thoughts behind what you place before and after a certain programme; how people experience the schedule at the same time and how media experts such as politicians can use the power of scheduling to talk to people.
Streaming, however, is endless; is mobile – moving from device to device and can be decontextualized ie reduced to the basic information such as a picture and heading. Beware of "dopamine" side effects – suffering from a ratty brain because of too much streaming!!

Interestingly, it is found that publishers are now moving out of streaming and into subscription relationships – a more trusted relationship with their readers.

Co-founder of Illuminations, John Wyver, presented on television but not as we knew it. John commented that the past uses of television were much more varied than TV today and by looking backwards can help us look forwards. A fascinating insight into theatre from the 1930s and how people were able to connect to live broadcast.

Steve Sharman, Hackthorn Innovation – presented on how to help storytellers use technology to tell the most engaging stories that they can. Examples of Walt Disney and George Lucas were given as pioneers who helped push forward the art of storytelling using technology. To tell a story, you need to be able to write, communicate and be bold!

The Delivery

Ofcom’s Simon Parnall, spoke about the opportunities and challenges facing the industry; looked at some of the prevalent myths and considered the real needs of our citizens and consumers.
Simon provided interesting stats about what British people are watching on TV, such as how there is a greater use for paid demand TV by young adults aged 16 – 24 and how there is a globalisation of television markets , such as Netflix. He also highlighted that 82% watch TV in SD and not in HD or UHD – why is that so? Connectivity is getting more and more complicated and that users want to navigate through the vast choice easily and simply.
An overview of BT TV and Broadband Services was provided by Dr Simon Jones, Gabriel Martin & James Unitt.
Simon, TV Architect, provided a top level view of BT TV. Simon looked at how BT TV support their customers across the media value chain, such as support for broadcasters and channel owners; for production and post-production and for Rights holders. He explained what a competitive and innovative market BT operates; how Linear TV is more than just pictures and that it’s now available on main screen TV and devices. With television still evolving, Simon described various technology trails looking at resolution; dynamic range; colour and enhanced audio. For the BTTV Set top Box (STB), a voice control trail is also taking place. Finally, BT TV Media and Broadcast are facing challenges in customer experience – Simon described the programmes addressing Transformation; Speed to Market and Service Management.
Gabs, explained that the Network Connectivity used within the TV Contribution area over the coming years is going to change beyond recognition, as the cost of Bandwidth drops significantly and Broadcasters transition their studio’s interfaces from baseband SDI to IP as compliant with SMPTE 2110.

His presentation ran through a System and Network architecture that makes use of Software Defined Network principle in the networks servicing the TV contribution area. It also touched on briefly the use of End to End Service Orchestrator that will help simplify the overall customer Experience.

James, Manager and Design Authority for the TV Headend Team, focused on the head end key tenets. He explained that the TV headend is at the heart of TV business economics – the effects at the source are amplified throughout the network. James also explained evolution of the headend network and the evolution of appliances vs compressed IP contribution.
Andy Rayner, Chief Technologist at Nevion, explored broadcast television production and transport. Andy looked at WAN and CAMPUS technologies; security RTP – how protection principles and timing principles are built around this; media origination timing; IP media edge and how to protect media flows and the technology-agnostic user experience.
Prof Alan Chalmers from the University of Warwick presented on high quality compression for displays of the future. Alan explored HDR (High Dynamic Range) displays.
Alan discussed the need for new approaches to HDR video compression, explaining they are efficient, able to cope with the brighter displays of the future and can adapt - not only to changing ambient lighting, but also to the mood of the content, to always ensure an enhanced viewing experience.

The Production

Jamie Hindhaugh, COO, BT Sport and BT TV captivated the audience with his career history, from ITV to London 2012 to his move to BT Sport and BT TV.

Jamie described how the reputation of BT Sport is so crucial with dedication from across the team – consisting of experts in the industry and third parties, in order to deliver the innovative services.

How can we in BT Sport deliver and demonstrate how innovative BT are? Jamie discussed in detail fibre broadband and BT Infinity – delivering 4K over IP – but producing content at the same time for both HD and 4K users, even by reducing down to one delivery truck. This was made possible by some 14 suppliers working with them.

Some interesting stats came out from Jamie’s talk:
  • BT Sport at Olympic Park was created and up and running in 9 months
  • It’s the best production studios in Europe - 76 events in HD and 4K delivered in 2015
  • 357 live events in 4K ultra HD – the best live producer in the world
  • In 2015, launched enhanced App overlay, enabling viewers to go back in a live game to view stats. Enabling people to engage how they wish
  • In 2016, 360 cameras put you into the stadium during live coverage
  • EE shops on the high street captured people’s feedback during live games where they could watch on 360 headsets
  • 2016 saw Innovation Lab winners – SeenIt – technology enable fans to submit live script during football games, including questions to pundits.
  • In 2017 BT Sport was produced in 4K with Dolby Atmos. The sound enhances the experience by 60%
  • IBC Innovation Award presented 2nd year running
  • Have you noticed that commentators don’t talk on BT Sport when fans in the stadium are singing!
  • 2017 UCL Final VR360 – the commentator has control of the 360 cameras and can share with the audience where to look
Where does Jamie believe where the next steps are?
  • Picture quality needs to improve – being able to zoom in and out in the field of view
  • Enabling content to fit for both phones and the big screen
  • Object based production – giving the audience control on what they want to view

Simon Gauntlett, from Dolby provided an insightful look into how Dolby deliver spectacular experiences with images and sound - from understanding how neuro scientists research the impact of what people are watching to how their bodies react to the combination of colour and intensities used on a screen.
Dolby believe that accessibility is also key to enable the user to customise their experience.
An insight into Dolby Audio looked at Dolby Atmos technologies – how sounds are individually coded and bouncing sound off ceilings to really give the impression of things happening all around over your head.
Simon also looked at future environments such as using all the senses; volumetric capture and light field arrays and automotive entertainment – driverless cars becoming offices or living rooms of the future!

Cisco’s James Walker, introduced the audience to 2-Immerse – a platform for Immersive Object-Based Multi-Screen Experiences. To deliver these service prototypes, 2-Immerse is developing an extensible standards-based platform to support the production, delivery and orchestration of these immersive "Distributed Media Applications".
James introduced the theatre and sports-based service prototypes that have been designed, developed and trialled by the project and highlighted their key features. Examples such as enabling and inspiring content owners and TV service providers to create synchronised multi screen experiences that are flexible, interactive and customisable.

In 2017, Theatre was brought to people in their homes. Text chat took place between two homes watching the theatre. They received notifications during the interval; details of the actors about to appear on stage; the bell ringing to tell people to take their seats – all similar to being in the theatre itself.

Key dates:
  • Winter 2017 saw Motor GP at home. Feature rich content; objected based experience; user control features; responsive layout; rider on-board bike feeds
  • Spring 2018 saw live football at home
  • Autumn 2018 will see Theatre brought into schools
Project website and blog with videos can be viewed at: https://2immerse.eu/

Marian Ursu, University of York presented, The future of TV, exploring algorithms and AI and the role they have in storytelling for the future.
Marian asked what do we think about AI? Would we trust machines to do story telling? Would they help us receive and experience better stories?
Marian provided two examples of specific projects:
- eSports
- Object Based Media
In ESports, computer games are played competitively and watched by audiences. It’s also broadcast – mainly by Youtube and twitter. In 2016, 320m people watched and $596m revenue. By 2020, it’s predicted that 580m people will watch and $1.5bn revenue – a very large market.
By using Big Data, extraordinary performances within the game can be extracted eg personal bests. This data is automatically passed to the commentators – this being called a narrative bit.
Object Based Media allows the content of programmes to change according to the requirements of each individual audience member. The "objects" refer to the different aspects that are used to make a piece of content, such as a video or audio. AI is put into a recipe to solve this problem.
"Don’t place AI anywhere in particular", says Marian, "production teams with AI are in charge of both production and distribution of content. Co-creativity is essential for authoring flexible media – TV content is interactive with this."

Consumption of TV

Olivier Wellmann, VP of Product Management at Conviva – who develop and market an AI platform for intelligent video measurement and analytics for the over-the-top market. Customers include more than a hundred of the top publishers globally.
Olivier described how they collect data in order to help with the viewer experience. He explained that they capture 3m events a second across the globe. Olivier highlighted various key facts and figures, including:
People watch for longer on devices
  • Consumer behaviour is shifting towards video Apps rather than browsers
  • Viewing hours on video Apps is at 160%, compared to browser growth of 23%
  • iOS phones watch double the amount of video vs Android owners
Olivier presented European country viewing time. UK is ahead of the game, but this is probably because the UK is has one of the best OTT services available.
"Device type and levels of expectations have all changed", said Olivier, "people are demanding much more".
Further breakdown of the stats can be viewed on Oliver’s slides via our post event BLOG pages.
Anders Erlandsson, Ericsson Consumer Lab, analysed consumer behaviour, attitudes and trends to provide actionable consumer insights and forecasts.

Anders described the TV User Groups who they talk to each year – 100k consumers: TV Couch traditionalist; Screen Shifter; Computer Centric; Mobility Centric; Average TV Joe and TV Zero.

Very interesting stats came out in the discussion:

Smart Phone viewing
  • Around 70 percent of consumers watch TV and video on a smartphone today – twice as many as in 2012.
  • Smartphones make up a fifth of total viewing, with approximately six hours per week spent watching TV and video on the device
Mobile and on-demand by 2020
  • Half of all viewing will be done on a mobile screen, and half of this will be done on the smartphone alone.
  • About 7 out of 10 consumers will prefer on-demand and catch-up services over scheduled linear TV viewing, and almost half of all viewing will be on-demand.
  • A third of consumers are projected to use VR
  • VR could be a rebirth of social viewing for people on their own
  • 16–19 year olds spend more than half of their time watching on-demand, an increase of more than 100% – or almost 10 hours a week – since 2010.
  • 60–69 year olds, on the other hand, still spend almost 80% of their viewing time watching live and scheduled linear TV, which is almost as much as in 2013.
Content Delivery

Current content discovery capabilities are failing to cope with consumers' usage of multiple video services and devices, which is why 7 out of 10 consumers say a universal search feature would be very useful.

Fraser Burton, BT’s Head of University Research, closed the event by underlining the national significance of this research area. The UK Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper has announced that to support UK priorities in key areas of innovation there will be a further Wave 2 investment of £725m in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund over the next four years. There are six Industrial Strategy Challenges in Wave 2, notably including "Audience of the Future", with funding up to £33m.
Immersive technologies such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality are changing how we experience the world around us – from entertainment and art to shops and classrooms.
The challenge is to bring creative businesses, researchers and technologists together to create striking new experiences that are accessible to the general public. This can create the next generation of products, services and experiences that will capture the world’s attention and position the UK as the global leader in immersive technologies

Tommy Flowers Institute - What’s Next?


The next Tommy Flowers Institute Conference will take place from 18th – 19th September 2018 at Adastral Park.
Focus will be "Repurposed Innovation – Tech MashUp". All industry Post Graduate Researchers are encouraged to attend along with academia and industry.
Register now https://goo.gl/QvNBqU
Summer Placement
As well as the conference, students based at Adastral Park over the summer, will be able to take part in some organised activities.
Sign up at https://goo.gl/Mk1s4r to become a Tommy Flowers Institute member
And don’t forget to follow us on
Web http://tommyflowersinstitute.org
Twitter @TFInstitute
Linked-In https://www.linkedin.com/in/tfinstitute/

For more information email us: tommy.flowers.institute@bt.com  


Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Demo - Fun at 'The Future of TV'

The delegates of 'The Future of TV' are enjoying themselves at our lunch/demo session.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Late addition to the prestigeous line-up of speakers

We only got confirmed yesterday that Olivier Wellmann, Vice President of Product Management at Conviva will be joining our prestigious line-up of speakers at our 2018 Spring Conference on 'The Future of TV'.

Conviva develops and markets an AI platform for intelligent video measurement and analytics for the over-the-top market. Customers include more than a hundred of the top publishers globally.
Olivier’s team looks after Product Management, Developer Community, Product Partnerships, Program Management, and Documentation across the quality of experience and user engagement products, advertising solutions, as well as the device ecosystem development for the Conviva solution globally.  
Previously, Olivier was Vice President Product Development for the Middleware, UEX, and Multi-Screens Products at Nagra Kudelski. He was responsible for driving products, partner strategies, and well-crafted polished User Interface including next-generation hyper-connected media-convergence solutions.
Olivier was also VP of the Advanced Advertising solutions at OpenTV (now Imagine Communications). Over the years, he held Product Management, Marketing, and Business Development positions. 

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Matt Stagg, EE, will be a speaking at 'The Future of TV'

Another highlight of our 'The Future of TV' conference is Matt Stagg, Head of Media and Entertainment Technology of EE.

Matt has over 25 years’ experience in telecoms, media and entertainment and was recently voted in the top 50 most influential people in online TV for the fourth year running. In 2017, he was awarded the TV Connect People’s Choice award for the ‘Person who made the biggest impact on the connected entertainment industry’.
Within EE he is Head of Media & Entertainment Technology, developing the strategy for the Broadcast, Media & Entertainment over 4G / LTE-B & 5G This encompasses a ‘glass to glass’ approach incorporating both contribution and distribution of media.
Matt is also the Founder and Chairman of the Mobile Video Alliance and co-founder of the LTE-Broadcast Global Alliance.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Matt Locke, Founder of Storythings speaking at 'The Future of TV'

We are proud to introduce Matt Locke as another key speaker at our 2018 Spring conference on 'The Future of TV'.

Matt Locke is a digital storyteller, founder of Storythings and an expert in the role of new tech in media development, having led ground-breaking innovation projects at the BBC and Channel 4. He’s currently researching the history of how we measure attention – from applause in 19th century music halls to the digital networks of today. With Storythings, he has told the story of many multidisciplinary projects, from Gruff Rhy’s American Interior to How We Get To Next , an online magazine highlighting emerging innovation to accompany Steven Johnson’s PBS series. He also curates The Story conference, which shares the weird and wonderful world of storytelling.
Before starting Storythings, Matt worked in digital media for over 15 years, including 7 years as Head of Innovation at BBC New Media, where he led many ground-breaking open data projects, including Backstage, Innovation Labs, and the BBC/Yahoo Hackday.
He then went to Channel 4 in 1997 to lead their Education dept, commissioning crossplatform projects for 14-19 yr olds, including the double-Emmy winning www.battlefront.co.uk. Before leaving Channel 4 to start Storythings, he was Head of Multiplatform, running the team that developed projects including Million Pound Drop, Big Brother, Skins and Misfits.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Vinoba Vinayagamoorthy, BBC, to speak at our 2018 Spring conference

We are very much looking forward to welcoming Vinoba Vinayagamoorthy, BBC R&D Engineer, to our 2018 Spring conference on 'The future of TV'.

Vinoba is an R&D Engineer within Broadcast & Connected Systems. She mostly walks/runs/floats around trying to think up new types of synchronised companion screen experiences for connected homes.

Please read her full profile here.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Alan Charmers, Professor at the University of Warwick to speak at the 'Future of TV' conference

Another speaker highlight at our conference on 'The Future of TV' will be Alan Charmers, Professor of Visualisation at WMG, University of Warwick, UK and formerly a Royal Society Industrial Fellow.

Alan has published over 245 papers and supervised 47 PhD students. Chalmers is founder and scientific adviser of the spinout company of trueDR Ltd. He has been active in UHD research and development for over 15 years and currently leads a team of 6 researchers investigating many aspects of the field, and especially HDR.
He is Honorary President of Afrigraph, a former Vice President of ACM SIGGRAPH, and was a member of the Technical Advisory Board of Brightside, the HDR display pioneers. In addition, Chalmers was Chair of EU COST Action “IC1005 HDR” that co-ordinated HDR research across Europe to facilitate its widespread uptake and he is currently a UK representative on IST/37 considering the incorporation of HDR and WCG in MPEG.

At the conference he will be talking about  High Quality Compression for Displays of the Future

High Dynamic Range (HDR) displays offer the potential of showing images which are much richer in detail in the dark and bright areas of a scene compared to a traditional, Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) display. Current consumer HDR OLED displays have a peak luminance of approximately 700cd/m2 (or nits) while backlit LCD HDR displays currently have peak luminances of about 2,000nits.
Despite all the commercial interest in HDR, it is still not possible to fully appreciate the dynamic range when viewing HDR content on either of these types of display in normal ambient light conditions. Instead HDR content has to be viewed in a dark, and indeed preferably pitch-black room. This problem is exacerbated when viewing the content on mobile devices “on the go” and thus, potentially, in constantly changing ambient light conditions.
Brighter HDR displays are appearing. SIM2 showed a 10,000nit display at IBC2016, while Sony announced a 10,000nit display at CES2018. Mobile displays too are getting brighter with the Samsung Galaxy S8 having a peak luminance of over 1,000nits. Current HDR video compression methods, such as HDR10 and HLG have only been designed to minimise visual artefacts for displays of < 4,000nits and, furthermore, are not able to adapt to changing ambient lighting conditions.
In this talk he discusses the need for new approaches to HDR video compression which are efficient, able to cope with the brighter displays of the future, and can adapt not only to changing ambient lighting, but also to the mood of the content, to always ensure an enhanced viewing experience.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Ed Haslam of Conviva to speak at the 'Future of TV' Conference

We are absolutely delighted to have Ed Haslam, Chief Marketing Officer of Conviva as speaker at our 'Future of TV' Conference.

Ed is a strategic marketing executive with experience in digital media, network infrastructure and enterprise software. Ed has been the founding marketing executive of many other venture-backed technology companies, responsible product launch, company, and brand, along with developing the channel to market, building international teams and overall corporate strategy.

In this presentation, Ed will discuss a deep-dive analysis of European OTT consumption, expanding upon Conviva’s recent global Continuous Measurement Annual Census which saw significant growth in viewing hours and plays over the previous year.
Conviva’s footprint spans more than 180 countries, all global CDNs, in excess of 1200 global ISPs, and over 2100 video app types. Important viewing insights will include a global comparison of plays, unique devices, and total hours by region, and a comparison of data viewing time, total plays, average minutes per ended play, and average completion rate for European countries. We will also review trends around consumer behaviour related to devices, browser, and application usage for video viewing.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Anders Erlandsson, Ericsson, to speak at 'Future of TV', March 6/7

It is getting better and better! We now have Anders Erlandsson's secured as speaker for our 2018 Spring Conference on 'Future of TV'.

As Senior Advisor at Ericsson ConsumerLab, Anders Erlandsson is responsible for analysing consumer behaviour, attitudes and trends to provide valuable and actionable consumer insights and forecasts and thereby develop strategies that generate revenue and improve the customer experience.
Anders joined Ericsson in 1991. He has been a frequent speaker and panellist at numerous industry conferences and customer events. He has worked extensively with consumer insights is areas such as social media, privacy & integrity, mobile commerce and last but not least TV & media. In his TV & Media research, more than 120 000 consumers have been interviewed since 2010, in 34 markets globally. The latest edition of the report alone, represents the views of more than 1 billion consumers.
Anders Erlandsson is based in Stockholm, Sweden and has previously held various Product Management, Business Development, Sales and Marketing positions in Sweden and in the UK. He holds an MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from the Linköping Institute of Technology, Sweden.


Thursday, 1 February 2018

Simon Parnall, Ofcom, confirmed as speaker for 'The Future of TV' Conference

We are very pleased to have Simon Parnall, Principal Advisor Broadcast Technology for OFCOM, speaking at the 2018 Spring conference on 'The Future of TV'!

Simon will speak about the opportunities and challenges facing the industry, look at some of the prevalent myths, and consider the real needs of our citizens and consumers.
We are looking forward to interesting viewpoints and discussions.

Simon Parnall has been Principal Advisor Broadcast Technology for OFCOM since 2016. Previously Simon worked in Broadcast Research and Development, latterly for NDS as UK Vice President and for Cisco as Distinguished Engineer, and formerly for BBC R&D at Kingswood Warren.
His work has primarily been in the creation and worldwide standardisation of new television and radio technologies, and he has led a number of European and Worldwide initiatives.
Simon is married with one teenage son. He is also a borough councillor, church organist and keen hill walker.


Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Simon Gauntlett, Dolby, to speak at our 'Future of TV' conference in March '18

We are delighted to have Simon Gauntlett joining our fantastic group of speakers. He will talk about 'Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision in production – to deliver next generation pictures and sound'.

Simon is Director, Imaging Standards and Technology, at Dolby Laboratories. He leads a team that works with international standards bodies, broadcasters, and consumer electronics manufacturers toward the development and adoption of advanced imaging standards.

Prior to joining Dolby in 2016, Simon was the CTO of the Digital TV Group, where he helped set up the UK UHD Forum, and was editor in chief for the D-Book, the UK specification for interoperability of the DTT (Freeview) and Connected TV platforms.

Simon has a master’s degree in electronics and communications engineering from Exeter University and BBC graduate training. He is an Honorary Fellow of the BKSTS, and current Chair of the SMPTE UK Section.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

James Walker of Cisco confirmed as speaker for 'Future of TV' Conference

With great pleasure we announce that we have secured James Walker from Cisco as speaker for our 2018 Spring Conference on 'The Future of TV'.

James is a technical leader working in the Chief Technology and Architecture Office of Cisco on media innovation projects. He is leading the platform work-package within the 2-Immerse project.
Prior to Cisco, he worked in the New Initiatives and TV Platforms divisions for NDS, Motorola PCS, C-Cube Microsystems and BBC R&D.
2-Immerse: A Platform for Immersive Object-Based Multi-Screen Experiences

‘2-IMMERSE’ is an H2020 collaborative project creating and piloting new immersive object-based multi-screen experiences. To deliver these service prototypes, 2-IMMERSE is developing an extensible standards-based platform to support the production, delivery and orchestration of these immersive ‘Distributed Media Applications’.
His presentation will introduce the theatre and sports-based service prototypes that that have been designed, developed and trialled by the project, highlighting their key features. It will then present the architecture and implementation of the cloud-based platform we have developed in realising these service prototypes, and our approach to orchestrating the media objects of a Distributed Media Application within the end-user’s device environment.

Monday, 29 January 2018

2018 Spring Conference - The Future of TV

Registration for this conference is closed now!
Date: 6th - 7th March
Location: Adastral Park, Ipswich, IP5 3RE
Start: 09:30 AM both days
Drinks & Dinner: Tuesday 6th
Fees: none

In order to successfully peek into the future one must understand the past. Have you ever been asked what sort of television you had when you were young, in order to guess your age? Throughout history television has been redefined for the generations as technology evolved from
  • black and white to colour
  • 4:3 to 16:9
  • cathode ray tubes to flat panels
  • public service to advertising funded
  • standard definition through to ultra-high definition
  • being a few channels to being hundreds
  • being free-to-air only to incorporating paid-for offerings
  • being a scheduled broadcast experience to being an experience that could then be recorded and now is available on demand.
At present industries are more competitive and diverse than ever before. They embrace and drive change faster and faster. There however is one constant throughout, and it is the reason why we watch at all: The Power of The Story

What IS the Future of TV?

The two-day conference will be opened by Lisa Perkins, the Research and Innovation Director for Adastral Park.

We will hear from fantastic keynote speakers coming from all four areas which are the building blocks of Television:
  • Story-telling
  • Delivery
  • Production, and
  • Consumption
We will take time to discuss the well known trends - including all the good and bad that comes along, and we will hopefully discover new viewpoints during our breakout and meet and mingle sessions, to take away as inspiration.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Television - but not as we knew it

We are absolutely thrilled to have John Wyver, writer and producer at Illuminations, as keynote speaker at our 2018 Spring Conference on 'The Future of TV'.

"Television as we knew the medium since the 1950s may now have come to an end. Yet for the half-century to the early 2000s we understood television as a small-screen broadcast technology for domestic consumption within inflexible programme schedules. With that form fractured and fragmented into on-demand and streaming services, interactive option, social media integration, IPTV delivery and multiple screen consumption in an almost infinite plurality of settings, the television of today and tomorrow is hard to define and predict, let alone understand so as to build careers and business models.
At the conference we will see to offer some context for such a complex world, and consider how television was imagined at another moment of radical uncertainty, in the late 19th and early 20th century. Drawing on the methodology of the emerging practices of “media archaeology” the presentation explores and illustrates the earliest ideas and first instances of television. These include television as a telephone-delivered service to public viewing rooms and television as a large-format form for projection in cinemas. Television - but not as we came to know it."

JOHN WYVER is a writer and producer with the independent production company Illuminations. Since 1982 he has produced and directed an extensive range of documentaries and performance programmes about the arts and digital media. His productions have been honoured with a BAFTA Award, and International Emmy and a Peabody Award among others. Working since the mid-1990s with BT Research, BBC R&D and academic partners, he was a pioneer in integrating broadcasting and network media, and he continues these interests in the current 2-IMMERSE research project co-funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme.
He works with the Royal Shakespeare Company as Director, Screen Projections, and for the company he produces the RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon cinema broadcasts, as well as other theatre for the screen including the Donmar Warehouse Shakespeare Trilogy (2017) and the forthcoming Hamlet for BBC Two. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Westminster, where his research interests include the history of the arts on screen and television adaptation of theatre productions. He is the author of Vision On: Film, Television and the Arts in Britain (2007) and the forthcoming Screening the Royal Shakespeare Company: A Critical History.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Lisa Perkins to Open the 2018 Spring Conference on 'The Future of TV'

We are delighted to announce that Lisa Perkins, Director of Strategic Research and Innovation, will be opening our conference on 'The Future of TV taking place at Adastral Park, Ipswich on 6th and 7th March 2018.

Lisa is director of research and applied innovation in BT’s Technology, Service and Operations division. She is accountable for all aspects of strategic research, down-streaming innovation and partnerships with world leading universities. She actively promotes and drives the digital literacy agenda, working with schools and encouraging children and teachers to develop a love of technology. Lisa runs the Adastral Park campus, including all elements of Innovation Martlesham, and is working on an exciting transformation agenda for the site.
Previously, Lisa was director of customer assurance, strategy and operations, in Openreach CIO and drove the technology strategy and its investment, enabling business transformation and growth for Openreach. She also led service improvement through establishment and adoption programmes across a significant customer base.
Lisa has worked across various areas of BT for 20 years, leading major programmes such as Superfast Broadband, Voice over IP and other cutting edge technical deliveries across core and access networks.
Lisa has two children, plays various sports, is a trust governor for a local Academy school and is an accredited coach.

Friday, 5 January 2018

A bit of wonderful history

We received a proper letter!

We not often do. Everything is digital and cyber and cloud these days. Although this is our bread and butter business, receiving this letter touched a beautiful nerve. This was not a bill or an advertisment: Somebody had taken an effort to write, print, find an envelope, put a stamp, and drop it into the post box to send us a kind and joyful message regarding our champion, Tommy Flowers.

As we enter the second year of our endeavour, we would like to share with you this endorsement.

Dear Sir

It is with great interest that I have read the report in 'THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROFESSIONAL' [p25 July/September 2017] about the Institute's work. At the age of 96 I am probably the one of the very few engineers living today who worked with Tommy in the Engineer-in-Chief's Office. True did I not know him personally when he did the wonderful groundwork on 'Colossus', although when it became public knowledge I found out that I had been involved in the assembly and testing of parts for the computer, known to me then as just one of the peculiar products we made up where I worked in the Circuit Laboratory. However, I came to work with him when we were building the first electronic public telephone exchange at Highgate Wood in North London.Then I came to know him well and have a great respect for his ability & his pleasant personality. To me it is great that he is now honoured by the creation of the Institute bearing his name and I write to you to tell you how pleased I am to see this. I only wish that I could help in some way to further the aims of the Institute, but age and limited mobility prevents that. I am certain that were he still to be with us Tommy in his own modest way would thoroughly applaud the institute and his work.

May the Institute have a wonderful future.

Yours most sincerely,
                                   Roy F Howard

We herewith pass on those wishes to all our members and supporters for a wonderful 2018!

The TFInstitute team!