The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) will convene for its 2018 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition from October 22-25. This year’s conference will show off the latest technology in the film and television industry. Get up to date on the latest research with our SMPTE round-up:

Creating a Framework for Shared Media Experiences in 360-Degree VR

Developments in virtual reality (VR) and 360° video have led to many new 360° cameras and VR headsets entering the market. As consumers gain access to this technology, the social media landscape is transforming and creating a market for interactive and immersive VR experiences. In response to this, researchers designed a web-based approach to test VR applications.

The framework, TogetherVR, allows users testing VR applications to communicate with a high degree of presence and photorealistic video quality. To test their framework, the researchers had 75 participants in a three-day demo session play a virtual game. The users responded favorably to the system and reported no experiences of motion sickness. Going forward, the researchers believe their system could test social VR experiences in workplaces, classrooms and homes.

Using AI for Media Piracy Detection

The growth of TV and movie streaming services in recent years, has led to a pronounced increase in piracy. The vast amount of media content on the internet makes it difficult to identify and flag pirated media. To find all these pirated shows and movies, researchers propose a computer vision system powered by artificial intelligence (AI).

By using AI to identify the original source of content through identifiable images, such as broadcaster logos, the researchers believe their system can effectively combat media piracy. Unlike a human, an AI system can constantly search and identify pirated content without rest. Outside of movies and television shows, the researchers are also evaluating how their system could identify illegal streaming of sports broadcasts. With this AI monitoring system, movie and television companies may finally have an effective solution for dealing with media pirates.

Selecting Encoding Parameters for HDR Streaming

High dynamic range or HDR, is a major trend in televisions today. The HDR format can provide higher resolution and a higher level of contrast between light and dark images to create a more realistic picture. Videos are starting to be encoded for HDR streaming services, but the many variables in HDR encoding can make streaming HDR content complicated. To solve this issue, a researcher created HDR encoding parameters for video quality and bitrate to make designing HDR streaming services more reliable and easier to manage.

To account for the different factors in HDR encoding, the researcher evaluated video distortion for the different HDR variations in video quality and bitrate. In HDR streaming, it is important to balance compression and resolution in encoding because the interaction between resolution and compression can affect the lighting contrasts that make HDR picture visually appealing. With these parameters, HDR video streaming services can consistently provide the ultrarealistic images that sets HDR apart from other picture formats.

Enabling Speech-to-Text for Broadcasters

News organizations are beginning to see the potential of using speech-to-text technology for broadcasts. Improvements in automatic content analysis have made the technology more affordable and accurate, allowing broadcasters to use it to examine hundreds of thousands of hours of content. To take advantage of this, members of the BBC News Research & Development team designed a broadcast speech-to-text system that uses a neural network for speech recognition.

By using this speech-to-text technology, the BBC enables its listeners to find broadcast content that meets their interests. The system takes in audio from a broadcast and segments the broadcast into sections before analyzing each section with a deep neural network that can classify the distinct sounds of audio into text. To advance the original system further, the BBC’s innovation team, called BBC News Labs, is currently using the R&D team’s system as a basis to create digital speech-to-text systems for journalists and program producers.

For more information on SMPTE research, make sure to visit the IEEE Xplore booth at the 2018 SMPTE Annual Conference and Exhibition. The IEEE Xplore team will be exhibiting from October 22-25 at the Westin Bonaventure in the California Ballroom Foyer.