BBC R&D team wins award at International Broadcasting Convention

MUMBAI: Two BBC research scientists have been awarded the best technical paper prize at this year's International Broadcasting Convention (IBC). The prize has been won jointly by Adam Wieworka and Peter Moss who are part of the BBC's Research and Development Department based at Kingswood Warren.

This year's IBC is to be held at the RAI Centre in Amsterdam from 8 to 13 September 2005. The prize winning paper will be presented on 9 September in the session Content Delivery - New Solutions are Born.

The paper - Digital On-Channel Repeater for DAB - describes a technique for improving reception of DAB digital radio services by using on-channel repeaters – small transmitters that pick up the wanted service off-air, amplify it and rebroadcast it. Normally such a technique would cause oscillation like the familiar 'howl-round' from microphone to loudspeaker. But Wieworka and Moss have developed digital signal processing circuitry that cancels out the feedback that causes instability.

Field trials have shown that the on-channel repeater does solve reception problems when a wanted signal is affected by interference from much stronger signals in adjacent channels. A similar technique could be used to improve DTT reception, but the processing required would be more complex. BBC R&D chief scientist Ian Childs said, "There is stiff international competition to present papers at IBC, so to have papers accepted for the conference – and we have many this year – is quite an honour. This award from an international conference shows once again the high regard that the whole industry has for the work done by this part of the BBC."

The International Broadcasting Convention is by far the most important broadcasting technology event held in Europe, attracting over 40,000 visitors from around the world. Its Technical Conference aims to meet the needs of the creative, business and technical communities in both its in-depth coverage of subject material and the variety of different formats that its sessions take.

IBC Technical Papers Committee chairman Professor David Crawford, commented, "Each year the IBC Technical Papers Committee sets itself the near-impossible task of selecting a 'best paper' from the truly world class contributions to the IBC Papers Programme. The assessors were particularly impressed how the authors maintained the right balance between the complex mathematical theory of the subject and the practical implementation of a solution.

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