BBC triumphs at RTS Technology Awards

MUMBAI: UK pubcaster The BBC did well for itself at the Royal Television Society's prestigious Technology Awards a few days ago.The RTS Technology Awards seek to recognise excellence in technological activities from 'scene-to-screen and back'.

The BBC won in six out of the eight categories, including a Lifetime Achievement award for Chris Clarke of BBC Research and Development.

Clarke was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award for the outstanding 'back room' work done over the past 30 years. This included work on digital PAL decoding and TV standards conversion in the Seventies, making possible a worldwide agreement on digital video standards.

European Broadcasting Union (EBU) new technology head David Wood said, "Without Chris Clarke's contribution, there would be no ITU Rec 601, the cornerstone of digital television throughout the world. His conclusion that a PAL signal could be decoded by any sampling frequency, backed up by thorough studies, was the key to unlock the agreement on component coding, which led to the worldwide standard Rec 601."

Commenting on the award, BBC DG Mark Thompson said, "Digital television is a central part of our plans for the future, and for future services to the public. And without the kind of back room work that Chris Clarke has done, both on standards and on the development of DTT, we wouldn't be able to look forward to the future with such confidence. So on behalf of the whole BBC I'd like to salute him and thank him for all his work."

The technical team behind the BBC Two series, Coast, also picked up the Technology in Content Delivery and Technology in Consumer Electronics awards for its Coast Mobile service, a ground-breaking initiative in conjunction with Gavitec AG and Hewlett-Packard, which allowed users to access audio and video material using symbols captured by a mobile phone camera.

BBC technological innovation was also recognised in the following categories:

Judges' Award - BBC General Election Results programme, for advancing the way information was presented to viewers.

Technology in Content Creation, Capture or Restoration – for the BBC's use of mobile phones in the newsgathering process, which the judges cited as "a European pioneer in its field."

Research & Development Team – awarded to BBC Research & Development's interactive team for the creation and delivery of interactive TV services for all the main digital TV delivery platforms.

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