Advanced Television

BAFTA wins online video quality research

April 4, 2014

By Colin Mann

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has confirmed that BAFTA Research, a commercial business unit operating within the organisation, has won funding from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, for its latest research project entitled ‘Resolving Visual Quality for Media’ (REVQUAL).

Following BAFTA’s success in the Technology Strategy Board’s ‘Cross-platform Production in Digital Media’ competition, BAFTA Research will receive a share of £30 millio funding that will directly support REVQUAL.

REVQUAL proposes to solve significant problems concerning visual quality for moving images on the Internet, helping audiences to receive high quality video online and helping producers ensure each distribution route is consistent.

BAFTA Research will lead the project, supported by University College London (UCL) and Film London. It follows BAFTA’s previous work in visual quality assessment and builds on past research conducted in collaboration with UCL.

REVQUAL will innovate an automated service – a ‘web crawler’ – that continuously improves content owners’ networked video to generate the best possible versions for viewing. It will become an essential part of online quality control as video compression standards, bandwidth availability, and mobile and other platforms continue to evolve. An ‘open dataset’ of human responses to quality, presented as a series of reference videos, will also be created to help all researchers concerned with visual quality.

Kevin Price, BAFTA Chief Operating Officer, said that technology research is a relatively new activity within the Academy’s 67-year history. “We are very pleased the Technology Strategy Board will be supporting our latest project, which allows the Academy to provide innovations that benefit the industry as a whole.”

Pam Fisher, BAFTA Research Manager, said REVQUAL was an important project, central to BAFTA’s research focus. “REVQUAL will help us meet the needs of customers using our technology, addressing concerns about preserving visual quality throughout the workflow, from the point of content creation through to viewer presentation.”

Dr. Yiannis Andreopoulos, UCL Principal Investigator for the project, said: “We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration with BAFTA to advance the state of the art in visual quality measurement, and to working together to build the BAFTA-UCL ‘ground truth’ dataset open to all researchers.”

REVQUAL will run for two years starting in late Spring, 2014.

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