New Tech in Focus

IBC's Campus celebrates global ingenuity
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A special highlight of IBC is its "New Technology Campus," which touts
advances by world-wide broadcasters and fledgling organizations. This year,
Fuji TV Network took center stage with two products: a music eraser and a new
way to automatically remove profanity from non-live content.

Kazuhiro Hoya, of Fuji Television Network's Broadcasting Coordination
Section Technical Department, says the music eraser could be useful for
repurposing content for the Internet when the distributor doesn't have music
rights.

"This will remove the music track in the background, while keeping the
dialogue, sound effects and background noise," says Hoya. The system works
close to a real-time basis. It's based on Fuji TV's own phase-independent
function-elimination method that finds the music portion of an audio track and
deletes it. The user then adds original music that he or she has rights to
use.

As for the profanity-cleaner, it's useful only for prerecorded content.
The user creates a list of inappropriate words, then passes the video through
the system. The system takes out those words.

An audio development by Fraunhofer IIS holds promise. As video
compression improves and requires less bandwidth, the audio stream becomes more
of a bandwidth hog. That creates a need for improved audio compression, which
Fraunhofer offers with its HE AAC advanced audio-compression system. It can
deliver surround-sound audio at data rates as low as 48 kbps. That's critical,
since video compression can deliver video in 1.5 Mbps.

Korea's top broadcasting institute, KBS BTRI (Broadcast Technical
Research Institute), offered a new watermarking system for DTV that includes a
real-time HD/SD watermark embedder and detector. The watermark is invisible to
viewers but completely readable by the detector.

Another KBS innovation was a character-retrieval unit that aids
asset-management systems. With the help of face-recognition software, it can
build metadata information, including the name of the person onscreen, the time
he or she appears and leaves, and the screen time.

The capability has been offered before by companies like Virage, but KBS
believes its solution would benefit asset-management systems. A final boon: The
BBC's use of audio panning for audio description information. The advantage?
The visually impaired have the ability to adjust the sound level of the audio
description narration and the program's soundtrack.

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