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Connected entertainment

Highly entertaining

Kevin Blyth, Head of Future Consumer Applications & Services Research

How do we give BT TV and BT Sport viewers the best possible entertainment experience?

That’s the focus of what we call our ‘Connected Entertainment’ research programme - one of BT’s most colourful and exciting R&D initiatives.

A big part of the programme is looking at delivering content over our networks in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

We want to make sure our customers get the same amazing viewing experience regardless of location, the network they are using or however they choose to watch that content - be it through a set-top box and a TV, or using their PC, smartphone or tablet.

From ‘glass to glass’ we want to provide the best possible entertainment experience

That’s why, right now we are exploring areas such as low latency, single content architectures and 5G network slicing. These are the technologies that will pave the way for true, near real-time multi-screen viewing experiences.

We are also carrying out research into High Dynamic Range (HDR) TV, working closely with BT Sport.

Seeing is believing

Our belief is that by that combining HDR with 4K UHD broadcasting and the ability to deliver higher frame rates we will be in a position to offer a breath-taking ‘seeing is believing picture quality’ experience for our customers.

Because we know that BT TV and BT Sport customers love interactivity, my team is involved in some particularly progressive projects around immersive and interactive applications

These include the idea of providing user-controlled, 360 degree video in 4K and beyond, as well as a number of virtual reality apps.

We’ve made some giant leaps in successfully using voice-assistant services like Alexa or Google Home with our content (Alexa is now integrated into the EE TV service for example).

In addition, we are researching into creating more personalised TV screen layouts based on user-preferences.

Data-driven innovation

TV analytics is another exciting area of research that’s keeping us busy.

We are leading the way when it comes to applying data science tools to all the data we can capture from our networks, our apps and our customer behaviour.

The insights we extract allow us to make more accurate predictions around the precise preferences of our customers so we can offer them an even better quality of service.