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Tuesday 11 September 2018

The Media Technology programme was at Sky’s HQ in Osterley today for their Tech Summit 2018. The invite-only event attracts leading companies and engineers to discuss current industry trends and challenges. The key themes were Content Innovation, Superior Streaming, People and Skills as well as Emerging Tech.

There were parallel sessions to choose from but we started off with “Listen up… development in next generation audio”. As well as discussions around object based audio and binaural there was a particularly fascinating talk by Dr Mariana Lopez on how sound design can be applied to aid accessibility for the visually impaired whilst maintaining – and even enhancing – the creative intent. In further sessions we were updated on techniques to monitor and improve video streaming and how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is employed within the broadcast sector.

In addition to the talks, Sky were running several tours around their facilities including NEP’s Aurora 4K Outside Broadcast truck and the Sky Sports News studio. We were lucky enough to receive a personal tour around a live production gallery and were given a detailed run-through of the systems used to support production operations.

Left: One of the lectures  Right: A tour of the production galleries

The Media Technology programme was also able to invite students to the event, giving them the opportunity to network with industry professionals as well as providing them with cutting edge insights directly from leading technologists. Second year BSc (Hons) Television Production Technology student Joe Franklin commented:

“The experience of the Sky Tech Summit was fantastic and very insightful. There was a lot to take in, especially as I had a tour of the studios, including the Sky Sports news studio, and behind the scenes including the Sky Sports News gallery, which was fascinating to see in person. The talks were interesting, giving an insight into the future of technology.”

The talks concluded with a lively debate around the game changing technology, with impassioned advocates arguing for AI, 5G, Blockchain and Virtual/Augmented Reality. The debate was presented by Sky News’ Anna Jones and concluded with some comedic input from impressionist Jon Culshaw. VR won the day but with AI coming in close second.

The day was extremely valuable for networking and keeping our degree programmes current. Many thanks to Sky for inviting us and for their generous hospitality throughout the day.

The Game Changers Debate presented by Anna Jones