The Royal Television Society Technology Centre runs a programme of lectures, workshops, masterclasses, and awards throughout the year. Based in the Thames Valley, the Centre enjoys a membership drawn from both the manufacturing and production communities, and increasingly beyond the local area reaching out across the whole of Great Britain and Ireland.
The Centre is based at the heart of the largest concentration of television technology manufacturing companies in the country, and its membership has a strong technology focus covering a wide range of subjects around the fast changing and converging world of film and TV. At its heart, the Centre seeks to promote a conversation between the technology innovators and the producers, such that they can have a strong relationship to generate maximum understanding and value.
For more information about upcoming events or to join the Technology Centre, email RTSTechnology@rts.org.uk
Inspire, Educate & Entertain
Technology Centre aims to provide;
Knowledge sharing for those pursuing and advancing careers in media and entertainment technologies.
Bridging the disparity of understanding between technical subjects and real-world application through discussion forums, networking and industry expert talks.
And the centre is committed to simplifying technology and improving accessibility for all.
Thames Valley Committee
Jennie Marwick-Evans - Chair
Tim Marshall OBE - Hon Secretary
Stephen Stewart - Vice Chair
Kara Myhill - Operations Manager
We asked some of our committee members 'Where do you see the biggest impact on the broadcast/media/television industry in 2023?'
Tim Marshall OBE - Hon Secretary
2023 will continue to be a time of radical change, fundamentally affecting those in the production of digital content as well as consumer behaviour. Linear television increasingly has an older demographic with new generations consuming their content on small and mobile devices. Content will increasingly be interactive or immersive and needing to be produced in innovative ways. Consumers will more and more be able to pervasively access streamed personalised content, with new funding models. Many technologies have been accelerated by the pandemic, particularly virtual and remote production, and in 2023 these will gain more traction with sustainability a substantial consideration as well as further applications in the cloud. The application of AI into the broadcast and production workflows, will continue to grow in all parts of the production and distribution chain. 2023 could be an exciting year but anyone not ready for change might consider whether they are in the right business!
Stephen Stewart - Vice Chair
Traditional streamers and traditional linear broadcasters will adopt more similar operating models. With the cost of living crisis potentially increasing cancelations/cord cutting from consumers, the march to an ‘Ad Funded’ model by Netflix, Disney will continue. Prediction- will Apple be next?
At the same time, traditional linear broadcasters will continue to look more like streamers. ITVX will grow and will increase the number of ‘streaming-first’ shows. Ad-funded/branded entertainment shows could be launched as ITVX exclusive. Could an established ‘tent-pole’ show move to ITVX only.
With an increasing number of streamers, plus linear broadcaster VoD services having launched- will 2023 see the emergence of an uber-aggregator, offering the full package of all services in one place?
A perfect storm is building. The cost of creation and publishing infrastructure is decreasing across all media. New ways of working are burgeoning. Traditional barriers to entry are almost gone. Adequately experienced creators are increasingly hard to find for the broadcast coal face. High-quality digital equipment is becoming accessible to almost everyone. Advertising revenue share is decreasing. Innovations such as ST2110 will enable venues to place remote cameras and rent control and raw streams to remote and virtual studio galleries.
Feature films can now be shot on smartphones and assembly edited within a few days of principal photography ending, the consequent shifts in production and post are massive. AI tools facilitate new products, workflows, and crew reductions. The impacts are many and harsh for an industry serving large general audiences when profitable niche audiences can be built cheaply by agile creators. Audiences are deserting broadcast for the myriad online resources. Creators are eschewing traditional training and learn much of what they need from no-cost YouTube apprenticeships.
The industry confronts a future of decreasing relevance. The new informers, educators and entertainers are in the wings and on tiny screens right now. Just like the Town Cryer, Instant Print, and Blockbusters traditional broadcast could be confined to history. This will not be a fast process, just an inevitable one. Watch out for the furry ball that crawls across the jungle floor, eating the eggs of the dinosaur!
Dr Russell Stone
The broadcast, media and television industry will come under further pressure to reduce their carbon impact to net zero from regulators, stakeholders and consumers in 2023. This may accelerate the adoption of virtual production to help achieve this target. This in turn will place greater pressure on all educators to develop the necessary programmes to meet an expected growth in demand for virtual production skills in the workplace and to ensure there is pipeline of new talent ready to meet that demand in the years to come.
I think there is huge potential for ‘Neural Radiance Field‘ (NeRF) image synthesis technology to cause disruption in broadcast production.
NeRFs will enable very rapid, very low cost, re-creation of locations for studio use.
High quality photographs or video sequences are processed by neural networks to re-create a clean and accurate 3D model of a location, allowing actors (real or CGI) to be placed within the scene whilst remaining in the studio.
NeRFs will enable programme makers to capture and manipulate environments, including re-lighting them to a certain degree.
When NeRF rendered scenes are allied to games engines and used with LED volumes, there will be an enormous impact on the speed and cost reduction of creating scenery and backgrounds.
NeRF development is still at an early stage, but having seen the extraordinary speed of development of AI-integrated software over the last few years, I can see production-friendly NeRF workflows being developed during the next year. With the constant pressure of cost, carbon footprint reduction and speed of production, this could well have an impact much sooner than many might expect.