BAFTA Secures Share of $50 Million for Web Research Project

British Academy of Film and Television Arts Research will carry out a two year program into solving significant problems concerning visual quality for moving images on the internet.
Associated Press
Chiwetel Ejiofor at the 2014 BAFTA Awards

LONDON -- The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) said Friday that BAFTA Research, a commercial business unit operating within the organization, has won a share of $50 million ($30 million) in government funding for its work.

The undisclosed share from the U.K.'s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, is for BAFTA Research's latest research project entitled Resolving Visual Quality for Media (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.

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BAFTA Research will lead the project, supported by University College London (UCL) and the British government backed agency, 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 aims to become an essential part of online quality control as video compression standards, bandwidth availability, and mobile and other platforms continue to evolve.

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An "open dataset" of human responses to quality, presented as a series of reference videos, will also be created help all researchers concerned with visual quality.

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

BAFTA COO Kevin Price said: "Technology research is a relatively new activity within our 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 is 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."