Duration: 18mths FTC
About the BBC Research & Development (R&D) team
BBC R&D has a worldwide reputation for contributing to, and leading, the engineering, research and development of many of the key broadcast and media technologies. The research work is mainly on new technologies which are expected to be rolled out over a 1 to 5 years timescale and require both in depth theoretical knowledge and a practical approach to potential deployment. BBC R&D is based in two main labs, one in London and one in MediaCityUK, Salford.
About the role
You'll be working as an R&D Engineer in the Distribution Applied Research Area of BBC R&D.
This section works across industry shaping and defining connected digital television platforms and seeking opportunities to exploit them with innovative new services.
The team you'll be working in has responsibility for the technical design, assurance and optimisation of the BBC's technical output on broadcast platforms and IP distribution platforms, including picture quality analysis. The team is responsible for managing distribution resources during the transition from broadcast to digital-only BBC, while at the same time maximising picture quality and overall user experience. You'll be engaging with engineers and stakeholders that run our distribution platforms as well as working on new projects and ideas as part of the BBC R&D function. Projects you will work on will generally produce an audience benefit within 12 months. As R&D Engineer you may be working on testing and evaluating new broadcast equipment or cloud services, working on specifications for media and data distribution, and building prototype software to evaluate solutions. You may also be called upon to provide deep analysis of the BBC systems and services to produce robustness and continuity recommendations and promote service improvements.
This is a 18 month attachment/fixed term contract, though there may be opportunities to extend.
You'll have a background in broadcast or IP distribution technologies, ideally in a research and/or development background. This is an opportunity for a someone with existing broadcast engineering or IP media distribution experience to work in a R&D environment. We want an R&D engineer that can identify and resolve important problems and research questions using creativity and inventiveness and is ready to get hands-on with our broadcast and IP distribution infrastructure. You'll have some experience of using software development at least as a tool for evaluation/experimentation/learning purposes (rather than software development being the primary purpose of the role).
You're enthusiastic, curious and full of ideas. You keep up to speed with industry trends and technology developments.
• Apply creative thinking, analysis and good judgement to propose innovative solutions to technical problems, which may involve a range of diverse approaches
• Produce and test prototype implementations of systems to help answer research questions
• Evaluate technology through activities such as programme trials, lab tests and user tests in order to determine its suitability and effectiveness
• Document results primarily for an audience within the department or wider BBC, with occasional external-facing output such as conference papers and blog posts
• Grow and use your knowledge of broadcast or IP/web standards and technologies to work with colleagues across the BBC and industry
• Contribute to the transfer of results of work to the wider BBC, e.g. in the form of systems for operational use or advice to wider industry
• Collaborate with groups across the BBC and externally on clearly-defined projects to achieve results beyond what would be possible within the local team
• Work with other companies to define technical standards for the future
Are you the right candidate?
• Experience of broadcast engineering or IP media distribution.
• Working knowledge, or strong understanding, of issues around broadcast engineering, and current IP media distribution such as:
- using IP technology in broadcast-critical environments
- coding and distribution of media over broadcast and/or IP
- picture quality evaluation
- broadcast/media focused system engineering
• Creative flair to envisage how technology could be improved and to invent new things, together with analytical skills and an attention to detail to tackle difficult problems.
• A desire to learn new skills.
Nice to have skills:
• Working knowledge of one or more of DVB systems and associated systems engineering, including MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video compression, audio compression and multiplexing or systems used to create and distribute accessibility features (subtitles, audio description)
• Knowledge of TV industry standards for content distribution or viewer facing application technologies