Watch Video: The BBC has developed a prototype application that combines relevant web content with a live TV stream. The implementation gives a glimpse of some of the possibilities likely to emerge as web-enabled set-top boxes become commonplace. Canvas is clearly a potential destination for the work, though in the commercial market it might just be possible to purchase that little black dress from Sex in the City.
Writing on the BBC Backstage Blog, Andrew Littledale explained that a Flash application had been created that pulled in live subtitles from an IRC channel and places them alongside a live web feed of the BBC News channel. “As the subtitles appear on the screen they are sent off to a natural language processing API and relevant concepts are extracted from the text,” says Littledale. The stories are then linked to content from the BBC website. Methods to filter some of the returns, to make them less random, are currently being explored.
Littledale, who works in BBC Learning Development, told Broadband TV News the department saw the technology as a way to link TV output to web services such as Bitesize, but stressed it was not official BBC policy.
A live demonstration at next month’s Media Festival in London (September 8 – 10) is under consideration.