back to article Fake tape detectors, 'from the stands' footie and UGH! Internet of Things in my set-top box

At this time of year, the tech press is often focused on IFA, the massive electronics show in Berlin where many companies unveil their latest products, including smartphones, flatter, curvier TVs than ever before, and all manner of other things. Taking place a week later in Amsterdam, IBC, the International Broadcasting …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BBC documentaries

    "[...] and you'll get to hear a version that takes exactly that time [...]"

    Well that should reduce most BBC documentaries by about a third - by removing all the many repeated synopses and recaps. It probably won't do anything to condense it to the few minutes of intelligent information. though.

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: BBC documentaries

      I suspect if you applied the same to Channel 5 documentaries, you'd make them even shorter.

      Just about all TV docs these days seem to have an over-reliance on recaps. A button on the catch-up services labelled "Show each piece of stock footage only once" would be quite illuminating, I think.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: BBC documentaries

      Part of the problem with programme material for the BBC is it has to fit the BBC time slot but may also be sold to other broadcasters who have shorter slots, especially advertising based channels. It is easier to make the programme for the shorter slot and pad it out than it is to cut to fit. Recaps fall after where ad breaks would appear and many may have been made for advertising channels in the first place.

      I am sure the reason we have so many 'coming next' and other BBC self-promotions and pointless idents are to make imported programmes fit the artificial 'on the hour' programme start times we expect in the UK.

    3. Chris Evans

      Re: BBC documentaries Or Channel 4's Grand Designs

      "... reduce most BBC documentaries by about a third - by removing all the many repeated synopses and recaps."

      Or Channel 4's Grand Designs where they insist after each advert break to do a full synopsis so far as viewers can't possibly have remembered over the two minute ad break.

      It is what the fast forward on a PVR is for!

      The recent BBC Documentary on Stonehenge was another classic case, two one hour programs that would have still had padding if a 30 minute broadcast

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: BBC documentaries Or Channel 4's Grand Designs

        The stonehenge show was a co-prodcution shown as a 50min broadcast in Canada and 2x1 hours in the UK. Even more remarkable it was braodcast as part of an environmental program in Canada

        1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

          Re: BBC documentaries Or Channel 4's Grand Designs

          Documentaries (and some other shows) on commercial TV are considerably worse than the BBC equivalent as they lead up to every ad break with "coming up after the break" and follow every ad break with a recap. Consider how short the gaps between ads are getting on some channels then take out the recap and preview section of each segment and then take out the ads and the opening and closing titles and work out how much content there is in an hour of commercial TV documentary.

          The beeb make a lot of their programmes forty-odd minutes long in order that they can be sold uncut to foreign broadcasters. However it still doesn't work very well, watch old BBC shows on channels like Dave or ITV 3 and the cuts to ad breaks seem abrupt and somewhat arbitrarily placed.

  2. Mage Silver badge


    Yes. Lots of interesting stuff for Engineers.

    I enjoyed my visits some years ago. I persuaded Turkish and Chinese stands to sell me something. Security to board the plane was interesting. Then the security guys wanted to know where to buy the large Turkish made item. Or maybe it was at the big 'Equipment for Cable TV providers' etc exhibition in Germany. (more specialised, but a similar Trade only show) Anga

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For instance, picking up audio from the goal keeper, or turning off the commentary.

    Yes,, yes ,YES!

    Turn of the crap commentary that plagued the Olympics, especially the brain dead moron that covered the opening ceremony!

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: For instance, picking up audio from the goal keeper, or turning off the commentary.

      Other potentially interesting things include being able to control the mix more easily. For example, if granny needs the audio description, but everyone else is driven mad by it, object based systems could offer the possibility of delivering the AD to a specific speaker, at a volume of your choice. Sit granny next to that speaker and everyone should be happy.

      1. sorry, what?

        Re: For instance, picking up audio from the goal keeper, or turning off the commentary.

        Even better, with the internet of things, have the TV/box able to communicate with multiple headphone devices and allow different audio to be sent to each - granny/grandad can have all the audio description (and extra volume, of course) that they want whilst everyone else are able to listen via the main speakers to their choice of track(s).

        I must say, the concept of spatial orientation of the headphones affecting the perceived location of the sounds is a brilliant idea.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For instance, picking up audio from the goal keeper, or turning off the commentary.

      Don't forget the god-damned bloody freaking vuvuzelas in certain football matches in yesteryear.

      Turn it off and password-lock it in the off position with 256-bit encryption.

      Can I switch that puny 1.5 liter turbo engine noise from this year F1 by the lovely aspirated Renault V10 engine roar we used to have? It sounds so 'meh' now.

    3. Jes.e

      Re: For instance, picking up audio from the goal keeper, or turning off the commentary.


      I live in the US..

      I started to get a clue when I wanted to see parts of the Athens opening afterwards and was shocked when I got exerpts from the BBC version on YouTube. (The BBC announcer knew Greek literature and science and our USA counterpart just babbled.)

      I watched the London live but then found a HiDef Australian version on a torrent site. I was horrified to find bits had been omitted.

      I bought a clue by four and skipped watching the Russian opening entirely and just downloaded a BBC version when it became available.

      Are you aware we have ad breaks over here in the US which increase exponentially as the show progresses? And when you get back parts of the opening (especially the march of nations) just gets dropped on the floor?

      Yes. The ability to just go with the stadium feed would be wonderful!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Law abiding Mongolians

    Good for them, they don't seem to be pirating anything.

    Cue the massive trade delegation to fly out first class and find out how they do it.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Law abiding Mongolians

      Can't say the same for the Brazilians. It's a jungle down there. Even the Russians can't compete.

      1. Quentin North

        Re: Law abiding Mongolians

        Looks like a big market for knock off DVDs in Africa.

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: Law abiding Mongolians

      I like the way the piracy rate in Canada is completely uniform across the whole country, even the uninhabited bits.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Law abiding Mongolians

        Polar bears are big consumers of pirate Paddington

    3. BikePics

      Re: Law abiding Mongolians

      The first time I was happy to see Australia had been left off a map!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Fake tape detectors..."

    Any mention of this in the article? I seem to have missed it.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: "Fake tape detectors..."

      The part at the end where "doctored" tapes are submitted with cleverly-edited audio and such.

      "A common trope in a lot of drama, pirated or otherwise, is where the protagonist hands on a recording that could have been faked, or altered."

    2. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: "Fake tape detectors..."

      The Fraunhofer audio forensics, mentioned in the last two paras.

      With the combination of looking at background electromagnetic cycles, microphone profiles, and codec characteristics, it's possible to say with a fair degree of certainty that a recording has been tampered with. So, when a site gets sent a "you won't believe what politician X said in this closed meeting" recording, these tools will make it much easier for them to verify whether or not edits have been made.

      It will help, hopefully, to avoid the egg on the face when the recording you're claiming to say "of course we don't care about the poor" turns out to be a tampered version of someone saying "of course our opponents would say we don't care about the poor"

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: "Fake tape detectors..."

        I can understand insertions and distortions, but you're saying these forensics can also detect cuts to existing material (in your case, cutting out the "our opponents would say"), even though nothing was added that was different from the original source material with all its background characteristics?

        1. Nigel Whitfield.

          Re: "Fake tape detectors..."

          Apparently so; one of the tools is 'Electrical Network Frequency' or ENF analysis. As I understand it, this is the impact that things like the 50Hz/60Hz mains and so on will have on just about everything. So, as I understand it, if you don't manage to get your cuts just right, they can apparently detect that information is not in an unbroken stream.

          There's an earlier report on this from 2010 on The Register , and clearly techniques have improved since then.

  6. brooxta


    Looks like Australia fell off the bottom of the internet...

    Funny given that Neighbours is one of the most popular shows pirated in the UK.

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