Auf einer Tafel sind mehrere mit Kreide gezeichnete Strichlisten zu sehen (Bild: David-W- |
David-W- |

2006 - 2017 - Completed Projects - Innovating From the Outset

It all began in the late nineties at ORB and SFB. The EU-funded project Mirage delivered multimedia productions for Radio Fritz while the Opal project created a political magazine.

Since then, the rbb Innovations team has been positioned at the cutting edge of developments in digitisation. Working together with rbb editors, the Innovations team develops, tests and piloted a wide variety of services.

Die Projekte im Überblick

  • HBB4ALL (2014 - 2017)

    HBB4ALL was a European research project on the topic of media accessibility and focussing on subtitling, sign language and enhanced quality of speech audio. We developed new solutions and tested them extensively with end users. Among the results of this project was a subtitle player which allows users to personalise the size, position and background of subtitles according to their personal preferences. This service was integrated into the on-demand video library of German public service broadcaster network ARD, and into the HbbTV-libraries of BR, HR, MDR, NDR, ONE, Radio Bremen, rbb, SR, SWR and WDR.

    In addition, we tested a range of options for presenting sign language interpreters on the TV screen. We also examined aspects of personalisation and how these differed across content genres. This led to design and production workflows for rbb, the ARD and project partners.

    Last but not least, our partner the Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT) developed 'Clean Audio' technology to deliver broadcast speech with enhanced clarity for users with hearing difficulties. We tested these developments with a group of 50 hearing-impaired users.

    Further Information: Website

    EuropeanaSounds (2014 - 2017)

    The digital platform Europeana connects 'islands' of state and public archives via the internet, and plays a significant role as Europe’s cultural repository. The EuropeanaSounds project functioned as the 'audio pillar' of Europeana, delivering valuable cultural heritage audio to be made available for public access.

    A particular challenge lay in addressing the variety of proprietorial data systems operated by the wide variety of data contributors. The ease with which users could later conduct multilingual searches belied the challenges of preparing data in various languages and alphabets.

    Sound archives were aware of the legal and ethical hurdles to be overcome in order to allow public access to their content. While respecting the cultural mission of sound archives, this project addressed and resolved many of these issues to the satisfaction of the participating archives.

    For rbb, Europeana plays an essential role on the cultural stage due to its non-commercial nature and its historical role as a global knowledge disseminator. rbb delivered 300,000 audio items to Europeana from its DISMARC catalogue (see also 'DISMARC').

    Further Information: Website

  • EuropeanaSpace (2014 - 2017)

    EuropeanaSpace was an enormous project - 29 European partners provided a wealth of cultural heritage content on such diverse topics as publishing, Irish legends, archaeology, historical photography, dance, museums and games. The goal was to achieve enhanced public access to the cultural treasures contained in the virtual library of Europeana, supported by innovative applications and services and reinforcing the European creative sector.

    The project led to the development of an HbbTV app enabling viewers to watch historical footage from the Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv and from the rbb archives directly on their TV screens. Within the EuropeanaTV sub-project, rbb created a SmartTV version of the mobile website  In October 2014, this mini-media library focussing upon the story of the Cold War made its debut. The app delivered 250 short videos about life in the divided city of Berlin and subsequent reunification.

    The bi-lingual (German/English) app was developed in close cooperation with rbb's multi-media editorial team and Berlin developers MOCCU and Exozet.

    Further Information: Website

    TV-Ring (2013 - 2016)

    The Smart TV app accompanying the 'verknallt & abgedreht' series brought multimedia content and social media elements to the TV screen.

    The rbb Family editorial team teamed up with professional film makers and six young people to make a reality documentary series about first love. Additional material accompanying the 20-part series included profiles of presenters, photos, video clips and instant messaging with participants. This extra content was available both during broadcast and over following weeks, and could be accessed not only via smartphone or PC but also via HbbTV. Videos were available in Ultra HD and MPEG-DASH, as part of TV-Ring's testing of broadband HbbTV and adaptive video services.

    Eight partners from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain were involved in the project.

    Further Information: Website

  • FIContent2 (2013 - 2015)

    FIContent2 was an exceptionally successful project for rbb. Our participation in the project focussed on HbbTV, and we developed three apps which were successfully used on-air.

    November 2014 was the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. It was marked by a multimedia blog, which could be accessed not only via the rbb web portal but also on the TV screen via the HbbTV Mauerfall app. The app accompanied the 25 hour-long TV broadcast which told the dramatic story.

    In 2015, the social media app created by the project's HbbTV Application Toolkit was enthusiastically used by followers of the reality-TV documentary ‘verknallt & abgedreht’ to discover updates and chat about the latest episode.

    Also in 2015, we released another project result - the rbb Sandmännchen-App, accompanying the popular children's TV series of the same name. Accessed via the MDR and rbb HbbTV launcher bars, the app offers additional material in the shape of three extra videos, updated weekly.

    LinkedTV (2011 - 2015)

    In cooperation with rbb’s news editors, we developed a prototype app providing relevant background information during news broadcasts. This information, synchronised with the broadcast, is shown on second-screen devices such as smartphones or tablets.

    Further Information: Website

  • HBB-NEXT (2011 - 2014)

    This project was a great success, creating two interactive TV apps, both of which were used live on-air. HBB-NEXT was assessed by the EU as 'Excellent' and contributed significantly to HbbTV standardisation. With nine European partners and funding of three million Euros, the project was coordinated by rbb, and the Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT) provided technical management. The work focused on developing new services and technologies in the HbbTV/SmartTV domain.

    We began testing the HbbTV subtitle app in 2012, and by 2016 the service was in national use by Das Erste and the ARD network for broadcast TV. Accessed via the HbbTV launch bar, viewers can personalise subtitles according to their personal requirements. The subsequent HBB4ALL project (see also 'HBB4ALL') and the cooperation with the ARD/SWR provide the opportunity to integrate personalised subtitles into the HbbTV video library. The TVRing (see also 'TV-Ring') and FIContent2 projects subsequently continued to develop further innovative apps developed by HBB4ALL.

    3D Vivant (2010 - 2013)

    This project demonstrated the potential of holoscopic 3D productions, using a single 360° camera instead of the regular two-camera set-up. In cooperation with rbb’s Science and Family teams, we created a virtual 3D studio that was used for the 'quergelesen' programme, among others.

    We additionally developed a 'hyper-video' service, which made on-screen video objects clickable in order to present additional content. This technology was later used in a showcase for the popular children’s TV show 'Unser Sandmännchen'.

  • COTV (2008 - 2012)

    The Community TV Content Making (COTV) project developed a technical system supporting the creation of User Generated Content (UGC), and offered a practical solution to the question "How can we meaningfully integrate UGC?" In cooperation between editors and users, we developed a sophisticated platform.

    In a nine-month pilot phase, 50 UGC-based videos were produced by Radio Fritz listeners. This led to the TV series 'meinFritz TV', which was broadcast via satellite. COTV used HbbTV and HTML5 standards.

    EuropeanaConnect (2009 - 2011)

    This project contributed to the further development of the European cultural platform Europeana. rbb contributed over 300,000 music items from its DISMARC (see also 'DISMARC') database, drawn from over 1,000 partners. This historically important cultural material can now be publically accessed.

    Further Information: Website

  • DTV4All (2008 - 2011)

    In this project we focussed on technical support in the TV domain for people with vision- and hearing impairment.  Working closely with regional support groups for the disabled and rbb editors, we carried out extensive tests with over 70 users. One result was the incorporation of DVB subtitles into broadcast via DVB-T. The project's recommendation for DVB subtitles were subsequently adopted by the ARD network of public service broadcasters.

    Together with the ARDText department and the Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT), the new HbbTV-based video text service for Smart TVs was adapted to respond to the needs of partially sighted viewers.

    Further Information: Website

    Vital++ (2008 - 2011)

    In this project, we created and implemented an innovative concept for personalised radio. Given that radio content can today be streamed over the internet to a wide variety of devices, we developed the concept of personalisable radio.

    Listeners could easily create their own personal station, tailored to their particular interests and tastes and drawn from existing radio stations. This innovation was implemented as a prototype in cooperation with auto manufacturer VW for in-car use.

  • PORTIVITY (2006 - 2008)

    The goal of this project was to further develop mobile interactive TV via DVB-H/DMB. Using a mobile device, users could directly interact with broadcast TV programmes.

    Selected objects on screen could be clicked on the second screen to reveal additional content or possibilities for further interaction. In cooperation with rbb’s Family editorial team, we developed a mobile test version for 'Spur und Partner', the popular detective series for children.

    DISMARC (2006 - 2008)

    In this project, we created a European platform enabling research in local sound archives regardless of the user’s location - partners thus opened their archives to a global online audience.

    Unique recordings hosted in radio archives, museums and scientific institutions were finally made accessible in an online databank.  rbb also developed a series of 'virtual exhibitions' presented online by Europeana and focussing on selected topics, beginning with '‘Weddings in Eastern Europe'.

    DISMARC prepared the way for future aggregation of music, spoken word and sounds.

    Further Information: Website