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Oculus Rift, Ultra-HD and 4G streaming: The future of the BBC

Ready for the future of TV? The BBC hopes you are as it gets set to show off a range of new products that form the crux of its plans for the coming years ahead.

The UK’s license-fee funded broadcaster is using the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as a platform to launch a plethora of projects that all centre on its Ultra-HD capabilities and a new way to broadcast over the Internet.

"The future isn't being created by one company or different companies working in isolation, this is a future that is going to be created by collaboration, and the BBC is committed to open innovation and open research,” explained Matthew Postgate, controller of BBC R&D.

The BBC is broadcasting some elements of the Commonwealth Games in Ultra-HD and part of the exhibition shows off a special presentation of how it is putting this together and some of the challenges that it has had to combat. This includes a joint presentation with Cisco of what the future of TV viewing in the home looks like.

Venue Explorer is another strand to the exhibition and shows how all TV audiences using standard definition devices can benefit from Ultra-HD production that lets tablet users pan around and zoom to the events at which time the sound adjusts automatically.

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The BBC is also embracing virtual reality technology and an Oculus Rift headset has been acquired in order to show off the action from the SSE Hydro Stadium at the games.

Augmented video makes use of BBC iPlayer with graphical overlays presented on top of video streams that are controlled by the viewer and give additional information about what is going on.

Also part of the plans is a demonstration of 4G mobile broadcasting announced earlier today and how it plans to use TV white spaces to deliver broadband to rural areas.

Demonstrations of the new technologies are being held in the Glasgow Science Centre Clyde Suite from 10:00 BST to 17:00 BST throughout the games that run from 24 July to 3 August.