Whatever your views on its programming, it is hard to deny that the BBC’s research labs have produced some pretty clever things over the years. Teletext, RDS and Nicam stereo are just some of the more well known ones, but the R&D Lab is also responsible for much of the work on the DVB-T2 standard that makes Freeview HD possible, as well as research on topics like resolution and screen size that Reg Hardware has looked at before.
Following that long history of innovation, the closure in 2010 of the labs facility at Kingswood Warren, Surrey made some observers worry about the future of the R&D department, now split between two locations in London and a third in Salford’s new Media City UK development. No need to worry, the Corporation claims. To prove how busy the R&D Labs are, it invited Reg Hardware to travel north to take a look at what’s happening in the labs today.