Kingswood Warren - the 19th century Surrey house that is currently home to the BBC’s world-renowned Research & Development Department (R&D) - will again open its doors to the public on 10 and 11 September 2005 as part of a national weekend of Heritage Open Days, organised by the Civic Trust and English Heritage. Visitors will not only be able to look round the impressive reception rooms and the beautiful grounds and croquet lawn, but will also be able to experience some of the technical broadcasting wizardry of the BBC, making the impossible appear to happen before their eyes.
Young visitors can participate in a show of the BBC’s virtual reality Production Magic in the TV studio and (for a small charge) take away a videotape or DVD recording their exploits. Demonstrations will range from some of the electronic trickery behind BBC television coverage to the material that made Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. There will also be exhibitions on the achievements of BBC R&D Ã¢â‚¬“ including demonstrations of some current projects and on the history of the Kingswood Warren house.
Organised by the Civic Trust and English Heritage, Heritage Days open up the doors of buildings of historical or architectural interest that are normally closed to the public.
Andrew Oliphant, Head of Transmission Group at BBC R&D, said: “We look forward to welcoming the public to Kingswood Warren on Heritage Open Days. “This is our third year of running these events and we aim to maker the experience better each and ever time. Our visitors will see not only a building that has played its part in local history, but also how R&D helps the BBC deliver quality and value for money to our viewers and listeners.”
BBC R&D has a staff of about 160 professional engineers, mathematicians and scientists. Its current work includes:
- spectrum planning for TV and radio Ã¢â‚¬“ recommending what transmitters are needed, where, and using what frequencies;
- Digital Radio Mondiale Ã¢â‚¬“ digital radio for the long, medium, and short wave bands;
- digital TV services Ã¢â‚¬“ interactivity, electronic programme guides, and reception improvements;
- access services for TV Ã¢â‚¬“ subtitling, signing, and audio description;
- wireless techniques in broadcast production;
- virtual production for TV Ã¢â‚¬“ computer-generated sets and virtual actors;
- production technology Ã¢â‚¬“ enabling TV and radio production from a computer desktop;
- developing new services for the BBC website.