KBS debuts VVERTIGO, an AI-powered UHD production solution.

14th June 2023
KBS has introduced VVERTIGO, a unique AI-based system that produces reframed videos by automatically tracking the subject.
Example for reframing for individual fancams with VVERTIGO. Credit: KBS

By Dorcas Mirembe-Korsah

South Korea’s public service broadcaster, KBS, has launched VVERTIGO, “a novel solution which combines artificial intelligence (AI) person detection technology to 8K UHD video for object auto-tracking.” KBS developed VVERTIGO in 2018 and was first used in broadcast production in July 2019. Since then, KBS has been using the tech in its productions, while using data its collected over that time to regularly improve the system. It was officially launched at the NAB Show in the US earlier this year.

“VVERTIGO’s built-in AI engine automatically tracks multiple people from images taken with a single 8K camera and creates individual images, using face recognition AI technology,” said Yoon-jae Lee, Deputy Director of Korean Broadcasting System. “Thanks to the VVERTIGO, we can quickly produce 8K HDR content.”

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The tech means that despite using only a single 8K camera to shoot a video, KBS can generate multiple streams of that video which focusses on just one individual. Because this is achieved through AI, it makes the editing process more efficient. “This method has reduced the number of cameras used in multicam production by about 70%,” Mr Lee said. KBS remains the only broadcasting company in Korea to provide 8K HDR content.

VVERTIGO was started to enhance the performance of “multi-cam production” using dozens of cameras in concerts, talk shows, sports, and other events. KBS uses VVERTIGO for the creation of K-POP – a worldwide musical phenomenon – Music Bank production, which is broadcast every weekend globally and is enormously popular particularly with younger generations. . “Providing high-quality content created with the latest technology to our viewers is an important mission for a public broadcaster,” Mr. Lee told PMA.

The K-pop supporters have long wished to not only enjoy live musical performances in high quality but to also be able to watch cut-out videos allowing the viewer to focus in on a specific member of the group.

VVERTIGO was unveiled at the NAB Show in the US in 2023. Credit: KBS

“As a public broadcaster, KBS is proactively researching AI technologies that take a long time to develop and is playing a crucial role in disseminating them in the domestic market. Thanks to the great interest in AI technology driven by ChatGPT, VVERTIGO is also receiving a lot of attention.”

Mr Lee said that VVERTIGO quickly spread within the company after initial stability tests. “We tell producers considering adopting the technology: Save your precious production costs on labour-intensive, repetitive tasks and focus on increasing value and creativity.” Mr Lee said that by the end of 2023, the VVERTIGO Live product will be scheduled for release. KBS and Canon Korea have signed a business partnership for AI/8K technology-based media production.

Public media constantly face questions about the appropriateness of cost management. VVERTIGO is a technology that can significantly reduce the costs and time involved in multi-cam production thus making the argument for effective use of public funds. But aside from that argument, innovations like VVERTIGO are an effort to reach out to the youth, who may have less to do with PSM than older generations. Software like this encourages youth engagement with public media if they are able to see that PSM is meeting their needs.

“Providing high-quality content created with the latest technology to our viewers is an important mission for a public broadcaster.” – Yoonjae Lee, Deputy Director of Korean Broadcasting System.

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Seoul, South Korea – Low angle view of KBS(Korean Broadcasting System) building. Credit: Stock for you /