The progress made by a highly ambitious IBC Accelerator project entitled 5G LBXR (Location-Based Extended Realities) – in which Net Insight is a key player – was the subject of a recent webinar chaired by Muki Kulhan, an award-winning executive digital producer and co-lead of the Accelerator program.

One of three current Accelerator projects to feature input from Net Insight, 5G LBXR’s other participants are Noitom, QUARK.XR, Huawei and ProMod Esports. Meanwhile, project champions include some of the biggest names in content creation, e-sports and telecommunications, namely: Park Playground, ESL, Vodafone, Telenet/Liberty Global, HADO, Digital Domain and Twickenham Studios.

Industry-wide, there is now a general acceptance that 5G will have a transformative effect on media services and media delivery. On one hand, it will enable existing services to be improved and delivered efficiently. On the other, it is set to usher in an exciting new era of services that might not have been viable with previous generations of mobile network – not least the kind of interactive experiences being explored by the 5G LBXR project.

Kulhan confirmed that a great deal of progress had been achieved with regard to POC (proof of concept), in line with the Accelerator scheme’s primary objective to “fast-track collaborative innovation all-round.” To this end, the 5G LBXR Accelerator has addressed a variety of workflow scenarios, such as: the testing and validation of 5G/XR connectivity using different 5G devices; constructing a cloud-based streaming platform for XR content; and providing 5G access from user case locations to multiple sites globally.

Not surprisingly, Covid-19 has restricted the ability of some location-based parts of the Accelerator to take place so far. Nonetheless, many aspects were able to go ahead, of which one of the most striking was a VR and AR trial involving body tracking and full game commentary. With participants in countries including Belgium, The Netherlands and the UK, the aim was to have everyone enjoying the same gaming experience – with the high capacity of 5G as a crucial enabler.

For Net Insight, head of sales business development  Kristian Mets explained why the project is in line with the company’s objective of facilitating new content delivery mechanisms. “We have been in broadcast and live for many years, and have worked with many traditional broadcasters, so we know that it can be challenging for some to embrace these new kinds of sports and events,” he said.

With Net Insight’s latest innovations being “100% cloud”-oriented, the focus is now on exploring how “the type of tools that can be used to interconnect and show how the content could be distributed to the world via 5G,” added Mets.

While some longer-established broadcasters are now actively addressing 5G’s many opportunities, it’s to be expected that companies specializing in e-sports and other interactive tournaments are among those breaking the most new ground. For e-sports innovator ESL/Weavr, managing director James Dean highlighted the desire of the big tournaments to “reach as many people as possible, with the best possible experience.”

But as much as 5G will boost the experience for viewers, it also heralds a sea-change for producers. Citing its e-sports production partner, ProMod, Dean notes that the cloud is increasingly being used to make productions more flexible, and “5G is going to help with being able to put a production anywhere.”

For Net Insight, Mets indicated that the Accelerator has already brought some welcome clarity in terms of how 5G is likely to deliver high quality interactive sports events going forward, adding that the company’s own technologies to support the roll-out of such services are continuing to evolve. 

To view the webinar in full, please register for IBC Digital and visit:

https://digital-ibc.expoplatform.com/events/ondemand?page=1&open=147.

Want to learn more? Talk to our expert Kristian Mets.