While still early in its rollout, 5G networks are on track to cover one-third of the world’s population by 2025. The impact on every industry and its customers will be profound and that includes broadcast. It is up to industry players to ensure they are ready to benefit as it comes on stream.

An immediate application of the technology will be in supercharging contributing links for live remote production. COVID-19 has accelerated broadcasting industry trends that forced the broadcast industry to rethink traditional workflows. Travel restrictions and physical distancing protocols made the switch to remote a necessity, even at the largest events such as the UEFA Euros. The introduction of 5G will only enhance the flexibility and agility that such workflows already enable.

5G simplifies production workflows by eliminating the need for dedicated satellite, fiber, or IP networks while offering high bandwidth, low latency, and a defined quality of service at low cost.

Mobile media acquisition from anywhere in the world becomes possible. This is particularly important for events whose coverage can be challenging because they run over some distance, such as marathons, golf, and cycling.

Already, 5G can be deployed as a backup link to the primary connection, delivering multiple high-quality feeds. However, there is an ambition for 5G to move up the value chain and become the main connecting link between the event location and the centralized production facility.

5G will allow the production of news and tier 2/3 sports to move away from bonded cellular technology that relies on heavily compressing videos causing issues in onward production and distribution chains, further improving the video quality for consumers.

The reliability of connections is further enhanced by network slicing. This aspect of 5G allows a dedicated set of users – such as the broadcast team – to reserve a part of the network, at a venue for example. This component is critical for live production when connectivity and ultra-low latency requirements are very demanding.

5G enables compelling viewing experiences

We do not see 5G as a replacement for fiber or dedicated IP links in larger events where ultra-low latency and bandwidth requirements are extremely high. Today most big events and leagues use redundant 10 Gbps IP links and there is a shift towards 100G IP workflows.

However, we see 5G as a complement in these productions and enabling a host of opportunities for staging immersive viewing experiences for consumers, including 4K UHD 360-degree live streams or augmented reality/ virtual reality (AR/ VR) formats, replacing camera wiring and allowing e.g., improved in-car and player cams.

Production teams can set up pop-up production capabilities that use the 5G network to deliver feeds to the media hub or directly to a central production facility or the cloud.

Staff can mix video captured from traditional cameras with 5G-enabled cams and smartphones seamlessly, creating multi-camera experiences and new angles that were not possible before.

Low latency, better than broadcast quality experiences like these can shake up traditional sport and esports alike.

Prepare for 5G with the right solution

To capitalize on the benefits of a 5G powered remote broadcast, sport, and news production process, broadcasters, and production houses need end-to-end solutions that fully support distributed production workflows over a commonly available IP infrastructure.

Net Insight’s transport technology is already there. Our live HD, 4K and 8K UHD remote production workflows support 5G, helping broadcasters to leverage immersive streaming video in AR/VR, and 360 formats to craft optimized viewing experiences on a large scale.

Broadcasters can ingest and distribute any live media stream, in any format, securely to multiple destinations across any live IP network, with 5G increasing network capacity and network reach to make this process faster and more reliable.

The potential of more bandwidth at a lower cost opens up a host of opportunities for broadcast industry players who benefit from economies of scale and new market segments.

5G will also increasingly change the market dynamics with further consolidation in the value chain expected. Partnerships between network operators, broadcasters, and content providers will be increasingly valuable.

COVID-19 proved that remote production is a mission-critical capability for broadcasters to achieve much-needed cost and resource efficiencies.

As the broadcast industry moves onto the next phase of its evolution, industry players need to ensure they are ready.  With the right end-to-end solution, broadcasters can tap 5G’s potential to eliminate bottlenecks and expand their live production workflows.

FAQ:

Q: What is the difference between 5G and 4G?

A:  Beyond faster speeds and lower latency, the differences between 5G and 4G are quite significant. 

Network slicing is easier where each network can be split to tailor speed, capacity, coverage, encryption, and security by redesigning the resources from one network “slice” to another “slice” that needs it.

Increased risks leading to increased security and regulations. 5G opened up a whole new range of possibilities due to its enormous boost to bandwidth and data transmission speeds. But the increased opportunity comes with increased risks. Due to the connectivity 5G provides, we’ve seen a wider deployment of private mobile networks and increased network access on third-part suppliers, all of which increase the opportunities for hackers. 

Different security solutions to mitigate these risks need to be continuously optimized and implemented to better protect personal data and other sensitive information and content.

Flexible connectivity. Where 4G provided a one-fits-all kind of connectivity, where regardless of what device you were using you got the same service, 5G is different. It provides tailored connections depending on the device. For example, 5G can provide a smartwatch, which has a relatively small battery, a connection that consumes very little energy. While a computer or industrial robot with no discerning energy issues, 5G can focus on quality, providing an extremely stable and fast connection.

5G is more than a network. Due to the massive amount of processing power 5G provides, it becomes more than a network. It can act as a distributed data center that performs processing tasks. Process heavy tasks, such as AR-filters or games, can be handled by the network instead of your phone which will improve both performance and battery time. 

5G can connect to more devices. 4G sometimes had difficulties handling multiple devices in the same location, for example, during crowded sports events or concerts. Due to 5G:s intelligently transmitting to each device with extremely high precision, 5G can handle as much as 1 million devices per square kilometer.

Q: What is so special about 5G?

A: 5G is the next generation of wireless network technology representing a big leap forward in terms of speed, latency, and connectivity. It opens up a great many new opportunities, fueling innovation across every industry and transforming every aspect of our life. 

5G will and has changed the way we live, work, and play for the better. 

Q: What are the advantages of 5G?

A: The advantages of 5G include:

  • Greater speeds in transmissions
  • Lower latency
  • More stable networks
  • Can connect to more devices
  • Better network slicing

Q: How will 5G affect us?

A: 5G works by producing a type of energy called electromagnetic radiation. As it uses higher frequencies than 4G and other previous wireless networks, it’s much faster and more efficient. 

These electromagnetic frequencies create an area called an electromagnetic field, or EMF for short, which some people believe can have negative health effects on humans. Due to this fact, the deployment of 5G has been a widely controversial topic.

At present, WHO (World Health Organization) has stated that “To date, no adverse health effects from low level, long term exposure to radiofrequency or power frequency fields have been confirmed, but scientists are actively continuing to research this area.”.

Q: What is enhanced viewing?

A: Enhanced viewing refers to achieving a better overall viewing experience watching TV, streams, movies, etc. This includes obvious things such as better picture and sound, but also elements such as availability and access to media, the user experience of video services/apps, and hardware/network requirements to be able to handle the latest video qualities and their increased size. 

Every aspect you can think of that could affect the experience of watching a video is part of the concept of enhanced viewing.

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