Advanced Television

Survey: Broadcasters optimistic about 5G

June 9, 2020

A global poll of broadcasters from virtualised media production specialist Nevion has found that over a third (39 per cent) of respondents expect their organisation will be ready to adopt 5G within a year, while a further 53 per cent believe they will be able to do so within the following year.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll, found that 94 per cent of broadcasters think that their country has the infrastructure ready to adopt 5G. Yet, despite this optimism, only 46 per cent of broadcasters have tested 5G’s capabilities within their organisation.

“It’s positive that broadcasters are expecting to move forward at pace with 5G,” noted Andy Rayner, Chief Technologist, Nevion. “However, there is still a lot of work to be done before it can be implemented into live environments, and given the current climate worldwide, testing and developments may have slowed down. Over the next year or so, it will be a case of broadcasters looking in earnest at the potential of 5G in the value chain and testing the technology’s capabilities within their organisations – something over half of broadcasters are yet to do.”

As broadcasters explore 5G’s potential use cases, almost two-thirds (65 per cent) would consider adopting it for remote production, while 61 per cent would consider using it for distribution as a potential replacement for DTT, satellite or cable. Broadcasters would also consider using 5G technologies for OTT services (33 per cent) and contribution (29 per cent).

While broadcasters are mainly considering 5G for remote production, only one-fifth (20 per cent) think 5G’s ability to provide a more portable and flexible primary link for (some) outside broadcast production is its biggest benefit.

“Even though the infrastructure isn’t quite there yet, 5G’s use for remote production could be extremely beneficial in the future beyond connecting cameras to the local outside broadcast production facility,” added Rayner. “It can, for example, serve as a flexible way to take signals from the venues or locations back to the central production facility.”

Looking at the expected advantages of 5G, 42 per cent think the biggest benefit will be providing a cost-effective back-up for contribution links.

“As broadcasters contemplate using 5G in production, they must consider a number of issues, such as getting dedicated bandwidth, as well as how to handle timing and security,” advised Rayner. “Investigations are currently underway in each of these areas with the 5G-VIRTUOSA project helping to uncover the potential of 5G technology in live production.”

Broadcasters also expect 5G to be advantageous to the end-user, with 34 per cent saying they think that the biggest benefit will be improving the viewer experience. For example, 5G is likely to improve immediacy through lower buffering or provide better download speeds no matter where they are or what device they are watching on.

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