Advanced Television

IBC’s Showcase to host demo of 5G broadcast use cases

September 8, 2020

A team of ten world-leading broadcasters, collaborating as part of IBC’s Accelerator Innovation Programme, has revealed plans for a ‘proof of concept’ demonstration of a series of 5G-enabled remote broadcast production use cases, live from Amsterdam on September 10th, 16.00pm BST/ 17.00pm CET.

The project team, comprising of ten broadcasting ‘Champions’ led by the BBC, together with Al Jazeera Media Network, BT Sport, EBU, ITV, Olympic Broadcasting Service, SVT, TV2, ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) and Yle, will explain and discuss the bespoke workflows and architectures of the proof of concept on a live panel, as part of the inaugural IBC Showcase. This will be followed by a demonstration of a live, multi-camera, multi-location production from Amsterdam. Project technology will be powered by six leading media and technology ecosystem vendor participants; AVIWEST, LiveU, Sony, Huawei, Mobile Viewpoint and NewTek. The project team has also had the benefit of additional support and technology expertise from the University of Strathclyde.

Speaking on the first IBC Showcase live session today, project lead Ian Wagdin, Senior Technology Transfer Manager at BBC R&D said: “Our challenge earlier this year was to explore and understand the ‘art of the possible’ in terms of a 5G-powered broadcast system, based on current and future use cases and a series of production scenarios in the field. With the IBC Show not happening this year, we seized on the creative opportunity to put those learnings into action by designing and configuring a live, multi-camera production as a demonstrator from three locations, that will bring a flavour of a much-missed Amsterdam to IBC’s audience.”

In several ‘media-firsts’ sessions for broadcasters, the team will explain the technology workflows behind OB use cases. The connectivity of these sessions will be provided via Vodafone’s public mobile network in Amsterdam. A wide range of state-of-the-art cameras, device gateways, cloud production tools, software defined live production systems and live streaming hub technologies will be connected via the network. An additional, a 5G live link into the transmission from London will contributed via 5G devices on the EE mobile network in the UK.

Separately, the project team has been exploring architectures based on the use of non-public or private 5G networks to enable additional bandwidth for other specific connected-camera and production use cases. The experimental production will also utilise remote controlled, AI enabled cameras, a 5G enabled video transmission from a drone and remote 5G controlled lighting, among other innovative vendor solutions.

The IBC Showcase live transmission on September 10, will include a panel discussion of the use cases, technology and workflows from London. Links will include a live 5G-enabled entertainment shoot controlled by AI cameras from a boat on an iconic canal in Amsterdam. Links between the boat and shore will include a view of technologies and equipment configurations behind the scenes, plus a live link to a discussion at the RAI convention centre, where the IBC Show would have taken place this week. The production will fully adhere to Dutch Government and Broadcast Industry Covid-19 business and production guidelines, with production teams widely distributed, and minimum staff on location in Amsterdam.

Entertainment on the boat will also culminate in MTV’s first-ever live 5G enabled remote production, produced by VCNI and Viacom Digital Studios International (VDSI). The live “MTV Push” special with MTV EMA Award-winning artist Emma Heester, with presenter, located on shore, will use the latest technology to create and broadcast content direct to fans.

“The IBC Accelerator programme is a framework to support industry collaboration and innovation,” said Mark Smith, leading the programme at IBC. “While the global pandemic stalled much of our planned lab testing and in-field experiments earlier in 2020, the team behind this unique collaboration of world leading broadcasting Champions were determined to put their learnings into practice, against a backdrop of their organisations accelerating strategies to decentralise production and remote production capabilities.”

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