• Sony, Deutsche Telekom and Infront Productions wanted to do a stress test of 5G mobile network technology in a live production environment
• The next generation of communications had to be trialled in the real world to be able to understand and anticipate the technical and creative challenges of future production workflows
• The 5G test aimed to provide lower latency and better picture quality over the live stream and explore new ultra-mobile methods to capture every aspect of live events
• Substantial network, production and mobile R&D shared between industry leaders ensured a viable production workflow for a real-world trial of 5G broadcasting at the 2019 BMW Berlin-Marathon
• Infront Productions deployed Sony HDC-5500 and PXW-Z280 cameras connected to Sony’s 5G devices, which could transmit specially encoded signals over the Deutsche Telekom 5G mobile network to the OB production unit
• A Sony Xperia 5G device was equipped with the XDCAM Pocket App for capturing multiple aspects of the BMW Berlin-Marathon and also connected to the cloud-based Sony Virtual Production service prototype for 5G streaming. The device was successfully able to verify its potential ability to stream additional coverage to social media
• Footage shot from the 5G-connected cameras was seamlessly integrated into the live production coverage of the race
• The 5G transmission concept was stress-tested under real-world conditions where it performed favourably compared to 4G-connected cameras, running over a network with increased bandwidth capacity
• A test case for live 5G production was successfully proved through industry leaders playing to their strengths and working together to develop and refine next generation technology
Sony’s mobile, cloud and live production expertise proved to be a winner at the 46th Berlin marathon (BMW Berlin-Marathon), which saw nearly 45,000 participants from 133 countries take part. Working with its partners, Infront Productions and Deutsche Telekom, Sony deployed innovative encoding technology to enable its 5G-connected cameras to stream footage over the public mobile network, in a trial that holds great promise for new methods of live production.
We’ve collaborated with Sony for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON and the set-up that we are implementing enables flexible resource allocation; in the future, it will allow production operators to work from wherever they want.
Head of Production, Infront Productions
This marathon test proved that more agile and dynamic broadcasting is possible with 5G. The low latency transmission offered by 5G is crucial for sports and live production where delays are unacceptable, while the wider bandwidth delivers less compressed content to the mobile viewer. Sustainable production and lower-tier sports will benefit, as 5G and cloud-based production negates the need for expensive OB resources only deployed by major broadcasters, such as satellite or RF-connected vehicles and infrastructure.
In the end, how the technology is deployed is driven by production workflows. As the core mobile technologies transition from prototypes to ‘everyday’, we can envisage the ability to easily and quickly deploy cameras and cloud production resources which can only enhance creativity and so enjoyment for the viewers.
Live Production Services, Sony Professional Solutions Europe
Sony’s new HDC-5500 system camera had prime position at the marathon. It featured a prototype low latency encoder to make its broadcast video signal compatible with the Deutsche Telekom 5G network. The signal was streamed to the Infront Productions’ OB unit using Sony’s Xperia 5G device.
Two roving Sony PXW-Z280 4K handheld camcorders contributed video and audio streams to the OB unit, connected to Sony’s 5G devices and utilising a Sony PWS-110RXA stream receiver.
Social media is of prime importance to event organisers and broadcasters alike, with online fan engagement boosted by exclusive mobile footage. Using the XDCAM Pocket App prototype on Sony’s Xperia 5G device, ‘360-degree’ coverage of the marathon was streamed live to the cloud to be picked up by Sony’s Virtual Production service prototype, where a virtual switcher takes care of professional mixing and distribution to the testing web environment. With 5G, get ready for professional-quality user-generated content at your fingertips.
There is a growing appetite for personalisation in viewing experience. One way of increasing the engagement of viewers is by adapting their high-quality content created on smartphones into the production. At Deutsche Telekom, we want to enable production companies to achieve this by providing the required network capabilities,”
5G Product Manager at Deutsche Telekom