Broadcasters eye remote production as leading 5G use case

News

Most broadcasters (92%) expect to be ready to adopt 5G within two years, according to new research.

The global poll of broadcasters conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Nevion, a virtualised media production company, found that 94% of broadcasters think that their country has the infrastructure ready to adopt 5G but only 46% have tested the technology’s capabilities within their company.

Andy Rayner, Chief Technologist, Nevion, commented, “It’s positive that broadcasters are expecting to move forward at pace with 5G. 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.”

Use cases

Areas broadcasters are considering using 5G include remote production (65%), distribution as a potential replacement for digital terrestrial transmission, satellite or cable (61%) over the top services (33%) and contribution (29%).

While broadcasters are mainly considering 5G for remote production, only 20% think 5G’s ability to provide a more portable and flexible primary link for some outside broadcast production is its biggest benefit – 42% tip 5G to offer a cost-effective back-up for contribution links and 34% believe it will improve the viewer experience.

“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,” said Rayner. “It can, for example, serve as a flexible way to take signals from the venues or locations back to the central production facility.”

As broadcasters prepare to use 5G in production, they must consider several issues, such as getting dedicated bandwidth, as well as how to handle timing and security. Initiatives such as the EU 5G-VIRTUOSA project are exploring these areas.