WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
One of 5G’s major future use cases is being able to stream live events in 8k without the need for hideously expensive professional broadcast equipment.
5G has been rolling out around the world for a while now, but most 5G installations aren’t standalone – that’s to say they are the slower versions of 5G not the ultra fast 1.5 Gbps version. But, in a world first at the Monster Energy British Grand Prix, and in a ground breaking collaboration between BT Sport, Dorna, Vislink,and the University of Strathclyde, MotoGP just showcased the world’s first standalone private 5G network for sports broadcasting – which is seen as a key use case for future 5G deployments.
During the event live pictures where broadcast to a worldwide audience from a 5G handheld camera which was on the grid before each of Sundays races while an onboard 5G camera also beamed back pictures from a test bike.
Vislink supplied two brand new products for this trial. The first was a 5G version of their tried and tested the H-Cam handheld wireless camera transmitter, and the second was a brand new 5G bike onboard transmitter that was fitted to the bike to stream live high-speed 8k video images from the heart of the action. These were connected to a private standalone software defined 5G network provided by the University of Strathclyde that covered the pitlane, paddock, and part of the circuit.
These pictures were then streamed to the Dorna production team producing the International Production Feed (IPF) for the event which was then shared with rightsholders including BT Sport. BT Sport also had the feed in their production gallery and cut it up live at the appropriate times to help tell the stories of the day.
Andy Beale, Chief Engineer BT Sport said: “This was a successful collaboration between partners showcasing the power of a standalone 5G network to enhance sports production.”
“We would also like to acknowledge the collaboration with Qualcomm in helping us achieve our joint goal,” added Mickey Miller, Vislink CEO.