LiveU and Sky Deutschland developed a multi-cam, 5G and cloud video production proof-of-concept (POC) at the recent Special Olympics World Games in Berlin. Sky Deutschland and NEP, who were providing services at the Games, also used the LiveU EcoSystem with its IP-video field units more widely to bring footage from other events across the Games.
Sky Deutschland and LiveU’s previous collaborations include multiple 5G trials, involving football and handball, designed to highlight the ease-of use, flexibility and cost-effectiveness enabled by using 5G for media contribution. Working with both the local organising committee (LOC) and a 5G service provider to create a private 5G network, the broadcaster identified the table tennis tournament as being ideal for this PoC.
“This is an important multi-day global event with a powerful inclusivity message and, with the support of the LOC and LiveU, we saw this as an ideal chance to further highlight the future of contribution and production using 5G,” said Alessandro Reitano, SVP Sports Production, Sky Deutschland, said. “The beauty here was that broadcasters and OB companies – as well as other technology suppliers – could see 5G contribution in action, supported by the efficiency and flexibility of IP-bonding and the very easy and quick set-up time, and contrast it with more traditional workflows.”
The broadcaster deployed the LiveU EcoSystem with a multi-cam LU800, in four-camera mode, plus three LU-Smart equipped smartphones to capture the event. The feeds from the LU800 were, as with the feeds from the smartphones, encoded and sent to Munich, where they were decoded by two LiveU decoders. Vision mixing occurred in the cloud with the final output made available to both the director of the world feed and also to Sky Deutschland’s unilateral feed.
Reitano continued, “The Special Olympics was an inclusive event, not only in terms of the competition itself but also the collaboration between broadcasters and facilities companies who shared technical know-how and competition feeds. It’s clear that we need to keep highlighting to the media, and particularly the telecoms industries, the technical and financial advantages of 5G as a transport layer. There’s still too much dependency, in our view, on traditional transport mechanisms. This needs to change to fully allow the use of shortened, and far more flexible workflows. We see demand growing from broadcasters who want to use 5G and IP-bonding at major events to drive more extensive and diverse coverage. Using 5G and LiveU opens up a whole new world of possibilities. The need is there.”
Bart Meeus, senior manager, sports EMEA, LiveU, concluded, “This was another important milestone highlighting the flexibility, reliability and power of using 5G for contribution, working in perfect combination with our technologies. We very much see this as the future and we agree with Alessandro that there is a need to continue to push the use of 5G as an industry.”