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EVS and Orange Belgium in 5G production project

EVS has revealed its Flex Production project with Orange Belgium and partners including Blackbird and LiveU, which aims to showcase pioneering centralised 5G-based production

EVS has revealed a pilot project with Orange Belgium that has employed different capabilities of 5G technology to bring live theatre performances to schools in the Walloon and Brussels regions of Belgium.

The Flex Production initiative, which took place on 5th October and is supported by the Belgian Federal Government, is dedicated to showcasing the advantages of using 5G technology in centralised productions. EVS, Orange Belgium, La Grand PosteWallonie-Bruxelles Enseignement, and Playtime Films collaborated with the Théâtre de Liège to live-stream the play Andromaque to more than 10,000 students from 70 schools in the Wallonia and Brussels regions of the country.

The production set-up included multiple UHD cameras, each equipped with a LiveU field encoder for transmitting video feeds via Orange Belgium’s 5G network to a central control room at La Grand Poste, where an EVS central production system handled the full live production process. Also in use was EVS’ MediaHub SaaS content exchange solution, which enabled quick access to video content for the creation of clips, highlights and long-form content.

The educational institutions involved have free access to EVS’ MediaHub platform, from where students can access the recorded content from any location. In addition, through the integration of MediaHub with Blackbird’s cloud native video editing platform, students will also be able to create their own edits and highlights of the performance directly in the cloud.

EVS said that beyond being an innovative technical showcase, with a significant educational component, “the project is also a demonstration of how 5G stand alone enhances the flexibility of remote productions while reducing costs and environmental impact”.

“5G technology is set to drastically reduce the need for production team travel, resulting in a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions,” said Nicolas Bourdon, chief marketing officer at EVS. “By centralising audiovisual production tools through 5G technology, we are driving resource consolidation, which, in turn, translates to reduced operational costs for event production. With this centralisation, you can easily imagine hosting diverse productions in a single day; such as morning TV debates, midday news programmes, afternoon theatre plays, and regional sporting events in the evening; all made possible by the same infrastructure. This opens up opportunities for smaller events to reach larger audiences through accessible, professional-grade audiovisual content distribution.”

Renaud Falise, 5G & IoT strategic manager at Orange Belgium, added: “The project marks a significant milestone in the world of live video technology, showcasing the immense potential of 5G and its practical applications. We inaugurated a first Orange 5G Lab in Antwerp in October 2021, and a second one in the iconic Grand Poste in Liège in 2022 demonstrating our role as a generator for innovative solutions leveraging Orange Belgium’s 5G network. The live capture at the Théâtre de Liège is a testament to the vast possibilities unlocked by this groundbreaking technology.”

Ian McDonough, CEO of project partner Blackbird, said that the company was “thrilled to be involved in EVS’s education initiative which not only demonstrates the flexibility of remote productions and the high speed capabilities of 5G technology but also lays the foundation for a future generation of content creators who are mastering sustainable cutting-edge cloud editing technologies like Blackbird.”