The 5G Opportunities for Contribution and Digital News Gathering Applications
(Paper available in the Proceedings of the 2020 BEIT Conference)
The paper will be focusing on detailing how 5G features can be implemented in such a way that significant value can be delivered for Contribution and Digital News Gathering (DNG) applications, including remote production capabilities. 5G is likely to be another transformative piece to consider in the context of the on-going industry migration toward IP (typically SMPTE 2110) and IT (COTS appliances).
Such applications, which mostly take place in the context of live events, are extremely demanding, not only considering the usual very high bandwidth and very low latency requirements but more generally from quality of service (including service continuity) and related operational costs standpoints: increase the former (QoS, continuity) while reducing the latter (costs). While those technical aspects are not new, as they have driven innovation for more than 20 years, the on-going migration of TV production infrastructures from specialized links and equipments toward IP (SMPTE 2110) and IT based ones (COTS appliances) is opening new opportunities which, jointly with what 5G features are bringing as well as considering cloud ones, will be significantly transformative for the Contribution & Digital News Gathering market segment. Additionnally, such an evolution will significantly reduce the barrier to entry for contribution and DNG applications not only at the benefit of TV production businesses but also at the benefit of local/regional content offerings, especially live coverage.
5G is enabling the following opportunities:
- Deployable ad hoc 5G networks:
- Wherever frequencies are available and can be allocated for such operations. Actually, on a regional basis, 5G frequencies will enable such ad-hoc operations, leading to limited stickiness to 5G telco operators from an “air interface to point-of-presence” standpoint, while focusing on where telco operators bring the most valuable assets for such applications: reliable core network distribution. Whenever latency is a key element, telco core networks will enable dramatic latency improvement over conventional satellite contribution links.
- In-situ connectivy, connecting capture to remote production capabilities without the need for costly wired infrastructures which still may make sense for top events and regular/scheduled operations (e.g. league sports, permanently wired infrastructures) but not necessarily for event-based production wherever there is no permanently wired infrastructures. This is a significant barrier to entry for live programming, especially for regional/local TV broadasters/channels. 5G, with sllicing and QoS management capabilities is enabling cost-effective live production wherever there is poor pre-existing infrastructure.
- The capability, with 5G slicing, to combine content transport and processing through "Service FUnction Chaining".