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The impact of 5G on the television industry

In our previous article, we saw how the television industry has evolved from black and white television to the era of Netflix. The customer is more demanding nowadays and this asks for more advanced technologies. 5G is now entering the market and this is likely to have a big influence on the television industry. Ton van den Berg, Business Development Manager at TMC, explains what the impact of 5G will be on this industry. 

The transforming television industry

In the previous article we have discussed the major technological changes that we have seen over the past years, to recap:

  • From a classical cable system to cloud applications
  • From a sole digital recipient to a mobile- or Smart TV application
  • Collecting user information to increase user-friendliness
  • Data protection
  • Enabling Personal TV by collecting data

In this article we will make a deep dive into the possibilities of 5G

5G for the consumer

Nowadays, we mostly watch videos on wireless devices. They mostly connect to Wi-Fi connections at peoples houses or at the office. Smart TV’s are often still connected to the cable but use a wireless connection for many other functionalities such as updating the software, downloading apps or buying movies. However, we consume lots of video outside of our house or work; we don’t want to miss anything these days!  

The extra bandwidth of 5G guarantees a good quality of videos. Low latency means you can watch without any delay, even when many people use the 5G network at the same time. This means you do not risk that your WhatsApp will work faster than a video broadcast, which is great if you are watching a soccer game.

The 5G network will not cover the Netherlands all at once. Fortunately, 5G builds on the existing 4G network. Dual Connectivity, a 5G feature that connects your phone to both 4G and 5G, allows you to keep watching a video on the 4G connection, even when you cannot connect to the 5G network. If necessary, the limited bandwidth means automatic video quality switching back using ABR (Adaptive Bitrate) techniques, but without interrupting audio and video.

It is expected that video will be 76% of all 5G data traffic.

5G and the production of live events

A clear use case of 5G is the production of live broadcasts of sport events, pop concerts or news reports. They now depend on the accessibility of the production car and the camera from that point. In the future a 5G enabled 4K camera can be used for these purposes. The increased bandwidth enables 4K video quality and the low latency prevents delays.

For example, the helicopter at the Tour de France can then be replaced by 5G cameras next to the road. The cameras can be controlled remotely from a central studio. The result thanks to 5G: sharper images of the riders, no interference in image transmission, and lower production costs.

But does this also work in a full stadium during the champions-league finally? Yes, it does. Using 5G network slicing, dedicated bandwidth can be allocated for the live broadcast, while at the same time the crowd can use WhatsApp or request the football statistics from Messi.

Augmented reality provides this extra information about the players. The front-end app uses the camera of the phone and sends the video to the cloud back-end for an analysis. Using AI, the player is recognized, and the statistics are displayed. The statistics are projected on the player's video image. The billboards on the video are provided with personalized advertisements. After the match we watch the 360 degrees VR images of the match while enjoying a beer.

How can TMC help?

TMC is part of the 5G Hub. The cooperating parties investigate and test the possibilities of 5G technology. They also stimulate the innovative possibilities of the network. This makes TMC a great party for building cloud services such as video streaming via 5G or a cable infrastructure.

If you want to know what 5G can mean for your company, feel free to contact Ton van den Berg, Business Development Manager.

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