Ronan Poullaouec, CTO at AVIWEST, gives his opinion in TV Technology about how 5G technology has been a game changer for remote production, offering even more capacity and better coverage than 4G.
When the COVID-19 global health crisis hit, the broadcast industry quickly adapted. Live remote production increased, especially for sports events. A recent industry report found that when covering live events, broadcasters are increasingly turning to remote production, with 39% of those surveyed already employing remote production or remote integration model (REMI) workflows. Almost half of those surveyed (46%) indicated that REMI/at-home technology is one of the most important trends for their organization in the future.
Today, a majority of live sports events is remotely produced in some capacity. This trend is expected to continue in the future. Live remote production not only increases operational efficiency and cost savings for broadcasters, it also enables them to unlock the production quality and to invest in and produce more content.
Examining the Benefits and Challenges of Live Sports Remote Production
One of the biggest reasons broadcasters are implementing remote production workflows for live sports is because it drastically simplifies the production workflow compared with an on-site studio or outside broadcast truck. Beyond reducing the number of people needed onsite and reducing the cost, it also helps to produce more content for tier 2 and tier 3 sports and improves the live production of tier 1 sports by using more cameras within the venue.
Indeed, more and more cameras are now based on IP technology, including PoV and PTZ or embedded cameras connected to 5G transmitters. Thanks to these new production setups, broadcasters can provide better sports coverage. These camera setups are easy to control remotely and give viewers an immersive view of the venue, covering every angle of the field. For instance, small cameras and transmitters are frequently used in tight spaces, such as the inside of a racing car or a racing boat, allowing viewers to get up close with the action.
Of course, there are challenges with remote production, such as ensuring good connectivity.
About 99% of remote productions are based on IP technology. If the network is not stable, remote control will be impossible. Using a reliable transmission technology, broadcasters can guarantee a strong connection between the field and the studio.
Furthermore, latency can be an issue during a live remote production. Broadcasters need a solution that will provide the lowest possible transmission latency between the venue and the studio. If there is a substantial amount of latency, it will be difficult for broadcasters to manage camera switching and can impact the quality of experience for viewers.
The Projected Impact of 5G on Live Sports Remote Production
5G technology has been a game changer for remote production, offering even more capacity and better coverage than 4G. The feedback thus far from broadcasters, production companies, and TV stations using 5G technology has been extremely positive. During the Summer Games, 5G technology was used successfully for the live video production of the opening and closing ceremonies as well as for the coverage of several Olympics events.
| November 9, 2021 by TV Technology |