5G Sports Production Passes First Test

NBC, Sony and Verizon begin to test how 5G technology will change sports production.

Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc., Sony Mobile Communications Inc. and Verizon recently joined with NBC Sports to test how 5G can transform the way live sports broadcasts are captured and produced. During the Houston Texans v New England Patriots football game at NRG Stadium on 1 December 2019, a camera person from NBC Sports captured video of the game on the field using Sony’s PXW-Z450 shoulder camcorder. The video was streamed through Sony’s prototype transmitter box and Xperia 5G mmWave device, via Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network to a production room in the stadium.

The test proved that 5G-connected cameras can be a reliable and beneficial option for future live sports broadcasts. Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband’s low latency and high bandwidth combined with Sony’s mobile device, video, and encoding expertise enabled low-latency, high-quality video to be transmitted in near real time to producers. The test showed the potential for remote production teams to be located anywhere, regardless of where the game’s taking place. Near-instant 5G wireless connectivity means that cameras can be untethered, allowing more creative camera positions and angles throughout the game, and reducing set-up time, long cables and related expenses for camera system integration.

“We are extremely pleased to have completed a successful 5G collaboration with Verizon,” said Mikio Kita, Senior General Manager of Media Solution Business Division, Professional Products & Solutions Group, Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc. “Sony is uniquely positioned to offer an end-to-end solution for professional content creation and mobile communication technology, and our joint achievement on this proof of concept of live sports production will pave the way for wider 5G applications.”

“Verizon’s 5G network is built to transform industries and we’re thrilled to demonstrate how it can change the way live sports broadcasts are captured and delivered,” said Nicki Palmer, chief product development officer at Verizon. “5G’s high bandwidth and low latency can enable high definition video to be streamed essentially in real time and captured with no wires on the field.”

“It was exciting to see Sony’s 5G product coming to life,” said David Mazza, CTO, NBC Sports Group. “The picture quality is excellent, and we look forward to the day when we can deploy a wireless camera this easily as part of the 5G rollouts around the country.”

Sony and Verizon intend to continue pursuing more flexible and effortless live sports production workflows and solutions using 5G.

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