The speed and latency of 5G will improve the interconnection of devices and their ability to collect, store and transmit data and information to remote locations in real-time. This is a boon for content creators who are pursuing quicker, more flexible and more seamless workflows in live broadcast events. Managing editor Raymond Tan examines how companies like Sony and Panasonic are offering more end-to-end solutions for content creation using mobile communications.
The roll-out of 5G will see a growing and widespread deployment of the next generation of IoT (Internet of Things) devices and industrial applications over the next few years.
The Global Systems of Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) predicts that by 2025, there will be 25 billion IoT devices, many of them will be deploying sensors and analytics wirelessly connected to the cloud.
5G will enable existing and evolving applications and devices take advantage of higher-frequency bands in the radio spectrum that will have more capacity and shorter wavelengths. It will also render support for data rates, up from hundreds of Mpbs to multiple-Gbps, as well as allow more devices to be connected at any single time.
The combination of a 5G network and 5G-connected cameras today is already enabling low-latency high-quality video to be transmitted in real-time to content producers. Their production teams have greater flexibility as they can be located anywhere during live broadcast events.
5G’s instant wireless connectivity also means cameras can be untethered, allowing for more creative positions and angles, and reducing set-up time and costs required for system integration.
With 5G, companies like Sony and Panasonic are in good position to offer more end-to-end solutions for content creation using mobile communications.
“We see the upward adoption of 4K and HDR as the benchmark for live events alongside the success of OTT platforms that caters to providing premium content,” said Takuma Wada, Head of Content Creation Solutions Marketing, Sony Hong Kong.
“In line with these developments, major broadcasters and content providers are seeing more opportunities to appeal and reach wider audiences since consumers can access content through their mobile devices efficiently with no downtime anytime or anywhere.”
Marion Dimayuga, Head of Broadcast in Panasonic System Solutions Asia Pacific (PSSAP), concurred, adding that the future wireless network is already taking shape with the improving connectivity and adoption of more mobile and IoT devices.
“We are seeing more support and coverage of live events. Businesses are also actively looking for solutions with the ability to upload content in real time,” she said.
To address fast-moving applications where a second take is impossible, Wada said Sony’s latest flagship PXW-Z750 XDCAM shoulder camcorder offers greater sensitivity, less image noise and wider colour gamut with the capability to record in HD/4K and HDR, as well as support slow motion up to 120fps in HD.
According to Sony’s Wada, in a fast-changing live environment where video content is evolving quickly, the introduction of ‘Simple Live Streaming’ that can streamline the overall workflow, from shooting to live distribution, is an essential tool to connect with audiences.
He maintains that Sony’s HXR-N80 and PXW-Z90 camcorders, for example, represent the next iteration of devices that are equipped with up-and-coming content creators with online sharing features, further empowering them to concentrate on what they do best – storytelling on the go.
Improved user experience
Panasonic’s Dimayuga said that in order to meet new customer demands, Panasonic is rolling out enhanced technologies with the objective of improving the user experience as well as enabling cloud access to share image sources between the newsroom editor and other staff members.
One such solution is P2 Cast, a package of solutions to meet current newsgathering and production requirements. P2 Cast offers a high-resolution HD mode and can capture images and deliver breaking news directly. The camera recorders can be operated remotely to obtain high-res data and scenes, thus accelerating workflow.
Newsgathering camera recorders can be managed centrally via P2 Cast without any limit to the number of camera recorders registered. In the newsroom, images can now be captured by multiple camera recorders and can be previewed; and clip metadata can be transmitted to the individual camera recorders for registration.
In addition, the camera recorder locations can also be displayed on a map based on GPS information. P2 Cast enables camera recorder setting and firmware updating all at once via the cloud.
To cope with the increasing demand, the P2 Cast allows direct connection between the on-site news acquisition and the newsroom, thus changing the production workflow. Examples include the automated uploading of camera recorder images to the cloud in real-time to storage/playing of clips/data while data is being transferred.
These functions also enable camera operators to focus on shooting, saving them the hassle of managing content management (that is, uploading of contents).
“The majority of our customers are broadcast stations globally. Within the broadcast stations, P2 Cast automates the uploading of live images from the camera recorders to the P2 Cast cloud in real-time through file transfers and sharing instead of being just a network-based data,” shared Dimayuga.
Moving forward, Sony’s Wada said that in addition to image acquisition toolsets, the move towards IP is encouraging more efficient operations through tailored solutions for competent and modern forward-looking live production operations within the Asian region.
“In this aspect, Sony has been working diligently with our partners in areas such as resource sharing for multi-studio operations, network construction for in-house backbone systems and efficient remote production connecting facilities located in different areas,” he said.
An example of a customer using Sony’s wireless technology is NTV in Bangladesh. NTV is leveraging Sony’s wireless live streaming products to allow its crew in rural areas to transmit entire files to their studio in Dhaka using a single SIM card, achieving the best of both worlds – live streaming and high-quality HD images.
Bangladesh’s News 24TV, part of the East Media group, has built a wireless ecosystem using Sony’s solutions that comprise Wi-Fi 4K-ready XDAM camcorders and network RX stations with QoS wireless technology. This has provided the TV station with a more cost-efficient route to capture live events as they unfold and to broadcast them in HD within seconds.
In Vietnam, the Vietnamese Women Newspaper has turned to Sony’s camcorders with built-in wireless modules and NFC functions for operations via a mobile and tablet for their field broadcast activities.
Wada observed: “The growing IoT market might potentially propel local governments to invest in their infrastructure to ensure that the country is 5G-ready, resolving issues including coverage, speed and latency.
“Despite the differences in rates of adoption in Asia-Pacific, we foresee that the roll-out of 5G in the region will continue to accelerate!”
The article was originally published in our Mar-Apr 2020’s epublication.