Ericsson teams with FOX, AT&T and Intel to deliver live 4K stream over 5G at 2018 U.S. Open Championship

By Arun Bhikshesvaran, Chief Marketing Officer, Ericsson Media Solutions

Later this week, Ericsson will be collaborating with FOX Sports, the Fox Innovation Lab, AT&T and Intel to use 5G technology to stream live 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) video feeds over 5G for broadcast during the 118th U.S. Open Championship (June 14-17).

First 5G enabled broadcast from a premier U.S. golf event

This innovative trial represents the first live 4K broadcast using 5G technology from a premier U.S. golf event. As part of the demonstration, Ericsson Media Solutions will be providing two separate live feeds utilising the End-to-end Ultra High Definition (UHD) Contribution solution to enable the 4K transmission. Two FOX Sports cameras will be positioned on the challenging par-3 seventh hole at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, which will transmit live video through to the FOX Sports production truck and on to viewers across the United States.

The trial represents a response to the ever growing need to deliver more natural and immersive viewing experiences for the consumer, particularly at a time when video content is being delivered everywhere; across all networks, devices and screens. Through our contribution, we are helping to enable FOX Sports to take advantage of a 5G environment for 4K HDR feeds and to realize the potential of wireless streaming of U.S. Open video to multiple platforms and devices. The showcase represents a powerful and compelling use case for reducing live production costs, while enabling Ultra High Definition (UHD) broadcasting to scale. In the future, 5G could possibly be used to deliver real-time virtual reality views from the course to viewers.

Proven live event contribution technology

The End-to-End UHD Contribution solution that we are contributing to this trial comprises the AVP 2000 4K HDR video encoder and the MediaFirst Content Processing 4K HDR decoder. Our solutions have a proven track record of enabling high-quality coverage for numerous live sporting events. Earlier this year:

  • We provided a range of encoding and satellite receiver technologies to enable a major US broadcaster deliver high quality HD content to millions of viewers during a highly prestigious winter sporting event.
  • The AVP 2000 Contribution Encoder was selected by another major broadcaster to enable the delivery of high quality UHD encoding during its coverage of a premier golf tournament.

The AVP 2000 Contribution Encoder has been designed specifically to address the demands of today’s broad range of contribution applications. It maintains the highest quality and delivers the most flexible video processing solution on the market. At its core, the AVP 2000 enables operators to make crucial bandwidth savings, without compromising on video quality – a fundamental element that will help ensure the reliable delivery of streamed 4K HDR video over 5G for broadcast at next month’s U.S. Open Championship.

MediaFirst Content Processing is the industry’s first software-based, multi-application media processing platform and has been developed specifically for the content contribution market. Offering the lowest latency in the industry, the innovation offers a way for contribution service providers to deliver revenue generating, immersive viewing experiences (such as UHDTV) at an affordable cost, with the potential to repurpose media processing applications and optimize cloud architectures.

Enabling the first broadcast using 5G technology from a premier U.S. golf event

We are excited to be providing our media processing technology to this week’s ground-breaking live demonstration at the 2018 US Open Championship. Using 5G technology in this way showcases a powerful use case for reducing low production costs, while enabling high quality, low latency bandwidth to efficiently deliver UHD content.

The wireless streaming of live 4K HDR contribution video at sporting events is helping to drive a revolution in how video is created, distributed and consumed. Crucially, it provides consumers with entirely new ways to engage with an event, responding to their ever-increasing demands for the best experience possible, wherever they are, whatever they are doing. Media processing solutions remain a critical enabler in the contribution and distribution of 4K UHD content and we look forward to evolving and driving the advancement of the consumer experience.