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Broadcasters Optimistic About 5G’s Role in Improving TV Viewing Experience

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New survey finds 92% of broadcasters expect to adopt 5G within two years

A global poll of broadcasters conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Nevion, the architects of virtualized media production, has found that over a third (39%) of respondents expect their organization will be ready to adopt 5G within a year, while a further 53% believe they will be able to do so within the following year.

The survey found that 94% of broadcasters think that their country has the infrastructure ready to adopt 5G. Yet, despite this optimism, only 46% of broadcasters have tested 5G’s capabilities within their organization.

Andy Rayner

Andy Rayner, Chief Technologist, Nevion, commented: “It’s positive that broadcasters are expecting to move forward at pace with 5G. However, there is still a lot of work to be done before it can be implemented into live environments, and given the current climate worldwide, testing and developments may have slowed down. Over the next year or so, it will be a case of broadcasters looking in earnest at the potential of 5G in the value chain and testing the technology’s capabilities within their organizations – something over half of broadcasters are yet to do.”

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As broadcasters explore 5G’s potential use cases, almost two-thirds (65%) would consider adopting it for remote production, while 61% would consider using it for distribution as a potential replacement for DTT, satellite or cable. Broadcasters would also consider using 5G technologies for OTT services (33%) and contribution (29%).

While broadcasters are mainly considering 5G for remote production, only one-fifth (20%) think 5G’s ability to provide a more portable and flexible primary link for (some) outside broadcast production is its biggest benefit.

“Even though the infrastructure isn’t quite there yet, 5G’s use for remote production could be extremely beneficial in the future beyond connecting cameras to the local outside broadcast production facility,” added Rayner. “It can, for example, serve as a flexible way to take signals from the venues or locations back to the central production facility.”

Looking at the expected advantages of 5G, 42% think the biggest benefit will be providing a cost-effective back-up for contribution links.

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“As broadcasters contemplate using 5G in production, they must consider a number of issues, such as getting dedicated bandwidth, as well as how to handle timing and security. Investigations are currently underway in each of these areas with the 5G-VIRTUOSA project helping to uncover the potential of 5G technology in live production,” added Rayner.

Broadcasters also expect 5G to be advantageous to the end-user with 34% saying they think that the biggest benefit will be improving the viewer experience. For example, 5G is likely to improve immediacy through lower buffering or provide better download speeds no matter where they are or what device they are watching on.

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