December 2, 2020

X-Tech: Redefining Video Broadcasting with Tech Synergy

The broadcasting
industry is coming on leaps and bounds thanks to the synergy of key technologies.
This synergy is delivering better viewer experiences at lower cost powered by
easier and faster production setup.

The latest advances in mobile connectivity, a synergy of 5G, high-performance cloud computing, and intelligent AI-powered Cloud production technologies, are improving video broadcasting and making new industry applications possible. As well as indoor locations such as studios, this tech synergy is revolutionizing mobile news, live sports, and large-scale live events.

Tech Synergy in Action

In a recent 5G remote production accelerator organised by the IBC and championed by the BBC (as well as other leading broadcasters and telcos), participants explored how such synergy can bring real benefits. For us, the accelerator followed on from our 5G products and solutions launch event in London in February 2020, where we demonstrated the latest 5G chipset embedded in a video encoder with a professional camera livestream demo in 4K on 5G.

As part of the IBC BBC accelerator, we went further by exploring 5G remote production using broadcasters’ clouds and connecting more intelligent devices. A live demo in Amsterdam at the IBC 2020 virtual show used different 5G commercial public networks at three locations to livestream two songs from the live MTV awards with AI-controlled lightning and cameras plus an interview with the IBC CEO from London (via BT-EE).

Source: IBC / MTV EMA award-winning artist Emma Heester

These livestreams
represent exciting progress in the field. In future setups, we look forward to
bringing private 5G networks and/or a private slice over a public network to
enable 5G and cloud-based remote production alongside intelligent production
devices. The aim is to ensure higher-performing networking and an immersive
viewer experience with multiple viewing formats such as multi-angle with
volumetric effects and 360Video for VR with
ultra-high 4 to 8K definition.

As production
costs can be lowered and high-quality content made cheaper, the commercial benefits of this tech synergy extends to all stakeholders,
including broadcasters, telcos, and viewers.

As Matt
Stagg, head of BT Sports Mobile strategy
said, “The future will mean less
centralized and fewer big-broadcast solutions. And the key to that is
connectivity. It’s not all going to be 5G: some of it will be hybrid, some
fibre, some Wi-Fi. But we need to understand how all of those technologies mesh
together.”

The synergy of multiple technologies, or X-Tech as it was named at Huawei’s 2020 Better World Summit, will also be made possible by upgrading networks with high-performing end-to-end capabilities.

Source: Huawei / X-Tech Architecture

At Huawei, the NetX2025 is a key initiative to involve
stakeholders and underlines the importance of preparing networks to make those
technologies synergies and related innovations possible.

As broadcasters and other industries introduce more connected 5G devices and cloud services, networks need to handle a diverse range of higher-quality services reliably. Every country – and even parts of each country – is at a different stage of upgrading its networks. Each upgrade has its own case by case requirements and potential roadmaps. We launched NetX2025 to raise awareness and help build roadmaps for stakeholders to maximize their commercial business models.

Source: Huawei / NetX2025: Target Network Planning

As more industries
benefit from digital transformation involving X-Tech convergence, we look
forward to working with more partners and demonstrating value.

In terms of the
broadcast industry, exciting opportunities are ahead, with events such as the upcoming
winter Olympics and large entertainment events able to benefit from the power
of 5G applications coupled with high-performance cloud and AI. We can expect
deeper experiences and more flexibility for broadcasters.

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