When we heard that Fox Sports would be using 5G to stream the Big East basketball tournament, we figured they wanted to test it with a playback camera or some other non-essential part of the show. But we were wrong – Fox Sports is streaming every second of the tournament on 5G.
“The amazing part about 5G is the amount of video data we are able to stream over a single cellular modem,” said Brad Cheney, vice president of field operations and engineering for Fox Sports. With a latency one-tenth of what it is on regular 4G LTE, 5G allows Fox Sports to send higher quality video and much more data to their network centers and your home. Fans will not only be able to watch matches via live broadcasts, but due to 5G speeds, they will also be able to do things like choose different live camera angles as the game unfolds.
This year’s Big East tournament takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, where Verizon’s 5G infrastructure is already integrated. With this infrastructure already in place, fans can count on a “lean-in experience”. Josh Arensberg, Business Development Manager for Media and Entertainment at Verizon, says, “I think a lot of the industry and consumers … want to be able to drive camera angles. They want to understand the metrics of what’s going on in the game. This “learning experience” ”that draws you in and gets you straight into the action. Historically, bandwidth has really struggled to keep pace when you send data out of a location and send it back to studios and offsite workflows, whether in the cloud or in facilities. broadcast. With 5G, those days will be behind us.
Fox Sports has partnered with companies like LiveU to implement technology that helps bring more content to viewers faster using 5G. Janel Fleming, LiveU’s sales manager, says the new technology used to broadcast the tournament “is a linked cellular portable IP video encoder.” It is unique in that it bridges multiple network interfaces in order to carry video to an endpoint, whether that endpoint is a broadcast control room, living room, or social media network.
Dan Pisarski, vice president of engineering at LiveU, says, “These are the first units fully built to support 5G.” Typically, the 5G requirements for things like power consumption, modems, encoders, antennas, RF characteristics, etc. are different from what exists on 4G, but they still need to be interact with these old network infrastructures. “So lucky to have these [built-from-scratch] The units, designed from day one to be 5G ready on true public 5G networks, are a truly exciting opportunity, ”says Pisarski.
All of this combine to allow Fox Sports to provide more dynamic tournament coverage than ever before and in some cases send up to four times the amount of footage to send. “We are able to bring more to viewers and do more with one device than ever before,” says Cheney.
“Bringing more to viewers” implies the idea. Generally, the experience of watching a tournament is exactly the same for everyone except those who are actually inside the arena: universal broadcast. With 5G, sports visualization could become much more customizable and completely change the way we watch live events.
“What does it mean to have an in-room fan experience versus an out-of-room fan experience versus an experience?” [inside] home? ”Arensberg asks. When networks and broadcasters move to a 5G-enabled place and start to examine the extended capacity of the services they can offer – not only to the person at home or on a mobile device, but also with location sensitive content – they can start thinking about how a person views the event based on where they see it and tailor the content to that experience.
The Big East basketball tournament and Madison Square Garden itself are must-sees in the history of the sport. But just because they’re historic doesn’t mean they have to be stuck in the past. Fox Sports and 5G will make sports history by drawing viewers into the future.