NBC Sports trial shows how 5G could change the way live sport is captured

NBC Sports has teamed up with Sony and Verizon in the US to test how 5G could change the way live sports broadcasts are captured and produced.

During the Houston Texans versus New England Patriots NFL game at the NRG Stadium on 1 December 2019, a camera person from NBC Sports captured video of the game on the field using Sony’s PXW-Z450 shoulder camcorder.

The video was streamed through Sony’s prototype transmitter box and Xperia 5G mmWave device, via Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network to a production room in the stadium.

The test, which involved Sony Imaging Products & Solutions, Sony Mobile Communications and Verizon, proved that 5G-connected cameras can be a reliable and beneficial option for future live sports broadcasts. Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband’s low latency and high bandwidth combined with Sony’s mobile device, video, and encoding expertise enabled low latency high quality video to be transmitted in near real time to producers.

The test showed the potential for remote production teams to be located anywhere, regardless of where the game’s taking place. Furthermore, 5G’s essentially instant wireless connectivity means that cameras can be untethered, allowing for more creative camera positions and angles throughout the game and reducing set-up time and costs required for camera system integration.

Commented David Mazza, CTO, NBC Sports Group: “It was exciting to see Sony’s 5G product coming to life. The picture quality is excellent, and we look forward to the day when we can deploy a wireless camera this easily as part of the 5G rollouts around the country.”

Added Mikio Kita, senior general manager of media solution business division, professional products and solutions group, Sony Imaging Products & Solutions: “We are extremely pleased to have completed a successful 5G collaboration with Verizon. Sony is uniquely positioned to offer an end to end solution for professional content creation and mobile communication technology, and our joint achievement on this proof of concept of live sports production will pave the way for wider 5G applications.”

Nicki Palmer, chief product development officer at Verizon, concluded: “Verizon’s 5G network is built to transform industries and we’re thrilled to demonstrate how it can change the way live sports broadcasts are captured and delivered. 5G’s high bandwidth and low latency can enable high definition video to be streamed essentially in real time and captured with no wires on the field.”

Sony and Verizon will continue to pursue even more flexible and effortless live sports production workflows and solutions using 5G.

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