France Télévisions has teamed up with Nokia to pilot what the pair claim to be the world’s first 8K UHD TV streaming on a 5G mobile network.
Public broadcaster France Televisions and Orange will join forces to trial 5G live video streaming of 8K video at the upcoming Roland Garros tennis tournament, taking place from 26 May to 09 June. The two partners will be joined by a group of industry players from the US, Japan, Germany, Poland and The Netherlands, as well as France. An 8K production platform will be set up to deliver more than 100 hours of live action from the Philippe-Chatrier centre court.
According to Nokia, the trial positions 5G as a viable platform to broadcast unicast content on all screens, up to and including 8K TVs.
The Finnish technology company teamed up with the French pubcaster’s Innovation and Prospective department to conduct the test by transmitting a recorded programme in 8K over a 5G wireless network at the Nokia Paris-Saclay Campus in France in July. The 5G network made use of the Nokia AirScale radio access and AirFrame data center solution with the Velocix Content Delivery Network, which enables the delivery of high-volumes of video traffic in a cost-effective way, according to Nokia, for an enhanced live or on-demand video experience.
Bernard Fontaine, head of technical innovations at France Télévisions said: “The growth in the use of digital devices and the incredible quality increase of equipment are contributing to the increased consumption of our media content. This evolution will require a rethinking of the value chain of actors and technologies that contribute to the future needs of wireless transmission modes. Whether usage targets fixed TV or mobile devices, 5G will be part of the process of convergence and transformation of future technical, regulatory and economic models to ensure a very high level of quality in TV services, including public service ones, over the long term. Our demo with Nokia clearly shows that we are ready for the changes that will sweep our industry with the advent of 5G in the next decade.”
Marc Rouanne, president of mobile networks at Nokia, said: “5G is coming faster than anyone anticipated and we are ready for it. 5G will create new opportunities beyond pure connectivity. Nokia is delivering an end-to-end 5G Future X solution that will provide the flexibility, capacity, speeds and latency for TV broadcasters and telecom operators to support ultra high quality live reporting and 8K high definition content delivered to consumers’ mobile devices and televisions.”
In addition to live streaming, this collaboration will include demonstrations of multi-screen VoD services and satellite testing. Alongside the 8K trial, the broadcaster will also showcase mixed reality both on screen and via smart glasses, in partnership with a number of European, American and Chinese companies, as well as a few French start-ups.