We are entering a new age of video. Not only does video traffic now account for around 80% of Internet traffic but 5G technology also enables a wide range of new video applications and usage scenarios. From ultra-high definition 4K/8K live broadcast, multi-angle video to highly interactive video leveraging virtual reality (AR), augmented reality (AR) and holography, 5G technology provides new possibilities to content providers and broadcasters on how and where they produce, transmit, edit and broadcast video content.
With new applications, 5G networks can help bring in new revenue streams for the industry while significantly reducing production costs. China Mobile has upgraded its “One Media” solution which integrates video production, editing and broadcast into one cloud-based system. In addition, the company has extensive partnerships with leading customers and partners to create a holistic ecosystem.
China Mobile foresees five emerging applications that will lead future video development. They include 5G enabled 4K/8K live broadcast, cloud-based converged media center, real-time AR/VR production and broadcast, 5G mobile broadcast studio and holographic video conferencing.
Ultra-high-definition live broadcast
The 4G network has lower bandwidth and poorer stability than 5G and forbids live broadcast at the ultra-high-definition level. Now, the media and broadcast industry see opportunities to utilize the high-speed, low-latency 5G network for 4K/8K live video production and broadcast.
To realize this vision, operators need to provide a high quality converged 4G/5G, WiFi and wired network and a cloud-based video production system. The converged mobile network allows the transmission of 4K/8K video feed while the content provider can direct, edit and broadcast video content on cloud in real time.
China Mobile not only offers 5G network which seamlessly connects to 4G and other wired networks but also offers professional grade, broadcast quality video production and broadcast systems. The technical team has extensive industry experience and can tailor solutions to meet individual customer and project needs.
For example, in various large-scale events supported by China Mobile, cameramen carried professional cameras connected to wearable 5G terminals embedded in vests that transmitted different 4K video feeds to the central studio in real time, significantly increasing the content quality and flexibility of video crew deployment.
Cloud-based converged media center
Another key development of the media industry is the growth of cloud-based video production which allows content providers to store, edit, render, and broadcast video content on cloud. A cloud-based platform allows collaborations between parties in different locations that help increase creativity and accelerate production pipelines. It also provides access control and security features for content asset management.
A high-quality, cloud-based converged media platform offers four key capabilities. First, it can aggregate content from multiple points and channels, and provide unified review and processing capability. Second, the platform has rich video production features such as online editing, mobile production tools, short video tools, cloud live broadcast, etc. Third, it provides user management and data analytic for content management. Lastly, it supports video broadcasting on a wide range of platforms such as TV, smartphone, radio, WeChat, etc.
China Mobile’s One Media solution includes a leading cloud-based video production platform which delivers all the above capabilities. In addition, China Mobile utilizes 2.6 GHz band in its 5G network deployment that not only provides excellent network coverage but also up to 1,100 Mbps uplink which supports fast high-definition video upload, greatly improving performance and reducing operational costs.
5G+AR/VR production and broadcast on-the-go
Video is a major application of virtual reality (VR) technology, and many users have experienced VR videos using headsets. It requires 360-degree shooting to create a VR video. Studios often use multi-directional panoramic cameras to produce footage. Then, they use editing software to stitch multiple shots together to make one VR experience that the audience can interact with. The experience is immersive, interesting and interactive.
The large-scale deployment of 5G network helps boost the adoption of VR live broadcast as it demands higher upload and download speeds of network. The process involves the real-time motion capture and projection of the captured images to a real or virtual environment. Leveraging 5G network and AR/VR technologies, people’s movement can be captured and integrated with a virtual environment in real-time and live video feed can be broadcasted to audiences.
China Mobile offers world-leading motion capture suits to meet the professional motion capture needs of various industries. The software and hardware bundle supports the end-to-end production process. With state-of-the-art imaging technology, even hair strands, shadows on the ground and the shape of a water bottle can be clearly seen in the AR/VR video.
For example, China Mobile has supported an AR/VR live broadcast hosted by TCL Industrial Holdings. They hosted a product introduction event in a live broadcast studio with fans. The production team combined the video with various virtual scenes and special effects in real time to generate a live video feed for broadcast. The new products were introduced in a tree house, living room, laundry room, and time tunnel, creating impressive and exciting visual experience for audiences.
5G mobile broadcast studio
The 5G network makes it possible for traditional broadcast studios to communicate and interact with studios in other places, creating opportunities to produce new types of programs such as news programs in moving vehicles, live events in remote places, interactive entertainment events and exhibitions. Creating a lightweight, portable, and easy-to-build studio which connects to the 5G network is essential for such interactive studio.
To realize this vision, it is critical to aggregate 4G/5G, WiFi and wired network to create a high speed, low-latency network for ultra-high-definition video transmission in real-time. The network needs to provide stable video transmission, supporting high-speed, two-way transmission with a delay as low as 500ms. That allows real-time interactive communications between multiple studios.
China Mobile offers various 5G and 4G modules which support up to 6 SIM cards for audio and video transmission at the same time. They can also connect to wired and WIFI networks. The advantage of China Mobile’s 5G modules is the unique interactive communication functions while similar products in the market only support one-way live broadcast.
At the 5G Autonomous Driving Summit in Suzhou in 2020, China Mobile built a temporary studio on an unmanned vehicle by using a 5G backpack, an integrated interactive server and a broadcast station, and conducted a real-time interactive video broadcast between the temporary studio and two other studios in different locations, achieving an impressive low-latency, high-quality interactive performance.
Holographic video conferencing
Due to geographical, health and other restrictions, we sometimes are not able to conduct face-to-face meetings. Holographic video conferencing enabled by the 5G network overcomes these obstacles and realizes real-time, three-dimensional interactions between conferencing parties. Through motion capture, optical imaging, image processing and other technologies, the holographic conferencing brings new real-life, face-to-face experience to audiences.
Holographic video conferencing starts with the real-time video shooting and image processing. The image of single or multiple people in front of a green screen are captured and have undergone holographic processing. Then, the processed video is transmitted to another location through a 5G private network. The holographic image captured in the venue is three-dimensional. The image and audio are fed to a control center in real-time for monitoring and control. More than two venues can be connected to form a multi-party conference, realizing a realistic face-to-face conferencing experience across multiple locations.
China Mobile sees the development of these converged media applications are only at their infant stage. As the scale and maturity of 5G network keep growing, businesses and users will be benefited from these technology advancements.