Successful tests carried out together with BBC R&D, Neutral Wireless and Sony
Nevion, a Sony Group Company and award-winning provider of virtualized media production solutions, announced today that its flagship media orchestration platform, VideoIPath, has been used successfully to demonstrate the dynamic prioritization of live media signals over 5G connectivity in a proof-of-concept (PoC) during the coronation of King Charles III on 6 May 2023, in London, UK. The test was carried out by Nevion, parent company Sony, private 5G SA Networks developer Neutral Wireless, and the research and development arm of UK public broadcaster the BBC.
Within the broadcast industry, there is a growing interest in using 5G in live production to connect cameras, because of the ubiquity, the versatility, and the bidirectional nature of the network technology. While 5G potentially offers fast connectivity, the best-effort nature of the technology usually employed can make it unusable in situations where there is a high-level of contention for the available bandwidth. This is clearly the case for public 5G networks, on which many mobile handset users might be active or even broadcasters competing for resources. However, it can also be the case for dedicated private 5G networks with many pieces of equipment (including camaras) connected.
The objective of the PoC was, therefore, to demonstrate that media signals could be prioritized on a standalone non-public network (SNPN) using quality of service (QoS) control.
The solution for this PoC was built on elements of Sony and Nevion’s Networked Live offering. For media transport, each camera was fitted with a Sony prototype transmitter box, which provided ultra-low-latency HEVC video encoding, and was connected to the Neutral Wireless 5G SNPN via an Xperia™ 5G smartphone.
For network and resource orchestration, Nevion VideoIPath was used to interface with the 5G network’s NEF (Network Exposure Function) to configure the QoS for individual flows based on dynamic information about the bandwidth and signal priorities. For example, the camera currently transmitting was given have a higher priority for its video signal compared to the non-transmitting one.
Andy Rayner, Nevion’s Chief Technologist explains: “Our vision of creating a unified hybrid on-prem and Cloud-distributed environment requires a network orchestration able to control the flow of signals end-to-end, across various fixed and mobile networks. In recent years we have built a solid experience in using 5G in production, most notably through the Nevion-led EU-funded 5G VIRTUOSA project. This PoC is one further step in demonstrating the viability of 5G in live production, especially in high demand environments.”