For the 2022 Roland-Garros tournament, France Télévisions is experimenting with new ways to distribute live tennis games using 5G.
For the 2022 Roland-Garros tournament, France Télévisions and a group of select companies will test new distribution modes, both in Broadcast and Multicast mode thanks to 5G.
These different distribution modes allow France Televisions' channels to be received on all receivers with optimal reception quality, regardless of the number of viewers connected in the same place. They are therefore particularly well suited to broadcasting sporting events, which are attracting an ever-growing audience.
5G Broadcast :
The broadcast mode of 5G will allow to broadcast France Télévisions' channels live with a good geographical coverage and a quality guarantee whatever the number of users connected at the same time on the same coverage area of the transmitter. The principle is similar to what is done today on DTT with the broadcast of a channel on the terrestrial network once for all customers, but with the advantage of being compatible with the different types of equipment supporting 5G (and not only television) and with the possibility of enjoying it on the move. The end-to-end 5G Broadcast platform set up (1)(2) guarantees a wide geographical coverage. Thus, all compatible cell phones (3) located in the transmitter's coverage area (4) can receive the tournament images without network saturation and with a stable and guaranteed image quality.
This technology is of interest to France Télévisions, which is particularly concerned about the quality of service delivered to viewers, especially during events that attract an ever-growing (digital) audience.
The advantages of using networks in 5G Broadcast mode are as follows:
- Guaranteed image quality regardless of the number of users involved at the same time in the network coverage area
- A very good coverage with a low number of 5G transmitters (because we install transmitters on high points)
- The service is accessible without a SIM card
- Compatibility with the evolution of the 5G standard
5G Multicast The multicast mode of 5G will also allow an optimized broadcast of France Televisions' live channels. As with the broadcast mode, the video stream is broadcast only once on the network for all users. This broadcast mode can be dynamically activated on Orange 5G network transmitters to replace the traditional unicast mode used today, where two mobiles watching the same program require the broadcast of this program twice on the network. Broadcast and multicast are complementary. Multicast transport on Orange's mobile network will use higher frequencies than broadcast, despite a lower coverage, it will allow to broadcast content with a higher throughput.
Like 5G Broadcast, 5G multicast has the advantage for the user to have a guaranteed image quality. For Orange, it allows to optimize and decrease the amount of data transmitted on the network, which reduces broadcasting costs, the number of antennas needed in dense areas and consequently decreases the environmental footprint related to the broadcasting of audiovisual streams.
To show the interest of this technology and to imagine what could be the broadcasting of France Televisions live channels in the years to come, Orange contributes to a collaborative project called NESTED (2)(5)(6)(7)(8) which implements new standards recently published. Within this framework, we are experimenting with France Télévisions to broadcast live programs by testing :
- 5G multicast if several viewers are watching the same program from the same transmitter, or 5G unicast if less than two viewers are watching the same content,
- The new VVC codec which allows to reduce by four the video bitrates while offering the same quality compared to the codec used by the DTT,
- The low latency mode, thanks to the Low Latency DASH (LL-DASH), to have a low delay compared to the live broadcast,
- The DVB-I standard so that the viewer can receive the program on his or her terminal via the different broadcast modes (broadcast, multicast, unicast) in a transparent manner.
For this project, France Télévisions and Orange will have OPPO mobiles available for demonstration on its stand at Roland Garros. The companies involved in the project with France Télévisions are (in alphabetical order): ATEME, Enensys, IETR, Orange, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., Rohde & Schwarz, towerCast, Viaccess-Orca