UHD Spain has performed a pioneering proof-of-concept for the use of UHD-HDR and next-generation audio (NGA), using 5G contributions, cloud mixing, multi-media broadcasting including 5G Broadcast, and the use of the public Internet for signal transport.
UHD Spain is the association that promotes Ultra High Definition in the country. Its President, Pere Vila, explains: “The aim was to test the entire UHD content capture, production and distribution chain, including production in the cloud and the new 5G Broadcast transmission format.”
The test involved setting up a UHD workflow with HDR-HLG from the camera to the user’s device, using 5G communications, edge and cloud processing, and all available broadcast media: DTT (DVB-T2), satellite (DVB-S2), Internet (OTT, HbbTV) and the new 5G Broadcast system, simultaneously. The test content could be viewed on TVs, PCs, tablets and mobile devices through the official UHD Spain website.
Emili Planas from Grup Mediapro, who is on UHD Spain’s board of directors, adds: “This proof shows us one more way for live production. In the not-too-distant future, the production model we have tested will become standard for covering live events at the highest UHD-HDR quality, using the facilities of 5G and de-localised operations through connected resources.”
“This is one of the first cases of a multi-camera contribution of Ultra High Definition content over a 5G network,” notes Xavier Redón, Vice President of UHD Spain (who works for Cellnex). “There is strong UHD innovation in Spain, and from Cellnex, who are proud to operate the network through which RTVE will become the first broadcaster in the world to broadcast a regular UHD broadcast on DTT.”
The tests, conducted on October 19, involved the transmission of a live concert by the singer Israel Fernández, held at the Real Observatorio Astronómico de Madrid with the collaboration of Radio 3. They were the culmination of a year’s work by UHD Spain.
The workflow also included a proof-of-concept for remote production thanks to the inclusion of mixing and production processing in the cloud and remote-controlled cameras. It also included systems for monitoring and supervision of the transmitted signal (in terms of radio frequency, protocols and video/audio quality).
One of the objectives of the test was to check that the signal received by users is not too data-heavy, and that for mobile reception, thousands of phones can be connected simultaneously without saturating the network.
The new production and transmission capabilities involved multiple UHD Spain member companies. Key roles were played by
SAPEC, which acted as coordinator and manager of the project, and was also the specialist in encoding. In addition, RTVE, Cellnex, Grup Mediapro, Canon and TVU Networks actively participated in all phases.
UHD Spain members Ateme, CCMA, Dolby, Gsertel, Fraunhofer IIS, Rohde & Schwarz, Televés, Vestel and Video-MOS, among others, have also collaborated. The broadcast was made possible thanks to the networks of Axion, Cellnex, Hispasat and Telecom CLM. Other companies such as Acromove, Qualcomm, Spiner and Transparent Edge collaborated in this test.
The trial was made possible thanks to the support of the Secretary of State for Telecommunications of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, which approved the use of the spectrum for the trial.