What is 5G?
5G is the now rapidly emerging next generation mobile network. What makes 5G networks unique the powerful combination of low latency, high network bandwidth and ubiquitous connectivity. Data can be uploaded at speeds up to 10 Gigabits per second and downloaded at peak speeds of 20Gbps. This is 10 times faster than today’s mobile networks. It is the ability to download a 3GB video in 35 seconds. Over today’s 4G networks, that same 3GB file would take 40 minutes to download.
Why is 5G important for production? In short, it removes limitations.
5G and Live Events
When it comes to live events, 5G reduces costs while increasing efficiency and flexibility of remote production. While many stadiums have fixed locations providing the fiber connections needed for TV cameras, broadcasters have had to invest time and money to lay down miles of fiber to connect cameras to OB truck. 5G gives camera crews the freedom to roam wherever they need to get the best shot – and upload high quality 4K in real-time. Sports broadcasters around the world have been testing 5G since 2018. This summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games are expected to display the broadest set of commercial uses yet.
Scripted Content in 5G
So, it’s easy to understand the benefits of 5G for live events but what about scripted content? How can 5G transform Hollywood storytelling? 5G changes the game even before the cast is assembled and shooting begins. Location scouting is now simplified by 5G enabled drone cameras capturing shots and enabling teams to quickly review options. The sky, pun intended, is now the limit as it becomes more cost effective to send crews to check the viability and desirability of locations.
Once filming starts, the pace of production can now be accelerated. One of the biggest sources of delay has been transmitting large high-quality video files (aka “dailies”) for review While the adoption of digital has accelerated this process, 5G can provide even greater improvements. 5G’s fast speeds allows filmmakers to transfer massive video files to editors very quickly without the restriction of access to wireline connections.
In the same manner, collaboration between editors in multiple locations and time zones becomes more productive and reliable. Video files can be shared, edited, re-shared and reviewed. 5G also improves the viability of cloud-based workflows thanks to its low latency requirements. Imagine files being uploaded to the cloud while still shooting. Workflows will be accelerated; networking costs will be reduced. Even more importantly, 5G can truly democratize post-production – allowing the best specialist talent to participate in projects without concern for location.
The Future of 5G
The future promises even greater creativity and audience immersion. Thanks to 5G’s ultra-low latency and massive data capacity, storytellers can unleash their AR, VR, 3D Holographic enabled imaginations. South Korea, a longtime leader in adopting advanced mobile network technologies, released this 3D holographic + 5G network enabled dragon in 2019! Live events, visual interactions, and storytelling as we know it will change forever.
We can only imagine how content production will evolve as 5G is deployed globally. 5G enabled smartphones and 5G enabled professional cameras are available today with 1.2 billion connections projected by 2025. Get ready for a new wave of creativity!
Peggy Dau is an independent consultant working with media tech companies to help them connect the dots between technology, market trends and business strategies. Peggy is also a co-founder of Women in Streaming Media, a not-for-profit organization which exists to increase diversity, and provide greater visibility, to women working in any role within the streaming media technology sector.