Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

BT Sport World-First Standalone 5G Broadcast for MotoGP at Silverstone Is a Step Towards Transmission Transformation

08/09/2021

BT Sport world-first standalone 5G broadcast for MotoGP at Silverstone is a step towards transmission transformation By Adrian Pennington

Monday, September 6, 2021 - 13:24

Print This Story

At the recent British Grand Prix, MotoGP at Silverstone, BT Sport was able to advance 5G trials

Trials of sports media innovations like augmented reality (AR), 8K and 5G have been delayed by the pandemic, but as crowds and crews get back to the stadiums, tests are starting up once more.

The leader of the pack in Europe at least is BT Sport which has plans for all three technologies in the works.

At the recent British Grand Prix, MotoGP at Silverstone [Sunday 29 August], BT Sport was able to advance the 5G part of its plan in concert with long-standing motorsport partner, MotoGP, and bag a world first in the process.

We've been talking with MotoGP and rights holder Dorna about exploring 5G and how it can transform some of their workflows, explains BT Sport chief engineer Andy Beale. There's a real-world problem to solve. Increasingly the wireless bandwidth traditionally used for radio cams and mics is being squeezed out and so reclaiming some of the public 4G and 5G spectrum is potentially a good way of solving reduced frequency count.

BT Sport embarked on a project with Dorna to explore whether 5G was a viable use case as replacement technology for radio cameras in the pit lane and paddock.

Also in the consortium were RF partner Vislink and the University of Strathclyde, which has a 5G lab. The aim was to build a standalone 5G network and explore its potential during live broadcast.

We didn't believe the main 5G network at Silverstone would support the required quality of service, Beale says. With 60,000 fans, a large circuit area and just one 5G cell we didn't think it would be reliable.

University of Strathclyde built a bespoke, private 5G network for BT Sport to use at MotoGP at Silverstone

Bespoke network

So, the University of Strathclyde built a bespoke one. A standalone network uses the same principals as a non-contested private network, which is why they think it's a world's first, Beale says. It's part of a wider project basically looking at 5G tech longer term as a replacement for traditional coded orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (COFDM).

For the British GP 5G trial, Vislink customised a version of its H-Cam transmitter that clips to the back of a camera and built a 5G transponder on that for use in the pit lane before the race. These pictures went to air on the International Programme Feed (world feed) and were also clipped into BT Sport's live coverage.

That was used very extensively and successfully up and down the pit lane, says Beale.

The small cell built by Strathclyde Uni was rigged on the outside of the circuit and, unlike traditional hardware based, specialised and proprietary cells from the likes of network operators Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei, this was built entirely in the CPU as a software-defined network.

Beale adds: This is a CPU-run 5G cell running virtually (apart from the physical antenna,) on local equipment, and that's important as we do more and more remote productions and start taking feeds into the cloud.

As a next step, BT Sport will take it fully into the cloud.

Vislink also built a militarised' version of the transmitter/transponder for mounting on the back of the media bike, pictures from which are made available for rights holder to use for features.

For BT Sport at Silverstone, former world superbike champion-turned-pundit, Neil Hodgson, rode around the track on the Thursday before race day commentating on the lap.

5G cells have a lower footprint than 4G [meaning more of them are required to cover large areas] so we knew the 5G coverage wouldn't work for the whole lap, but it did work for the section the 5G cell was on, he says.

That's important because the tests were made at various speeds from 100kph to 180kph.

What we're hoping as an industry is that, with 5G, we can use more consistent frequencies which should make it easier operationally for rights holders and broadcasters

We're pleased it still did a pretty good job, Beale continues. The signal has to authenticate when it arrives on the cell so when the bike is going top speed you do lose a bit of track while that handshake takes place, but it kept a clean signal all the way around the complex before it was lost into the start of turn one.

For Dorna, the issue is that at every circuit it attends around the world, the bandwidth for radio cameras and mics is wildly different. So the team has to have kit that works in all these frequencies and as that bandwidth gets compressed it becomes harder and harder to make all those work reliably.

Dorna has around 90-plus radio cameras, let alone radio mics and talkback, each weekend. Beale says: What we're hoping as an industry is that, with 5G, we can use more consistent frequencies which should make it easier operationally for rights holders and broadcasters. The 5G spectrum has a much more consistent specification worldwide.

Sports TV presenter, Natalie Quirk, reporting from trackside at MotoGP at Silverstone for BT Sport, using a custom 5G network

Network slicing still to come

Extensive 5G live production will require network slicing, which is the ability for a broadcaster to licence and hive off a part of the spectrum for the duration of an event.

That's still not available unfortunately, says Beale, who attributes the tardiness of its standardisation to COVID. Slicing would enable us to safely join a public network without contention but we're still waiting for that to arrive. That's why we're using a standalone network to give us the same effect.

That said, the advantages of the standalone model are not great for
LINK: https://www.svgeurope.org/blog/headlines/bt-sport-world-first-standalo...
See more stories from svg

Most recent headlines

01/06/2029

IMT AIRBORNE VIDEO DOWNLINK SYSTEM (AVDS) TAKES OFF AT ALEA EXPO 06

Jun29 IMT AIRBORNE VIDEO DOWNLINK SYSTEM (AVDS) TAKES OFF AT ALEA EXPO 2016 SAVANNAH, GA, JUNE 29, 2016 - Integrated Microwave Technologies (IMT), a leader in...

01/04/2025

Images from NAB 2017

Apr25 Images from NAB 2017 Mike Payne of Vislink delivers a presentation on newsnet, a secure, high-bandwidth IP network that completely transforms traditiona...

01/04/2024

VISLINK UNVEILS ALL-NEW HCAM, HEVC 4K UHD CAMERA TRANSMITTER AT NAB 2017

Apr24 VISLINK UNVEILS ALL-NEW HCAM, HEVC 4K UHD CAMERA TRANSMITTER AT NAB 2017 18 Unit Purchase by UK Based-Broadcast RF to be Finalized at Show LAS VEGAS, ...

06/12/2021

Canon's latest HDR monitor delivers Dolby Vision and EBU standards

The DP-V1830 delivers Dolby Vision and EBU TECH3320 standards, with a Grade 1A rating achieved for contrast ratio, peak luminance, black level, luminance unifor...

06/12/2021

Is the sale of BT Sport going into extra time?

Discovery is reportedly keen on acquiring the sports broadcaster By Jenny Priestley Published: December 6, 2021 Discovery is reportedly keen on acquiring th...

06/12/2021

Dawn Airey, Tess Alps join Channel 4's board

They join fellow new appointees David Kogan and Sarah Sands in serving three year terms By Jenny Priestley Published: December 6, 2021 They join fellow new ...

06/12/2021

The Queen': Molemo Tlali blocks Phil Mphela over acting remarks

The Queen': Molemo Tlali blocks Phil Mphela over acting remarksMolemo Tlali, who played the role of Khumo Sebata, blocked entertainment commentator, Phil Mp...

06/12/2021

7de Laan: What is happening Monday 06 December 2021 - E243 S22

7de Laan: What is happening Monday 06 December 2021 - E243 S22Don't miss out on what's happening on tonight's episode! by SA TV and Soapies 06-12...

06/12/2021

Skeem Saam: Tonight's episode, E371 S9 - Monday 06 December 2021

Skeem Saam: Tonight's episode, E371 S9 - Monday 06 December 2021Find out what's going on tonight on Skeem Saam! by SA TV and Soapies 06-12-2021 in ...

06/12/2021

TONIGHT'S EPISODE: Scandal - Monday 06 December 2021 (E3969 S13)

TONIGHT'S EPISODE: Scandal - Monday 06 December 2021 (E3969 S13)Get to know what's happening on tonight's episode! by SA TV and Soapies 06-12-202...

06/12/2021

Gomora: What's happening tonight Monday, 06 December 2021 - E161 S2

Gomora: What's happening tonight Monday, 06 December 2021 - E161 S2Don't miss out on what's happening on tonight's episode of Gomora! by SA TV...

06/12/2021

Monday's Episode: Generations - The Legacy, E271 S30 (06 December 2021)

Monday's Episode: Generations - The Legacy, E271 S30 (06 December 2021)Keen to know what's happening on the latest episode of Generations: The Legacy? ...

06/12/2021

The River: what is happening E216 S4 - Monday 06 December 2021

The River: what is happening E216 S4 - Monday 06 December 2021On tonight's episode of The River . by SA TV and Soapies 06-12-2021 in SA TV and Film Th...

06/12/2021

TONIGHT'S EPISODE: Diep City E176 S1 - Monday 06 December 2021

TONIGHT'S EPISODE: Diep City E176 S1 - Monday 06 December 2021We've got you covered on what's happening tonight. by SA TV and Soapies 06-12-2021 ...

06/12/2021

UZALO: Tonight's episode, Monday 06 December 2021 - E196 S7

UZALO: Tonight's episode, Monday 06 December 2021 - E196 S7Don't get left behind, catch up on Uzalo now! by SA TV and Soapies 06-12-2021 in SA TV a...

06/12/2021

MUVHANGO: Monday's Episode - 06 December 2021 E240 S22

MUVHANGO: Monday's Episode - 06 December 2021 E240 S22Don't miss out on the latest drama in Muvhango! by SA TV and Soapies 06-12-2021 in SA TV and ...

06/12/2021

Tonight on Imbewu: Monday, 06 December 2021 - E951 S4

Tonight on Imbewu: Monday, 06 December 2021 - E951 S4Catch up on what's going on tonight! by SA TV and Soapies 06-12-2021 in SA TV and Film Monday'...

06/12/2021

Im A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! Monday 6 December preview (video)

Im A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! Monday 6 December preview (video) Kadeena and Louise team up to take on Critter-cal Cages in tonights Im A Celebrity... Ge...

06/12/2021

Interview with Monika Garbaiauskait-Budrien, Director-General of LRT

Interview with Monika Garba iauskait -Budrien , Director-General of LRT...

06/12/2021

Triple CBC Tower Lighting Ushers in Holidays

This year was special as it was a symbol of the community returning to some semblance of normalcy after 20 months in isolation. Adding the lighting of the tow...

06/12/2021

Thales Australia advances manufacture of sovereign munitions capability

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Following Thales Australia's recent US Department of Defense qualification of its Australian-made TNT to military specificat...

06/12/2021

PLAZAMEDIA and ARRI Install Mixed Reality Studio in Ismaning near Munich

PLAZAMEDIA and ARRI Install Mixed Reality Studio in Ismaning near Munich posted: 06/12/2021 Photo of Stephan Schenk (l., ARRI) and Jens Friedrichs (PLAZAMED...

05/12/2021

Lifetime Creates Olay Mini-Movie' For Holiday Season Viewers

Tis the season for branded content, and A+E Networks has created a mini-movie for sponsor Olay that will have its debut Friday during A Christmas Dance Reunion,...

05/12/2021

1091 Pictures Films Part of Vizio WatchFree Plus VOD

Independent distributor 1091 Picture said that its films are available as part of the video-on-demand offering added to Vizio's WatchFree Plus streaming ser...

05/12/2021

Public Knowledge, Benton to Court: States Can Regulate Broadband Rates

Public Knowledge and the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society have filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which is hea...

05/12/2021

MARZ Raises $5 Million-Plus To Boost Streaming, Traditional Special Effects Business

Toronto-based visual effects company MARZ (Monsters Aliens Robots Zombies) said ...

05/12/2021

Sinclair RSNs Renew Digital Rights Agreements With 12 NHL Teams

Sinclair Broadcast Group said its Diamond Sports Group unit reached a renewal of its rights deal with the National Hockey League that covers 12 teams whose game...

05/12/2021

VP Harris Promotes Broadband Investments

Vice President Kamala Harris talked up the broadband benefits of the recently passed bipartisan Biden infrastructure package, which included $65 billion for bro...

05/12/2021

NBC News' Week-Long Rainforest Report Starts Dec. 5

NBC News is focused on rainforest destruction and its perils the week starting Dec. 5, with Today, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, NBCNews.com and NBC News Now all con...

05/12/2021

Diary of a Wimpy Kid' Animated Film on Disney Plus Dec. 3

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, an animated film based on the first book in Jeff Kinney's beloved franchise, debuts on Disney Plus Dec. 3. It runs for 58 minutes....

05/12/2021

FCC Home Page Goes AWOL on Google

Anyone searching for the Federal Communications Commission's home page on Google will have to do some searching....

05/12/2021

Lego Masters' Renewed By Fox For Season Three

Fox has renewed Lego Masters for season three. The competition series returns in 2022 and Will Arnett stays on as host and executive producer....

05/12/2021

RT Statement: Kieran Creaven

RT was appalled to learn the details of the abhorrent crimes committed by Kieran Creaven which emerged from the Garda investigation, and which were revealed in...

05/12/2021

Im A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! Sunday 5 December preview (video)

Im A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! Sunday 5 December preview (video) Matty and Naughty Boy take on todays Trial - Gross Vegas. Watch and embed this video on...

05/12/2021

December 04, 2021

Scripps Research mourns passing of pioneering scientist Richard Lerner Lerner made major scientific contributions and built Scripps Research into a world-renown...

04/12/2021

Scripps Appoints Cheryle Harrison to Lead Bounce TV Network

CINCINNATI Scripps Networks has appointed Cheryle Harrison to head up its Bounce TV network targeting African Americans....

04/12/2021

Sinclair Inks Digital Rights Agreement with the NHL

BALTIMORE, M.D. Sinclair Broadcast Group has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Diamond Sports Group, ( DSG ) has entered into a multi-year renewal of ...

04/12/2021

Blackbird, TownNews Expand to 80 U.S. TV Stations

MOLINE, Ill. & London Blackbird plc has announced that TownNews and its Blackbird cloud native video editing platform are now being used by 80 U.S. TV stations ...

04/12/2021

AIMS Announces Board Members for the 2022 Term

BOTHELL, Wash. The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) has announced that all members of the AIMS Board of Directors have been reelected to serve once again ...

04/12/2021

Scaled-Back CES Returns to Vegas After Pandemic Hiatus

LAS VEGAS TVs and related video devices once a mainstay of the annual CES trade show will still play a smaller but still highly visible role in the show, which ...

04/12/2021

SMPTE Explores Hollywood's Drone Potential

HOLLYWOOD Although drones have been an important part of film and television production over the past decade, the media & entertainment industry is looking to f...

04/12/2021

Automating Media and Content Workflows at M6

Being responsible for the broadcast media flows that support every aspect of content production, editing and broadcast at France's M6 television group, I am...

04/12/2021

News Channel Nebraska Relies on Aveco Automation

NORFOLK, Neb. NCN was developed with a vision to be the only in-state, independent television network of its kind. It is part of Flood Communications, honored b...

04/12/2021

Switching at Your Service

LONDON The production switcher is a foundation of any studio gallery or OB truck and any change in how it works marks a fundamental shift in the way TV operatio...

04/12/2021

Celebrating the Breadth and Beauty of Arab Cinema

Back to All News Celebrating the Breadth and Beauty of Arab Cinema Nuha Eltayeb Director of Content Acquisitions for Turkey, Middle East, and North Africa, N...

04/12/2021

First Look Promo: Ant & Decs Limitless Win

First Look Promo: Ant & Decs Limitless Win ITV released today the first look promo of Limitless Win, Ant & Decs first new show in over 10 years. Watch and e...

04/12/2021

Im A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! Saturday 4 December preview (video)

Im A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! Saturday 4 December preview (video) David, Naughty Boy and Adam tackle todays devilish Trial - Cells of Hell Watch and e...

03/12/2021

Spotify Joins the Valuable 500 With a Commitment to Disability Inclusion

Product accessibility has always been a focus for Spotify. Earlier this year, we introduced improvements to Spotify's mobile experience that included button...