Wondering how we will ever enjoy watching live television in beautiful 8K resolution?

The answer was delivered in all of its glory at the recent French Grand Slam Tennis Tournament using high-bandwidth 5G wireless broadband technology.

Japan’s communications giant NEC Corp. said this week that it successfully transmitted live 8K video of the French tournament at Roland-Garros in cooperation with France Télévisions, France’s largest public television station, according to a report Tuesday on international video business trade site Advanced-Television.com.

The transmission utilized NEC’s VC-8900 8K transmission encoder, running real-time video compression technologies, to transmit live 8K video of the tournament to 8K video monitors and 5G smartphones and tablets positioned inside the tournament grounds.

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“Building on the success of this initiative, NEC will further promote the realisation and expansion of next-generation broadcasting services using high-definition video in 2020 and beyond,” the report quoted Takeshi Inoue, NEC Corp. Broadcast and Media Division VP General Manager, as saying.

Last January, NEC working together with Japanese telco NTT DOCOMO and Tobu Railway, conducted video transmission tests through 5G base stations supporting 4.5GHz and 28GHz bands.

That demonstration was conducted to gauge the use of 5G wireless for entertainment applications, including the transmission of live sports and tourism content.

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Th teest used an 8K Ultra HD live video sample of a steam locomotive transmitted from a 5G base station installed along the railroad tracks to a 5G mobile station connected to an 8K display inside the moving train.

The test also included transmission of pre-recorded 4K video content from the 5G base station to the 5G mobile station on the train and relayed via wireless LAN to mobile devices carried by the train’s passengers. The exercise was said to have verified the effectiveness of 5G in the transmission of data-dense high-resolution video content, even to receiving devices in motion.

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In the January test, the NEC 5G base station was equipped with a Massive MIMO antenna, which was described as having the ability to form beams that concentrate power on the location and direction of the 5G mobile station.

NEC said it also plans to conduct trials for 5G verification of other use cases, including applications in healthcare and security, under various conditions and environments, including rural and urban areas.

In related work, communications systems developer Nokia collaborated with France Télévisions at the IBC 2018 show to deliver a proof-of-concept for the first 8K TV streaming over 5G under real world conditions.

By Greg Tarr

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