Sony and Verizon team up to implement 5G in sports broadcasting

On 1 December, Sony Imaging Products & Solutions, Sony Mobile Communications, and Verizon collaborated to demonstrate how 5G technology and streaming can be used in live sports broadcasting. During the NFL’s Texans vs. New England Patriots game earlier this month, a camera person from NBC Sports used Sony’s PXW-Z450 shoulder camcorder to capture the game. The video was sent through to a production room in the NRG Stadium, with the help of Sony’s prototype transmitter box, Xperia 5G mmWave device, and Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband network.

The success of the live broadcast experiment proved that 5G-connected cameras could have a large impact on the way telecoms display future live sporting events. By combining Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband low latency and high bandwidth with Sony’s mobile device, video, and encoding expertise enabled low-latency high-quality video, the broadcast was sent in almost real time to NBC producers. In the future, the same 5G-connected cameras could be used to transmit to remote production teams that aren’t located at the site of the sporting event. Another advantage to 5G is the use of wireless connectivity, so cameras can use all angles and positions to capture the games.

“We are extremely pleased to have completed a successful 5G collaboration with Verizon,” said Mikio Kita, senior general manager of Media Solution Business Division, Professional Products & Solutions Group, Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc. “Sony is uniquely positioned to offer an end-to-end solution for professional content creation and mobile communication technology, and our joint achievement on this proof of concept of live sports production will pave the way for wider 5G applications.”

“Verizon’s 5G network is built to transform industries and we’re thrilled to demonstrate how it can change the way live sports broadcasts are captured and delivered,” said Nicki Palmer, chief product development officer at Verizon. “5G’s high bandwidth and low latency can enable high definition video to be streamed essentially in real time and captured with no wires on the field.”

“It was exciting to see Sony’s 5G product coming to life,” said David Mazza, CTO, NBC Sports Group. “The picture quality is excellent, and we look forward to the day when we can deploy a wireless camera this easily as part of the 5G rollouts around the country.”