Jordi J. Giménez, Head of Technology 5G-MAG, shared with the members of UHD Spain the work of the association on multimedia applications through the communication networks of the future, such as 5G

UHD Spain, the association that promotes Ultra High Definition in Spain, held a new virtual meeting that addressed, for the first time, the possibilities of 5G and UHD today.

The guest expert was Jordi J. Gimenez, Head of Technology of the 5G-MAG Association (Media Action Group), whose purpose is to provide a framework to collaborate in the development and implementation of new technologies applied to connected multimedia services.

Gimenez explained that the main working topic of 5G-MAG is about 5G technologies and their application to different multimedia fields, both in terms of contribution, distribution, and production of multimedia content. In Gimenez’s own words, the objective is “to understand 5G, develop its standards, and facilitate the introduction of new multimedia applications and services”. 

The expert pointed out that 5G-MAG as such does not generate new standards, but interacts with standardization forums such as 3GPP to ensure that they meet the necessary technical requirements. “The collaborative framework offered by 5G-MAG makes it possible for organizations of any size to play their part in the development of 5G.”

The entity covers the conception of use cases through to their implementation and development. The idea is to bring together the multimedia and telecommunications industries and facilitate collaboration in the development of architectures, standards, technical implementation guides, and software tools that can facilitate the introduction of new applications,” Giménez said during the meeting. He also explained the opportunity to design new networks and technologies “taking into account factors such as cost, quality, scalability, sustainability, security… for both content distribution and production through a transition to all-IP and web-based workflows”. 

The working procedure at 5G-MAG: from validation to final product

The expert also explained that the organization of the work in 5G-MAG is carried out by proposing use cases, creating requirements, and evaluating the possibilities, in addition to profiling the available standards.  “Once the architecture and standards applicable to a particular application are understood, we proceed to validation, verification, and software development to facilitate the design of viable services and applications.” 

Regarding the work on the production of audiovisual content on 5G, he highlighted the opportunity to improve connectivity for the transmission of content to the network by improving the performance of the current “cellular bonding” as well as establishing local area networks based on 5G so that the network can be configured with the required quality of service levels or, if there is no operator coverage to cover an event, that a local network can be deployed. On the other hand, he also highlighted that members are analyzing the codecs and protocols in terms of audio and video transmission that are supported in these architectures.

As requirements for content production networks, Giménez cited the handling of quality of service for different signal streams, either for audio sources to be treated, for example, with a specific latency or for video sources to be treated with a specific bandwidth.

Private nomadic networks, a major stumbling block in 5G development

Jordi Joan Giménez also spoke of the opportunity of private networks for which there is a stumbling block due to the “disparity in the regulation adopted in different countries, even within the European Union”. In addition, the applications envisaged require opportunistic access to the spectrum for a short and specific duration, while the regulatory frameworks currently adopted are static and inflexible.

For the Head of Technology, the main developments carried out in terms of content distribution are the optimization of television and radio applications for both streaming and broadcasting through the various unicast, multicast, and broadcast modes supported in 5G.

5G-MAG projects already in progress for 2023

2023 looks set to be a very positive year for 5G-MAG, as there are already several projects underway. Among them, Giménez highlighted those related to television and radio over 5G mobile networks, video on demand and streaming applications with guaranteed quality of service, applications for 5G Broadcast, targeted advertising insertion, and integration with DVB-I, among others.

Regarding the solutions identified to transmit UHD content, Giménez explained that a higher bandwidth in the uplink would result in the possibility of transmitting better quality. Regarding media streaming, he admitted that there are possibilities for associating profiles with network performance. That is, “if the network improves, the encoder changes to a higher quality profile,” he said.

On the other hand, focusing on distribution, he stated that “this architecture supports UHD profiles and the network can be configured to treat different types of content differently”. In this way, if a user has contracted a 4K service, the network will send it in the best possible way.

The specialist described it as “very interesting” that there is a specific work item on 8K in 3GPP, which is focused on HEVC codec and is defining the operating points, data flow requirements, and traffic characteristics for different types of scenarios and decoding requirements.

5G-MAG, the work of its members to connect multimedia applications

The 5G-MAG (Media Action Group) provides a framework to collaborate in the implementation of new technologies in the field of connected audiovisual and multimedia applications. In particular, 5G is applied to content creation, production, distribution, and consumption. The work in the 5G-MAG is driven by its members and their contributions. Therefore, the areas of work are defined by the members themselves.

UHD Spain places Spain in the Ultra High Definition showcase worldwide

UHD Spain is a non-profit association created on January 26, 2021, to promote Ultra High Definition (UHD) in Spain. Currently, there are already 40 associated companies: ADM, Agile Content, Ametic, Ateme, Atresmedia, Axión, Canal Sur, Canon, CCMA, Cellnex, Cires21, COITT, Dolby, Egatel, Fecotel, Fenitel, Forta, Fraunhofer, Gradiant, Gsertel, Henneo, Hispasat, Hurí, Lavinia, Mediapro, Medina Media, Optiva Media, Rohde & Schwarz, RTVE, Sapec, Secuoya, Synamedia, Tedial, Telecom CLM, Televés, TRedess, UPM, Uteca, Vestel and Video-MOS.

Among the founding partners is the Polytechnic University of Madrid, in particular with professors and researchers from the E.T.S. of Telecommunications Engineers who have been working on UHD issues since 2015 through the RTVE Chair at UPM. It should be noted that in Europe only five countries have professional associations on Ultra High Definition: Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain.

You can access the full video meeting – under free registration – through YOUR UHD ZONE.