• Spanish audiovisual industry leaders share the results of a pioneering test in Europe during the Spanish benchmark event on 5G technology
• The UHD Spain association shows the potential of 5G Broadcast to offer the highest quality experiences in Ultra High Definition without consuming data

Auditorium in Seville from May 6 to 10 in a hybrid format (two face-to-face and three virtual days), with resounding success in terms of attendance and participation.

UHD Spain, the leading association in the promotion of Ultra High Definition in Spain, has actively participated in the 5G Forum 2024 where it presented the results of a revolutionary test: the live broadcast of a concert in UHD over 5G, carried out in October 2023.

During this consolidated event, leading representatives of UHD Spain shared the details of this innovative pilot test, which has marked a milestone in the Spanish and European audiovisual industry.

Pere Vila, president of UHD Spain and promoter of the 5G UHD-HDR pilot, led the presentation along with other industry experts and members of the association: Miguel Ángel Cristóbal, whose company. Sapec, was in charge of Coordination; Carlos Castán, from Canon, who participated in the capture; Emili Planas, from Grup Mediapro, who was in charge of Production; and Xavier Redón, from Cellnex Telecom, main coordinator in broadcasting.

The test consisted of assembling a UHD workflow with HDR-HLG from capture to the user’s device, using 5G communications, processing on the Edge and in the cloud, and all available broadcast media: DTT (DVB-T2), satellite (DVB-S2), Internet (OTT, HbbTV) and the new 5G Broadcast system, simultaneously.

This test marks a before and after on the road to the full integration of UHD and 5G technology in the audiovisual industry. The results obtained are a step forward in the creation of high quality viewing experiences, accessible from any device, anywhere.

Collaboration of more than 20 companies

Pere Vila, Director of Technology, Innovation and Systems at RTVE, and President of UHD Spain, shared the details of this exciting experiment that combined Ultra High Definition with 5G technology. In collaboration with more than 20 companies, including Sapec, Grup Mediapro, Cellnex and Canon, a multi-camera broadcast was carried out in UHD, exclusively using 5G technology. This innovative test demonstrated the feasibility of professional productions without the need for mobile units, using only the cloud for the realization and transmission of the event.

Vila highlighted the challenges of coordinating all these technologies, stressing the importance of continuing to explore the possibilities offered by the combination of 5G and UHD.

“Laying the foundation for the future of broadcasting and television.”

For his part, Miguel Ángel Cristóbal, CEO of Sapec, highlighted the importance of joint collaboration to promote technological innovation in the audiovisual field. This UHD Spain pilot explores the combination of UHD and 5G technologies in the transmission of audiovisual content.

Cristóbal highlighted the positive results obtained, including the successful transmission of UHD signals over 5G networks, expressing his confidence that pilot projects of this type will lay the foundations for the future of broadcasting and television. All this, driving the adoption of cutting-edge technologies in the sector.

During his speech, Sapec’s CEO also pointed out the crucial role of 5G technology in the evolution of the audiovisual sector, noting that this technology will enable faster and more efficient content transmission, as well as greater interactivity for viewers. We are also talking about a world full of opportunities for the television industry in areas such as 8K content production, Virtual and Augmented Reality, and the transmission of live events with unprecedented quality.

Xavi Redón, Product Manager of Cellnex Telecom, and Vice President of UHD SPAIN, underlined the importance of this initiative in the telecommunications sector. The test, which included a multi-camera broadcast over a 5G broadcast network, demonstrated the viability of dedicated networks for the upload of Ultra High Definition content.

In addition, Redón emphasized the potential of 5G Broadcast to distribute linear TV content to mobile devices efficiently. He also expressed his confidence that regional and private public broadcasters will join this trend, considering the growth of UHD production at European and global level.

“Improving quality without increasing costs.”

Emili Planas, CTO and Operations Manager at Grup Mediapro, addressed the complexity of implementing a UHD production with 5G and HDR, highlighting the regulatory limitations to establish a private 5G network.

Planas is convinced that, if 100% dedicated frequencies are guaranteed, this technology could be implemented quickly, which would represent an opportunity to improve production quality without increasing costs. As for Grup Mediapro’s contribution to the UHD Spain pilot project, Planas explained that they were in charge of the operational and technical side, providing personnel, specifying the necessary technical parameters and performing the technical control of the production.

Carlos Castán, Sales Director of Canon Spain, shared his company’s experience in the pilot test. During the pilot, Canon used a configuration of four cameras to capture in UHD, ensuring exceptional image quality. Castán reaffirmed that the main challenge was to ensure a stable connection for live transmission of UHD and HDR signals over the 5G network. Despite the technical difficulties, the test was successful and provided valuable information for future product development.

Castán is confident that the experience will be a step forward in the search for versatile solutions that can meet the demands of both cinematography and television production.

Other member companies of the association also played a key role in the development of this broadcast: TVU Networks, Ateme, CCMA, Dolby, Gsertel, Fraunhofer IIS, Rohde & Schwarz, Televés, Vestel, Video-MOS, among others. The broadcast was made possible thanks to the networks of Axion, Cellnex, Hispasat and Telecom CLM. Other companies such as Acromove, Qualcomm, Spinner and Transparent Edge also collaborated in this test.

The pilot was also made possible thanks to the support of the Secretary of State for Telecommunications of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, who approved the use of the spectrum for the test.

About UHD Spain

UHD Spain is a non-profit association created on January 26, 2021 to promote Ultra High Definition (UHD) in Spain. Currently there are already 39 associated companies: ADM, Agile Content, Ametic, Ateme, Atresmedia, Axion, Canal Sur, Canon, CCMA, Cellnex, Cires21, COITT, Dolby, Egatel, EPAM, Fecotel, Fenitel, Forta, Fraunhofer IIS, Grup Mediapro, Gsertel, Henneo, Hispasat, Huri, Lavinia, Medina Media, Rohde & Schwarz, RTVE, Sapec, Secuoya, Synamedia, Tedial, Telecom CLM, Televés, TRedess, TVU Networks, UPM, Uteca, Vestel and Video-MOS.

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