France Télévisions tests distribution over 5G during the Roland-Garros 2022 tournament

Ateme recently reported that France Télévisions and other companies including Orange, towerCast, Qualcomm, Rohde & Schwarz, Enensys, IETR, Viaccess-Orca and NESTED have tested distribution over 5G networks to cover the 2022 Roland-Garros tennis tournament.

These different distribution modes allow France Televisions broadcasts to be received on all receivers with optimal quality, regardless of the number of viewers connected at the same location.

The principle is similar to what is done today in DTT with the broadcast of a channel on the terrestrial network only once for all customers, but with the advantage of being compatible with the different types of equipment supporting 5G.

The established end-to-end 5G broadcasting platform ensures wide geographical coverage.  Thus, all compatible cell phones located in the coverage area of the broadcaster receive the tournament images without network saturation and with stable and guaranteed image quality.

The 5G multicast mode will also enable optimized broadcasting of France Televisions’ live channels. As in broadcast mode, the video stream is broadcast only once on the network to all users. This broadcast mode can be dynamically activated on Orange’s 5G network transmitters to replace the traditional unicast mode used today, where two mobiles watching the same program require broadcasting this program twice on the network. Broadcast and multicast are complementary. Multicast transport on Orange’s mobile network will use higher frequencies than broadcast, despite lower coverage, will allow content to be broadcast with higher throughput.

In this framework, they have experimented with sending the signals by testing different things. The first is 5G multicast if several viewers watch the same program from the same transmitter, or 5G unicast if less than two viewers watch the same content. The next is the VVC codec that allows to reduce by four the video bitrates offering the same quality compared to the codec used by DTT. The third is the low latency mode, thanks to low latency DASH (LL-DASH). And finally, the DVB-I standard so that the viewer can receive the program on his terminal through the different broadcast modes transparently.

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