December 17, 2020

Sky Deutschland and Partners Innovate With 5G Handball Production

When it comes to broadcast innovation, partnerships are increasingly essential.

This year has seen unprecedented innovation occurring at breakneck pace. If anyone doubted the saying ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ surely this year will have convinced you? We have heard multiple senior execs talk about how their plans have accelerated by anything from 6 months to 5 years in 2020. What has been really clear is that none of them have happened without partnerships. Across departments internally but more often between different companies working together to deliver broadcast solutions.

None more so than the collaboration of different partners in the recent Sky Deutschland 5G live production. 5G has been talked about for many years now and whilst the service continues to roll out, the opportunities are already presenting themselves for real life demonstrations of what is possible. While everyone has taken to live streaming in one form or another in 2020, doing a full live Handball match production using mobile phones and 5G was a big step.

Sky Deutschland has a well earned reputation for innovation and ever since the launch of Sky Sport News in 2011 they have continued to demonstrate an appetite for pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Working with established and trusted partners, Sky is able to both set the targets and provide support. The team is heavily involved in the execution of productions and doesn’t simply hand work off to external vendors and contractors. The Sky team was characteristically a central part of the recent live test because for them it is essential not just to prove they can do a live 5G production, but to understand how it is done, how it can be improved and how it can be used in the future.

Sky is already using in their productions as a cloud-based platform so using it for this 5G test was an obvious choice. Not least because of the low bandwidth requirements (obviously less of a problem on 5G), high production value and the fact that it can be operated from anywhere using a web browser. Since Singular graphic overlays are HTML, they fit very nicely in a telco environment being both flexible and scalable.  They also provide the ability to render the overlays On Device which opens up the potential for every viewer watching on a mobile, tablet, desktop or smart TV to have a personalized, interactive experience; something the Sky team is no doubt already pondering.

Sky also used LiveU for the video transport, with whom Singular is fully compatible; any LiveU customer can use Singular overlays on their video making for a highly mobile, cost effective, high quality and flexible workflow. This seamless workflow meant one less production challenge for the team on site.

So what next?

Sky is taking advantage of the modern tools necessary for delivering next gen content. Equipped with these tools and a passion for innovation, they continue to push boundaries with their vision of improving production workflows and enhancing viewing experiences.

2020 has changed many things; sparked rapid and significant innovation, transition to cloud, higher tolerance of risk, a shift in production priorities with a greater focus on the new viewer demands. One other thing that has been clearly visible is a rise in partnerships between complementary platforms and technologies. Experts in their specific areas working together to deliver solutions and a vision of how things are going to be done in the near future. Let’s hope it continues long after the vaccines have made life a bit more normal.

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