Anne Geelen


Razor-sharp: Live images with 5G from Deutsche Telekom at European Championship 2024

  • Live TV via 5G from the Allianz Arena on "RTL Aktuell"
  • Successful test of live TV from the fan zone in Cologne together with Sony
Reporter Kamila Benschop during a live 5G broadcast to MagentaTV from the public viewing area in Cologne.

Reporter Kamila Benschop during a live 5G broadcast to MagentaTV from the public viewing area in Cologne. © RTL Deutschland

Not only did the German team make a dream start to the 2024 European Championship on Friday, but Deutsche Telekom's 5G business customer solutions were also able to impress with their performance. RTL Deutschland's and n-tv's coverage of the opening match in Munich was enriched with live broadcasts by reporters via Deutsche Telekom's 5G network. The match at the European Championship on Friday evening offered a whole range of possibilities for the use of innovative network solutions, enabling various live broadcasts. These included, among other things, a Deutsche Telekom 5G campus network  installed especially for RTL, which was set up a few days ago.

In addition, the media company has been using the "Live Video Production" product since last year, which also transmits via Deutsche Telekom's 5G standalone (SA) network. For Live Video Production, 5G SA is available throughout Germany. A journalist reported with first-class picture and sound quality in front of and from the Allianz Arena live in the news programs of n-tv and in the RTL main news "RTL Aktuell ". Live Video Production is now regularly used for RTL/n-tv coverage and continues to be booked almost daily during the European Championship.

Successful premiere for RTL, Sony, and Deutsche Telekom

Directly next to the RTL media center in Cologne is one of the official public viewing locations for the European Championship. Thanks to the direct proximity to the transmitter and thus to the Deutsche Telekom campus network, live reports from the fan zone could be sent from that site via 5G. What was special about the set-up, was the use of a new camera system, part of the Networked Live ecosystem, from Sony and Nevion, a Sony Group Company.

Put together, this system can receive the 5G signal directly via an integrated SIM card and transmit images to the studio in real time without an additional mobile solution. This enabled a high-quality live connection to a reporter in the public viewing zone. The 5G campus network provided the basis for several parallel data streams with very high bandwidth. Here, too, there were several live broadcasts in n-tv news and for pre-match reporting on MagentaTV.

Details about the test with Sony cameras

An RTL team equipped with two mobile 5G cameras has been working at the public viewing spot in Cologne over the last few days. Here they tested four different functions, all of which worked successfully via the 5G connection: 

  • Ultra Low Latency Live Video Production 
  • Audio Intercom for direct communication between the control room, the camera operator, and the interviewer.
  • Return Video to show the camera operator or interviewer in real time what is currently being broadcast.
  • Remote Camera Control allows the control room to remotely control various parameters of the camera.

Two Sony FX6 cameras were used for the test, each connected to a CBK-RPU7 HEVC 4K/HD remote production unit for ultra-low latency HEVC video encoding. The encoded outputs were connected to the 5G campus network in the 3.7 –3.8 GHz frequency range via Sony's PDT-FP1 Portable Data Transmitter and decoded by an NXL-ME80 processor. RTL’s existing Nevion VideoIPath SDN Control Software System was used to manage the delivery of pictures and sound received via the 5G network into RTL’s SMPTE ST 2110 based IP production infrastructure. Sony's UWP-D series wireless microphones and receivers were used to ensure high quality sound.

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