5G-VIRTUOSA reaches the final phase

Other 19 Jan 2022

The 3rd and final phase of the EU-backed 5G-VIRTUOSA project is under way. This phase adds 5G connectivity to the remote production.

The 5G-VIRTUOSA project was planned as a 3 phase project, designed to investigate the potential of new technology, especially 5G mobile connectivity, in live production. The project has been backed by a grant of €2 million from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program ‘Fast Track to Innovation’.

Phase 1 of the project kicked off in late 2019, with the intention of setting up an IP-based studio, built on industry standards (SMPTE ST 2110 and NMOS) and integrating equipment from multiple vendors. Despite being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the first phase completed successfully in June 2020.

Phase 2 of the project investigated remote production, and in particular the performance of some of newest technologies such as JPEG XS video compression and Cloud-based processing. For this, a WAN connection was established between several German broadcasters’ production facilities: the ARD Sternpunkt in Frankfurt as the MCR/Main hub, and WDR in Cologne and SWR in Baden-Baden as “remote locations”. This phase, which was again severely affected by the continuing pandemic, completed successfully in November 2021.

Phase 3 of the project is now underway. This phase builds on phase 2, adding an international element in the form of a contribution feed from the UK and, most importantly, 5G connectivity. It involves “events” in 3 remote locations, produced centrally. One of the locations is connected by fiber (i.e. similar to phase 2), while the other 2 locations (Adastral Park, near Ipswich, UK, and Nauen, near Berlin, Germany) feature 5G-connected ingest and Internet contribution. The production itself will take place in Frankfurt (Germany).

Aside from testing the feasibility of such set-ups in live production, the phase aims to collect valuable technical information and experience about the the use of 5G.

The tests will take place in the coming weeks, and will be reported in a webinar on March 8th at 5 PM (CET+1)