5G Broadcast is the future of television, but there are still some hurdles to overcome. This is the conclusion by Michael Wagenhofer, CEO of ORS, the technical services subsidiary of Austrian public broadcaster ORF, in a presentation of the 5G Broadcast trial in Vienna at the EBU-Forecast 2020 seminar.
The test operation, which ORS has been running for several months, has shown that 5G Broadcast was a future-proof technology for consumers. One reason for this was, among others, the Internet Protocol capability of the new standard and the associated compatibility with other OTT streaming services, reports ORS in its Tech blog.
Wagenhofer sees the lack of end devices as the biggest challenge. Although the 5G Broadcast tests in Vienna are promising, both the industry and consumers are facing a major challenge: The product maturity of 5G Broadcast is not yet satisfactory, as there is still a shortage of 5G Broadcast-compatible reception devices, according to Wagenhofer.
“The lack of suitable end devices among consumers is still the biggest problem for the introduction of 5G Broadcast,” reflected Wagenhofer on the current situation. For this new ecosystem to develop, this was one of the issues which the industry, broadcasters and mobile network operators would have to resolve by 2025.
In order to advance the development of the 5G Broadcast ecosystem and to be able to investigate the feasibility and maturity of possible applications, ORS will soon launch its own open source demo platform for 5G Broadcast applications. Under the project name OBECA (Open Broadcast Edge Cache Appliance), a modular open source platform is to be created that will allow developers around the world to work together with the ORS on hybrid OTT applications with 5G Broadcast.
The platform will be used as a demo platform in the second phase of the trial in Vienna. The launch of OBECA is planned for early next year. Wagenhofer’s video presentation (in English language, 10 min.) is available on the ORS Tech blog.