Fox Sports Tees Up 4K over 5G Test

Fox Sports is teaming up with Ericsson, Intel and AT&T on a plan to stream live 4K video over via 5G-based technology for a “potential” national broadcast from this year’s 118 U.S. Open Championship from Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.

Fox Sports, which will broadcast regular coverage of the event via Fox and FS1 from June 14-17, is also planning this effort in conjunction with the Fox Innovation Lab. They said the trial will deliver the first available broadcast footage using 5G technology from a premier U.S. golf event.

Under the plan, those partners will use 5G-based technology to transmit images in 4K and in High Dynamic Range from two Fox Sports cameras positioned on the par-3 seventh hole via the Fox Sports production truck.

For the test, Ericsson has been tapped to provide the 5G radios, baseband, simulated network core, and the 4K video encoder and decoder. Intel, meanwhile will provide its 5G Mobile Trial Platform, billed as a compact device that can transmit at 1.6 Gbps. It will be positioned at the seventh hold to handle the 5G-to-IP translation.

AT&T, meanwhile, will use millimeter wave spectrum to deliver the 5G-based connection.

Those feeds will be available to Fox Sports and its viewers through DirecTV, but in the future, 5G could possibly be used to deliver real-time VR views from the course to viewers as well, Fox Sports noted.

“It’s part of our FOX Sports DNA to aggressively explore evolving technologies as part of our live sports production,” Michael Davies, Fox Sports SVP of field & technical operations, said in a statement. “This is exactly the kind of effort we consistently put into the leading edge of today’s technology, in preparation for what will become the industry standards of the future.”

"As we prepare for the launch of 5G networks, it is essential for us to test real-world business cases, such as for wireless streaming of 4K video at sporting events,” added Niklas Heuveldop, head of market area North America at Ericsson.