Telia, TV2 Denmark and BB&S Develop 5G-Connected Lamps for TV, Film Production

Telia, TV2 Denmark and BB&S Develop 5G-Connected Lamps for TV, Film Production

Danish mobile operator Telia has joined forces with TV2 Denmark and Copenhagen-based lighting company BB&S to develop 5G-connected lamps for television production and film-making, with the aim of improving cost efficiency in broadcasting.

Telia Denmark’s 5G program head Claus Berthou Madsen said it has looked at the potential business value of 5G for customers and their industries and found applications for content distribution and production.

BB&S provides lighting rigs for Hollywood productions and TV studios all over the world. More than 100 lamps are used in studio lightning, and each lamp is connected by a power cable and a control cable. Together with TV2 and Telia, it successfully tested a lightning set-up using only one lamp and 5G connectivity to control lightning and all lamps wirelessly.

The simple set-up will significantly save costs as well as provide up-to-date performance data from each lamp to optimize the lighting. It will also be possible to remotely control the lighting from the office in Copenhagen instead of being on-set in Hollywood.

Morten Brandstrup, head of News technology at TV2, said this will give broadcasters new opportunities compared with 4G/LTE, which has the problems of signal delay and data-capacity scarcity. He added that 5G will enable broadcasters to have people in several locations in a live interview set-up and produce large live events without the traditional production truck at the venue.

Tarifica’s Take

As we have written on a number of occasions recently, the advent of 5G involves not just a higher speed of mobile data transmission but a quantum jump in the kind of services that can be provided, particularly in the realm of Internet of Things. Mobile operators, as they roll out 5G, are looking for new IoT applications that they can make their own, via technology partnerships in most cases, and thereby not only make revenue but distinguish themselves in extremely competitive marketplaces. This is especially the case in the most developed economies.

This example from Denmark is instructive in that in involves an application—movie and TV lighting—which despite its quite specialized nature is of vital importance to a sizable industry that is itself experiencing significant challenges relating to revenue and expenses. The introduction of the 5G-enabled IoT into this sphere promises to bring about some changes that should have major effects on cost and logistics.

Using 5G signals to monitor lighting is, of course, desirable in that it increases the efficiency of the devices. The remote control aspect of the system increases ease of use and may also reduce the number of personnel needed to operate the equipment, which could bring about cost savings for production companies.

Beyond that, however, the larger benefit lies in the ability to control lighting for Hollywood productions, as well as for those in various locations, remotely from Denmark. The costs relating to on-location production and travel are punishing for movie and TV projects; with the Telia-TV 2-BB&S system, directors and lighting operators could be spared the need to travel, and the lighting equipment would not need to be moved as often as now. Since BB&S is already well established in the motion picture industry, Telia has picked an appropriate partner with which to attract new clients for this IoT application.