French Tennis Federation

Roland Garros was an opportunity for France TV, Orange, Sharp and Oppo to join forces to carry out an experiment in live broadcasting of 8K content via 5G. A test to prepare for the future, lambda users will probably not be able to use it in their living room before 2028.

French Tennis Federation

Credit: French Tennis Federation

France Télévisions took advantage of the 2019 Roland Garros tournament to set up with its partners Orange and Sharp an experiment in live broadcasting of matches in 8K definition via 5G. Something to prepare for the future. The device includes two Sharp 8K cameras placed on Philippe Chatrier centre court and in the lanes, a 5G Orange mobile network for testing, Sharp 8K screens, and finally 5G compatible Oppo Reno smartphones.

Roland Garros, the opportunity to test the 8K live broadcast via 5G

“This is the second time that we have teamed up with industrialists, this year about twenty of them, to carry out these experiments”, explains Bernard Fontaine, Director of Technological Innovation at France Télévisions, in comments reported by CBNews. “We’ve installed the world’s first 8K platform capable of doing live and VOD in 8K”, he enthuses.

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However, it points out that this is only a full-scale test bringing together heavyweights from the various technological sectors concerned, but that viewers are not ready to have access to this type of content in their living rooms. Neither 8K nor 5G are envisaged on a large scale in the near future. He said that 4K will only be generalized on France TV on the occasion of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. As for the 8K and 5G, it does not expect to have any real use of them until 2028.

Frequency auctions for 5G are scheduled to take place in France in the autumn of 2019, with the first commercialization of packages only in 2020. But a true national network will certainly only be available from 2025 at best. Sony, Samsung, LG and company are starting to introduce 8K TVs, but they won’t be necessary (or affordable) for a few more years. The real challenge will be to be able to broadcast or stream live content of this quality.