Towards 5G Broadcasting – A Showcase around European Championships 2018

The European Championships 2018 provided an opportunity for the IRT in collaboration with the EBU to show how audiovisual content produced in the state-of-the-art formats both live and on-demand can be distributed to large audiences in the 5G environment.

Labratory setup showing an eMBMS Broadcast to four LTE handset and a TV set

eMBMS broadcast to handset and TV-set

As part of the 5G-Xcast project, several trials were conducted during the week of the event using the LTE eMBMS test-bed that IRT is running in collaboration with Nokia and Bayerischer Rundfunk. Learn more about our test-bed here.

A similar setup has been built in the form of a demonstrator for the upcoming IBC show in Amsterdam.

Visit our demo at the IBC 2018 in Amsterdam, 14-18 September 2018 (EBU 10.F20).


Point-to-Multipoint capabilities in 5G

This demonstration shows the value of point-to-multipoint capabilities in 5G, especially for a large-scale distribution of the popular content such as premium sports. The demonstration Highlights the following aspects:

  • fixed/mobile convergence
  • combined use of unicast and broadcast capabilities
  • use of standardized 3GPP interfaces to deliver MPEG-2 Transport Stream including live TV programmes and HbbTV service information
  • free-to-air reception
  • reception on both mobile/portable user devices and stationary TV-sets


What does the demonstrator consist of?

Live TV Broadcast with Additional On-demand Services over Unicast

Live TV content and the signalling for add-on services based on the HbbTV standard were both included in an MPEG-2 Transport stream and transmitted over the
LTE eMBMS broadcast system. The broadcast signal is received by stationary
eMBMS-enabled TV receivers and by smartphones simultaneously and without the need of unicast connectivity.

Users can access additional on-demand content either via an HbbTV application on TV sets or an HTML-based application on mobile phones. The on-demand content is delivered over the LTE unicast link in the mobile network. This gives an outlook on the coming technology convergence and future capabilities of 5G.

a block diagram that shows the implementation of the IRT eMBMS demo setup

IRT eMBMS System architecture

  1. Content is provided by the EBU from the European Championships venues. Encapsulated in a MPEG-2 Transport Stream alongside live TV programmes, HbbTV signalling is inserted pointing to additional on-demand content offered by the broadcaster.
  2. A small-scale computer-based solution including LTE EPC, MBMS and radio stack permits the delivery of the broadcast signal (MPEG-2 TS over RTP) in LTE downlink and the allocation of the remaining unicast capacity for on-demandtraffic.
  3. Internet connectivity provides access to the servers with on-demand content. Broadcasters can direct users to their own content repositories.
  4. Smartphones with Expway’s middleware allow users to watch live TV programmes via the broadcast system and on-demand content via a mobile web application and a unicast internet connection.
  5. A smartphone acting as a set-top-box forwards the original MPEG-2 TS to a TV-set that can tune to the live TV signal with the possibility to access HbbTV Services.


Showcase video


IRT’s team behind the demo

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