The Future of 5G and the TV Industry

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The Future of 5G and the TV Industry

How the 5G revolution is changing the TV industry

Eindhoven, July 3rd, 2020 – In “The Future of” articles, we explore visions of the future in various segments together with the market. This time, we look at the possible future of the TV industry with Ton van den Berg from TMC. What impact can 5G have on this industry?


The world of television and video streaming is undergoing major changes. Viewers expect to be able to watch what they like, at any time, wherever they are. The technology to make this possible is now affordable.

In a recent article, TMC looked at how the world of TV viewing has evolved from black and white TV to the Netflix era. Consumers’ needs are growing and demand more from the underlying technology. 5G is making its appearance, and this seems to have a significant impact on the TV industry. Ton van den Berg, Business Development Manager at TMC, explains what changes 5G will bring to this sector.


The video offer keeps growing. In recent years, we have seen the available video content increase faster. In addition to the range of online streaming services such as Netflix and Disney +, users generate more and more video content that they share via YouTube and Instagram.

Every minute, 500 hours of video are added to YouTube. Netflix accounts for 60% of the new films and series available via internet streaming, and this year is increasing its budget for original content production from $ 17M to $ 26M.

Do we have time to watch all those videos? Yes and no.

Hours of video viewing are on the rise, from 6.52 hours per day in the United States in 2014 to an estimated 7.16 hours per day in 2021. However, the number of hours we watch TV is decreasing. We increasingly watch online videos via our mobile, tablet, or computer.

The aforementioned article discussed a number of technological changes that have occurred in recent years, for example:

From a classic cable system to a cloud application;
From just a digital receiver to an app on the mobile or SmartTV;
Collecting user information to increase user convenience;
That this data must be well protected;
Enabling Personal TV by collecting program data.
In this article, we discuss the possibilities of 5G.

The screens on which users watch videos are mostly wireless these days. They connect to the internet indoors or in the office via WiFi. The SmartTV is often still attached to the cable but uses a wireless connection for many other functionalities such as updating the software, downloading apps, or buying movies.

But why would you only want to consume video indoors? We also wish video access outdoors. In the summer, take your tablet to the park to enjoy the sun and not miss the first Olympic final sport climbing. 5G offers a solution here!

The extra bandwidth of 5G guarantees good quality video. Low latency means that you can watch without delay, even when the park is busy and everyone is using 5G simultaneously. This means you do not run the risk that messages with the match results will appear on WhatsApp before you have been able to watch the live sports broadcast.

The 5G network will not be covered in the Netherlands all at once. Fortunately, 5G builds on the existing 4G network. Dual Connectivity, a 5G feature that connects your phone on both 4G and 5G, makes it possible to keep watching video via the 4G connection even when you get out of the 5G range. If necessary, the limited bandwidth means automatic downshifting of video quality by means of ABR (Adaptive Bitrate) techniques, but without interrupting audio and video!

It is expected that video will be 76% of the 5G data traffic.

Another clear use case for 5G is the production of live broadcasts of sports matches, pop concerts, or news reports. At the moment, these are limited by where the production car can go and from there the camera. A 5G enabled 4K camera could be used for this in the future. The increased bandwidth enables 4K video quality, and low latency prevents delays.

For example, the helicopter at the Tour de France can then be replaced by several 5G cameras along the road. The cameras can be controlled remotely from a central studio. Thanks to 5G, the results are sharper images of the riders, no disruptions in image transmission, and lower production costs.

But does this also work at a full stage during the champions league final? That is the case, indeed. By employing 5G network slicing, dedicated bandwidth can be allocated for the live broadcast, while at the same time, all viewers can also WhatsApp or request Messi’s football statistics.

Augmented reality provides this additional information about the players. The front-end app uses the phone’s camera and sends the video to the cloud back-end for analysis. The player is recognized, and the statistics returned through AI. The statistics are projected over the video image at the player. The billboards on the video are provided with personalized advertising.

After the match, we watch the 360-degree VR images of the match while enjoying a beer.

TMC has been a technology partner for various high-tech companies in the Netherlands and abroad for 20 years. TMC is active in more than 15 knowledge areas, from software to mechanics and from chemistry to industrial automation. With approximately 1100 employees in more than 20 offices worldwide, TMC can handle any high-tech problem anywhere.

In the high-tech industry, internet and cloud Connectivity are a must. TMC has experts to lead an agile implementation of cloud technology. Data Sciences, analyzing the collected data in the cloud, is a focus area within TMC. Cybersecurity is a priority because of the internet connection.

TMC ensures that its Employeneurs master the latest technology. Not only by offering e-learning but also through hands-on projects in the TMC Entrepreneurial Lab (TEL9). Programs around security and 5G, a partnership with 5G HUB, make TMC the former partner for building cloud services such as video streaming on the telecom (5G) or cable infrastructure.