Betting, Latency, and the Case for 5G
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Jason Thibeault: 5G--especially in an arena--ultra-wide band promises what Eric talked about before: zero latency. Now, obviously when we're talking about getting content from the camera to the handsets that are in that arena, we still have the latency that's in the streaming workflow. So we've still got some, but when you start combining 5G ultra-wideband, let's say, low-latency CMAF or WebRTC, I think the big use case in arena for 5G is going to be betting, or you're going to have people there in arena watching the game, placing bets, on their headset. And you can't have any latency, and 5G gives us that. We always talk about the bandwidth, so it's going to be huge. But the thing is, on a mobile phone, video-wise, from a streaming perspective, you don't visually notice any difference between 720p and 4K--it just doesn't display differently. So there's no need to send that kind of signal. You don't need the bandwidth. It's all about the latency. How fast can I get it to somebody in the arena, 5G ultra-wideband, massive, immersive opportunity betting. That's where it's going to really hit home first. It's like, "Wow, we can give people a truly real-time content experience with 5G. This is amazing." And I think betting is going to probably drive that first use case. That's my opinion.
Eric Bolten: I'll completely back that opinion up, JT, because the whole point here is that the NHL and NFL have announced that they will be doing betting and gaming. And, to your point, a couple of things that 5G brings to the table and why it's going to transform. One, what we're describing is, being able to take care of very specific areas, so, an arena, and then you go to the sports book and you're at Wynn, Caesar's, or Macau--pick your poison, because you can go global with this--and you can have real-time betting. Latency is critical because you're going to have to maintain within gaming things, but synchronicity of windows so that things can't get too far out of whack. And the other thing that 5G has and why it's a business-to-business technology versus, say, 4G LTE, will be network slicing, and the idea that I can carve out a quality of service. So where before, you'd go to the game and surprisingly, you can't make a text or see a video or do anything, now you're going to have actual dedicated areas of service that are going to allow all of that and facilitate that. And you're going to be betting on 3rd down run-or-pass.
Jason Thibeault: Yeah--exactly--that kind of granularity of betting. I think it's going to be amazing. And the cool thing too, like you say, B2B--I really think that as technology evolves and improves and you start to get 5G wideband-enabled cameras, you can cut out the cables. You can cut out having to go through the truck. You can now have people doing remote production. You can have people produce, 'cause this, this content can get to them so fast in such a massive bandwidth pipeline. You can deliver 8K master content to some editing facility. And they're getting this in real time and they're making changes--boom, boom, boom, done. And it's out, it's going into streaming and multiple formats. That, to me, is amazing in terms of what it will do for content production.
After a case of too much hype too early, 5G is having real impact on consumer experiences and, more importantly for the streaming media industry, video acquisition and delivery.
Zixi's Eric Bolten and the Streaming Video Alliance's Jason Thibeault debate the growth rate of 5G availability, adoption, and demand and the key contributing and inhibiting factors in this clip from their panel at Streaming Media East 2021.
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