Golf fans will be happy to learn that FOX Sports has now partnered with Ericsson, Intel, and AT&T to test streaming of 4K HDR video over 5G at this year's U.S. Open Championship. Play tees off on June 14 and runs through June 17 and the goal of the test will be to show how 5G could be used to the benefit of both broadcasters and consumers. To that end, FOX Sports will have two cameras set at seventh hole at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. That's a particularly challenging hole, so it should be interesting to see the extra details that will be captured at 4K resolution and HDR. The 5G connection itself will be used to push the specially-captured footage via a production vehicle to viewers via DirecTV. That, of course, means that will likely be the only place it can be viewed, although the announcement did reveal that it will be streamed to multiple platforms.
However, FOX Sports doesn't plan to stop there by any means. Pending the success of this venture, the company says that 5G may be used at a later date to provide real-time VR access from the course to its viewers. The streaming of 4K HDR seems like a logical place to start with that since that will likely be the bare minimum required to provide a seamless immersive experience. Members of the partnership hope to gain valuable insight into how the technology might be used effectively as it migrates from concept to mainstream. Specifically, the broadcast could show at least one possible use for 5G when it comes to reducing the latency of broadcast feeds and providing higher-quality experiences.
Meanwhile, the deal itself is actually part of a larger ongoing effort between The Fox Innovation Lab and the Intel and Ericsson 5G Innovators Initiative. Ericsson will be supplying 5G radios, baseband, simulated network core, and 4K video encoding. Intel's support of the endeavor will come in the form of its Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform, which can transmit data at 1.6Gbs/s. AT&T was chosen as the partner operator to provide access to millimeter wave spectrum, which will effectively make this a live test of a real-world 5G implementation.