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No buffering for BBC R&D's 4G Commonwealth Games streaming trial

From TV mast to mobile mast: streaming without buffering on 4G
The Commonwealth Games will be streamed via 4G mobile in a further trial for the BBC's Research and Development department during the coming fortnight.

In partnership with EE, Huawei and Qualcomm, the trial being carried out will investigate how 4G broadcast works in practice and evaluate the possible benefits of the technology for consumers.

The trials will use the LTE eMBMS standard, which will enable live streaming without buffering, thus providing a smoother viewing experience for viewers, especially on congested mobile networks.

In a blog post, the BBC's Andrew Murphy explained how the trial will work, which will involve BBC R&D providing live content in MPEG-DASH format: "This is sent over an IP link to a Huawei server situated within EE’s test labs. The content is then encapsulated within multicast and sent to base stations (eNodeBs), one of which is situated within the showcase at the Glasgow Science Centre where it is transmitted on 2.6 GHz spectrum. An application written by BBC R&D, enabled by Qualcomm Technologies’ LTE Broadcast solution, is then used to display and navigate the live streams on handsets. This can be connected to BBC iPlayer to enable the integration of unicast on-demand content with live broadcast streams."

The trial will be demonstrated in its public showcase at the Glasgow Science Centre, which will (as previously reported), also be demonstrating 4k Ultra High Definition (UHD) broadcasts of the Games. UHD trial broadcasts are currently ongoing via the Black Hill, Crystal Palace and Winter Hill TV transmitters, but these cannot be viewed using current consumer equipment.


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