Indy 500 Returns: Verizon 5G Powers 360-Degree Live Viewing Experience, Added 5G-connected Camera to NBC Sports’ Broadcast Workflow
Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service is up and running this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Looking to add a deeper viewing experience for fans – most notably those who will be unable to attend this weekends’ 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 due to COVID-19 protocols – Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IMS Productions, and NBC Sports are working with Verizon to utilize its 5G Ultra Wideband service to present a 360-degree digital viewing experience while also adding a 5G-enabled broadcast camera for NBC Sports to incorporate into its live television workflows.
A 5G-enabled, high-definition, 360-degree camera has been placed on the infield of the track and will be used to capture images used for an augmented reality-fueld smartphone viewing experience that promises to take streamers right into the heart of the action. Viewers will also be able to control their own view by panning around the image.
“Thanks to Verizon, fans around the globe will be given unprecedented digital access to the biggest personalities and the most exciting behind-the-scenes action of this year’s Indianapolis 500,” Jonathan Gibson, EVP of Penske Corporation said in official release. “From 5G powered Race Day footage to a public drivers meeting on an innovative platform like BlueJeans, we’re excited to team up with Verizon for an epic Race Weekend.”
In addition, NBC Sports, which is broadcasting live television coverage of the race, will be utilizing some internal 5G workflows to add a 5G-connected broadcast camera to the mix. The camera, whose video will be streamed over 5G to the broadcast compound, is expected to be positioned on the track near the start-finish flag stand. Its shots will be available to the front bench to incorporate into the live broadcast. According to Verizon, the 5G connectivity will also for this camera to operate wirelessly.
This marks the first time that 5G workflows will be enabled for broadcast purposes at the Indy 500.
“With so many sports fans unable to attend live events due to the pandemic, 5G can help bring them into the heart of the action and provide a new and immersive viewing experience using applications like augmented and virtual reality,” Nicki Palmer, chief product development officer at Verizon said in the official release. “For broadcasters, 5G means no wires on the track giving camera people the ability to move around quickly and gather various shots. It also means producers don’t need to travel and be on-site at sporting events enabling them to produce broadcasts from anywhere in the world.”