AT&T will show gamers the potential of 5G at DreamHack Atlanta this weekend, Digital Trends has exclusively learned. There, the company will set up a localized 5G network and use 5G phones to live stream a portion of the event from new perspectives.
DreamHack is a massive digital festival. Video games are front and center, and a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament is among the largest draws of the event, spanning both Saturday and Sunday.
That DreamHack Open CS:GO tournament is where AT&T will focus its efforts. The company will use a mmWave 5G network set up on-site by Ericsson. From there, they’ll use the high speeds of 5G to contribute footage for the official DreamHack tournament livestream directly from mobile phones.
New perspectives enabled by 5G
AT&T will record the event from three places. It will capture a fan’s perspective with someone positioned in the audience. It will get behind-the-scenes footage from a DreamHack on-air talent. And a third phone will be in the hands of a professional camera operator for on-stage footage.
The use of phones in these situations slims down the camera rig that would normally be needed for a broadcast like this. Still, AT&T plans to deliver the stream live at Full HD resolution at 60 frames-per-second.
The footage captured by AT&T over the 5G network will go directly to the DreamHack CS Twitch channel. The channel will switch between its own footage and the 5G-enabled footage, with an overlay indicating when AT&T’s footage is on-screen.
AT&T has taken a similar approach to 5G at basketball games, but this will be its first effort to cover a U.S. eSports tournament with 5G devices.
Early days for 5G’s capabilities
The event will be a taste of the possibilities 5G has for event broadcasting. Though AT&T is only using three perspectives at this event, 5G networks can enable high-speed connections for a massive number of users, and that could mean substantially more devices streaming unique perspectives of any number of events.
For broadcast companies, that means the ability to present events from different angles. It can also mean getting extra angles for free, if users at the event contribute their footage.
For everyone else, 5G broadcasts can offer more to see from each event. While this doesn’t apply to the CS:GO Tournament at DreamHack, other events streamed over 5G could offer viewers the option to select between streams. One viewer could watch a wide perspective of an entire sporting arena, while another viewer checks thing out from a stream right on the field.
AT&T’s 5G network may appear to be behind. Sprint and Verizon are already rolling out consumer networks, while AT&T’s 5GE network isn’t considered legitimate 5G by many. AT&T plans to use events like these to show what 5G is capable of before pushing out a nationwide 5G network.