Video delivery giant Harmonic will showcase what it says is the industry’s first native UHD virtual reality (VR) technology demonstration at IBC this year.
The demo, which will be powered by Dutch research institute TNO’s HEVC tiling technology, which breaks down the VR video environment into independent, rectangular regions, will aim to show how efficient distribution of VR content can be achieved at very high quality over existing content delivery networks.
Harmonic says this will allow participants to enjoy “a completely immersive VR experience on head-mounted devices”, using video resolution 10 times higher than that offered by existing, commercially-deployed VR services.
The company cites market research which forecasts that by 2020, VR video services will be worth $1bn, with live sporting events representing more than one-third of that. But it stresses that video quality “has to be exceptional in order to provide a fully immersive experience.” HEVC tiling is the most promising technology for doing that, Harmonic believes.
On the Harmonic stand, the VR demo will also be accessible through a new multiview app from Viaccess-Orca. This will use ‘space-related’ content from Harmonic playing through a Samsung Gear VR headset, and will leverage Viaccess-Orca’s Connected Sentinel Player to simulate a live VR environment, by providing synchronised, multiple perspectives.
Harmonic is participating in the DVB Commercial Module Study Mission Group report on VR, whose results are expected to be published after IBC.