IBC 2016: Harmonic Plans First VR Demo with Native UHD Resolution
On Stand 1.B20, Harmonic will showcase what it claims as the industry’s first native UHD virtual reality (VR) technology demonstration in collaboration with Dutch research institute TNO. Powered by TNO’s world-class HEVC tiling technology, which enables efficient distribution of VR content at very high quality over existing content delivery networks, the groundbreaking demo will enable participants to enjoy a completely immersive VR experience on head-mounted devices, with video resolution 10 times higher than that offered by existing commercially deployed VR services.
“VR is a game changer for content providers, broadcasters and pay-TV operators, especially for live sports. Market research estimates that by 2020, VR video services will capture $1 billion in revenue, with live sporting events representing more than one-third of that amount. But the video quality has to be exceptional in order to provide a fully immersive experience,” said Bart Spriester, senior vice president, video products at Harmonic. “We believe HEVC tiling is the most promising technology for delivering high video quality on head-mounted VR devices. Working together with TNO’s world-leading experts on this technology demonstration, we’ll bring to life outstanding VR experiences with native UHD resolution.”
Harmonic will also showcase its VR innovation alongside Viaccess-Orca through a new multiview app. Using space-related content from Harmonic on a Samsung Gear VR headset and leveraging Viaccess-Orca’s Connected Sentinel Player, the demo will simulate a live VR environment by providing synchronized, multiple perspectives for a richer VR experience.
Additionally, during IBC2016, Thierry Fautier, vice president, video strategy at Harmonic, will share his expertise on VR technology as a presenter at a conference session dedicated to new ideas in VR and 360-degree immersive media. His paper presentation, titled “VR Video Ecosystem for Live Distribution,” is slated for Saturday, Sept. 10, at 10:45 a.m. at the RAI.
Continuing its pioneering efforts on the VR front, Harmonic is also participating in the DVB Commercial Module Study Mission Group report on VR. The group’s main objective is to investigate the commercial case for VR technology. Based on findings, the DVB will then offer insight into commercial requirements, and consequent technical specifications, for distribution of VR content over broadcast or IP networks. Results of the study are expected to be published after IBC2016.