PCCW Global Delivers Immersive 360 VR Sports Experience With Harmonic

Harmonic’s Electra VS video system was used by PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, a Hong Kong telecommunications service provider, to deliver immersive 360-degree, virtual reality (VR) experiences live during the 2017 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament April 7-9.

Ideal Systems, Asia’s largest, industry-leading broadcast systems integrator, assisted with the provision of 360-degree VR multi-camera live sports production. As part of a fully integrated VR workflow that included Nokia OZO cameras, the Electra VS compression platform enabled PCCW Global to distribute UHD VR content to consumers on a variety of devices, including PCs, smartphones and Samsung Gear VR head-mounted devices (HMDs).

“Live sports events are one of the most promising video applications for VR technology, increasing viewer engagement and opening up new monetization opportunities for content and service providers,” said Tony Berthaud, vice president of sales, APAC, at Harmonic. “Working with PCCW Global and our VR technology partners, we were able to transport sports fans to this premiere event which attracts some of the world’s greatest rugby players, unveiling each and every angle of the matches in exceptional UHD quality.”

The 360-degree VR workflow featured Nokia OZO VR cameras integrated with Adobe Premiere for post production, the Harmonic Electra VS system for UHD compression, and Ideal Live 360, a solution co-developed by Ideal Systems that includes a VR application for Gear VR headsets and a cloud-based VR analytic backend service. Using the Electra VS system, PCCW Global was able to encode live video into multiple profiles and formats, including DASH UHD ABR, AVC and HEVC, ensuring that viewers of the Hong Kong Sevens tournament enjoyed stunning 360-degree, VR visuals on any device.

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