TVU Networks may bring Virtual Reality Broadcast Over IP to You
At the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) 2016 conference, TVU Networks, a market leading telecommunications equipment supplier for broadcast media, demonstrated mobile transmission of virtual reality (VR) media over IP. With this technology, TVU expects to deliver the equipment needed to make live broadcast of VR content for wide scale adoption.
TVU Networks over the years boasts of a rich history of developing and supplying multiple generations of live mobile IP news gathering transmitters for video over IP with the TVU One. TVU One is made up of the Inverse Statmux Plus (IS+) transmission algorithm, Smart VBR technology, and the TVU264 video codec. To increase mobility, the TVU One can also include embedded modems, transmit simultaneously over multiple networks including cellular, microwave, MIMO microwave mesh, Ka-band and Ku-band satellite, BGAN, WiFi, and Ethernet. Broadcasters have in the TVU VR a solution to deploy a VR camera—such as Nokia Corp’s OZO—and broadcast live for video playback in current market headsets such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
Paul Shen in an interview with SiliconANGLE, CEO of TVU Networks, Paul Shen, CEO of TVU Networks, said that content creators support VR heavily.
“Broadcast went through a huge hype for 3D—but look at what happened to 3D,” Shen said, mentioning that like 3D, VR offers a totally different mechanism for perception. “One difference between 3D hype and VR hype: where 3D hype was pushed by equipment manufacturers, VR hype is being pushed by content creators—such as games, social, movie makers, etc.”
This “totally different mechanism for perception,” as Shen calls it, means that instead of bringing the action to viewers (as TV does) broadcasters can bring the viewers into the action. For example, a race car outfitted with a VR camera can put the viewer inside the car with a 360 view (sight and sound)—where a viewer can simply turn his or her head to get a different angle of view.
Shen said, “About 65 percent of TVU’s customers are from the U.S. and that a majority of the company’s customers are content creators. These content creators have been seeking a broadcast solution that permits VR over IP and TVU enable that market interest.”
According to market researcher Trendforce in December 2015, the VR market would reach $70 billion by 2020. The Oculus Rift shipped May 28, 2016 and the HTC Vive began shipping on April 5, 2016. Virtual Reality apps are already being developed and a look at Valve Corporation’s Steam VR marketplace reveals 194 apps already published that support those two headsets. Sony Corporation’s own VR goggle offering, the PlayStation VR, is slated to ship in October 2016.
As the market continues to expand, so does the interest in headsets and apps, the first live VR broadcasts will need equipment to enable them. Racing is the example given above, however, many sports (from football to baseball and more) could benefit from the immersive nature of virtual reality. Virtual reality cameras could take viewers into the middle of rock concerts as if they’re part of the concert. What can be done with news broadcast is equally interesting.