8K Immersive Media Applications
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality (VR) is the first immersive application being deployed. A rig of several 2D 4K cameras or a fisheye 8K camera can both be used to create an 8K spherical image. The image can be transmitted using either a viewport-dependent scheme (only field of view of the user is transmitted) or viewport-independent (full sphere transmitted). Receiving devices available are either a Head-Mounted Display (HMD) or a 2D device (magic window mode).
The production in VR differs from traditional 2D broadcast in the sense that content after acquisition needs to be stitched, and the graphics have to be mapped to the sphere format so that the user has the proper shape on the receiving device. Meanwhile, all the mixing workflows used in broadcast will have to be used for VR in addition to all produced views.
Below is an example of an 8K VR workflow. VR Industry Forum has published “VRIF Guidelines on Live VR Services” that describes all the elements of a Live 8K VR workflow.
We can now see how 8K capture is ready for scale up to enable a personalized streaming service. The best use case is for sports where the user can select a region of interest from several 2K/4K broadcast cut-outs to see the details of live or replay action. Viewers can view content on a mobile device, PC or TV.
Alternatively, it is also feasible to offer the ability to follow a specific player using software controlled by the end user.
Like for VR, the personalized stream can be transmitted using either a viewport dependent scheme (only field of view of the user is transmitted) or viewport independent (full viewport transmitted). Capturing in 8K allows the user to zoom perhaps 2X in any direction without loss of picture quality, offering a much better user experience than if captured in 4k, for example.