HK Sevens captured live in VR as PCCW claims a ‘world first’ | 4K/UltraHD | News | Rapid TV News
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PCCW and Ideal Systems have delivered the first ever live 360° and 3D multi-camera sports event with their 2017 Hong Kong Sevens coverage for host broadcaster Now TV earlier this month.

Hong Kong Sevens 2017 logo 21 April 2017The solution was created in six weeks. It saw Ideal Systems acquiring the content using a number of pitch-side Nokia OZO 360° cameras. These cameras provided a UHD IP signal which was delivered over fibre by PCCW telco HKT to Nokia servers in the control room, to facilitate live stitching from each of the cameras’ eight 2K lenses to create multiple stitched 3D ultra HD streams.

The 360° audio and video streams were then switched and passed through to the Harmonic Electra VS encoders for delivery to the PCCW Global media delivery network. Six streams were routed from the stadium for live distribution by Now TV to its Hong Kong consumers’ mobile devices, PCs and VR headsets, including Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, Zeiss VR One Plus and Google Cardboard via YouTube 360.

“This world’s first delivery of a complete source-to-screen solution for immersive 360° virtual reality (VR) viewing was one of the most exciting projects our team has been involved in,” explained Mike van den Bergh, chief marketing officer, PCCW Global. “While it truly showcased our innovation and media delivery capabilities, it also tested our abilities fully, leveraging as it did both our extensive experience in delivering mega sports events, and our ability to successfully put such a complex solution together in a very short space of time.”

“The challenges of real-time live VR streaming compared to traditional TV revolve around the complexity of dealing with data rates which are significantly larger and more demanding on the delivery networks - with close to 6Gbps of uncompressed video coming from each OZO Live Server. By way of comparison, reports from Broadband Forum suggest that even basic VR video requires 17 times the bandwidth of normal HD video,” the companies added in a joint-statement.
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