17 Jun PCCW shows “Personal 8K” app at HKT 5G Tech Carnival
Working with Tiledmedia and Harmonic, the Hong Kong telco and technology leader PCCW showed Tiledmedia’s 8k “planar” app running on a variety of 5G phones last week. The demonstrations were part of PCCW’s presence at the futuristic HKT 5G Tech Carnival and included 5G mobile phone models from Samsung, Huawei, and XiaoMi. We used the 8k “planar” (2D) content that was shot for Tiledmedia by France Télévisions during the French Open tennis tournament earlier in June. PCCW’s Keith Huang led the charge at the HKT show.
Not a tech demo but real streaming
The demo showed all 5G phones running side-by-side, each streaming an individual 8k broadcast of content shot with a Sharp 8k broadcast camera. Requiring only a 4k decoder, the “ClearVR Planar” application allows viewers to zoom and pan in 8k content at native resolution. They can also zoom out all the way and see the entire 8k shot, streamed at the resolution of the display. The demonstration was very real: the personalized 8k videos were actually streamed from the Akamai CDN, and not from some on-site server.
We weren’t there ourselves, but as our local Harmonic rep reported about the 4-day event: “The demo has been running flawlessly over the 5G mobile network on Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Huawei Mate 20X 5G and XiaoMi MIX 3 5G smart phones. The user experience was great without any video artefacts and the very minimal end-to-end jitter or latency “.
Bootstrapping the 8k ecosystem
Tiledmedia believes that its personal 8k broadcast application is a perfect way to start bootstrapping the 8k ecosystem. Combined with 5G, it allows for local distribution in stadiums and venues, but the application works just as well on WiFi and 4G using any Android device sold in the last 3 years, including the Samsung Galaxy S7 at Tiledmedia’s offices. We are even working on an STB-version of the app, to match our VR360 application that already works on devices like the Nvidia Shield.
Seamlessly mix and match 2D with 360 content
The technology is tentatively called ClearVR Planar, but this is a working title; this is not really VR. That said, the ClearVR Planar technology is 95% the same as our ClearVR for 360 video. We are able to combine the two kinds of content in a single application with instant switching back and forth between 360, 180, and planar sources. Content providers and rights owners can now seamlessly mix and match planar content with VR360, and publish that mix to “flat” devices so their users can engage with the content at a completely new level of detail.
(And if you know a good name for the 2D technology, let us know!)