09 Dec – World’s First 6K Live VR Production
- Live VR360 streaming of a professional league basketball game with ClearVR;
- Full, multi-party, professional, end-to-end chain;
- Two simultaneous camera feeds with instant user-initiated switching;
- High, 6K VR360 quality at average bitrates below 10 Mbit/s per user;
- Full, mixed audio feeds audio with professional commentary;
- Unlimited scalability of distribution (within CDN constraints);
- Playback of the same 6K sources across multiple platforms: today’s VR Headsets (Oculus Go and Gear VR), and Android tablets, phones and STBs. Select iOS users also had access.
Deutsche Telekom issued a Press Release to announce the event.
On Sunday 9 December, Tiledmedia’s ClearVR technology enabled the world’s first public live VR production at a resolution considerably exceeding the 4K traditionally used for live VR streaming. This event followed a successful try-out on November 11 in the same venue: The Telekom Dome in Bonn.
Commissioned by Deutsche Telekom and available in DT’s MagentaVR app, the project partners built a complete end-to-end system around our ClearVR tiled streaming technology. On 11 November and 9 December it went online to stream professional Bundesliga Basketball matches from Bonn, DE, in high-quality 360-degree Virtual Reality. The matches were Crailsheim Merlins @ Telekom Baskets on 11 November and EWE Oldenburg Baskets @ Telekom Baskets on 9 December.
Users across Europe had a choice between two cameras, both streamed in high, 6K quality; one at the sideline in front of the officials’ table, and the other mounted to the post of one of the baskets.
MediaKind ingested the raw feeds into its Google-hosted cloud platform and performed the “tiling”, encoding and packaging.
These tiles where fed into Akamai‘s CDN origin server, from which the streams were made available across Europe for playback in the Magenta VR app, which had been updated by Iconic Engine to support ClearVR streaming.
These were the first-ever events streamed in VR at this quality – not a trade show demo, but a real, end-to-end, glass-to-glass service available over just a regular Internet connection. The bitrate for end-users hovered around 10 Mbit/s second throughout the events – about 50% of what is usually required for 4K VR distribution, and about 25% of what would be needed for real-time 6K VR streaming using non-tiled technology. And even if it were possible to distribute a 6K signal in its entirety, today’s devices wouldn’t be able to play it – they only have a 4K decoder. ClearVR overcomes these limitations.
Viewers were able to use their MagentaVR app on a standard Oculus Go or Gear VR to follow the game with commentary. The streams were also available on tablets and Android phones via Tiledmedia’s ClearVR demonstration application. We even had it available on an Android Set Top Box connected to a large TV at Tiledmedia’s offices, where we were able to pan using the remote – a surprisingly compelling experience.
All participants were able to switch back and forth between the two cameras with only 50 millisecond switching time – an instant switch to the user.
The events worked flawlessly. On both occasions, two 3.5 hour streams ran without a single interruption and were available to anyone across Europe. The glass-to-glass latency was about 30 seconds, which we expect to be able to bring in the 5 – 10 second range by doing a few straightforward optimizations.
We look forward to taking this another level up: moving from monoscopic to stereoscopic, from 30 frames per second to 60 fps, and distributing to a larger group of users. Watch this space!
December 9, 2018