Video: Technical Challenges of Effective VR 360 Delivery

Delivering true immersive VR 360 experiences means seversal things content creators might not realize, according to Verizon's Richard Lucquet, such as providing consistent quality in every pixel of a spherical frame, contending with a lack of standards for encoding and distribution, and dealing with the shortcomings of end-users' playback devices. Lucquet discusses these issues and more in this excerpt from his presentation at Streaming Media West 2016.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Richard Lucquet: When you look at what we call 360 video, 360 is really a misnomer. It's a spherical view where you can look everywhere and every direction. If you have to fit that in a video frame, you have to project it somehow and deform it in a rectangle so it fits in all of the tools that we're used to having.

There are a lot of issues with that. The first one is when you look on that sphere in a particular direction, now you're really cropping a small section of that whole frame. In order to have a good quality visual in that frame, let's say you want an equivalent to HD in that frame, you need like 20, 30K worth of pixels all around if you want that same quality everywhere. Now we're talking about having frames that have a lot more pixels, if you look at it in a frame.

Now we have to distribute that content, store it in many different formats. There are many different ways to encode it. Oculus wants it one way, Daydream wants it another way, Playstation yet has a third way. You can't imagine the amount of data that needs to be stored, replicated at the edges per our CDN so that you get a good experience out of it. It's really a problem in front of us that we have to address, and clearly standards can help with that.

There are a lot of challenges around the resolution and the amount of data and the amount of processing. We saw this before with HD OTT. You were happy with 1 MB DSL at one point in time. You were happy with 56K modems at one point in time.

So we're getting there, but the whole infrastructure has to be there and at the same time the end device is the key to an experience. You can put the most beautiful content out there, if at the end of the day there are no devices that can render more than SD-type resolution, this is not going to do it justice.

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