internet. For ABR encoding, the best encoders balance this
workload with a choice of codec implementations across
CPU, GPU, and dedicated hardware resources to achieve the
best quality and density.
Unlike conventional 2D viewing, 360°/VR 3D video
involves generating separate views for the left eye and
right eye, respectively. The brain fuses these left eye/right
eye signals that it’s getting from both eyes to produce the
sensation of a 360° 3D virtual reality experience.
ENCODING IS A HEAVY LIFT
During the live stream, the media player processes
the content into the left and right eye views in a way that
simulates the parallax shift that allows the brain to perceive
the environment with natural depth perception. Since the
left eye/right eye data must be derived from the encoded
spherical video, maintaining high resolution and frame rate
While VR/360° devices and apps can be relatively
inexpensive—even free at times—and readily employed
using smart phones, the video production and processing
requires capital investment in specialized gear and technical
expertise. For example, content creators need UHD-grade
video equipment, such as UHD production switchers, graphics
systems, and servers, as well as other UHD or 12-gigabit SDI
At Telestream, our core competence is pushing the
envelope on the development and deployment of highly
efficient encoding and media processing solutions for the most
demanding applications. We also offer enterprise-class live
streaming systems, such as our Lightspeed Live Stream server,
which has the horsepower to encode ultra-high-res 4K video
and VR/360° video payloads using HEVC or AVC in real-time
and stream them via operator networks, CDNs, or OVPs.
When VR/360° video is properly encoded, viewers can see
the imagery from any angle they wish. Using a VR solution
like Google Cardboard, which encases the smart phone, they
can hold the phone screen up to their eyes, as if peering into
a View-Master. As they slowly spin, the picture will rotate
relative to the direction they are facing.
When donning more expensive, sophisticated VR headgear,
such as HTC’s VIVE or Oculus Rift, which require the use of a
PC, viewers can turn freely without having to hold a device to
their eyes to see the virtual scene from different angles. While
today’s audio is stereo or surround, future VR players might
manipulate multi-channel or object-based audio in a way that
accentuates directional sounds.
The more picture data that can be sent, the more realistic
and riveting the VR experience becomes. Since content
producers have no way of knowing what angle or aspect of
the VR/360° video the viewer will choose to watch, every
pixel must be precisely encoded.
MAKING VR/360° VIDEO SPECTACULAR
There is something special about allowing people to use
VR at a live event to enhance their experience. But whether the
viewer is at a remote location or onsite, the value proposition
remains the same, to allow them to immerse themselves in the
live event in a way they other wise couldn’t.
Being able to wield the necessary encoding methods and
signal processing power is essential for delivering high-value
content in real time. Telestream is in the vanguard of this
technology, offering both the high-performance encoding
and processing solutions and the technical know-how for live
streaming even the most demanding, graphics-rich VR/360°
While our Lightspeed Live Stream server is encoding and
streaming the live VR/360° UHD video, our Lightspeed Live
Capture can concurrently record it in UHD production and
archive formats for video on demand (VOD) applications,
using the same hardware platform. As the VR/360° format
file is being ingested, Lightspeed Live Capture can send it
to our Vantage media-processing platform for processing,
enabling quick-turnaround VOD distribution.
Over time, we expect to see many advancements
benefitting VR/360° video, including greater mainstream
adoption, processing power and bandwidth efficiency. We
also envision that 8K resolution will become increasingly
viable, making the live VR/360° video experience that much
more enticing and immersive.
Telestream provides world-class live and on-demand digital video
tools and workflow solutions that allow consumers and businesses
to transform video on the desktop and across the enterprise.
Many of the world’s most demanding media and entertainment
companies as well as a growing number of users in a broad
range of business environments, rely on Telestream products to
streamline operations, reach broader audiences and generate
more revenue from their media. Telestream products span the
entire digital media lifecycle, including video capture and ingest;
live and on-demand encoding and transcoding; subtitling and
captioning; playback and inspection, delivery, and live streaming;
as well as automation and orchestration of the entire workflow.