IBC 2016 sees Industry’s First Ultra High Quality Virtual Reality Streaming Solution

31 Aug 2016

At IBC 2016 (9-13 September) TNO will demonstrate the industry’s first VR streaming solution that can deliver ultra-high quality VR content with negligible latency at realistic, affordable bitrates. The solution was developed by TNO, the largest independent innovation organization of the Netherlands, in cooperation with Harmonic, the worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure. The solution will be demonstrated at Harmonic’s IBC stand 1.B20. TNO's patented “Tiled VR Streaming” technology enables VR streaming with 10 times the resolution of today’s solutions, at comparable bitrates, over today’s networks using existing devices.

Actual viewport

Current VR streaming solutions transport the entire 360 video to the head-mounted device with low perceptual quality, spoiling the immersive experience, while streaming it in high quality requires an enormous amount of bandwidth. TNO’s unique tiled VR streaming solution solves this by only streaming the parts of the image that are in a user’s actual viewport – a fraction of the total video – and by supporting extremely fast transport of updates across the network when a user changes viewing direction.

Suitable for on demand and live services on wide array of devices

The solution leverages standard HEVC encoders and decoders as well as HTTP streaming, making it suitable for on-demand and live services over existing CDNs at affordable delivery cost – today. Tiled VR streaming can deliver a completely immersive experience at a fraction of the bitrate that current solutions require. Requiring only a single decoder, Tiled VR streaming works with any kind of display device, including head-mounted displays, phones and tablets. Through the use of a layered approach and a low latency protocol, users will see video playing wherever they look, even when they rapidly turn their head.

Unlocking the magic of VR

“Virtual Reality holds a huge promise for entertainment, health care, engineering, retail and communication, but we need to be able to deliver VR content in real-time, over existing networks”, said Peter Werkhoven, Managing Director of Technical Sciences of TNO. “Our solution relies on over 5 years of groundbreaking research in tiled streaming and media synchronization, and I am very pleased that we can now use our results and work with industry to unlock the magic of Virtual Reality for the broadest possible audience.”

“Harmonic is proud to work with TNO, which has developed a tiling technology that will revolutionize the VR Video experience using off-the-shelf technologies, without any compromise to the quality of experience,”  said Bart Spriester, Senior Vice President, Video Products at Harmonic.

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