philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


NextVR’s Latest Tech is Bringing New Levels of Fidelity to VR Video

nextvr-ces-2018-3-768x432NextVR, on the other hand, is one of only a handful of companies pushing the limits of production and playback quality, now approaching a level of quality and features that could properly be called ‘VR video’ rather than plain old ‘360 video’.

Cole says that, in the best case scenario with 8 Mbps bandwidth, the company can now stream 20 pixels per degree, up from 8.5 pixels per degree previously. Keep in mind, that’s also in stereo and at 60 FPS. The company plans to roll out this higher-res playback to supported devices (we understand Windows VR headsets only, to start) early this year, but I got to see a preview running on Samsung’s Odyssey VR headset which offers a solid step up in pixel count over headsets like the Rift and Vive (1,440 × 1,600 vs 1,080 × 1,200).

In addition to improved quality, NextVR is also adapting their pipeline for volumetric capture and playback, allowing the viewer’s perspective to move positionally within the video (rather than just rotationally). Adding that extra dimension is huge for immersion, since it means the scene reacts to your movements in a way that appears much more natural.

Since the company is using stereo orthogonal projection, Cole explained, wherein the scene’s pixels are projected on a 3D mesh and transmitted to the host device, new frames needed for positional tracking are generated locally and displayed at the headset’s own refresh rate (meaning, just like rotational tracking, even though the footage is 60 FPS, you’ll see 90Hz tracking on a 90Hz headset).

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