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by Emememem on Mar-30-16 15:04
Who is the superstar in the Internet industry? The answer is apparently VR. Early in last year, VR has booked the title “word of the year 2016” in advance. Nowadays, VR devices, VR technology, these words have permeated into our daily lives and from the very beginning of 2016, the popularity of VR goes up as fast as rockets. From the pre-order of Oculus Rift in January, to HTV Vive’s release in February, then to the appearance of PSVR at GDC this month, VR sweeps across the world in the first season. We can tell how popular VR is from the three main stream VR device producers: the delivery dates of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are postponed to June within one hour; while the PSVR on Amazon is announced to be sold out soon after the open of pre-order. However, as many ordinary players still hesitating, television industry has already begun its “testing in water” of VR. Let’s take a look at how VR is applied in TV industry!
Besides the three VR giants—Oculus, HTC and SONY, other manufacturers also released their own VR devices, for example Gear VR from Samsung, 360 VR from LG, OSVR from Razer and Cardboard from Google. So how to apply these devices? Right now the applications of VR devices in TV industry can be divided into 3 categories: VR videos, VR on probation and VR stream.
1. VR videos
VR videos, namely are to shoot TV programs through VR cameras. Audiences can obtain all-round experience through VR devices, feeling that they’re on the spot. What’s more, they can choose to watch programs in whose viewing angles. Famous science and education channel Discovery released a new VR program, which allowed people to observe the environment that they never saw before, including “diving with sharks”, “learning surfing and how to survive” and other outdoor adventure contents.
On the other hand, BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is going to publish a VR documentary memorizing the Easter Rebellion in Ireland called Easter Rising: Voice of A Rebel. VR technology transfers audiences back to the streets of Dublin, following a 19-year-old boy Willie McNieve to review the whole event. The documentary will meet the public later this year. It’s a testing BBC has for VR direction. More VR videos will come out if it’s welcomed.
At the same time, many Chinese variety shows start trying VR videos. For instance, the popular I’m A Singer and KangxiCome all provide replays in VR version. People can watch singers’ performances in close range, or sit on the stage to enjoy the recording. It’s definitely a brand new experience for audiences watching TV shows. What we see is no longer decided by program directors or cameramen. It gives people more rights to watch what we love.
Besides VR TV shows videos, many artists release VR music videos, like The Weekend from the United States and Infinite from Korea. It’s time for fans to change their “postures” to watch their idols!
2. VR on probation
Another presentation VR applied in TV programs is the use of VR devices when shooting. Organizers provide artists or audiences with VR devices to let them experience the latest technology. The famous Korean TV program, Running Man, uses 360 VR from LG to show the high-end hotels and desert to the artists attending. Chinese music guessing TV show Hidden Singer provides VR glasses for audiences to observe participants and make their guesses. Through broadcasting the sights from VR devices, audiences behind screens will have a new understandings over VR technology. From just knowing the name VR to understand what VR is, this lay a foundation for VR’s popularization in the future.
3. VR stream
Combining VR technology and the other hot issue right now—stream together, the effects must be explosive. The grand final of Chinese talent show GUO-MIN-MEI-SHAO-NV will conduct VR stream while in August, the Rio Olympics, is announced to use VR technology in broadcasting, said OBS, the broadcasting agency of Rio Olympics. It is believed that all the VR manufacturers will follow up the event. If variety shows don’t cover enough population, the Olympics is undoubtedly a good chance for VR companies to promote their products. Right now there are so many VR devices in the market covering the prices from $15 (Cardboard) to $799 (HTC Vive). Different prices meet the needs from different economic classes.
After the Olympics, there is estimated to be more TV programs presented by VR stream instead of just providing VR videos.
Probably in the future, not only TV programs, also the popular esports tournaments will introduce VR stream. Esports games have strong sense of identification. Through VR technology, audiences can stand on the battlefield to watch the fights in close range and run across the map to feel a real game world. As for play MOBA games on VR devices, the problem is how to overcome the dizziness created by abilities. Since games now pay much attention on the art designing, abilities usually have magnificent high-speed rotation. If all the details of abilities are restored, players may feel physically uncomfortable.
On the other side, we have VR videos now. Why can’t we have VR movies? The 3D and 4D movies cannot provide any sense of reality due to the limitation of technology. However, the appearance of VR is able to fill in the gap. One possible problem is probably the cost. If ticket price increases because of the application of VR technology, consumers may be averse to it which won’t benefit the promotion of VR.
There is one thing can be sure that as VR promoted and applied in many fields, its devices will come into more families and to more regions. The large-scale coverage will accelerate the maturity and decrease the cost, which can pay back the expansion of VR. In the future, all the stream, videos will have ordinary version and VR version. VR devices are just like TV and mobile phones, the irreplaceable electronic products in people’s lives.