Media & Services > Metaverse, Augmented and Virtual Reality Blog

Rio Olympics an opportunity to light the torch on VR video

by David MacQueen | Aug 05, 2016

As I type this, the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games is about to start, and the audience could top a billion viewers - the 2012 opening ceremony was watched by an estimated 900 million. There will be plenty of broadcast innovations, including 8K video streams, the use of drones to capture unusual angles, and of course VR.

Samsung has done deals with a number of broadcasters, including NBC in the US, to broadcast the ceremony and other events to Samsung Gear VR devices. In the UK, the BBC will also be showing some of its coverage in VR for Android, iOS and Gear VR users, and will be re-posting some of the footage on YouTube's 360 video channel.

Once again, this shows the enthusiasm of media companies for VR technology, as discussed in our earlier report Content Companies Prime the Pump for Virtual Reality. Despite the higher production costs, and the challenges of shooting footage in what is not just higher resolution but actually a fundamental change to the video medium, TV companies are seeing the potential of VR in live sports.

Speaking of which, I'm off to watch it myself - although I can't say I'm keen on watching the boxing in VR - ouch!
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