Two of the biggest challenges in creating video content for VR is the sheer difficulty of filming it and then the demands of delivering it to viewers. For one thing, the camera set ups are very expensive, demanding ultra-high resolutions for even passably good quality video, and then streaming that to viewers puts an awful lot of demands on bandwidth, compression, and so on.
YouTube are looking to find a happy middle-ground between traditional cameras and full on VR with the new VR180 format, which is stereoscopic video but only covering the front 180º. It solves a lot of problems for VR*, by allowing for more traditional filming set ups with a central focus, cuts down on the technical hurdles with filming, and lets those without VR still view the video, albeit with two images displayed side-by-side. It’s not ideal, but means that there’s fewer restrictions on the potential audience.
The new format is being supported by Lenovo, LG and YI Technology, who are creating VR180 compatible cameras within Google’s VR180 certification program, while you’ll be able to check this content out in VR using Google Cardboard, Daydream or PlayStation VR. There’s already a playlist of videos created in this new format from beta testers.
*I’m reliably informed by a smuttier member of the writing team that front only VR is already a format that’s found adoption in certain more risqué forms of video.
via Ars Technica