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SK Telecom to demo VR broadcast cleverness at MWC

SK Telecom VR

A new technology called 360 VR Live will be unveiled at MWC 2017 by Korean operator SK Telecom, which claims a breakthrough in broadcasting virtual reality content.

VR has been chosen as one of the signature use-cases for 5G as it will require huge bandwidth for streaming and very low latency to avoid vomit-inducing lags in the immersive experience. How likely the mass market is to warm to such an immersive, all-encompassing experience is still unknown, but expect telecoms players to run with it regardless in their desire to flog premium connectivity.

The 360 VR Live platform enables the production and live-streaming of 360-degree UHD video. This uses a 360-degree camera and some clever stitching technology that ensures a seamless experience, we’re told. It also supports 60 frames-per-second and uses dynamic tiling to reduce the file size by 35%.

“Immersive live VR broadcasting will become widespread in the 5G era,” said Park Jin-hyo, Head of the Network Technology R&D Center at SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will focus on building a new media ecosystem by joining hands with diverse partners.”

Other bits of cleverness include 3D audio that recognizes, in real time, the user’s location including the direction of their eyes and provides sounds tailored audio accordingly, to complete the immersive experience. One example could be the sound of a person talking becoming more distant when you look away from them.

All this will be demonstrated at MWC 2017 and it could be amusing to hang around the SK Telecom stand if only to watch disorientated punters stagger drunkenly into the throng after having a go on the VR.


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