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BT looking to integrate VR into TV experience

BT looking to integrate VR into TV experience

BT has dabbled with virtual reality and 360-degree videos before in its sports coverage, but it seems that's just the start.

The firm is experimenting with how to integrate VR into the main TV screen experience. Not only that, it's also looking to capture 360-degree videos of sports events in a much higher resolution than currently.

However, it's very much at the experimentation stage at the moment, according to Andrew Gower, BT's head of interactive media research.

Three hundred and sixty degree videos could work alongside the live broadcast, Gower said. "We think they will have to complement each other... and be more linked to the normal TV broadcast," he told Marketforce's recent The Future of Broadcasting conference.

One way to do this would be via a picture-in-picture option. That way, the viewer wouldn't have to don a VR headset to see some immersive content. This would mean the linear stream was "somewhat delayed", according to Gower, and would require the viewer "to buy into the idea that they are watching 40 seconds behind [the live stream]."

BT is also experimenting with capturing video in the 8, 12 or even 16K resolution, as opposed to its current 4K. This would be in order to improve the quality of the VR experience.

BT previously broadcast the Champions League final in 360 degrees. But there are plenty of hurdles to overcome before what Gower is talking about becomes a reality.

Source: Digital TV Europe

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