We were planned to be there at SXSW Edu event this week. It was cancelled due to outbreak of the COVID-19 virus across continents and countries. In spite of multiple technology advances like AI and medicine, we have still not able to control or predict major outbreaks like SARS or Coronavirus– which is a major challenge in a modern world. It has affected major economies with offices, schools and events closing its doors obstructing daily life.
The largest impact is for schools and colleges which have closed doors or may close soon to prevent spread of the virus.Small schools or community colleges are impacted more as they may not have the requisite infrastructure to make up for missed classes.
We recently did a LIVE 360 Event for more than 4.5 hours with minimal latency using a standard network connection available at the location event. Vibrnz is a Visual and Performing arts platform that also helps in organizing local talent shows and competitions. We helped them take their events to their online customers who could not be physically present to a 4K/360 & VR immersive streaming.
4K/360 LIVE Streaming for B2B
Our biggest challenge was making it a cost effective solution without using expensive software that would make it not feasible for smaller organization who may want to live stream a classroom, event or a service. As it was a FREE event for most attendees we created a viable effective solution.
We realized that You Tube 360 or Facebook 360 were the most common platforms used by most viewers. We thought of using standard Youtube 360 as the player had many advantages including ability to encode to various platforms.
“YouTube supports live streaming ingestion and playback of 360 degree videos on PC computers in Chrome, Firefox, MS Edge, and Opera browsers. 360 degree playback is also supported in the YouTube and YouTube Gaming apps.”
The Samsung GEAR VR 360/4k Camera and GEAR App
The 360/4K camera chosen allowed HD 360 streaming with the option of auto-stitching within the GEAR 360 platform.We set the stitching to around 26 to 30 fps to generate smooth stream.We used You tube recommended settings to ensure high bit rate and resolution
RTMP Streaming server and the Computer
We did not use a VR cloud server but instead choose an open FREE RTMP private server to output a single stream output to Youtube. The Server was hosted in our powerful VR Laptop with a GTX 1060 Nvdia card.
Challenges Due to a inconsistent data service at the location the initial 30 minutes of the stream quality was not consistent but eventually the stream was consistent and stable providing high quality outputs with infrequent drops.
Multi-platform Streaming services
We realized that additional dedicated 4G/5G beacons could make the stream stable. Also dedicated servers/services like OBS or Wowza cloud would allow to channel and distribute dedicated streams to multiple types of devices, browsers for longer uninterrupted services.
The ability to view 360, interact in 360 and ask questions and answers can be a viable alternate solution to events and classroom training & learning in a cost effective manner.