Live End to End Streaming of VR360 10K Video with MPEG-OMAF and HEVC Tiles

At NAB 2018, Fraunhofer HHI showcases the world‘s first MPEG-OMAF standard-compliant end-to-end chain for live VR360 video streaming beyond 4K resolution. This includes high-resolution VR360 10K video capturing and live rendering from the Fraunhofer HHI Omnicam-360, tile-based live encoding with the Fraunhofer HHI HEVC encoder, packaging according to the MPEG-OMAF Viewport-Dependent Media Profile and high-quality playback on VR glasses and TV screens.

The traditional way of streaming high-quality VR360 panoramic video with resolutions up to 10K x 4K consumes large amounts of bandwidth and requires decoding capabilities beyond 4K video at the receiving side, e.g. on VR glasses with a mobile phone. The new MPEG-OMAF standard solves this by spatially segmenting the video into HEVC tiles and packaging the tiles in a way that the receiver can request the high-definiton tiles for the user‘s viewport and low-definition tiles for the areas out of sight. At the receiver the tiles are aggregated into a single HEVC compliant video stream and decoded with a legacy hardware video decoder. The procedure can shortly be described as follows:

• Capturing: The high-resolution VR360 Video is recorded by Fraunhofer HHI’s OmniCam-360. Thanks to the real-time solution (RTSE) of Fraunhofer HHI, live events can be captured with a resolution of up to 10K x 4K.

• Encoding: The latest generation of Fraunhofer HHI‘s H.265/MPEG HEVC software encoding technology is integrating tile-based HEVC live encoding for distribution of VR360 content. Before encoding, the content from the Omnicam-360 is spatially segmented and the resulting tiles are independently encoded at different resolutions.

• Streaming: The HEVC tile streams are packaged with the MPEG-OMAF standard using the Viewport-Dependent Media Profile. Using these tiles, the devices – VR glasses and TV screens – can assemble the required image with optimal resolution. In the user‘s line of vision, the image is therefore of high definition and behind him, the resolution is low. MPEG-OMAF and HEVC tiles enable efficient delivery of live ultra-high-resolution VR360 video to fixed and mobile devices.

  • Boat Tour in Berlin Open or Close

    To enhance and to develop the OmniCam through a spherical extension further the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) worked together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS). Based on a collaborative test production in which the OmniCam-360 was set up on the boat Pauline that drove along the Spree and recorded the surrounding panorama and sky, the OmniCam-360 was further developed. The new and optimized version not only weighs only 9kg, which enables the easy customer handling for various productions but is also able to record a 10K x 2K spherical panorama.

  • NAB 2017: Interactive Livestreaming of 10K video panoramas with HEVC Open or Close

    The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute demonstrated together with SES and Newtec an immersive Virtual Reality experience – a live 360-degree 10K x 2K Panorama Streaming over satellite – at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention (NAB Show) in Las Vegas, Nevada 2017. This was possible due to the OmniCam-360, the HEVC Live Encoder – both developed at Fraunhofer HHI – and the Newtec DVB-S2X technology. For the live transmission, the sights and sounds of the SES booth were captured with Fraunhofer HHI’s OmniCam-360. After that, the Real-time stitching engine (RTSE) rendered the high-quality panorama video with a resolution of 10,000 x 2,000 pixels and zero latency.

    By using the Fraunhofer HHI’s HEVC encoder the panorama video was compressed into a 22 Mbit / s MPEG-2 transport stream and due to the Newtec DVB-S2X modulator transmitted to different UHD TV displays and VR glasses over an SES satellite.

    The remote control at the UHD-TV enabled the visitor to navigate through the scene, to zoom in and out, whereby the selected part is always displayed in UHD resolution. Because of the enormous panorama resolution, this is possible without any loss of quality. Yet, due to the restricted resolution of VR-glasses, the 10K x 2K panorama video was reduced to UHD.

  • SES and Fraunhofer HHI demonstrate Virtual Reality via satellite Open or Close

    Voransicht interaktiver Clip mit 360°-Perspektive von s.Oliver R&D showcase at IBC will offer viewers a fully immersive virtual reality experience. SES S.A. (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), together with Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI in Berlin, will demonstrate a groundbreaking R&D project at IBC this year – showcasing the transmission of a 10K x 2K panoramic video signal via satellite to multiple devices.

    The panoramic signal will be received at the SES stand and transmitted to an Ultra HD display and to a set of virtual reality (VR) head-mounted devices. The viewer can either choose the Ultra HD display, where he can select a viewing angle, zoom in and out, turn the picture on the TV display by using a simple remote control or he can choose to wear a VR headset, where the video signal is delivered simultaneously. Filmed with Fraunhofer HHI's remarkable OmniCam-360 camera and transmitted via SES's ASTRA 19.2 degrees East orbital position, this demonstration will provide a first glimpse of what a future VR 360° video would look like.

    For the first time, this allows the viewer to be part of a truly immersive experience. He will be part of a virtual event, such as a sport-event, concert or live show. "Here we use a combination of technologies in order to demonstrate what is possible when using hybrid approaches," said Dr. Ralf Schäfer, Fraunhofer HHI's Head of Division Video. "There is no stadium in the world providing enough seats for all enthusiastic fans. So imagine a live event somewhere in the world – filmed with professional cameras like our OmniCam-360 and then delivered to a huge global audience via satellite. And every single viewer at home has the best seat in the middle of the show."

    Thomas Wrede, Vice President Reception Systems at SES, added, "Satellites are the perfect distribution path for these new kinds of video experiences, as they can manage huge volumes of data without affecting the terrestrial networks. Furthermore, technology standards like SAT>IP not only allow the viewers at home to pick and choose a device – the TV screen, tablet or virtual reality equipment – but also to choose their favorite viewing position."

  • OmniCam-360 at ISTAF – Panorama UHD video production and live streaming with the OmniCam-360 Open or Close
    Voransicht interaktiver Clip mit 360°-Perspektive von s.Oliver By using the OmniCam-360 from Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, panorama recordings for immersive applications can be generated. The OmniCam-360 is equipped with ten micro-HD cameras and records a UHD panorama video with a resolution of 10K x 2K pixels. Hence, this flexible system is suitable for a wide variety of 360-degree panorama productions. With its special mechanical and optical characteristics, the mirror-based OmniCam-360 permits the optimal arrangement of several HD cameras for the parallax-free recording (stitching) of video panoramas in real time.

    During the international stadium party in Berlin (ISTAF) the competitions were recorded in 360-degree with the OmniCam-360. A 5G portable radio system transmitted the recordings of the panorama camera to the luxury box. As a result, the sports event could not only be watched up close but also in a 360-degree round view – via Virtual Reality glasses, on Tablets or on UHD televisions. During the event, impressive panorama recordings were made that, when seen through VR-Glasses, created the impression of being right in the center of the stadium. In addition, the panorama video could also be watched in UHD quality on the television. By using a simple remote control, the viewer can zoom in, out, and turn the picture on the TV and thereby choose his favorite viewing angle.
  • stern TV Open or Close
    The fashion label s.Oliver is the first-ever German fashion company to present an interactive clip with a 360-degree perspective. Fraunhofer HHI supports tests of the RTL Media Group Germany for Virtual-Reality productions.

    By recording 360-degree videos at the “stern-TV”-studio, the RTL Media Group ran successful tests for producing Virtual-Reality content. Before and during the live show recordings with the OmniCam-360 from Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute were made. At the IFA 2016 (2.-7. September) in Berlin, the German TV Platform initiated a VR-Showcase at one of the convention booths at TecWhatch where the content could be seen. Spectators could convince themselves of the impressive test results – they had the impression of being right at the TV-studio.

    The Virtual-Reality tests have been realized by CBC, a broadcasting and production center connected to the RTL Media Group and in cooperation with the German TV Platform. Further, the tests have been supported by Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute and by the “stern TV”- production company i&u TV. In spring 2016, the website of the RTL Media Group was relaunched, already utilizing the 360-degree video technology by Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute. Different parts of the Cologne-based broadcasting center can be discovered virtually on www.mediengruppe-rtl.de
  • Cooperation with s.Oliver Open or Close
    The fashion label s.Oliver is the first-ever German fashion company to present an interactive clip with a 360-degree perspective. The fashionThe fashion label S. Oliver is the first German fashion company that presents an interactive clip with a 360-degree perspective. The international fashion brand showed off its on-trend striped looks from an innovative video perspective. Via smartphone, tablet or PC, users experienced an outfit presentation with a spectacular, interactive 360-degree view. The images were made possible by the panoramic camera OmniCam-360 from the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI. Thanks to the imaging technology, customers were able to be their own directors – they could interactively view the various angles of the photo studio by swiping, rotating or zooming, could move in closer to the model and even navigate right past it. label s.Oliver is the first-ever German fashion company to present an interactive clip with a 360-degree perspective. The international fashion brand showed off its on-trend striped looks from an innovative video perspective. Via smartphone, tablet or PC, users experienced an outfit presentation with a spectacular, interactive 360-degree view. The images are made possible by the panoramic camera OmniCam-360 from the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI.
    Thanks to the imaging technology, customers were their own directors; they could interactively view the various angles of the photo studio by swiping, rotating or zooming. They also could move in closer to the model or navigate right past it.
  • In the Middle of the Action at Konzerthaus Berlin – with the OmniCam-360 Open or Close
    Konzerthaus Since March 2016, ARTE Concert brings the orchestra to your living room. The audience is able to experience Beethoven's Fifth in the middle of the orchestra while sitting on the couch at home with a spectacular, interactive 360-degree perspective. These panorama recordings are made possible by the OmniCam-360. This multi-camera system developed at the Fraunhofer HHI makes the unique experience possible. The users can not only select from five different camera perspectives, they can also enjoy a spectacular 360-degree panorama view of the orchestra in UHD resolution.

    The impressive concert experience is not only due to the panorama view but also due to the unique sound. The viewer's perspective changes not only visually, but also audibly. Thus, the user hears the instruments closest to where he is virtually sitting more loudly. In order to be able to reproduce this sound pattern as realistically as possible, the concert was recorded with an eight-channel microphone array of the Fraunhofer HHI. Watch out for the fanfares of the trumpets in the 4th movement!
  • OmniCam-360 at UFA Anniversary Night Open or Close

    On Friday, 15 September 2017, the film company UFA celebrated its 100th foundation anniversary. Besides numerous German actors, the Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the Governing Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller joined the gala. The OmniCam-360 of Fraunhofer HHI was there as well and filmed the event in a 360-degree panorama.

  • Soccer in 360-degree Open or Close

    The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute collaborated with Telekom Deutschland GmbH to produce video content in high resolution for 360-degree and VR applications. At the Telekom Cup 2017, the soccer games were recorded with the OmniCam-360.

    With the help of Fraunhofer HHI’s OmniCam-360, panorama recordings can be made for different immersive applications. The OmniCam-360 is equipped with ten micro-HD cameras and records a UHD panorama video with a maximum resolution of 10K x 2K pixels. The flexible system is therefore suitable for a wide variety of 360-degree panorama productions.

    The ninth Telekom Cup 2017 took place at the Borussia-Park in Mönchengladbach, Germany. On board were the host Borussia Mönchengladbach, FC Bayern München, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and SV Werder Bremen.

  • Helicopter Flight over L.A. Open or Close
    Helikopter Since the OmniCam-technology was developed in 2009, it has been used in a number of different productions. In October 2015, the third generation of the OmniCam, the OmniCam-360, was installed in a helicopter and flew over Los Angeles, California, USA. During this helicopter flight, a team from Fraunhofer HHI was able to capture impressive panoramic shots of Los Angeles. Thanks to the compact format and the low weight, the OmniCam-360 is highly versatile and can be used in the most diverse scenarios.
    It can be assumed that video-panoramas of this type will soon be indispensable for the growing VR-sector – a demand that the OmniCam-technology is able to satisfy. The recordings were completed in cooperation with Indie Aerials/Group 3 Aviation Inc.
  • Digital Concert Hall Open or Close
    Helikopter The Digital Concert Hall (DCH) of the Berlin Philharmonic offers classical concerts as a video stream for different devices. The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI has made the first live streaming of a concert in panorama format possible. The Berlin Philharmonic uses the Fraunhofer HHIs camera technique: With the OmniCam-360, high-resolution 360-degree images can be streamed live around the whole world.
    An impressive concert experience includes not only a panoramic view but also an authentic sound. To reflect the sound as realistically as possible, Fraunhofer HHI and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS recorded the concert with two eight-channel microphone arrays.
  • VR experience at Berlinale 2017 – on the red carpet with the OmniCam-360 from Fraunhofer HHI Open or Close

    On the occasion of the 67th Berlinale, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI has produced in cooperation with ARRI a 360-degree red carpet video outside the Berlinale Palast. Visitors of the Audi Lounge at Potsdamer Platz had the unique opportunity to experience the red carpet with the help of virtual reality glasses, while sitting in the driver’s seat of the Audi Q7. This created the experience of driving to the movie premiere like a movie star, past rows of fans next to the red carpet.

    The experience was made possible thanks to the high-resolution 360-degree video that was recorded by the OmniCam-360. The OmniCam-360 is a development of the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, which was optimized in cooperation with ARRI for the use at Berlinale with Alexa mini-cameras. The system consists of six Alexa mini-cameras arranged in a mirror rig to record a 360-degree panorama of unrivaled quality. Five cameras form a ring panorama while the sixth camera represents the zenith. The system also includes a workstation that generates a live stream of the panorama in HD and UHD resolution and software plugins for After Effects® used to subsequently render the panorama in film quality.

    Based on the proven ARRIRAW recording format, this high-quality panorama sets itself apart with a native resolution up to 14K x 3K, high dynamic range imaging and full synchronicity of all cameras. In the course of cooperative research, ARRI and Fraunhofer HHI are evaluating application scenarios in the fields of film and VR productions. Based on field tests the aim is to improve the system further and to establish fundamentals for a joint business model.

  • OmniCam in L.A. Open or Close
    CamCar In October 2015, the OmniCam-360 was used to shoot an advertising spot for a car manufacturer in Los Angeles, California, USA. Not only was the technology of the OmniCam-360 used during the recording of the spot, but also the efficiency of the camera system was extended.
    By attaching a supplementary camera on the housing of the OmniCam, spherical 360° panoramas could be generated while filming. Once again, the OmniCam-360 demonstrated its versatility. Mounted on a cam car, the mirror-based multi-camera system was used to record videos for a HD projection as well as material for applications in the VR-area. In addition, the 360° film material can be used in different presentation formats. The benefits of the OmniCam-360 and all its complimenting technologies, such as the Real Time Stitching Engine, convinced in Los Angeles again. The project was realized in cooperation with Mackevision Medien Design GmbH and KUK Filmproduktion GmbH.
  • OmniCam-360 at IAA 2015 Open or Close
    Porsche IAA For the first time in the history of the OmniCam-360, the system was used for a “live on tape”-transmission. The occasion was the world premiere of the two sports cars “Mission E” and “911 Carrera” of the car manufacturer Porsche. The venue was the International Motor Show IAA that took place from September 17 to September 27, 2015, in Frankfurt (Main).
    Under the direction of Christian Weißig (Head of Capture & Display Systems Group at Fraunhofer HHI), 360° panoramic shots of the world premiere were taken and then published in the newsroom section of the Porsche. Specifically for this purpose, a panorama viewer was used which made it possible for anyone interested to view the entire panorama online. The OmniCam-360 not only made impressive recordings of the exceptional sports cars but also captured the atmosphere of the show, which attracted over 900,000 visitors.
  • OmniCam-360 at Herbert Grönemeyer
 Open or Close
    Herbert Gönemeyer Waldbühne In the summer of 2015, pop titan Herbert Grönemeyer gave two concerts at the Waldbühne – one of the best-known and most historic event locations in Berlin. At one of his two performances, the HHI team was allowed to install the OmniCam-360 on stage. Thanks to the Real Time Stitching Engine (RTSE), the concert was broadcasted live to a virtual-reality device. Musicians backstage were able to watch their colleagues perform on stage from an entirely new perspective. This pioneering project becomes more and more relevant due to the growing fascination and interest in virtual reality.
  • Worldpremiere PLAYING THE SPACE Open or Close
    Playing The Space Together with the wave line GmbH and with the support of Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, a HHI team produced the 23 minutes long documentary PLAYING THE SPACE. In order to document how space and sound affect different locations, the team used the OmniCam to record the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Radio Choir together with the U-Theater from Taiwan and the Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra (2013/2014). The team produced the 180° panoramic 7K images and the 3-D audio recordings of PLAYING THE SPACE for the TiME Lab the Fraunhofer HHI. The documentary presented at TiME Lab offers a unique spatial and musical experience. The world premiere took place in February 2015 at the international trade fair Avant Première Music + Media Market Berlin in the mobile TiME Lab.
  • More Productions Open or Close

    2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010   2009