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Virtual reality transmission via satellite demonstrated

Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES will demonstrate virtual reality transmission via satellite for the first time at the International Broadcasting Convention next week.

During the demonstration, researchers at Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI Berlin will film 10K x 2K panoramic video footage using their OmniCam-360 camera. The footage will be transmitted via SES’s Astra satellite and sent directly to the company’s booth at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre in Amsterdam.

Visitors will be able to view the immersive footage through virtual reality headsets or on an Ultra HD Display. The viewers will be able to choose a viewing angle and zoom in and out.

According to SES, the experiment is a major milestone as it demonstrates the future where TV viewers will be able to be virtually present at events such as sports games or concerts even though they may be taking place on the other side of the world.

"Satellites are the perfect distribution path for these new kinds of video experiences, as they can manage huge volumes of data being offloaded from terrestrial networks,” said Thomas Wrede, vice-president reception systems at SES. “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 they can now choose their favourite viewing position."

Ralf Schaefer the Head of Fraunhofer HHI's Division Video added: "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."

With a fleet of more than 50 geostationary satellites, SES is one of the world’s largest satellite operators. It provides communications services to various sectors including broadcasting, mobility and governments.

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