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Digital TV and Virtual Reality (VR) - The Possibilities

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

Digital TV and Virtual Reality

The technologists around the world are investing tremendously on the VR (Virtual Reality). Facebook spent a whopping $2 Billion to acquire the VR startup Oculus VR in 2014. This deal which earlier sounded an exaggerated buy, may have directly or indirectly sparked a new revolution in the tech industry. With Samsung and other players also jumping into the flowing river of this newly found obsession, it seems the VR is going to grow and be a part of our daily lives pretty soon.

Digital TV as we know it, has gone through immense growth both in terms of reach and also technological advancements around VOD, Active applications, audience measurement, etc. Though there has been a firm growth in Digital TV with these additions, but there has not been a paradigm shift on how we consume the content. Yes we have altered the way we consume the content for eg, record for later time or pause, or introduced active applications with some rich UI themes but still the basics of content consumption remains same.

With the incoming wave of VR devices and services can we expect the amalgamation of Digital TV with VR? Well if we look at way DVB is approaching at it, the future seems interesting. DVB have announced that they are working on a research around the possibilities of 'Specifications around a VR delivery format'. The report is likely to be out in June this year. Though DVB is maintaining a cautious approach to avoid a situation like 3D in Digital TV which could never take off even when initially it was expected to be game changer.

The question is what we can expect with this merging of two technologies. As it stands now, the ecosystem economics will always be the major factor in determining the future of this technology merge. Content owners will have to innovate around the VR technology to create worthy content. There are multiple directions for them around this technology. They can tie up with VR Device creators on revenue sharing basis or can introduce their own VR devices. Then the cost of producing such content will also play a major role. For eg to provide a stadium like VR experience, the content may have to produced with 360* camera angles or possibly combine the inputs from multiple cameras. The delivery of such content will also play a key role in the overall ecosystem.

Other possibility is to view a movie/serial from different angles or from the perspective of different characters in the movie. With a possibility of switching the camera view, the VR can change the way we watch the movies or serials. We can also look at combining games or active services along with the linear TV content to create VR experience. The possibility around gamification of content for kids seems huge for the obvious reasons around the VR technology.

The possibilities are surely immense but the commercial viability of the whole ecosystem will play a crucial role in the implementation.

What’s your take on this??

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