Welcome to the VR Industry Forum Newsletter
Keeping you updated about our activities! Here we highlight our latest work and focus on areas which are most critical.
A Message from the President
2020 is ending…2021 is knocking on our door
The year 2020 is about to end. Despite the challenges we all had in 2020, the VRIF was committed to our purpose “To further the widespread availability of high quality audiovisual VR experiences, for the benefit of consumers.” We could not meet physically this year, but we kept busy with many activities:
- Two Guidelines released, one covering Live deployments (v2.1) and VR360 8K profile (v2.2)
- Online tutorial for members on Video Point Cloud Compression and OMAF 2.0
- We were first in the industry to define 8K profiles for VR and we successfully managed to influence MPEG and 3GPP to adopt this
- First online VRIF open session
- Collaboration agreement with Streaming Video Alliance (SVA) on VR Trials
- Participation in important (online) conferences SMPTE 2020, VR Days, 2020 World Conference on VR Industry (see below)
Next year is going to be the “5G Cloud year” in standardization. Organizations like 3GPP are focusing extensible in understanding how 5G and Edge Cloud infrastructures will enable the adoption of XR cloud services; VRIF is engaged to help the Industry to promote and educate on this matter. In general, 5G Cloud standardization work is looking at two main use cases: XR and Cloud Gaming. These are the technical corner use cases that when combined can achieve a more general purpose: move all the media processing to the cloud (the advantages are described in the 5G Cloud VR presentation, see below).
VRIF will also focus on Point Cloud both for production and distribution in 2021. Seeing the release of new MPEG standards on Point Cloud Compression, it is important that VRIF can guide the industry on how to use these standards to enable exciting immersive applications.
I want to thank all our members who support this organization and our newsletter readers.
Season’s greetings and happy New Year.
VRIF Working Group Activity
Highlights from the Guidelines WG
In the Guidelines Working Group, the VR360 track has made major progress on the following fronts toward the next release of the Guidelines, expected to be released in early 2021:
- 8K viewport-independent profile: Following MPEG’s approval of the FDIS text of OMAF 2nd edition which contains the unconstrained HEVC viewport-independent profile, VRIF is updating its Guidelines in order to adopt this profile and provide operation points to support 8K resolution content distribution formats using this profile.
- 8K viewport-dependent profile: VRIF also agreed to adopt OMAF’s simple tiling profile and is defining operation points to support viewport-dependent tile-based delivery of ~12K or higher resolution source content using 8K resolution content distribution formats using this profile.
- VRIF agreed a change request to the Guidelines introducing the best practices and recommendations around multiple viewpoints and overlays functionalities that have been defined as part of OMAF 2nd edition.
- VRIF is liaising with 3GPP SA4 to provide them with feedback on the new VR 360 video operation points they are defining for 5G Media Streaming (5GMS) supporting 8K resolution distribution formats as part of their Rel-17 work item on “Operation Points for 8K VR 360 Video over 5G” (8K_VR_5G).
VR Service Tracker
VRIF as an Industry Forum wants to provide all relevant information to the public and in particular to their members. Often, companies want to know what services are already available on the market and what their features are.
VRIF is starting an ambitious exercise to gather this information and publicize it on our website. As an interested party and probably as a provider of VR services, we ask you to provide this information through the form: https://bit.ly/VRIF_ST
VR Streaming trial with the Streaming Video Alliance
SVA is collaborating with the VRIF to do a trial on the Verizon FiOS network. The goal is to test both 4K and 8K resolution, different devices, and assess what are the QoE effects when activating SVA Open Caching. The content prepared by Harmonic, based on the F3 (8K source) content provided by VRIF, is being encoded in different formats (4K & 8K) to test different network and device scenarios, in viewport independent way, according to the VRIF latest guidelines version. The trial runs on a live FiOS network with a 600Mbps down & 100Mbps up connection.
We present in table below all the different participants to the trial.
This is the first end-to-end VR trial done on a live network for 4K and 8K content on such a variety of devices. The results will be communicated to the VRIF members, another reason the become a member!
VRIF Member Testimonial – Gaudio Lab
Gaudio Lab Inc. is a global audio technology startup with a bold experiment to commercialize award-winning spatial audio technologies. Gaudio Lab redefines the audio experience with astonishing sound in OTT/Music streaming, virtual/incremental reality, smartphones, TVs, and theaters.
Gaudio Lab has been a VRIF member since 2017. Being a part of VRIF has enabled us to grow resourcefully along the way. Based on audio technology background, Gaudio Lab served as vice president of Communications Working Group for VRIF and contributed to producing the guidelines.
Gaudio Lab values being a member of VRIF to get close to all updates related to the VR industry by referring to the guidelines. Accessing expert insight and a broader connection to the VR industry continues to drive our connection to VRIF today.
VRIF has been present at several (virtual) events in the past months. You can review the presentations and video’s here:
- 2020 World conference on VR Industry, China: https://www.vr-if.org/events/world-conference-on-vr-industry/
- SMPTE 2020: https://www.vr-if.org/events/smpte-2020/
- VR Days Amsterdam: https://www.vr-if.org/events/vr-days-europe-2/
The upcoming event calendar can be found here: https://www.vr-if.org/events/
VRIF Open Event
On the 8th October 2020 we held an online event open to the public.
The agenda covered the following topics:
- VRIF (re-)explained and what we have done
- Collaboration with other organizations: MPEG, 3GPP, SVA
- Specific technology topics
- VR360, OMAF 2.0 8k VR
- Social VR – How to reduce social distancing
- How 5G helps to launch new immersive services
- Volumetric distribution
The event was attended by about 60 people and we also asked some questions to the crowd.
The results and the recording can be found here: https://www.vr-if.org/events/vr-industry-forum-open-event/
If you’re not already a Member – Join Today!
The VRIF has four different focus areas targeting different stakeholders’ interest as well as securing VRIF’s long-term vision: VR360, Volumetric, Social VR and 5G Cloud. For more information please see: https://www.vr-if.org/february-2020-newsletter/.
The VRIF is an organization built by the VR community and maintained by it. As a valuable member of this community, we ask you to consider joining the VRIF organization. Yearly membership already starts at $1000. More details can be found on our website: https://www.vr-if.org/membership-benefits/
- Some key member benefits:
- Contribute to the future of immersive video and drive the Guidelines by participating in our various Work Groups
- Define VRIF priorities
- Promote your leadership through speaking and other opportunities
- Network with industry experts
- Full access to MPEG standards and working documents
- Participate in interoperability testing with early access to guidelines, content and other tools
Many industry leaders already see the importance and value of VRIF. Join today and add your voice. We welcome your participation and look forward to meeting soon.