Live 360 streaming the Oscars in Virtual Reality

The opportunity to live 360 stream the Oscars red carpet in Virtual Reality for the very first time was a significant moment for us, and an ideal opportunity to test out a new smaller form factor camera design.

oscars-360-camera-2016

Working in conjunction with partners The Associated Press, Invision and MXR, we were responsible for providing the live 360 camera, the live production and live 360 stitching equipment and expertise. We captured interviews in live 360 video with Bryan Cranston, Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg, Sacha Baron Cohen and Michael Fassbender, among others. It was a hectic, fast paced environment, working in an extremely tight space.

With dozens of TV and camera crews packed into a tiny area, we set up a small footprint Mini EYE™ 3 camera on a monopod, next to AP’s camera operator and host. It was the first time we were using this camera in a live 360 production environment, and we chose Blackmagic Micro Cinema cameras for the rig, which feature 13 stops of dynamic range, cinematic grade professional image capture, active cooling, and internal ProRes recording. Their most outstanding quality compared to competing options is their reliability. The cameras ran continuously for many hours in direct sunlight, and >100 degree temperatures, and recorded hundreds of gigabytes of video internally, without a hitch.

We used our new Mini EYE™ 3 control box with the cameras, and ran SDI to our mobile stitching station behind the press riser. From there we ran a stitched live 360 output several hundred meters via SDI to a satellite truck, and from there the video signal was uplinked to New York via satellite, and encoded to three different CDN’s, to test delivery capabilities to different geographical markets.

Distribution was via AP, People.com, YouTube and direct streaming to VR headsets. Players for the project were provided by partners Wemersive and Purple Pill.

It was a major test of our capability to do live, redundant 360 streaming of a worldwide event, and we have more exciting events that we’ll be doing in the coming months.

If you have a major event you would like to stream live in virtual reality or 360 video, using the best 360 cameras and expertise in the industry, and fun people to work with (!), please reach out and contact us.