Tata Communications completes truly live 360 video trial

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Tata Communications has announced that in conjunction with its partner, Formula One, it has trialled live 360 degree video content at last week’s Singapore Grand Prix race.

To date, any 360 degree video experiments in sports have had a 30-second delay between the 360 degree video and live TV feeds, preventing a widespread adoption of the technology. 

Tata Communications claims this is the first time the live 360 degree video feeds and TV broadcast have been shown in complete sync.

There were two 360 degree cameras at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore, trackside and in the paddock. During a Grand Prix build-up, fans could use their tablet to access a live 360 video feed from the paddock, during a race, as a driver pulls into the pits for a tyre change, fans could complement the action on TV with a 360 view of everything that is happening in the pit lane in real-time.

The live 360 video feeds from the three two cameras were distributed from the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore back to Europe using Tata Communications’ Media Ecosystem, a complete, integrated set of media solutions. It includes the Video Connect service, which brings together traditional video contribution and IP connectivity globally in the cloud, underpinned by Tata Communications’ global network.

“We’ve done this test to show how a fan could watch Lewis, Sebastian or any other drivers coming into the pits on TV, grab their tablet and get a second, completely in sync 360º view of everything going on around him while he is there - not 30 seconds after he has driven off!” said John Morrison, chief technical officer, Formula One. 

“In a sport like F1 where every millisecond matters, there are huge opportunities to empower fans to take control of key Grand Prix moments and create their unique, personalised race experiences through the powerful combination of live TV and 360 degree video.”

Sean Bratches, managing director, commercial operations, Formula One said: “We want to unleash the full potential the F1 fan experience through the latest digital technologies,”

“Through this proof of concept, we’ve explored how live 360 video, and next VR, could transport fans from across the globe to the middle of the thrilling world of F1 and enable them to immerse themselves in each Grand Prix like never before.”

The live 360 video proof-of-concept follows close collaboration between Tata Communications and Formula One during the last five seasons to lay the foundations for the sport’s digital transformation, testing in action technologies such as UHD video and live broadcasting over the Internet (OTT).

“This proof of concept shows the potential of live 360 video to augment the F1 TV viewing experience and bring VR mainstream in live sports and entertainment,” said Mehul Kapadia, managing director of Tata Communications’ F1 Business. “Eliminating the delay in 360 video means that, for the first time, it’s possible to offer fans truly live 360 video experiences on a global scale. This will enable sports and entertainment organisations to engage with their audiences in new ways and generate new revenue streams – helping the 360º video and VR market achieve its $60bn potential.”