The blurry issue in VR videos are sentenced to disappear in the near future, and we have been spectators of how technology takes giant steps in terms of hardware (cameras, rigs, etc.) and software (editing programs and functionalities), with the stitching over software as a primary reference. But not far from reality, we found that in the early stages of this disruptive invention, called virtual reality, the graphic quality of VR videos regularly came with an unpleasant blurry vision.
In 3D and 360 videos and whether we are talking about high-end VR headsets or any other, the graphic resolution is an aspect of fundamental importance. Gone are the days when the 1080p was the undisputed winner in terms of image quality, with VR videos all the rules of the game have radically changed. The poor video quality in many cases is due to a 1080p recording but has as final result a video of approximately 480p, since the different angles were the video was captured or the editing software -with a wrong usage- makes the initial resolution reduced to the half or even more.
The FOV (field of view) has an imperative importance in this, since the synthesis we see in a 1080p video is divided into two parts so that your eyes can visualize it and produce the sensation of immersion this can produce a critical decrease of the image quality. To illustrate this, here is an example:
The screen resolution of the Galaxy S6 is 2560 x 1440 pixels, leaving 1280 x 1440 pixels for each eye. Each frame of video under UHD resolution (Ultra High Definition) has 3840 x 1920 pixels, but that resolution is for 360º x 180º, that is to say all the space around us. In the Gear VR we see only 96º, in other words, just over a quarter of the total, which represents our field of view (FOV). By measuring how many pixels we see in this range we get per response that are 1024 x 1024, but the screen has 1280 x 1280 pixels, that is, the portion of video displayed by the software is lower than the screen resolution. Meaning that you have to adapt it by softening the contours, with the consequent loss of quality.
Another crucially important aspect is the playback mode. At one end, we have the “Mono Mode” in which both eyes look at the same image. In the other extreme, the “Stereo Mode” is when each eye sees a different image in high resolution, in order to increase the sense of reality, causing the situation to be worse.
Why my VR videos are not clear? In this section you will find the appropriate answer.
Over the horizon there are already options that will be the ideal solution to all these discomforts that detract from the experience of using a VR headset. The so-called view-optimized streaming, which will set a new standard for content transmission in real time, makes possible -only the portion of the video that is observed- to be actually transmitted, dispensing with the rest of the images and significantly improving everything that is in your field of view.
360 videos for VR comes with promising and revolutionary breakthroughs, with companies like Facebook, Google and many others tech giants behind provide constant and the most important advances in this area. Amazing development in hardware and software with a whole set of tools is always becoming better to deliver a truly and real experience.
How do the VR videos work?
Essentially, a VR video is the resultant union of several videos filmed from different angles, this unification is produced by means of specialized software, to which the name of video stitching software is attributed.
Behind amazing virtual reality videos, there is a wealth of tools, solutions, professionals, enthusiasts, hardware, software, that make it possible for a virtual experience to be even more immersive than reality itself. In the achievement of this goal, there are factors of notorious importance that will contribute to making VR the most popular and demanded technological innovation in a large part of the coming years:
Compression destined to VR videos:
There is still a way to go and a way to triumph over. Optimization/customization is expected to improve by 25% and the stitching algorithms are getting better as well.
Cameras are constantly evolving:
At this point in the game, we’ve already seen 4K and even 8K VR cameras, Jaunt or GoPro brands for mention a few brands, but as this advanced technology matures, there will also be lowering the prices as the costs goes down and multiple competitors get in the business, this will allow access to more people interested.
Internet speed is a highly relevant point when it comes to experiencing 360º production, and fortunately we can only identify a growth in speeds around the world and a tendency to continue to improve.
Screen resolution is increasing:
We’ve seen Samsung, Sony, Huawei and many others big brands launch devices with the screen as a differentiating feature for increasing resolution. In the world of monitors for PCs, TVs and other video devices, only keeps a steady pace toward the rise in graphic quality and this is related with a better screen resolution.
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