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Television Media

Immersive HDTV 61

grape jelly writes: "The Electronic Times has a story on a German company developing a system called Interactive Virtual View Video (IVVV). The idea is to send a number of HDTV feeds to a set-top box which will be merged to provide a headset-wearing user the ability to change his/her viewing angle or even move around within the image."
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Immersive HDTV

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  • Not to smack on such products, I can see the technological merit, the gimmick, and a few other things, but how would this enhance the television viewing experience?

    I can hardly imagine walking around on stage during romeo and juliet and enjoying the experience any more than I already do.
    • I imagine this will be as widely used as the multiple camera angle feature available on DVD's.

    • I spent a month or two working on an identical project. The issue with this will likely be that the signal processing overhead will make the product ridiculously expensive. There is also the ongoing issue of having everything in the field of view being in-focus. meaning that in VR if you look at a given object at a given distance, all other distances are also in focus. Since our eye lenses try to refocus when the focal plane changes, this makes readjusting your eyes to another object quite tiring. I recall getting headaches from Virtuality too much.

      I expect that a slightly enhanced version of the Microvision Nomad will be able to solve this problem since it scans across the eye projecting its image on the retina. tweaking the focus for each pixel may slow things down a bit, but it would still improve the experience a great deal.
  • Who thinks that expecting people to wear anything 'head mounted' to entertain themselves for more than 5 minutes at a time is a little unrealistic?

    I remember a completely failed 3d system from Nintendo, and even those super-cool digital goggles you can still find at Best Buy don't seem to have sold more than two pairs nationwide.

    Now, what we really need is a nice immersive 3d ROOM that doesn't involve filling the space with fog. Piece of cake. ;p
    • Who thinks that expecting people to wear anything 'head mounted' to entertain themselves for more than 5 minutes at a time is a little unrealistic?

      What, you've never seen one of those hats with two beer can holders and a straw attached?

  • It takes too many resources. Broadcasters already don't want to convert to HDTV because they want to broadcast more channels, not higher quality. History tells us that this will not work out. It is a chicken and egg problem before there is even HDTV. An interesting technology demostration, but it just won't work for the mainstream. Hopefully they are looking for alternative avenues, maybe even next-gen (after gamecube) video games?
    • Forget nextgen, Britney Spears announced [usatoday.com] back in June that she will be releasing an immersive video later this year on current game consoles using Enroute's FirstPerson Video.

      The hardware requirements for delivering immersive video are not that great, and the bandwidth requirements are probably do-able using DVD as the delivery media.

      There are several companies working on immersive video right now and there have been for several years. The biggest problem they face is parallax.

  • They really need to start sending out the Pamela/Tommy video over HDTV so that I can immerse myself in that ;-)
  • I've never really been comfortable wearing headgear. the weight gets to be annoying, or the mechanism used to hold it on gets in the way when you just want to chill and lounge. now...if they ever actually get those sunglasses size/weight/look working, then we might have a massmarketable product here. coolsville: always 30-100 years in the future. we're never satisfied.
  • This will make virtual participative pornography worthwhile. The 2-d aspects of pornography limit its utility for people who want something more realistic.

    Of course, this will also enable more accurate virtual depictions of terrains which are susceptible to terrorist attack, so perhaps the NSA should ban it or bug it?

    • Of course the next step in this vein would be to team it up with a tactile / force feedback glove.

      Can you imagine Diablo II with this kind of a setup.

      Way cool!
  • hasn't this already been posted once? 2 reposts in the same day? you guys are slipping
  • Okay, I can see porn as the ONLY useful way to use something like this.

    Who the hell wants to "interact" with "Emeril", "The West Wing", or hell, "The View". Its not practical, its not useful, and it doesn't "enhance" the viewing pleasure any more. In fact, it would probably decrese it.

    But I'd love to have something like this to watch porn on. Can't wait to see something like "Afro Whores" or "Cowboy Neal Gangbang" in something like this. ;)
    • How about travel, or most things you'd find on the Discovery channel?

      Moving within the scene might not be so useful (or easy to implement outside), but a fully immersive view of lions on the serengheti or the Musee D'Orsai is something I'd like. Documentary TV could be much more involving.

      The porn couldn't hurt either though.
  • Who in the hell wants to watch TV with a helmet on? I personally like to think of TV watching as a passive activity, where I sit there and watch (vegetate) without having to think about from what angle, etc. I want to see everything from.
  • Imagine watching some sport event, and being able to chose which camera angle you want to watch it from right now. Not being limited to what the director thinks would be interesting right now, but what you want to see - and be it the Candid Cheerleader Cam ;-)
  • games, which i guess is just another kind of porn, but imagine a FPS on one of these deals.

    though it would have to be set up arcade or pub style, since i would be damned before i blew that kind of coin on game peripheral at home.
  • I have been reading about 1 article every sixth months for the last 5 years that talks about a particular immersive video company as if it invented the idea.

    The truth is there are several companies who have been attempting to bring immersive video to consumers for several years now. Some of them are:


    The first and most successful immersive video system AFAIK is Disney' Circle Vision theater in Tomorrowland, which has been open since 1971.

    The biggest problems in delivering immersive video are bandwidth, resolution, frame rate, and parallax. Selection of delivery media affects the bandwidth problem which of course is related to frame rate and resolution.

    The parallax problem arises in multiple camera solutions. Basically, in order to seemlessly mosaic images from multiple cameras, they have to have the same nodal points or the objects in the scene need to be very far away. Single camera solutions (using specially shaped mirrors) suffer from low resolution. Multiple camera solutions that use mirrors, such as Disney's Circle Vision system, can achieve low parallax but tend to have a limited verticle coverage.

    If you can event a wide angle lens that places its nodal points behind the image plane then there is a valuable patent waiting for you.

    • Good job, moderators. Don't moderate up my comment. It's just the only informative comment that has been posted for this article.



      Oh, and keep the Smellovision comments coming, please.



      P.S. Love the Slashdot paragraph formatting.


  • Many DVDs support different viewing angles already (mostly pr0n DVDs) so what is new in this HDTV thingy. Even the video stream is MPEG-2 except that HDTV uses higher bitrates (if using higher resolution, but if lower resolution is used, it really cannot be called HDTV), the bitrates are from 10mbps to 18.5mbps and this doubles with the angles and eats alot of bandwidth.
  • This is all great and everything, but I'm afraid it will be a hard sell.

    Being that most cable networks won't even carry a single HDTV channel for eating into precious bandwidth for more important broadcasting (ie: multiple ppv and home shopping channels), it's really a moot point.
  • Ok, this might sound a bit silly given the matrix style football footage they threw together recently, but is it really that easy to wander around in real time within a TV show? Where would the raw feeds from all the cameras be merged and transformed into a 3D image? Where would they be rendered?

    The set top box could have only a couple of CPUs, and the best speed available is what? 60 gips from Chuck Moore's 25x? That's not enough for local real-time rendering at 30fps.

    Doing the rendering at the cable provider would introduce a problem with scalability, because it'd have to send a custom image to well over 10,000 users. In real time. As they wander around.

    I guess these people will need to wait a few more years before letting users walk around in their favorite soap, but turning their head while watching from specific cameras isn't as big a leap. Oh well. Real-time effects like that WILL be cool WHEN the set top box has enough power, or when pre-recorded shows are pre-processed and broadcast in a more friendly format, like, say, polygons.

    However, do you really watch TV to play video games?
  • This idea I think would only work for television and movies of specific genres where one would WANT more viewing angles. In particular, porno, sports, and sci-fi.

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