How will TV shows change with IoT and VR? Second half

How will the progress of “IoT” and “VR” change TV shows? In Part 1
Through the event “Connected Media Tokyo 2017”, we introduced “the current state of TV shows and VR”, but in the second part we will consider “the future of TV shows and VR” with IoT added, through “Wireless Japan 2017”.

On the 24th to 26th of May the IoT festival “Wireless Japan 2017” was held at Tokyo Big Sight with the title “All is connected wirelessly”. (*”Wireless Technology Park 2017″ and “International Dronesolution Expo 2017” were also held at the same time.)The keywords throughout the entire event were: “4K”, “5G” and “2020”!

Many participating companies exhibited technology development aimed at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, 5G communication with 4K picture quality. *5G communication is planned to be realized in 2019 or 2020.
Broadcasting of TV shows that is about to change dramatically as we move towards 2020. We would like to introduce you the latest technology on these topics.


The venue

■VR&AR Broadcasting the Olympics

The demonstration at the KDDI booth is a demonstration of a soccer broadcast using VR technology. On a large monitor, a video of a soccer broadcast was projected with a slightly CG-like texture. According to Mr. Sanko of the KDDI Research Institute, this is not CG but the video that is relaying the actual game. By manipulating the controller attached to the monitor, you can see the game from various angles.
This technology shoots matches with 4 to 8 VR cameras, which are considerably fewer than for a regular broadcast, and delivers in 5G with 4K image quality. Viewers can watch on the monitor (TV), smartphone, and VR head mounted display (VRHMD). When watching through a VRHMD, the image is through the keeper’s eyes, and it has considerable presence and power. You can experience a different viewing sensation than the current sports broadcast.


Watching on the monitor

Watching on the VRHMD

Meanwhile, NTT docomo and Fuji TV showed their broadcasting technology using Geostar AR (augmented reality). Here we saw a demo of a golf game broadcast. A model of a golf course made of plastic was installed in the center of the studio. If you hold your smartphone there or look at the HoloLens (*1), the golf play is displayed on the AR on the model. Not only the game but also various data are displayed.
According to Mr. Ogura of Fuji Television, models will be displayed in CG in the future as well. By this, the Olympic venue will be reproduced in AR in the middle of your living room, and you will be able to enjoy the relay from various angles.


Geostar booth


Model golf course

Geostar video footage (soccer)

■Advances in VR related technology

As related technologies supporting this kind of Olympic live broadcasting were also exhibited, we would like to introduce three of these.

The Panasonic booth was exhibiting the latest VR camera. Although they demonstrated video broadcast live, both image quality and sound quality were good, and the sense of distance to the subject also had considerably high degree of freedom.


Panasonic 360° camera

The Japan Display Inc. was exhibiting a technology to transmit 8K image quality with 5G communication, a device (monitor) capable of receiving it accordingly, and VRHDM which can also display 8K. 8K picture quality was very good and felt real and beautiful. Although development is progressing toward realization of this in 2020, the hurdle is quite big, but if this is realized we will be able to appreciate a much better Olympic live broadcast. By the way, Japan Display Inc. says they want to make use of this technology for remote treatment in the medical field first.


Japan Display Inc. booth

Also drones that are indispensable for current television program production, they exhibited a high functional drone with super telephoto camera etc. They will surely use these in the Olympic live broadcast.


Drone with super telephoto camera

Zoomed out image




Zoomed in image, you can see the hut at the top of the mountain!


Currently, technologies for making various TV programs using IoT and VR are being developed, but the major point of reform is that it will be a “viewer-centered TV show viewing”. Until now basically people were passive when watching TV shows, but it may change greatly so that viewers select the device, choose the angle of view, choose the data to display, applies all kind of customization, and the viewer may even see through the eyes of the main character in a TV show.
Especially for sports broadcasts, news, documentaries, that change will be embodied first.

Either way, 2020 seems to be a big turning point for TV programs.

>>First half

“Connected Media Tokyo 2017”

(*1) HoloLens: A device developed by Microsoft for AR or MR (a technology that creates a world that combines the real world and the virtual world).

■Recommended Articles

・93% of people in Japan haven’t experienced VR yet! Have you?
・VRHMD. Interesting, but“it might be too soon to buy.”
・”Japanese Amusement Expo” report -3 new trends- Second half

(Article by : Kenichi Nakamura)

Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.


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