In Broadcast - NAB SHOW 2017 - 32

32

www.inbroadcast.com | NAB Show 22-27 April 2017 | Product Preview

Can Virtual Reality
Make Great Television?
Paul Scurrell, SEO Timecode Systems Limited, says that adding timecode to the
footage obtained from VR (360 rigs) can significantly benefit efficiency in post...

V

irtual reality (VR) is made
for
delivering
first-person
perspectives. From the comfort of our
own homes we're elevated from being
passive voyeurs to feeling part of an on
screen experience. This is exactly why
360-degree content has made such an
impact in the video gaming industry,
and now television productions are
keen to join the party. The more
participatory style of viewing VR offers
presents an exciting way for production
teams to infuse new life into maturing
program formats, giving the viewer
the option to step into the shoes of a
character or contestant, to explore all
the nooks and crannies of a scene, and
generally immerse themselves further
into a show. So why aren't we seeing
more VR style content on our home
television screens right now?
The 360 Challenge
The main challenge of using
360-degree content for television
is not reconciling traditional show
formats with this new style of viewing;
this is a test for our finest writers
and producers, but it's one the
industry is already well equipped for.
However, capturing and producing VR
content to the same high standards,
and with the same efficiency, as
mainstream multicamera filming is a
technological hurdle that has proved
to be a stumbling block. Over the
past few years, more and more video
production companies, advertising
agencies, and broadcast networks have
started experimenting with VR filming,
but integrating 360-degree content

into professional production workflows
has been time-consuming due to the
manual process of synchronizing
the multiple streams of nontimecoded footage captured
during a VR shoot.
Timecode Process
Visually
timecode-slating
cameras in a VR rig is a
disruptive manual process, and
using the clap of slate (or another
audio cue) as a sync marker can be
troublesome when it comes to the
edit process. When we launched
our SyncBac PRO sync accessory for
GoPro cameras late last year, we
gave television production teams a
professional way to integrate footage
captured using multiple HERO4
cameras seamlessly into a broadcast
workflow. You simply clip a SyncBac
PRO to the back of a GoPro HERO4
camera to enable it to generate
frame-accurate timecode, producing
a timecoded MP4 file at source. This
creates the capability to timecode sync
multiple GoPro cameras wirelessly
over RF.
What we consistently heard back
from the first production teams
using SyncBac PROs was complete
amazement at how much time it was
saving them not only at the point of
shooting, but also when the footage
gets to the edit suite. It was not a few
hours saved, it was often days, even
weeks of production time. This made
us think - could we offer the same
efficiency savings for VR filmmakers
too?

BLINK Hub for VR

Pro7 VR rig
with SyncBAC

Professional Solutions
Working closely with VR multicamera
rig experts, 360RIZE, we are now
able to offer a professional standard
acquisition solution for VR filmmakers
too. Using a new modular, 360-degree
video multicamera holder from
360RIZE, our SyncBac PRO units can
now be used in a spherical array of
between six and 24 cameras. This
allows each camera in a VR rig to
generate its own frame-accurate
timecode, creating the capability to
wirelessly sync multiple units over
RF. As a result, VR camera operators
can start and stop recording all day
long without the hassle of having to
manually slate, safe in the knowledge
that the media is automatically being
synchronised.
In addition, VR operators also
experience the huge benefit of using
our BLINK Hub remote device control
app to access a dashboard that makes
it simple to treat multiple GoPro
cameras in a rig as one. You can hit
record on multiple cameras in a VR
rig simultaneously from one screen
on a tablet. It's easy to identify low
battery on a camera promptly before
it hinders filming. You can even alter
frame rates and other camera settings
for all the GoPros in a rig centrally at
the same time. Whether there are six
or 24 cameras in a spherical array, this
solution takes the guesswork out of

VR filming by making it easy to setup,
real-time status monitor, and control
every camera centrally from a single
screen on any smartphone, tablet,
or MacĀ®. This is a unique feature
compared to another other VR camera
rig solution.
Multicam Benefits
But the benefits are not just at the
point of shooting. At the end of filming,
the memory cards from each camera
are handed to the edit team, each
containing data files stamped with the
same embedded timecode. This allows
all media to be easily dropped into the
edit timeline and automatically aligned
for a swift and efficient edit.
Synchronizing and controlling the
acquisition of 360-degree content
in this way not only saves time and
hassle for crews, but also significantly
increases the opportunity to use
VR filming as part of multicamera
productions
for
professional
broadcast. And with this technology
now available, television really could
be on the cusp of becoming a far more
participatory experience. Could this be
the end of television as we know it?
Timecode Systems will be unveiling
its new VR sync solution at the 2017
NAB Show. Please visit them on booth
C2746.
www.timecodesystems.com


http://www.inbroadcast.com http://www.timecodesystems.com http://www.timecodesystems.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - NAB SHOW 2017

In Broadcast - NAB SHOW 2017 - Intro
In Broadcast - NAB SHOW 2017 - Cover1
In Broadcast - NAB SHOW 2017 - Cover2
In Broadcast - NAB SHOW 2017 - 3
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In Broadcast - NAB SHOW 2017 - Cover3
In Broadcast - NAB SHOW 2017 - Cover4
In Broadcast - NAB SHOW 2017 - S1
In Broadcast - NAB SHOW 2017 - S2
In Broadcast - NAB SHOW 2017 - S3
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