Live streaming in 360 is becoming more and more popular. The concept has a big future for delivering live entertainment to remote customers in VR. Right now there are issues with delivering 4K, let alone 8K images required to make it watchable. Generally 1080 HD is the limit for widespread streaming which is a bit soft for comfortable viewing. But it still has its applications for small audiences who can handle higher data rates.
We’ve been waiting for some time to have a package of 360 hardware and software which is rock solid reliable for broadcasting which leaves no room for technical error. With a combination of two pieces of equipment, we finally have a solution which fits those needs.
S1 Camera & Teradek Sphere
The S1 camera is a reliable high quality 360 camera for the mid-range professional market. It records to a range of useful resolutions and frame rates, but also spits out four 1080 HD videos via mini-HDMI inputs on its base.
From the S1 HDMIs, the videos feed in to a 4-port Teradek Sphere unit. The Sphere is primarily used for wireless video on-set monitoring, however it has the capability to send 360 images directly onto an RTMP server or youtube. The Sphere wireslessly sends the 4-videos encoded to an iPad Pro.
The iPad pro with Teradek software is capable of a live on-the-fly stitch which can be customised to fit the build and lenses of any 360 vertically orientated camera. The iPad feed can actually put out 4K live stitched, but usually a stream would take a 1080 HD at a reasonable bitrate.
Technically the kit is difficult to setup initially but after it is tested and ready to go, there isn’t much else as reliable for similar price on the market right now.
These two relatively inexpensive systems combine together to deliver a straightforward, simple and reliable ability to live stream 360 at any common resolution and format a broadcast could require.