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The Future of 180 Degree VR Content is Now

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

Written by - Manisha Misra

Today our society is fully saturated with 2D videos. And with the influx of smartphones everyone is empowered to click pictures and record videos anytime they want to.

Videos about every subject are available online. Channels gain popularity, overnight  for the new and out-of-the-box ideas. 

Only the Virtual Reality videos will be able to break the monotony of this saturated video market and bring a fresh stream of easily accessible, immersive content. Because unlike the normal 2D videos, VR videos are immersive and interactive. In case of VR videos we are visitors and not spectators. Stereoscopic 180 degree and 360 degree videos laced with binaural/ambisonic sound are the two types of VR videos which are all set to take over the media market. 

Though VR started with 360 degree videos initially. These days big names in VR have started exploring VR 180 format because it is similar to traditional storytelling in many ways, because all the action happens in front 180 degrees. This gives the director the control of where the viewer will look unlike 360 degree videos where the action happens all around and the viewer has the choice to look wherever he/she wants. In the 360 videos the director can guide the user subtly through sound, graphics, narrations etc. but the viewers might not follow his que and may still look in the totally opposite direction of where the action is happening. 

Also 180 degrees video can be made easily as we can use the same techniques of post production that we use for 2D videos and output is compatible with both - VR devices and regular 2D screens. 

Many VR content creators are considering VR 180 instead of standard 360 VR because it is observed that VR users are anyway more focused on the front 180 degrees. The cost of  VR 180- 4K quality camera is less than a comparable 360 degree camera. And a proper 3D broadcast quality of the output can be achieved as we have to show half of the content in the same bandwidth. At the time of filming VR 180 needs significantly less memory as compared to 360 format and there is hardly any stitching required during the post. This format also gives the flexibility to setup the shots and use appropriate lights at the time of production. This type of production helps to create the perception of true 3D immersion required for VR.

VR 180 offers high-quality stereoscopic video output. And when VR 180 videos are viewed on mobile or desktop, they look the same as normal 2D YouTube content. But when watched on a VR headset, viewers will experience a high-quality, stereoscopic (3D), immersion. 

VR 180 is an interesting new format in the world of immersive media and will help to make the transition to video VR easy.

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