EBU NEWS published on 27 Jul 2017 • Department / Unit Digital Media Technology & Innovation

EBU publishes new report on Virtual Reality use among Members

The EBU’s Technology and Innovation and Media departments have joined forces to publish a brand new report on the uses of Virtual Reality amongst its Members.

“Virtual Reality: How are public broadcasters using it?”, gives an overview of how public broadcasters use Virtual Reality (VR), addresses technical issues, and outlines how the EBU helps Members use VR. It is based on Members’ answers about their experiences with VR.

As EBU Members learn how to work with VR – more than half of EBU Members have started experimenting with it – the report highlights some trends, lessons learned, and the next steps to take. It is intended to help Members learn from each other’s experiences, especially since, as the report finds, VR is still in an experimental phase for many Members.

The EBU guides its Members in understanding the implications of the use of 360 and VR, be it from the content, strategy (Media Department), and technical perspective (Technology & Innovation).

Simon Fell,
 EBU Director of Technology & Innovation, said in the report: “VR is a new medium of creative expression providing a truly immersive experience but it is still in the early stages. It is therefore important for the EBU to guide its members and the industry in building a successful cross-platform ecosystem and truly compelling content”.

The EBU Virtual Reality report was presented for the first time at Observatorio VR in Málaga on 21 July by the Media department’s Madiana Asseraf.

Observatorio VR brought together speakers from, among others, the EBU, Google, Samsung, Nokia, Sony Playstation, and HTC Vive. They agreed that now more than ever, the public and private sectors need to join forces to get the best out of VR, so as to create a better audience experience.

Asseraf told delegates:“The potential of the medium is clear, but there are still many unanswered questions before our Members consider the quality good enough for VR content to become mainstream. The question is no longer whether to invest in VR or not (it’s clear that we have to invest in it); the question now is how much we should invest in it in order to meet all audiences’ needs”.

Jean Philip De Tender, EBU Director of Media said: “At the EBU we are committed to supporting our Members in their primary role of connecting with all audiences, by facilitating the exchange of lessons learned within their exploration of new opportunities, as well as by promoting their work at relevant industry events.”

The next steps for the EBU will be to start exploring Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) together with Members.

Both information on EBU VR activities and updates on AR and MR are shared on www.ebu.ch/vr. A selection of 360/VR case studies from Members can also be found on the new Showcase platform (log in required). 

(Article written by Megan Davies)