Opportunities & challenges for PSM in VR, AR & MR

Tech Report 039

This report introduces Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality as they might be embraced by Public Service Media.

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There have been claims that viewing Virtual Reality via head mounted display will eventually replace television viewing via a conventional screen. VR does follow the fashionable trajectory of ‘personalisation`, allows stereoscopic viewing which normal TV does not, and a VR headset may use less energy resources than a television. It can be said to be an efficient form of media consumption. It is also a very involving experience, which probably makes it more memorable to the viewer, and provides a greater sense of reality for the viewer. If indeed, VR were to become a replacement or substitute for television, then clearly public service media would need to provide their content via VR.

This report, based on input from six public-service broadcasters covering Europe, Japan and South Korea, gives an insight into how the opportunities and challenges of VR and related technology are being viewed against this background. It summarises the kind of tests and trials that have already been conducted, discusses what has been learned from these, and concludes by summarising future activities that are currently foreseen and the roles that PSBs could play together in further developments.

It also includes the presentation “What does VR/360 represent for broadcasters?” given by Graham Thomas (BBC) at the EBU Production Technology Seminar in January 2017.