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Virtual & Augmented Reality

MPEG specifies the VR streaming standard

The standardization committee MPEG has developed a standard for streaming virtual reality content. Goals are a wider range and higher image resolution.

10 Nov. 2017
Source: Shutterstock

"Omnidirectional media format", OMAF in short, is the standard that the MPEG committee intends to establish internationally for the storage and transmission of virtual reality content.

Committee members finalized the standard technically in October and it is scheduled to be published in early 2018. The standard could enable a wider range of VR applications and compatibility across multiple device types.

A key aspect in the development of the OMAF standard was improving the resolution of 360-degree videos. This is to be ensured by the HEVC Tile Based Streaming technology from the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications (HHI). It divides the entire 360-degree video into independently coded tiles. During playback, the terminal device then only has to recompose the image from the tiles that are currently required according to the user’s viewing direction.

The OMAF standard is in line with further efforts to develop virtual reality content standards. The industrial consortium Khronos , for example, launched OpenXR in February of this year as the programming interface standard for VR systems.