FEED Summer 2024 Web

it’s entirely seamless; the audience can’t see where the virtual world ends and the real world begins.” The XR approach offers numerous advantages over green screen. “Instead of standing in a green box, the presenter can interact with everything they see around them,” says Radi. “It’s like being teleported into a place – you can have the same experience as if you were really there. It gives so much more realism.” The presenter and physical set can be lit by the light from the LEDs. “All the reflections we get from the set are a plus for us, whereas in green screen, they’re something you need to remove,” adds Radi. “When the environment reflects on the talent, it gives more of the feeling of physically being there.” There’s also a time-saving aspect. “Once you’ve set up the scene, that’s it, everything works. You can make changes to the set instantly.” exciting, according to Daniel Aslam, senior manager and head of business development at Deutsche Telekom (DT). The promise of viable, affordable – and above all, comfortable – VR headsets from the likes of Apple, Metaquest, Samsung and Google has rekindled DT’s interest in creating XR content on its sports streaming channels, such as Magentasport. KEEPING FANS ENGAGED The potential of XR at the viewer’s end is also For this year’s Euros, the company worked with Accedo to develop a prototype XR sports streaming application for Magentasport. Alongside the main 2D stream of the match, viewers can choose between two additional channels: one hardcore tactical, the other social media-based. Further options include live statistics, a video-on-demand stream for instant replays, an interactive mini-pitch with avatars showing each player’s current location and a 3D advertising window, where viewers can interact with 3D representations of products – look around a car, customise a running shoe, etc. DT’s previous XR trials found that, while earlier- generation headsets left much to be desired, the concept itself was a hit. “Viewers were impressed,” admits Aslam. “They said: ‘I can be my own director, select between many camera feeds and feel as though I’m really there at the game.’ We’ve also developed a co-watching experience for two people at different locations, using avatars.” GHOST STORIES One limitation of conventional 3D XR is that, because the displayed content must be rendered to match the perspective of the moving camera, multicamera shooting is unfeasible. A nifty get-round is software such as Ghostframe, which can drive the LED video wall at four times its usual speed (eg 100fps instead of 25), enabling it to display four different versions of every frame. Each version can then be rendered for a different camera, which is locked on to that feed so it only sees its own frames.

AR is especially interesting for Aslam. “You’re not completely isolated, but you can see through the virtual content into your real environment.” XR is perfectly affordable for broadcasters, Aslam believes, since most of the technology (particularly myriad cameras at matches) is already in place. But more needs to happen before it becomes a commercial reality.

XR MARKS THE SPOT The use of XR ensures news coverage hits the mark with young viewers, who seek engaging and visually rich content


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