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FAQ - Pixvana SPIN Technology Preview September 2016

Can I use your tools to create custom VR applications?

Yes.  For enterprise partners, Pixvana provides a reference player built using the Unity platform. Our SPIN Player plug-in for Unity enables developers to embed SPIN's FOVAS encoded playback into a custom app.

What platforms and headset does the Pixvana SPIN Player run on?

Pixvana SPIN runs on a wide variety of platforms. At launch, we support high-end PC platforms with support for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift CV1 headset. You can deploy on mobile platforms including Samsung Gear VR and select Google Daydream devices. SPIN Player will also be available through a reference web player that can be used in most major browsers including mobile phones.  Support for console platforms is underway and we will have announcements on specifics soon.

What format does your encoder support for streaming? 

Pixvana SPIN content is delivered using three interlinked file formats, an OPF file for player setup and switching, MPEG-DASH for bandwidth and tile adaptation and .mp4 encoded audio/video streams using the .mp4 format. You can contribute to the Open Projection Format (OPF).

Does the encoded content from Pixvana SPIN require your player?

SPIN encoded content can be played back on a variety of HMDs using either the Pixvana SPIN Player, or our SDK which can be integrated into your own applications. We use open formats and codecs to deliver content which can be delivered from either Pixvana's cloud or from your own cloud/IT infrastructure. The sophisticated nature of FOVAS tiling technology and the need for high-speed head tracking is a unique feature of the SPIN technology, which delivers higher quality VR video and the best end-user experience.

How does the technology integrate with CDN for delivery of content?

SPIN Publisher integrates directly with a CDN for low- latency delivery of content. The Pixvana platform is built on AWS.  If a customer is working with AWS Cloudfront, than we can deliver directly from Cloudfront. We have built specific optimizations for Akamai's industry leading CDN platform, and we have done initial implementations with other leading CDNs including Comcast and Limelight.

I can see switching and degradation before the image looks perfect - what is happening? 

Pixvana’s FOVAS technology divides the content into dozens of unique views that are switched based on network speed and head position. We can deliver the equivalent of 8k or greater resolution with very low latency switching between viewports (FOVAS tiles) on PC-based platforms, like Vive and Oculus (sub-250 milliseconds), and just noticeable latency on mobile (sub 1 second). 

What is the highest resolution source that you have encoded?

We have encoded and delivered content from 12K resolution source files using our platform.  The "equivalent of" represents 12K quality to the specific field of view that is being consumed.  The system can support content up to 16000 x 16000 pixels (256 Megapixels!). Based on existing headsets, Pixvana believes that 8K content represents the sweet-spot for current generation headset VR mastering.  Within a few years VR Videos will need greater than 8k native resolution in order to satisfy the higher resolution HMD devices that include 2k or 4k ocular resolution per eye.

What is the timeline for support of 360/VR livestreaming? 

Our content delivery is aimed at pre-mastered VR video. We have livestream support on our roadmap and we’re interested in customer feedback on this topic.

Are you building a content network like YouTube, VRideo, Little Star, etc? 

No. Pixvana's SPIN platform is a solution aimed at VR content creators, business' who want to use VR for communication, and large media companies that want to build their own branded VR experiences.  Our SPIN Player is aimed at businesses, agencies, film festivals, media companies and others that want to create high-quality content for delivery at events, retail stores, festivals, conferences or other venues.  Our SPIN SDK is aimed at media companies that want to integrate the SPIN technology into their own branded apps that they can then distribute to consumers directly.  

What formats can SPIN Publisher accept? 

The  upload tool is able to manage content as frame sequences or movies. Frame sequences can be uploaded in JPEG, PNG, TIFF or EXR format at 8, 16 or 32 bits per pixel color. Movie sequences can be in .mp4 format using H.264 encoding. We will announce other input formats when we release the final SPIN Publisher.

What cameras does the SPIN platform support?

Our first service, SPIN Publisher will accept masters that have been created from any camera that is stitched together as in an equirectangular format. The camera is less important than the resolution. Cameras that can shoot and deliver 2K to 12K masters will work with our streaming platform.

What is network bandwidth and why does it matter? 

Network bandwidth is the speed of data delivery over the internet usually defined in megabits per second (Mbps). For consumers to have a good streaming experience with 4K video playback, a typical connection needs to be at 20 Mbps. For business, streaming content can be costly. The business pays to guarantee a good experience for consumers, typically at the rate of $0.10/GB delivered. For large audiences this can mean an expensive bill every month. Our FOVAS technology is built to optimize for size and save businesses on their delivery bill.

How is Pixvana SPIN different from YouTube?

YouTube is a great platform for viewing and sharing 360 content with YouTube’s global audience. Pixvana is making it is easy to master content for private audiences as well as social sharing sites like YouTube. We will support exporting content in a standard 4K format appropriate for YouTube and other sites from SPIN Publisher.

How is Pixvana SPIN different from Facebook dynamic streaming?

Our FOVAS technology is a variable technique that can use standard cube maps, and equirectangular projections or multiple custom shapes such as frustum, pyramid, etc. This lets you encode in a way that is appropriate for the content and target platform. Our system will be an open specification and 100% MPEG Dash compliant, and includes our reference player which is available to enterprise partners for direct integration in custom branded apps that can be distributed directly to consumers.

How can Pixvana help grow my business? 

If you are creating VR content for marketing purposes or managing content on behalf of others, Pixvana SPIN gives you a great way to easily upload, manage and push content to a specific audience by targeting specifically configured devices. The SPIN Player has a feature we call kiosk mode that lets you deliver content in a store or at venue and not worry about your audience mishandling devices or trying to find and start an experience – all complications that make VR delivery painful. Pixvana SPIN removes that pain.

 

 

 

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