- TV & Gaming
Watch 360-degree sports and films with Sky’s VR studio
Want to enjoy movies with mind-blowing special effects or feel like you’re on the pitch when you’re watching sports on TV?
With Sky’s new VR studio, 360-degree videos could be on the way to your living room sooner than you think. Here’s what you need to know...
What is Sky VR Studio?
Sky’s created an in-house VR production company to make its own 360-degree videos. With it you can watch sports, movies, news and entertainment as an immersive experience that puts you right in the action.
What can you watch?
For a taste of the kind of content they’ll be producing, Sky’s already released two videos it made with Formula One and Williams Racing. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the testing process and watch 360-degree footage of the car speeding round the track. You can check them out on Facebook 360 Video.
Over the next year, you can expect over 20 more films from Sky VR. Some of these include:
- major sporting events – including heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua’s bid for the world title and the Tour de France
- documentaries on sports and news – Sky’s said it’s planning a climate change documentary for Sky News
- movie events and teaming up with Sky Arts for special broadcasts
You’ll be able to watch Sky’s VR videos on your Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Rift headset through Facebook 360 Video and the Oculus platform, but Sky’s also working on its own app for release later in the year.
Why has Sky launched a virtual reality studio?
Sky’s always been a pioneer of TV tech – it was one of the first to screen HD programs in the UK and right behind 3D TV when it came out.
The broadcaster already dipped its toe in VR – you might have seen the 360-degree videos produced by Sky News last year on the migrant crisis in Europe. The special broadcasts featured footage of the beach in Lesbos and refugee camp in Calais.
Sky’s also invested in Jaunt VR – a production company that makes cinematic VR videos – and teamed up with it to create special footage for The Hobbit film, which was screened at the premiere.
Virtual reality – not just for gaming
This is big news for VR – as Sky has 21m customers in the UK and Europe, it has the potential to bring the technology to the masses.
So far we’ve heard a lot about VR and gaming – but along with the news that Samsung is opening its own virtual reality movie studio in New York, we’re starting to see some of the other ways it can be used in TV and cinema.
So does this mean you’ll be donning a headset to watch TV in future? It’s true that one of the big reasons why people didn’t take to 3D TVs was the fact you had to wear goggles to view it. But the special effects and ultra-immersive viewing experience you get with VR could be enough to entice viewers to wear one.
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