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YouTube wants to live stream 360-degree video

YouTube is reportedly developing the technology to live stream 360 video content.

The Google-owned video service started live streaming tests way back in 2010, while it was the first to enable 360-degree video uploads in March 2015. Now it could be looking to bring those two technologies together.

According to a new Buzzfeed News report, YouTube has been meeting with 360-degree camera makers about adding support for live broadcasts to the video platform.

There isn’t a time frame on this addition, but it may not be any time soon. While some existing 360-degree cameras are capable of live-streaming immersive VR video content, the video feeds aren’t of broadcast quality. Rather, they’re intended to offer creators a quick preview of what they’re recording.

The problem comes with the process of stitching together multiple video feeds – which is essentially what 360-degree video is – in real-time. Most cameras do this once filming has wrapped up.

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It’s a real technical challenge, and it’s one that only Google itself has solved with its GoPro Odyssey rig. Enabling similar 360-degree video streams from the various third party solutions out there will be quite a task.

Presumably Google’s talks with camera manufacturers are centred around agreeing either standard specifications to make this process easier, or at least gaining support from the few cameras that are powerful enough to compile 360-degree video on the fly.

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