Virtual Reality (VR) systems are expected to become wide spread in the near future, with applications not limited to entertainment but extending to e-healthcare, e-education, and many others. VR communications involve omnidirectional (i.e., 360° or spherical) videos, which acquires a 360° scene instantaneously and is a new multimedia format that provides immersive sensation. The viewer, virtually placed at the centre of the sphere, can navigate the scene with three Degrees of Freedom (3DoF) by rotating head and changing viewing direction. In order to allow the user to navigate the immersive content with comfort, this application requires extremely low latency and research effort is required to make this a commercial reality. The novel geometry of content, the high spatio-temporal resolution and low-latency required, as well as the novel interactive way of consuming this media have raised new challenges over the entire end-to-end multimedia chain, including the signal acquisition, representation, processing, compression, delivery and rendering steps.
Among these challenges, our research is focused on optimising the media delivery aspect of VR content over band-limited networks developing personalised adaptive streaming strategies for spherical content. The key novelty is to develop user-, content- and application-dependent streaming strategies.
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