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The Intel Visual Cloud team just returned from a successful conference in Amsterdam at IBC 2019. At IBC 2019, Intel and IBC co-hosted the first ever Visual Cloud Conference. This standing room only event took place September 13 and included presentations and panel sessions by industry heavy hitters from Comcast*, Facebook*, Google*, Netflix*, Sony*, Tencent*, and more.
At the Visual Cloud Conference, Intel also announced new hardware solutions for media analytics and cloud graphics including the Intel® Visual Cloud Accelerator Card - Analytics, the Intel® Visual Cloud Accelerator Card – Render as well as an Open Visual Cloud reference pipeline for Media Analytics (smart city). Facebook presented opening remarks emphasizing the value of open source to accelerate innovation and transform industries. After Facebook, came a rousing panel session on the next-generation video codec AV1. Streaming Media has a great article that captured the panel discussion and you can read more details here. The second panel session was on the future of Media and emerging industry requirements for Visual Cloud. The panel showcased the emergence of Media beyond Streaming to include Cloud Gaming, Cloud Graphics, Immersive 360 VR, and more. The Visual Cloud conference continued with four industry partners discussing real case studies of leading edge Visual Cloud implementations, showing commercially viable solutions and highlighting that Visual Cloud is here and now. The closing keynote was given by Glen Gainor, Sony Innovation Studios where he talked about virtualized movie sets and volumetric capture and highlighted the strong technology collaboration between Sony and Intel over the past 30 years.
What does this mean for developers?
One of the reoccurring topics of the day was the value of open source to accelerate innovation and transform industries. Much of the talk in the Visual Cloud conference focused on the open source and royalty free next generation video codec, AV1. The Visual Cloud conference really brought to light the growing community awareness and interest in AV1, and many of the companies on stage expressed support and encouragement for the open source SVT-AV1 video encoder. The SVT-AV1 encoder is being actively maintained by Intel and Netflix, with growing community contributions, and is ready for developers to download and use at the Github repository. Developers should also take note that the open source SVT-AV1 encoder core is leading the way to help enable AV1 to become commercially viable, as you can read in this blog post from AV1 community member Ewout ter Hoeven.
Global 8k 360VR Live Streaming Experience
Intel collaborated with IBC and other partners to live stream the Visual Cloud Conference and IBC Future Zone in 8K, 360 VR Video. The live streaming experience represented the first ever global live stream of a conference in 8k 360° virtual reality (VR). Many partners came together to pull the live streaming experience off, and you can read more details about who they were and the technologies used at this blog Also, make sure to download the ‘IBC 360 Live’ app to view the 8k 360 playback footage -- just search for “IBC 360 Live” in the iOS, Android or Oculus store. At its core, the end-to-end solution takes advantage of the SVT-HEVC video encoder core for encoding of the live 8k 360 video and uses the IBC 360 Live app for immersive playback. You can download the app and experience much of the conference playback as if you were there! You can find SVT-HEVC at our Github repo. Let us know on Twitter if you end up integrating SVT-HEVC or SVT-AV1 into your project!
Upcoming 360 8K Webinar: How to Produce Live 8K 360-Degree Media Events
Not too long ago, services like live 4k/8k video and AR/VR media were seen as futuristic capabilities, reserved only for next-gen trials or proof-of-concept designs by top cloud and communications service providers. But now these types of media have become a reality. We have moved rapidly from passive viewing of content to active, intelligent visual experiences. This transformation to what’s known as the Visual Cloud calls for the use of advanced cloud-native technologies to boost video compression efficiency, manage network resources, offer real-time analytics and deliver more engaging content experiences.
On November 6th, 8am PST join Akamai*, IBC*, Iconic Engine*, Intel, and TiledMedia* to learn how to deliver end-to-end 8k 360 Live VR using commercial off-the-shelf components, as well as discuss the new medium’s business impact and transformative potential for transmitting live events.