YouTube Improves VR Video Quality
Virtual Reality videos are much more demanding than traditional ones, and the reason is obvious, it has images in a 360-degree range that require more data.
Better Projections for VR Videos
You may have noticed that the 360-degrees videos you watch on YouTube don’t look nearly as good as the normal videos you watch every day. That’s for a reason, if you want to stream such heavy videos you will have to sacrifice their quality. But don’t worry, Google and YouTube are working to improve your VR experience.
YouTube introduced the EAC, or equiangular cubemap, a new projection technique that will increase the level of detail of VR videos. Traditional VR videos look sharper in certain areas than in other, but EAC is very consistent. This method will distribute the same amount of pixels in every angle with no weak spots.
Google also intends to improve 360-degree video projections for everyone, the company proposes a new standard called “Projection Independent Mesh” that would help video players know how to process raw VR information and improve compression efficiency to fit each EAC in 4 KB of data.
“A Projection Independent Mesh describes the projection by including a 3D mesh along with its texture mapping in the video container. The video rendering software simply renders this mesh as per the texture mapping specified and does not need to understand the details of the projection used.”
So far, the new method can only be tested on Android devices with videos that have been already optimized for it. Google claims that Windows and iOS users will have to wait a bit longer. The traditional projection format will continue to live for a while until the new one is adopted by everyone in the long term. We’ll have to wait and see.