CES: NextVR Hosts Live Virtual Reality Broadcast of NBA Game

Samsung VR Gear Goggle - SQ 2015
Courtesy of Samsung

With the buzz surrounding virtual reality, there’s been a lot of talk about the need for content — not just gaming but narratives and even live streaming.

To that end, technology startup NextVR hosted a private live streaming party of the NBA game between the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics, which was produced in collaboration with the NBA and Turner Sports, Thursday at CES.

“Time Warner is one of our investors, and we’ve been working with the NBA to develop what VR will mean to their sport and their fans,” said David Kramer, senior vp strategy at Next VR.

For Thursday’s broadcast, the team used two rigs with Red camera, one placed under one of the nets and the other at floor level at half court. While the NextVR live broadcasting system can accommodate 360-degree video, this used a 180-degree view with a focus on the game. Guests at the streaming event could watch using Samsung VR Gear head sets.

NextVR produced its first live VR NBA stream on Oct. 27 featuring a game between the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans. NextVR has also worked on live content with the National Hockey League and Premier League Soccer. For Hollywood, it's eyeing the potential of red carpet events.

At CES, the company reported that it worked with Qualcomm to develop software for the new Snapdragon 820 processor that enables delivery of live 360-degree virtual reality content to mobile phone.

Last spring, NextVR formed an advisory board chaired by Peter Guber, founder and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment and co-owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, who also made a capital investment in the business.

The company was founded by DJ Roller, who collaborated with Vince Pace on the design and construction of stereoscopic 3D HD video cameras with James Cameron, and David Cole, who brings nearly three decades of experience in digital imaging and stereoscopic 3D R&D.