Coachella Streaming Live In VR With VR180 Cameras

by Jamie Feltham • April 15th, 2018

Not hip enough to make it to Coachella? Worry not, you can virtually visit the festival with the help of Google’s VR180 initiative.

YouTube is livestreaming the first of this year’s festivals, which takes place from April 13th – 15th (the second weekend from 20th – 22nd will not be streamed). Viewers will have the choice of four streams to follow certain stages so they can watch acts like Beyonce and The Weeknd from the comfort of their homes. Better yet, though, one of the channels is offering VR180 streaming with the following bands making an appearance throughout the weekend: Los Ángeles Azules, Elohim, SuperDuperKyle, the Neighbourhood, Whethan, Alan Walker, Vince Staples, Kygo Deorro Troy Boi, The Weeknd, Wizkid, Ekali, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Party Favor, Chromeo, Tyler, the Creator, Post Malone.

For those that don’t know, VR180 is Google’s new initiative to make VR video more accessible and manageable for the masses. You don’t get a full 360 degrees to look around (as the name suggests, it only shoots in 180 degrees) but you will have an easier time streaming content in higher quality. It also means you can strap your phone into a Google Cardboard headset or the Daydream View (if your phone is Daydream-ready) and enjoy performances as if you were really there.

Currently companies like Lenovo are making VR180 cameras which will be slowly rolling out to customers over the course of the year. Google hopes the initiative will finally help VR video take off. Can Coachella play a hand in that?

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  • plrr

    VR video hasn’t “taken off” because what we have so far is not VR video. 360 videos are still 2D video. We need proper 3D, as in volumetric video. Google’s Light Fields thing is proper 3D, but as I understand it, Google’s new initiative is still about 2D video? Otherwise I doubt the low-end headsets would be able to run it!

    • johngrimoldy

      Not to nitpick, but *stereoscopic* 360 video is 3D. If you can perceive depth, it *is* 3D. Arguably, that’s not VR though. That’s just a 360 ViewMaster. I’d love to see volumetric 3D video. That may be awhile.

    • dk

      there r some good ones with 3d and spatial audio and up to 8k

  • DanDei

    So which is this then?
    Just a flat 180 video in which I can turn my head around with a HDM? Or is it also stereoscopic video? The naming of these things is getting really confusing which often leads to disappointing experiences.

    • Thomas Polke

      180VR is both! On a computer screen it’s a flat video, with a headset it’s stereoscopic or 3D …

      • gothicvillas

        99% of the time it is flat 180/360 video (non 3d). So its a valid concern.

      • “180VR is both!” Not true. “Stereo” or “Stereoscopic” (which they are doing this year) is the important difference. “180VR” might as well be “fisheye” because there’s nothing “VR” about it, it’s just a fisheye capture without cropping. The same is true with “360” (equirectangular), but the ignorance is so pervasive that companies continue to produce “360 cameras” putting out 2:1 aspect ratio videos, giving up pixels that could be delivered and decoded; just because they can’t be bothered to ask if it matters and find that it is in fact a bad practice and aspect ratio doesn’t matter to the function of equirectangular.

        360 is great when someone wants to explore a space. When there’s a subject they’re likely to focus on most of the time, 180 is PLENTY if camera placement is well thought-out.

  • LowRezSkyline

    Portlandia should make fun of this like they did with on the drone festival episode.