Virtual reality streaming company Visbit is teaming up with HTC to bring 8K resolution VR videos to viewers in China. The Visbit 8K VR Player will enable folks to stream and download high-resolution videos to the Vive Focus headset. It’s rolling out today to HTC’s Viveport marketplace, and will be free to download for a limited time. Though it’s launching as a Viveport exclusive, Visbit plans on rolling it out to other headsets in the future.
A few companies in the VR space have been chasing the dream of 8K, such as Pimax’s crowdfunded headset which was recently delayed until later this year. Other headsets, such as the Pico Neo, is in the same camp as the Vive Focus and Vive Pro with its 3K display. But the headsets are only part of the puzzle — downloading or streaming high-resolution videos is also necessary for higher fidelity VR experiences with crisper, clearer images.
Visbit raised $3.2 million in December 2016 for its Visbit View-Optimized Streaming (VVOS) technology, which it initially used to stream 360-degree VR videos for mobile. It managed to achieve extremely low latency, and its videos can play at 4K to 12K resolution. The new 8K VR video player is the next step in its strategy, which is targeting standalone headsets — specifically, the Vive Focus.
In an interview with GamesBeat, HTC’s general manager for the American region Dan O’Brien confirmed that the Vive Focus will be a China exclusive for the foreseeable future. The wireless headset has a 3K AMOLED display, which is higher than the Vive though the newly announced Vive Pro is nearly comparable.
“We know immersive video is a very important use case for mobile VR platforms,” said HTC’s China president of VR Alvin Wang Graylin. “Designed with 3K resolution and 75Hz refresh rate AMOLED screen, the Vive Focus standalone enables viewing of 8K resolution and is the perfect HMD for experiencing high-resolution VR videos.”
The Visbit 8K VR Player can stream and download stereoscopic 360-degree videos, and features encryption and spatial audio. Filmmakers and content creators can also reach out to Visbit to showcase their work on the new video player, as long as their content is 6K and above. The company plans on offering an offline publishing tool that will enable users to demo their own content using the 8K VR Player in the future.