Friday, April 15, 2016

A closer look at 4k 360-degree livestreaming with Insta360 4k





The recently-announced Orah 4i drew a lot of attention for its 4k 360-degree livestream capability.  But did you know that it is not the only camera to be capable of 360 livestreaming in 4k?  The Insta360 4k is one other camera that can do that as well.  I spoke to Bianca Zhang, Insta360's Marketing Manager to inquire further about their camera's livestreaming capabilities.




"For Insta360 4K, we mainly use two software to do the live streaming. The first is Livekit, designed by us, helps to create and establish the live stream. Then we use the second software, Open Broadcaster Software, to push the live stream to the target address--it might be an official website, or organizer's social platform."  For example, the user can post the livestream on Facebook, where friends can view the livestream. 


The livestreaming software are offered at no additional cost to purchasers of the Insta360 4k. 


According to Ms. Zhang, the Insta360 4k can livestream in 4k at 15 fps, 3k at 24 fps, or 2.7k at 30 fps.  Insta360 plans to update the firmware to improve these framerates.  These resolutions and framerates compare against the Orah 4i which streams 4k at 30 fps.  However, the Orah 4i is reported to have a delay of between 10 to 30 seconds.  Ms. Zhang said the Insta360 4k's delay is as little as 4 seconds.  Moreover, while the Orah 4i costs $1800 to preorder ($3600 when it is released), the Insta360 4k is currently available for $600.


Indeed, the Insta360 4k has already been used by media in China for livestreaming of events.  "We help the Development Research Center of the State Council to live report a Innovation and Economics Summit, where the top business leader, Yun Ma, and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, showed up and talked about VR industry," Ms. Zhang said.  Here is a screenshot, showing the resolution of the livestream:




Insta360's upcoming compact model, the Nano, will also have livestreaming capabilities, although details are not available at this time.





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