How DIVA gives users the power of interactivity

28.08.20

by Simon Farrant

How DIVA's multi-angle camera functionality enhances the user experience

28.08.20

by Simon Farrant

How DIVA's multi-angle camera functionality enhances the user experience

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Read the previous DIVA-focused article

How an interactive video player timeline boosts engagement

Click here

It’s possible to make a case that the core, linear sports broadcast experience is close to being perfected.

Notwithstanding a widespread acceptance and adoption of new technology such as AR or VR, and/or incremental improvements to graphics, or use of statistics and commentary, it’s hard to see a significant change to the experience of sports fans watching via linear broadcast in five or even ten years’ time. After all, the way we watch sports on TV via cable, satellite, or aerial today is broadly similar to the way we did so ten years ago.

However, streaming offers an entirely different suite of opportunities, and those opportunities are still being developed and explored.

In the vast majority of cases, OTT sports providers tend to show their sports in the same way their linear counterparts do. After all, in most cases, platforms like ESPN+, Sky Go, or Peacock aren’t designed to be these companies’ primary platforms for subscribers to access their sports content.

However, this is an area ripe for change. Fundamentally, the way in which sport is delivered and presented to viewers over a streaming platform is completely different to the way in which it is delivered over linear channels. Live linear viewing is naturally a passive experience: with the exception of changing the channel or volume, the same experience is delivered to everyone and the viewer ‘leans back’ to watch her selection. Streaming offers the potential for viewers to ‘lean forward’, into a myriad of interactivity, customization and personalization opportunities.

DIVA is our unique way of exploring these opportunities. As we covered in the last blog, DIVA’s Interactive Timeline feature uses live performance data to index the live action, and allow users to effectively create their own interactive highlights package. This time, we’re looking at how DIVA allows users to become their own broadcast directors.

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Discover DIVA

Discover how DIVA's rich interactivity can help bring fans closer to the action

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Feature showcase: Multi-angle camera views

At an individual UEFA Champions League game, up to 29 broadcast cameras are in use. At Superbowl LIII, host broadcasters CBS used a mind-boggling 90+ different camera locations in and around the Hard Rock Stadium, Miami.

As a viewer, the different perspectives and insight that can be derived from these camera locations (along with the ability to offer ultra-slow motion replays, augmented reality 4K (or even 8K) graphics and advanced statistical overlays on each angle) are now an essential part of the live and on-demand sports experience.

Broadcast directors have an ever-increasing arsenal of ways in which to tell the story of a game and highlight major talking points, whether you’re watching via a linear broadcast channel, or over a subscription or on-demand streaming service, and they have become highly skilled in using all of these opportunities to weave a full picture of a game.

However, this approach is based on the traditional broadcast approach where every viewer has been given the same viewing experience, no matter which team they might be a fan of, or how interested they might be in a specific player’s performance.

DIVA offers a uniquely different approach.

By ingesting multiple broadcast feeds from multiple cameras into the player, the platform allows the user to select their own angle from which to watch the game. Say you specifically wanted to watch from an angle that allows you to see how Neymar looks to exploit areas of space in the attacking third when PSG win the ball back in midfield, or even just that you think the Spider Cam angle is really cool and you actually want to watch an entire play from above the action and behind the QB’s arm – it’s all possible with DIVA.

Crucially, you don’t need to worry about missing any key action from the alternative angles – DIVA’s timeline functionality means that you can seamlessly jump back and forth between live action and any replays you want to create and digest at your leisure, from as many angles as you wish.

DIVA's angle selector functionality

360° camera

Virtual (and to some extent, Augmented) reality was hailed as the next big thing in broadcast technology a few years ago, with several companies including Oculus/Facebook, Sony and HTC releasing consumer-orientated VR headsets, and broadcasters and sports leagues working to create new VR-focused experiences for fans. Indeed, the BBC created a VR experience for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the Olympics of the same year offered VR/AR functionality via the official Olympic YouTube channel.

At the time of writing, it’s fair to say that true VR hasn’t yet become widely adopted, especially for sports or entertainment viewing experiences. However, the main reason for this would appear to be a slightly clunky hardware and user experience, rather than the concept itself.

Indeed, DIVA’s 360° camera offers a similar interactive viewing experience to VR/AR, while allowing the user to select, view and interact with the camera entirely through the user’s phone or tablet. By giving the user the ability to choose the angle from which they choose to watch the game, and move the camera themselves as the action unfolds (either live or as part of a replay), DIVA provides an entirely different experience from the usual broadcast approach, and offers a genuinely interactive experience (without the need for a clunky headset).

The DIVA 360° camera functionality

Picture-in-Picture

Due to Covid-induced postponements in 2020, 2021 is set to be the busiest sporting year on record. Major international events, including the Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020 are scheduled for a year later than planned, while many other sports will be attempting to regain control of their disrupted calendars. The upshot from the viewer’s perspective is that there will be more sport available to watch than ever before. However, it is also likely to mean some significant overlaps of key games and/or tournaments.

One way of countering this would be for broadcasters to offer Picture-in-Picture (PiP) functionality. As screen and picture quality improves, it’s possible to reduce the size of a screen without sacrificing fidelity.

DIVA offers users the ability to watch two concurrent screens, either with a configuration of one main screen and a much smaller player in the corner – ideal if you want to focusing on one specific event, but want to keep checking in on the action somewhere else. Crucially, this view offers users the ability to switch between the action with one touch, making it ideal for quickly switching the view if a goal goes in or a Grand Prix reaches the closing laps. Alternatively, DIVA also offers the option of side by side streams of an equal size, with the ability to swap audio between the two with one touch.

PiP on NFL Game Pass

DIVA represents Deltatre’s approach to the new broadcasting paradigm: how to put the power of choice and interactivity into the user’s hands.

To learn more about DIVA or any of Deltatre’s other areas of OTT expertise, get in touch

To keep up to date with Deltatre product updates and other news from across the company, make sure you’re following Deltatre on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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