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OmniCam360 Camera Cluster Lets You Choose the Viewing Angle 66

Zothecula writes "Armchair sports lovers are at the mercy of TV directors who chose what camera angle is shown when. Most sports fans will have been frustrated with their shot selection at one time or another, but a new panoramic camera would put such decisions in the viewer's hands. Comprising ten individual cameras, the OmniCam 360 provides a full 360-degree of the action." Just don't roll it down a hill and try to watch the results.
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OmniCam360 Camera Cluster Lets You Choose the Viewing Angle

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 12, 2013 @02:07AM (#44539753)

    You don't usually want a choice of directions to look from a fixed point - you usually want to be able to look towards one or two interesting bits of play from a different location.

  • That's the FIRST thing to do!!!!

    Is it 3D, too?

  • I met the CEO of a small French company whose product blew me away, so forget the bulky Omnicam!

    • by Molt ( 116343 )
      The Geonaute's for home/amateur use, the Omnicam is professional broadcast equipment- they're really not suitable replacements for one another. It's like comparing a GoPro Hero and a Red EPIC, both are digital video cameras, both are really nice pieces of kit, but there the similarities end.
      • by dfghjk ( 711126 )

        " It's like comparing a GoPro Hero and a Red EPIC..."

        Not really, and nothing in the article suggests that the Omnicam is the "Red EPIC" of panoramic cameras, whatever that might mean.

        Assuming each of the Omnicam's cameras is capable of broadcast HD quality,there's an order of magnitude increase in broadcast bandwidth spent on enabling the users of the least interesting platform (tablets). Combine that with the limited usefulness of 360 degree coverage (what sports event wants that?) and you'd expect limite

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday August 12, 2013 @02:20AM (#44539773) Journal

    Just don't roll it down a hill and try to watch the results.

    Is there an example of this somewhere?

  • They just sit back and are happy with what's given to them. Who has used the multi-camera option on a dvd ?And are there any dvd's that even used that feature ? Same idea here.
    • by dmbasso ( 1052166 ) on Monday August 12, 2013 @02:26AM (#44539787)

      You're forgetting that the broadcasters can use it to find the best viewing angle. The sports fans can continue to be lazy.

      • by dfghjk ( 711126 )

        Broadcasters won't want it for that because (a) they get to plan their perspectives in advance, and (b) they need to choose their lens perspectives which this can't do. Furthermore, this would require replacement of a great deal of expensive equipment that likely provides better quality and would result in the same or even more work in post. Broadcast teams have figured out how to do the job already, they won't want the "help".

    • The only time that I have seen multi-angle support on a DVD and Blurays for animated, alternate language titles, or in one case the art boards instead of the live scene.
    • by Trepidity ( 597 )

      There are a few different categories of sports fans. The armchair sports fans who catch a few games while drinking a beer on the weekend are indeed not a likely target audience for this. But there are also more 'hardcore' sports fans who keep track of reams of statistics, want replays from as many angles as possible, are willing to pay for $200+ subscriptions [nfl.com] that let them frame-by-frame step through past games, etc. There's probably a market for premium services for that segment.

    • There's a Metallica DVD that uses the angle feature on a couple songs, you can choose which band member to watch instead of the director making the call.
  • by XNormal ( 8617 ) on Monday August 12, 2013 @02:35AM (#44539805) Homepage

    The application was a video conferencing system. The omnidirectional camera had the exact same arrangement of mirrors and black baffles between them. It was placed in the middle of a conference table and the display was steered automatically by a microphone array that determined the direction of the speaker. This way you always got a nice framing of the speaker's head. It was essential for getting any kind of usable picture in a conference with multiple people back when bandwidth was limited and video compression was crappy. It would still be very useful today but I haven't seen this anywhere.

    http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?FT=D&CC=WO&NR=9847291A3 [espacenet.com]

  • Finally!!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by DarthSmeg ( 88450 ) <junkedNO@SPAMonline.no> on Monday August 12, 2013 @02:42AM (#44539823) Journal

    Does this mean I can finally get to see what is just outside the frame when they show the naked actress from neck-up or with something conveniently positioned just in front of the "important bits"?

  • 99 out of 100 sports fans will screw up. The guys who scan 10 feeds and pick the best one will do better almost every singly time. That's why they get picked out of a couple of thousand wannabe's to do the job.

    Mostly, they're better than Joe Sixpack though that isn't a tune that plays well in a country that believes everybody's opinion is just as good as everybody else's.

    • Re:Yeah, right... (Score:4, Informative)

      by ctid ( 449118 ) on Monday August 12, 2013 @04:23AM (#44540069) Homepage

      I don't think the word "better" really applies, because not everyone is interested in the same thing. Some people want to see the game and nothing but the game. Other people want to look at the crowd. Others want to replay over and over controversial or exciting moments. Some people want to watch one player specifically, while others would prefer a much wider angle so as to be able to see the pattern of play developing. Some people like to see the facial expressions of the players.

      It's not a competition and there is not one "best" way. If there is a choice of ten views of the game, there will be some people who like each and every one.

      • You're certainly right about some fans...maybe even most fans. I still think, though, that a lot of them will be disappointed after a few weeks of looking at exactly what they thought they wanted.

  • I'm fairly sure TV coverage deliberately sabotages viewing angles to maximize the draw of live attendance. TV screens have increased, resolution continues to increase, yet views of action are no wider than when the picture on over-the-air coverage could barely be distinguishable from snow. Take hockey on US TV for example. The way the coverage is presented, the action is essentially random. Shots are never wide enough to see long passes or the maneuvering of either the recipients of the passes or the de
    • by N1AK ( 864906 )

      I'm fairly sure TV coverage deliberately sabotages viewing angles to maximize the draw of live attendance.

      Although I can see the logic behind this I think it is highly unlikely. TV channels pay teams huge amounts of money to show their matches and it is the TV channels that film the event. They have no motivation to make physically being there more attractive. If teams were filming and distributing matches themselves then maybe that could be happening.

      • Here's the proof it is known what are the angles best for knowledgeable fans to see the game. They just don't want to show them for live events. This example is for the NFL [nfl.com]. Ask oneself, for any sport, hockey, soccer, baseball, are the angles one sees on broadcast television the ones the coaches analyze when they look at film? Of course not.
        • by N1AK ( 864906 )
          If that's your proof then I'm even more confident it isn't some cunning conspiracy. Firstly the link you sent is to a site selling the ability to watch from 'coaches film' perspective which proves that they aren't restricting access to it to get people into the ground. Secondly you can't get 'coaches film' perspectives by sitting in the ground. Thirdly, just because coaches prefer a certain perspective doesn't mean that the typical TV viewer does; one has a job based on understanding the nuances of what is
    • ... where incompetence will serve as well.

      And in this case, that may even be a bit harsh. Filming these things perfectly is not exactly easy.

  • Oh yes, I know...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_RoundTable [wikipedia.org]

    I've got a couple of these things at the office. It works okay I guess. It detects where the sound is coming from and angles the view in that direction.

  • by MancunianMaskMan ( 701642 ) on Monday August 12, 2013 @03:24AM (#44539909)
    I need a camera with \[ 4\pi\mbox{steradian} \] solid angle viewing
  • 10 camera shots requires 10x the bandwidth to broadcast. But in reality they'd probably just take a hatchet to the bitrate or the horizontal resolution so the quality would be awful regardless of the camera you chose. So allowing viewers to choose the shot would be a stupid and futile gimmick.

    It's more likely that this device would help broadcasters than viewers. They'd throw one of these cameras up on a cable above a stadium, running it back and forth and it would be the director who chose the most inter

    • by dfghjk ( 711126 )

      "It's more likely that this device would help broadcasters than viewers. They'd throw one of these cameras up on a cable above a stadium, running it back and forth and it would be the director who chose the most interesting angle from the 10 offered."

      And that would be quite unlikely. Broadcasters would have to meet broadcast standards with their feed sources and that would limit the angle of view this device could provide. Maybe a facility may invest in some of these but they would be a gimmick-cam for br

      • by DrXym ( 126579 )
        It's not unlikely. This sort of setup is quite common for major sporting events already, e.g the London olympics had cameras strung on cables and running over the stadiums as do many major sporting events. Commercial systems like Skycam are used already. The major difference in this particular camera is that a director has a 360 degree field of vision from the 10 views which are combined in software. I assume several of cameras could also be stuck on poles at advantageous points around the stadium. I don't
  • > Most sports fans will have been frustrated with...shot
    > selection at one time or another, but a new panoramic
    > camera would put such decisions in the viewer’s hands

    ensuring frustration with shot selection most of the time.

    • Yeah, and for those not watching alone this is going to drive everyone else totally crazy. You're watching the action, when the doofus with the remote decides he wants to see what's happening on the sideline.

      I predict a new wave of TV related domestic violence.

  • It's for sports.
  • Do those persons know we live in a 3D world?
  • So Baseball has this technology in real life, but Riot can't rotate the purple side 180 degrees in LoL?
  • The big reason this will never hit my TV screen is that the teams don't want us to understand what really went on during the plays [slashdot.org]. This technology may get used, and may become available to the teams who played in the game, but the teams will actively block access to the general public. There are already many cameras on the field that give easier-to-understand views than we see on TV, and we never see footage from those, either.

    On a side note, I've been around long enough to realize that the editors can't

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