360 Video Streaming and Rendering

With the rapidly increasing resolutions of 360° cameras, head-mounted displays, and live-streaming services, streaming high-resolution panoramic videos over limited-bandwidth networks is becoming a critical challenge. Foveated video streaming can address this rising challenge in the context of eye-tracking-equipped head-mounted displays. However, conventional log-polar foveated rendering suffers from a number of visual artifacts such as aliasing and flickering. In this paper, we introduce a new log-rectilinear transformation which incorporates summed-area table filtering and off-the-shelf video codecs to enable high-quality low-bitrate foveated streaming of 360° videos suitable for eye-tracked head-mounted displays. To validate our approach, we build a client-server system prototype for streaming 360° videos and quantitatively evaluate and discuss its performance, storage, and quality trade-offs. Leveraging highly-parallel algorithms over real-time video-transcoding, our foveated video streaming system achieves superior quality with minimal performance overhead compared to the conventional log-polar foveated rendering pipeline. A live demo of our research prototype is available at foveatedvideo.com.

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