The picture says it all. BBC Research & Innovation is considering presenting video in surround. Just as audio surround assumes a still-central source, enhanced by additional material in the 360-degree audio field, the idea here is to capture ambient visuals using a fish-eye lens and then project that beyond the screen.

Of course, whatever the (uh, dubious, potentially) practical applications of such technology, there are plenty of compelling directions this could lead VJs. In general, the ability to control more of the environment and break out of the rectangular frame helps live visuals and installations. And there are other consumer, examples, as well: TV maker Phillips has toyed with creating ambient, colored light that matches the on-screen image with Ambilight, something DIYers have already cloned (see Hack a Day).

Hmmm.. I think BBC should just give us all projectors and we’ll go work on it, eh?

Graham Thomas, one of the researchers, explains:

Surround Video is a means of visually immersing the viewer into a TV programme.

It is like surround sound, an optional extra that enhances viewing on a normal display. The idea is to use a wide angle (or fisheye) camera fixed rigidly alongside the normal camera shooting the programme, and project the image onto the walls, ceiling and floor of the viewer’s room.

Wait, you know, this could have practical applications — making English children hide behind the couch even more readily during Doctor Who.

Pic Of The Day: Surround Video [BBC Internet Blog]

Via ChromaTouch, aka Leon Trimble

  • mj

    hmm looks like taking a photo standing next to one beamer which is projecting one image in 'someones livingroom' and the tv is doing a small color part.

    it would be better if the beamer would be sitting on the tv and projecting a 360 degree image around it , so the viewer can also look back ….

  • Jaymis

    @mj: If there's a projector aimed back into the room, then it would be blinding the people looking at the screen. Unless there was some kind of system tracking where the humans were and masking out the areas of projection which landed on them, a non-trivial task.

    Probably about as difficult as the 360 degree projector you're positing though, so do tell us when those start showing up :)

  • future

    cool for horror movies ,)

  • Leon Trimble

    the main problem, as i have found filming 360' is resolution. looks halfway there as it doesn't fill the room, just the half on the side of the tv. be nice to know if they are researching the distortion calibration for a normal room…

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