My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Samsung and NBC's VR Broadcast of Rio 2016 Olympics needs Broadband and a VPN

Friday, July 8, 2016

How Samsung and NBC's VR Broadcast of Rio 2016 Olympics needs Broadband and a VPN

Virtual Reality is coming to the Rio Olympics 2016.

Samsung is launching VR (Virtual Reality) coverage of Rio 2016 Olympics in partnership with NBC (National Broadcast Corporation) as reported in “Samsung Gear VR owners will be able to watch the Olympics in VR”, published 30 June, 2016 by Vlad, GSMArena.

To watch the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5 to August 21, you'll need to have the following:

1.      A strong 20MBps Broadband Connection
2.      A Samsung Gear VR
3.      A compatible smartphone

These smartphones are only Samsung Galaxy smartphones, so this VR broadcast really for serious Samsung fanboys as detailed in my Geezam blog article “US$99 Samsung Gear VR in November 2015 is a fanboy’s VR Dream”.

Here’s the list of the compatible Samsung smartphones:

1.      Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2.      Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge
3.      Samsung Galaxy Note 5
4.      Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus

Samsung, who are already involved in terms of support of needs athletes as parlayed in my Geezam blog article entitled “Samsung and Morgan Neville’s “A Fighting Chance” at 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, is diving deep into VR with initiative”.

So what content will be available via this Samsung VR Broadcast and how do you access it as a Jamaican?

Samsung and NBC's VR Broadcast - High Bandwidth Broadband and a VPN Required for Jamaicans

Coverage will only be available via the NBC App, which will have to be loaded in the smartphone using the Gear VR. This is a tad unfair, as other VR headsets should have been included in the mix as noted in the article “NBC and Samsung Want to Broadcast the Olympics in Virtual Reality”, published JUNE 30, 2016 by Jonathan Vanian, Fortune.

This will in the US of A only, so expect to have to register via a VPN to stream this content to your Gear VR as you would do with a Roku as described in my blog article entitled “Internet blockade at MICO - How to use VPN and Proxy to access blocked websites”.

Samsung's Broadcast will feature 85 hours of the following content:

1.      The Opening Ceremony
2.      The Closing Ceremony
3.      Men's basketball
4.      Gymnastics
5.      Track-and-field events
6.      Beach volleyball
7.      Boxing
8.      Diving
9.      Fencing
10.  End-of-competition Sports highlights

As this is an American Cable Network, expect to see a lot of branded advertising and lots of biased coverage focused on American athletes. Despite this, I’m still impressed by the fact that Samsung chose to broadcast in VR, as this is a huge boost for the format.

Professional camera equiptment is just beginning to come on the scene, such as the Facebook's Surround 360 as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Why Facebook's Surround 360 is aiming after the Professional Filmmakers”.

So doing a broadcast in VR will help to showcase the technology as one that's on the rise among Professional Photographer and Videographers for creating eye-catching content that people will enjoy watching. 

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