India’s largest streaming platform – Hotstar, has introduced yet another technology innovation for the upcoming Kabaddi World Cup to be held in Ahmedabad from October 7th to 22nd. A first in India for any live sporting event, Hotstar will stream the Kabaddi World Cup games in stereoscopic 3D Virtual Reality (VR), giving sports fans in the country a breakthrough experience that has been rarely witnessed anywhere in the world.
Breaking new ground for sports fans
Hotstar users will be able to access both 2D and 3D VR streams, in addition to the regular broadcast streams, on its iOS and Android apps. The VR experience will allow sports fans to get a complete panoramic view of the game and the stadium using touch and gyroscope. Sports fans can also enjoy an immersive 3D experience on Samsung Gear VR headsets and Google Cardboard devices. For the first time ever, fans will be able to switch between different cameras in a 360 degree experience, thereby taking full control of their experience
To enable this dramatic new experience, the Kabaddi World Cup games will be shot in stereoscopic 3D using two camera pods (in addition to the multi camera setup of the traditional production) including 12 cameras per pod, which allows for immersive production and stereoscopic capture. Users of Samsung Gear VR will have access to the Hotstar app on the Oculus store, another groundbreaking initiative from Hotstar.
The live VR stream for the Kabaddi World Cup will be available to fans in two formats: a personalized, 2D user-controlled experience for viewers without headsets, and in full stereoscopic, TrueVRTM for Google Cardboard and Gear VR headsets. It is the first time VR content from a live event of this magnitude will be available on multiple headsets and mobile operating systems.
Hotstar users will be able access the live TrueVRTM feed by either selecting the Google Cardboard feature in Hotstar’s iOS and Android apps or by downloading the Hotstar Gear VR app from the Oculus Store.
Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar says, “We owe our loyal and growing platform users the very best video experience in the world. Fans in India look to Hotstar to set the benchmark for video streaming. We are excited to bring a dramatic new live experience to sports fans.”
Over the last few months, Hotstar has repeatedly delivered innovations on its platform that have set new benchmarks for consumers in the country who are switching to mobile as their primary screen for high quality shows and movies. Most recently, the platform made it possible for users to download its portfolio of local TV shows, movies and sports highlights to the phone, a pioneering effort that is a rarity in the world of premium streaming platforms.
The Kabaddi World Cup will see 12 National teams participating from across the globe. These teams have been divided into two groups viz. A and B. Group A comprises of India, Bangladesh, South Korea, Australia, England and Argentina, while Iran, Thailand, Japan, USA, Poland and Kenya are placed in Group B. Tournament favourites India begin their tournament journey with the first match against South Korea on October 7th, 8 pm IST onwards.
Hotstar is India’s largest premium streaming platform with more than 85,000 hours of drama and movies in 8 languages, and coverage of every major global sporting event. Launched in February 2015, it has been downloaded by more than 90 million users and has attracted followers on the back of a highly evolved video streaming technology and high attention to quality of experience across devices and platforms.
Soon after its launch, Hotstar raced on to become one of the fastest adopted new apps anywhere in the world. Hotstar offers most of its content free of cost and recently introduced a pay wall that provides some of the most popular international TV series and films for a monthly subscription fee of Rs. 199.