Visbit 4K 360-Degree Streaming Service Moves From Closed Beta To Open Beta

Last December, Visbit revealed its View Optimized Streaming (VVOS) technology, and it launched a closed beta to test a 4K+ 360-degree and VR video streaming service based on the tech. After months of evaluation, Visbit is ready to offer the technology to a wider audience. The Visbit streaming service enters open beta today.

“Thanks to the feedback from our closed beta users and initial testing, we’ve made a number of tweaks and additions to make our all-in-one streaming service more robust and available for broader adoption,” said CY Zhou, Visbit co-founder and CEO. “We continue to push the limits of what is possible – evident in our recent industry-first 12K streaming breakthrough and support for live streaming – and are looking forward to integrating these features, and more, into our service in the near future.”

Visbit isn’t gunning to be the YouTube of VR video. Videos hosted on the service that are owned by one client aren’t visible to another client. The company’s streaming platform is a business to business (B2B) product that includes a publishing portal, real-time viewership analytics, cloud storage, and an SDK for integrating the Visbit VR player into apps and websites. The service allows companies to provide customized portals to access their high-resolution VR 360-degree content. Further, the company’s VVOS technology makes it possible to view 360-degree videos with up to 12K resolution over a simple WiFi or LTE connection. 

The closed beta offered only on-demand streaming, but the open beta kicks it up a notch with support for livestreaming. Members of Visbit’s pilot partner program can hook up a live streaming 360-degree camera and broadcast through its streaming service. Livestreaming is currently limited to 6K because Visbit hasn’t yet found a higher-resolution camera that supports Advanced Streaming Format (ASF) video.

Visbit invited six content partners to test the streaming service during the closed beta period, and after a successful trial, the company is now accepting applications for an open beta test. But Visbit’s open beta isn’t open to just anyone, though. CY Zhou, Visbit’s founder and CEO, explained that the company would accept as many clients as it can for the open beta, but he doesn’t want to spread the company’s resources too thin. Visbit offers three different packages that cater to clients with varied skill levels and resources, so, Zhou said, the company must be selective about the clients it accepts for the beta period.

Visbit provides an SDK and sample code to its clients so they can embed the Visbit player into their app or website. If the client has a dedicated software engineer on the team, the Visbit player integration should be a simple task. For customers who don’t but wish to customize the video portal, Visbit offers an App Shell option, which allows you to change basic parameters such as the logo and color scheme. These two options don’t require much effort from Visbit, so the company should be able to accept many such applicants. 

Visbit also offers a white label service, which is meant for clients who possess little to no coding knowledge, yet they desire a custom implementation of the VR player. The white label service is offered on a case by case basis, and in limited numbers.

The cost of each package varies. Visbit offers the SDK for free, but the hosting and streaming service comes with a monthly bill. Zhou said the fee is based on usage, and it applies to all three service packages. The App Shell option includes an additional monthly licensing fee to use the software. Clients who opt for white label service should expect a bill for building the application, but they wouldn’t be charged a monthly license fee.

The monthly subscription includes more than just video hosting and streaming. You also get access to an analytics page, which allows you to monitor the popularity of your videos. The page even includes a heatmap feature that shows you where your viewer's eyes are focused in your 360-degree videos. 

Zhou said the purpose of the open beta is to streamline and automate the installation process. The platform will leave the beta phase once Visbit refines the installation to the point that most clients don’t require any support. Zhou expects the open beta period to last about six months.

If you’re interested in participating in the Visbit Streaming Service open beta, you can sign up at the Visbit website.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.