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CES 2018: ATSC 3.0 Powered Broadcast VR Platform Rolling Out

LiveWorks, an application to deliver AR/VR and 360 video immersive content over broadcast and other mediums using the new ATSC 3.0 standard, is being rolled out at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, where virtual and augmented reality will be a big topic of conversation and demonstration.

LiveWorks creators VR Video and WheresMyMedia got $15,000 to develop a prototype as one of the winners of the NAB's PILOT Challenge grants for new tech ways to serve broadcast communities.

According to the companies, "LiveWorks will be able to integrate immersive over-the-air and over-the-top content in broadcasts to next-gen TV receivers," helping give broadcasters a place in the burgeoning VR/AR space.

The virtual reality market (hardware and software) is predicted to double each year from $6.4 billion in 2017 to over $40 billion by 2020, according to data from stats and studies aggregator Statista.

"ATSC 3.0 will allow those both with and without an internet connection to experience immersive and VR content," said LiveWorks founder and CEO Edwin Rogers.

"HD live feeds can be switched, mixed and overlaid onto the live VR feeds in real-time along with 3D graphics and other interactive and immersive content," the companies said.

"We’re excited to see new use cases being developed for testing," said NAB CTO Sam Matheny of the rollout. NAB and the Consumer Technology Association were prime movers in the effort to get the FCC to approve a framework for the voluntary rollout of the ATSC 3.0 standard, which it did in November.

WheresMyMedia CEO William Steele says he is excited about the advertising implications of LiveWorks.

"Imagine a world without TV ads as you know them, where advertising is more like artful product placement that is part of the story," he said. "The story can change based on your preferences, and so can the products contained within it. The ads are games or stories where you can earn rewards in addition to learning more about the product."

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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.