Saturday, October 10, 2015

DirecTV VR boxing app


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DirecTV is taking a first stab at virtual reality (VR) with a new app that takes users ringside to a boxing fight.

BKB VR, as the app is being called, is being made available for Google Cardboard-based VR viewers, as well as the Samsung Gear VR headset. Cardboard users can download the app for Android phones on Google Play, and for iPhones on the App Store.

However, don’t expect any live boxing fights in VR just yet: BKB VR delivers pre-recorded highlights from a fight that happened earlier this summer, which was recorded in 360-degree video. In addition to the app, DirecTV is also making 360-degree footage of the fight available through Samsung’s Milk VR service.

BKB VR is meant to promote Big Knockout Boxing, a flavor of boxing that DirecTV developed for its Audience network. The app is just one of many that has recently been published to promote existing TV properties. In August, Discovery released its own VR app to promote some of its digital and TV talent.


DirecTV launches virtual reality app under AT&T  

As part of its continuing evolution under AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), DirecTV has launched its first virtual reality application to give boxing fans a new, up close view of the fight.

The app, called Big Knockout Boxing VR App, offers fans the chance to watch highlights from the June 27 BKB fight event at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The app works with virtual reality-ready smartphones and is available for Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition and Cardboard headsets. Consumers can also watch via the Samsung Milk VR service.

The app is available via the Oculus Store, Google Play and the App app store.

The content for the fights on the app was filmed by a five-camera system designed to capture the event from the perspective of the audience. The app aims to offer consumers a short immersive experience focused on the fight’s most exciting moments.
“We believe that much of VR’s growth will be mobile driven,” Jon Molod, DirecTV vice president of Digital Entertainment Products Group, said in a released statement. “As the technology evolves, we hope to find new ways to use VR to enhance not just BKB, but all sports experiences.”
The move comes almost two months after DirecTV announced a new set-top box for Ultra HD programing, which will offer customers the opportunity to watch 4K movies on their 4k televisions. 

Since AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV was approved in July, the company has been working to leverage packaged deals, cross pollination and video offerings.
Danielle covers technology and startups for the Dallas Business Journal. Subscribe to our new TechFlash email newsletter.