Discovery has launched the first videos of their virtual reality network, Discovery VR, and it’s filled with sharks, skateboarding, and the beauty of planet Earth.
The videos debuted this Thursday on DiscoveryVR.com, YouTube, and on Android and iPhone apps. Videos allow you to explore in full 360-degrees and users can navigate by moving a smartphone around or clicking and dragging the viewing angle around with a mouse.
In the 4-minute long video “Shark Shipwreck,” the viewer is greeted with a swarm of sharks as you slowly descend towards the shipwreck of Ray Hope, sunk deliberately to form an artificial reef. A narrator walks you through details and information about what the viewer is seeing in this immersive educational experience.
The “Freeboarding: SanFrancisco” video takes viewers down the winding road of Lombard Street in San Francisco. Footage was captured from multiple placements and utilized GoPro Hero4 Black cameras in 360Heros camera holders.
Discovery Communication Inc.’s senior vice president of digital media, Conal Byrne, told the Associated Press that the company is still experimenting with how best to serve VR video. “It needs to be repeated that we’re experimenting a lot,” Byrne told the AP. “There are borders and boundaries that we’re really going to try to push.”
In addition to computers and mobile devices, the Discovery VR content can also be viewed using virtual reality headset devices, such as Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR, which are on sale now, as well as Facebook’s Oculus Rift, which is expected early next year.
Some content will be linked to existing shows such as “Survivorman,” ”Gold Rush” and “MythBusters” and others are original creations that will exist in categories like the thrill-seeking Adventure and placid Planet.
The network plans to release new videos on the Discovery VR platform every week for at least the next 12 months.
Visit http://www.discoveryvr.com for the full line of videos available at launch.