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Cameras

Teradek Sphere will change how live 360-degree video is created

This small black box and its software let you stitch and monitor immersive HD video on the fly -- wirelessly -- on an iPad and live-stream it.

Teradek makes wireless video devices for capture, control, monitoring and webcasting, and now it's bringing that knowledge to the burgeoning 360-degree content market with Sphere, a system for real-time monitoring and live-streaming of panoramic HD video.

No, it's not the sexiest of subjects, but soon Sphere will be what helps bring immersive live events to your eyeballs. The small black box has four HDMI inputs to connect your cameras to. A built-in H.264 encoder takes the feeds and turns it into 360-degree video. Connect the box to a wireless access point via Ethernet and it will stream that video to Apple laptops and iOS devices.

From there you can use, for example, an iPad to view the video and dynamically adjust white balance, tint, exposure and lens distortion in real time for each camera. You can monitor the video in three different ways -- Perspective, Panoramic and Headset -- so you can see just how your viewers will see your content, whether that's on a mobile device, in a Web browser or in a VR headset.

The Sphere app can then be used to live-stream the 360-degree video to platforms like Wowza and YouTube, which now supports live-streaming 360-degree content.

"With the ability to stream to any destination at bit rates of up to 10Mbps and the flexibility to work with any rigged camera setup from GoPro to RED, Sphere will be the go-to solution for high-quality 360 streaming," said Teradek Brand Manager Topher DeLancy. "As VR grows we feel it will be another powerhouse media division alongside cinema, gaming and broadcast."

The Teradek Sphere will be available in June for $3,000 (approximately AU$3,875 or £2,100), but you can get a taste of its performance right now via a live-stream of the NAB 2016 convention or by downloading the free iOS app.