Working with 360° Videos

In this topic you will learn how to work with 360-degree videos in Brightcove Beacon.

360° videos are video recordings where a view in every direction is recorded at the same time. 360° videos are shot using an omnidirectional camera or a collection of cameras. During playback the viewer has control of the viewing direction like a panorama.

Beacon supports uploading and publishing of 360° videos. A sample 360° video is shown below. Once you play the video, you can use your mouse to control the view on the desktop, or the gyroscope if viewing on a mobile device.


For information on browser support and known issues with the 360°/VR video plugin, see the 360º/VR Video Plugin topic.

Recording 360° videos

360° video is typically recorded using either a special rig of multiple cameras or using a dedicated camera that contains multiple camera lenses. The resulting footage is then stitched to form a single video. There are many cameras available to record 360° video. The 360° video in this topic was recorded using a Ricoh Theta S. Brightcove recommends recording your video at a high resolution.

Before you upload

Before you upload a 360° video to Beacon, the video file needs to include certain metadata for 360° playback to be enabled. The Spatial Media Metadata Injector application can be used to add metadata to a video file indicating that the file contains 360° video. If the 360° video was recorded on a camera that doesn't automatically add the 360° metadata, follow these steps to add it:

  1. Download the 360° Video Metadata app for Mac or Windows.
  2. Install and then open the 360° Video Metadata app.
  3. Click Open and then select the video file.
  4. Click Inject metadata.
  5. Enter a name for the new file and then click Save.

The video is now ready to be uploaded to Beacon.

Uploading 360° videos

360° video is filmed to be projected on the interior of a sphere. This means that the visible area of the video in the player is only a fraction of the entire video. The following screenshot gives you a rough idea of this concept. The area inside the red rectangle is what is visible in the player, but it is only a small part of the entire video.

player view

Since only a small part of the video will be in the player at any one time, you want a very high quality rendition to be playing, with no chance of a lower quality rendition appearing. In essence, you are "zooming in" on part of the video and a poor quality rendition would yield a very poor quality viewing experience. When uploading your video, Brightcove recommends creating a custom Dynamic Delivery ingest profile with a single 1080p rendition and at least one audio rendition.

360° video properties

All Beacon videos have a set of properties that can be set using Beacon Studio or programmatically using the CMS API. Note that not all of the properties are exposed in Beacon Studio.

To indicate that a video is a 360° video, use the Media module to edit the video properties and set the Video Projection property to 360°.

Publishing 360° videos

Brightcove provides several ways you can publish 360° videos:

Publishing 360° videos to web pages

To play 360° videos in a Brightcove Player, the player requires the 360°/VR Video Plugin.

To create a new Brightcove Player with the 360°/VR Video Plugin, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Players module.
  2. Create a new player.
  3. Click the player name to open the player properties.
  4. Click Plugins in the left navigation.
  5. Click Add a Plugin ˇ > Custom Plugin.
  6. For the Plugin Name, enter vr.
  7. For the JavaScript URL, enter:

    If you are using Brightcove Player 6, use this URL instead:

  8. For the CSS URL, enter:

    If you are using Brightcove Player 6, use this URL instead:

  9. No Options(JSON) are needed.
  10. Click Save and then publish the player.

You can now publish the 360° video using the player that was just created.

Note: To use the 360°/VR Plugin, you must be using Brightcove Player version 6.13.0 or later.

Publishing 360° videos using Brightcove Social

360° videos uploaded to your Beacon account can easily be published to your social media accounts using Brightcove Social. Note that when using the Social module to sync a 360° video, the ingest profile used to ingest the video must be configured to save the master file or the video won't sync in 360°. When Beacon ingests 360° videos, the 360° metadata isn't retained in the resulting renditions. When syncing a 360° video without a master, the highest quality rendition is used in the sync. As the rendition doesn't include the 360° metadata, YouTube/Facebook won't know it's a 360° video.

For information on publishing videos using Brightcove Social, see Publishing Videos to Social Media Platforms.

Publishing 360° videos using the Brightcove Native Player SDKs

Android and iOS apps built using the Brightcove Player SDKs can play 360° videos. For information on publishing 360° videos with the SDKs, see the Using 360° Videos with the Native SDKs document.