Friday, January 14, 2022

Best practices for 360° videos in SharePoint spaces [MS]

Best practices for 360° videos in SharePoint spaces

Due to the large field of view, 360° video requires high resolution to achieve a quality experience. If your users will not consistently have moderate to high bandwidth network connections, we recommend focusing on 360° images instead of videos. If you do choose to utilize 360° video, it will be important to optimize your 360° video assets for use in SharePoint spaces to ensure the best experience possible given a reasonable range of network conditions.

Monoscopic or Stereoscopic

When planning to use 360° video, one of your first decisions will be whether to use monoscopic or stereoscopic video. If usage will be in a web browser only, use monoscopic video. If your users will have access to VR headsets, we still recommend choosing monoscopic video unless you have a specific need for stereoscopic video. Although the depth effect produced in stereoscopic video is compelling for some scenarios, it dramatically increases the bandwidth required for a quality experience. It also requires a VR headset to view with the stereoscopic effect.

Recommended video format for general purposes

We recommend 4K monoscopic 360° video using WebM format and the VP9 codec at 6 Mbps for most scenarios.

Given the extremely low quality associated with lower resolution 360° video and the high bandwidth requirements for higher resolutions, we strongly recommend 360° videos use 4k resolution (4096 pixels wide).

To best optimize between bandwidth, image quality, and cross-platform support we recommend WebM format videos using the VP9 codec set to 6 Mbps bandwidth in spaces. This format can be played natively in most browsers that we recommend for the best experiences in SharePoint spaces, but unfortunately this format will not play in the Safari browser.

If viewing your space in Safari on Mac or iOS devices is a requirement, MP4 format videos using the H.264 codec at 6 Mbps should enable your scenario, but video quality will be negatively affected. Consider creating two copies of your space and directing Safari users to a version with H.264 videos.

Recommended format for stereoscopic video

For best performance, format your video as 4kX4k resolution top/bottom format. As with monoscopic video, we recommend WebM format using the VP9 codec set to 6 Mbps bandwidth in spaces. As with monoscopic 360° video, the WebM format will not play in the Safari browser. Using MP4 format video with the H.264 codec at 6 Mbps and creating a version of your space targeting Safari users will enable your scenario for these users.

360° video frequently asked questions

What about H.265 video?

H.265 video may work for users that have the codec installed on their computers, but many users will not have the codec and therefore cannot view this format. We recommend WebM/VP9 since it is similarly efficient and works natively across a larger spectrum of devices.

Can I use side-by-side stereoscopic formats?

You can use side-by-side formats, but due to how WebGL and graphics processors handle data, this format is less efficient in SharePoint spaces and performance may be negatively impacted.

Why don't you use adaptive bandwidth/resolution?

Given the resolution requirements needed for a quality 360° video experience, using adaptive solutions that reduce resolution below 4k does not result in a quality experience. We recommend ensuring users will have sufficient bandwidth to view video in the recommended formats or focusing on 360° images instead of video.

What about 180° video?

You can use 180° video in spaces, but it will result in half of the video sphere remaining blank. We recommend using WebM format and the VP9 codec at 6 Mbps for these videos.

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