Though we’re a long way from the kind of virtual reality getups predicted back in the 1990s, the technology has been steadily improving. Currently used primarily in video games, the tech nonetheless has interesting implications for entertainment in other mediums. So it goes that networks, keenly interested in drawing a bigger slice of the slivered viewer marketplace, are exploring VR-based gimmicks in multiple formats.
First up, Discovery Communications has announced “Discovery VR,” a new web-based product launching today with original content, extensions of Discovery network shows and a slate of short-form programming across multiple platforms.
It’s available at DiscoveryVR.com, through the Discovery VR iOS and Android apps, via the Samsung Milk VR premium video service and on network YouTube channels. Viewers will be able to watch several short form virtual reality experiences, including a Shark Week-tied Mythbusters Shark Dive, which will use VR to explore shipwrecks and feeding frenzies; Pay Dirt, a VR extension of Gold Rush seen from the perspective of a digger used by the team; How To Survive In The Wild, a VR look at wilderness survival with Survivorman‘s Les Stroud; Adventure, a look at skateboarding and surfing through VR; and Planet, a deep look into various natural environments.
MTV meanwhile is using VR to promote the 2015 VMAs. The network has partnered with IM360 for VMAs First LIVE 360, a VR dive into the preshow red carpet broadcast. Available across multiple platforms, fans will be able to access live content from the event and a real time, 360 degree look at the happenings on the red carpet. The network will also place VR cams inside the event so that fans can watch behind the scenes footage from the production. It will also continue All Access Live, with 16 different cameras, optimized for web, mobile and tablets.