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Facebook’s Dynamic Streaming Explained

Facebook’s announcement that it will bring its dynamic streaming capabilities for 360-degree videos to the Samsung Gear VR means less lag time for the content viewed through that headset.

But how exactly does it work? 

“Usually the 360-degree videos you see [in Gear VR] are a 4K video,” Max Cohen, Oculus’s VP and head of mobile, tells Popular Science. “4K quality is spread all around you but you only see a segment of that at one time. What dynamic streaming does is chop up that video into lots of little pyramids and then show you the highest resolution wherever you’re looking at and a lower resolution wherever you’re not. The benefit of this is that if you want to still watch something in 4K, you end up using one-fifth the bandwidth.”