Are you planning to watch real time 3D configurators in your VR headset and immerse yourself in a virtual world through 360-degree configurators?

As cameras become cheaper, more and more users are uploading funny 360-degree videos about 3D configurators to YouTube and many people want to watch them with their VR headsets.

VR videos VR headset

Through the lenses of an HTC Vive or an Oculus Rift this is not as easy as it seems. In the following article, we’ll explain how you can view 360 degrees of YouTube on your VR headset.

If you want to watch YouTube 360-degree videos as they were intended to be played in VR, you will need a third-party app. In normal use without an app, for example, HTC Vive cannot create a 360-degree view around the YouTube video, which is why HTC Vive now offers an official YouTube app in the store just like Oculus Rift, for example.

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YouTube VR.

For the app you have to start via SteamVR. However, if you’ve already purchased apps like the one listed below, I’d give Google some time to fix patches before you switch to the official app.

There aren’t too many reviews currently, but the ones we’ve seen so far seem to be a little mixed in opinion. Complaints include some stereoscopic videos that are not detected and unfortunately these links have not been made available to us to test if it was just an isolated case. The only other complaint we increasingly noticed was the wish that the streaming quality could be a little better.

Otherwise, this app works great with 180 or 360 degree videos. We didn’t see any major problems during testing. If you intend to test it yourself, you should leave your opinions as a comment on the Steam Store page so developers know what they liked or didn’t like so much. The negative aspects can thus be eliminated by future patches.

Virtual Desktop.

Virtual Desktop offers one of the best video playback options, with a number of options for using two- and three-dimensional media in virtual reality. You can expect a price of 14,99 €. However, the higher flexibility could justify this price.

Although there are a number of free applications for 360-degree playback from local files, we recommend Virtual Desktop for those with the bandwidth to stream high quality videos. With YouTube’s native 360-degree video streaming, you can watch videos without having to manually download videos beforehand. To take advantage of streaming functionality, simply add the URL using the following steps.

  • Find a 360-degree YouTube video that you want to watch.
  • Copy the URL from your browser.
  • Open Virtual Desktop.
  • Select the Video tab in the desktop application.
  • Click Paste URL.

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Your video will now automatically start playing via the headset. Although the quality may vary depending on the connection, the program supports high-quality streaming from a clear VR experience.

Vive video.

Vive Video is an immersive video player from HTC and, unlike its name, works in both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Although the player does not support native YouTube streaming, the program is a state-of-the-art official solution. Best of all, it’s completely free on both Steam and Viveport. Unlike Virtual Desktop, Vive Video is also designed from the ground up with motion control in mind. From the start, you can use a traditional keyboard and mouse, a gamepad, or even Oculus and HTC motion controls.

To use Vive Video, you must have local video files that you can view on your PC. This means that you must manually download YouTube videos before you can watch them through a third-party service.

  • Open Vive Video.
  • Find the downloaded file on your PC using the built-in file selection.
  • Click on the thumbnail of the file to start playback.

By default, files played back in Vive Video are not played back in 360 degrees. Follow the steps below to enable 360-degree playback for your compatible file.

  • Click the eye icon in the lower right corner of the player labeled Select Viewing Mode.
  • Select Mono (unless you chose a different format when downloading your file).
  • Click Next.
  • Select 360 from the options displayed.
  • Click Done to confirm your changes.

Although not as rational as some paid solutions, this is a great official application that won’t cost you a cent.

With these two ways of watching YouTube 360 videos, we’d like to warn you about something important.

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There aren’t many 360-degree YouTube videos recorded at 60 frames per second, which means that the videos you watch can quickly cause nausea if you’re not careful. If possible, avoid videos with a lot of irregular motion or only watch videos that are clearly marked for playback at 60 frames per second if you want to reduce the likelihood of nausea.

Now you’re ready. Now enjoy what YouTube has to offer in 360 degrees.

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