How to Watch Virtual Reality Videos on a PC or Mac

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Written By Naomi Martin

Naomi Martin is a dedicated writer with a passion for exploring the intricacies of data security & sharing valuable insights.

Unleashing limitless possibilities in the virtual realm.

Virtual reality (VR) technology has transformed the way we experience media, offering a fully immersive experience when enjoying films, games, and other content. In this article, we will introduce you to the world of VR video, exploring how it’s possible to watch these types of videos on a PC or Mac using a headset or a monitor, as well as the benefits of using this technology.

Introduction: Experience the Full Immersion of Virtual Reality Videos

Today virtual reality has transformed the way we consume media. From films and TV shows to video games, users can now immerse themselves fully in the virtual experience and become a part of the story. With the use of VR technology, we can create a 360-degree view that surrounds us entirely by incorporating panoramic pictures into the video. Watching virtual reality videos on a PC or Mac, with a headset or monitor, provides an even more intense experience, where users can almost feel like they’re inside the movie or game.

Watching these types of videos on a computer offers several advantages, such as choosing to watch them on a large monitor or a VR headset. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to explore the technical side of virtual reality and discover how video creators can incorporate 3D, 180, 360-degree, and full VR videos into these formats.

So, how do we watch virtual reality videos on a PC or Mac? Before you begin, here are some variables to account for:

  • The type of hardware you will be using to watch the content, including VR headsets and monitors.
  • The type of video content you will be watching, whether it is 2D, 3D, 180 or 360-degree, or full VR videos.
  • The supported operating systems and software applications needed for the content you intend to watch.

Watching Virtual Reality Videos on a PC or Mac

In this section, we will discuss the process of watching virtual reality videos on your computer. We will provide you with detailed, step-by-step guidance on how to watch each kind of video content using a virtual reality headset or monitor. Additionally, we will share the latest Windows 10 operating system updates that provide immersive experiences with virtual reality headsets.

Regular 2D Videos

A simple and relatively common method of viewing VR content on your computer is by changing the display settings on your computer. With this method, the video is displayed on a flat screen, with no virtual reality features. Here are some steps to watch 2D videos on your computer:

  1. Choose the video you want to watch.
  2. Open the video player on your computer. Windows 10 has a default video player called “Movies & TV,” which supports most video file formats.
  3. In the playback controls, click on “Full-screen mode” to watch the video on the entire display.
  4. To exit the full-screen mode, press “Esc”.

3D Videos

With 3D videos, you can perceive depth perception when viewed with a VR headset or glasses. 3D videos are created by recording two images, one for each eye, and merging them to create the illusion of three-dimensional space.

Here is what you need to watch 3D videos on your computer:

  • A 3D video player application.
  • A VR headset or red-cyan glasses.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Install a 3D video player application that supports the video format that you want to watch: We recommend VLC, an open-source video player that supports most video formats.
  2. Connect your VR headset to your computer.
  3. Open the 3D video player and load the video you want to watch.
  4. Choose the video file and turn on 3D mode.
  5. Put on your VR headset and select the appropriate options for your headset. For the Oculus Rift, you will choose the “Anaglyph” glasses option.
  6. Enjoy your 3D video in virtual reality.

In the next section, we will discuss the benefits of using virtual reality to watch videos

Benefits of Using Virtual Reality to Watch Videos

Watching videos using virtual reality has become an entirely different experience than what was previously possible. Here are some of the benefits of using virtual reality to watch videos:

Immersive Experiences

VR technology provides an immersive experience for users like nothing else. By transporting viewers to a virtual environment, it makes them feel as if they are a part of the story, increasing engagement and immersion.

Visualization and Education

VR technology is not only for entertainment. It can also be used to create visualizations for educational and training programs. With simulations, VR can provide a hands-on and immersive learning experience. Purdue University offers an online certificate program on lean six sigma using VR technology.

Relaxation and Health

Virtual reality has significant relaxation and mental health benefits. Through meditation and mindfulness applications, VR can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help those with mobility issues to transport themselves to a virtual environment and participate in activities they might not be able to enjoy physically.

Fixing Issues with Virtual Reality Videos

Sometimes, virtual reality videos may not work correctly on your computer or mobile device. Here are some tips to fix issues with 360-degree videos:

Using 360-Degree Video Repair Software

You can use 360-degree video repair software to fix fisheye, stitching, or black areas in your video. There are several 360-degree video repair software applications available, such as Giroptic 360Cam, VideoStitch Studio, and Kolor. These applications will help you convert your 360-degree videos into rectilinear videos that can be viewed easily.

Updating Graphics Card Drivers

Outdated graphics card drivers can cause 360-degree videos to be pixelated or laggy. An updated driver not only optimizes video playback but also enhances your computer’s performance. To update your graphics card driver, right-click on the desktop, click on “display settings” or “screen resolution,” and select “advanced display settings.” Click on “display adapter properties,” then the “driver” tab, and finally, “update driver.”

Hardware Acceleration

Turning on hardware acceleration helps your computer to render virtual reality videos more efficiently. To turn on hardware acceleration, navigate to the video player’s settings and select “acceleration.”

Playing in a Compatible Browser

Some devices might not support video streaming for 360-degree videos, so it’s important to make sure the browser is compatible with the media player. Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome both work well with streaming 360-degree videos.

Adding Metadata

Without metadata, 360-degree videos are just dual fisheye images, and players do not recognize them as 360-degree videos. Several tools are available to add metadata to your videos, such as Spatial Media Metadata Injector or Mettle Skybox.

VR Checker

If you’re using a VR headset, make sure to use the VR Checker, which helps you check if the gyroscope sensors are working correctly, and if your device supports 360-degree video functionality.

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, virtual reality technology is revolutionizing the way we watch videos. From regular 2D videos to 3D, 180 or 360-degree, and full VR videos, virtual reality provides a fully immersive experience. Watching videos on a computer provides plenty of advantages, from choosing the size of the display to exploring the technicalities of virtual reality. The benefits of virtual reality technology in the field of education, health, sports, and entertainment are limitless. With the introduction of universal Windows applications and Windows Mixed Reality headsets, virtual reality is now more accessible than ever before.

As more people become interested in virtual reality, we can expect to see even more innovation and creativity in this field. While there might some issues when viewing virtual reality videos, it’s relatively easy to correct them with a few simple adjustments. In summary, watching virtual reality videos on computers is exciting, and anyone can do it with a little knowledge and preparation.