Viewing 360 Video Content in VR


360 videos perform best online or on your phone. You can also pair your phone with low-cost video viewing headgear like Google Cardboard or with VR headsets.  If you view your 360 video in VR, the effect won’t be the same as watching an actual Virtual Reality video with the device. VR differs from 360 video in that it is a 3D stereoscopic video that adds far more depth than normal 360 video content.

However, you can still watch 360 videos in a VR device and achieve a great result. Although the sense of depth won’t be as great, you will still be able to move and interact within the video. To fully enjoy 360 videos in VR make sure it has a high resolution and frame rate.

What You’ll Need

To watch 360 video content in VR you’ll only need a couple of thing besides the video. If you are making the video, you will need a panoramic 360 camera to film. You will then follow with the process of stitching and rendering. If you already have a 360 video that you are set on watching, make sure you also have.

  • A high-quality 360 video

You can use your own or choose from a library of videos. As mentioned previously, it should have a high frame rate and resolution.

  • An App or platform to watch the video on

A couple of cool apps are VRSE, Oculus, YouVisit VR, and NYT VR, a virtual reality app offered by the New York Times.

  • A device to watch it, such as a headset with controls

A few headsets that I suggest are Oculus Rift, Gear VR, HTC Vive, and Google Cardboard.

VR Aspects

The Gear you choose to watch your 360 video on will determine the controls you have and the quality of your virtual reality experience. Most Virtual Reality headgear include:

  • Motion tracking system

Wil track your head and eye movements. For by tilting your head downwards or upwards, you will also move in the game.

  • High depth visuals

4K video makes watching 360 video up close a better experience than blurry video

  • High refresh rates

Higher refresh rates make it less likely that the video will place strain on the eyes

  • Surround audio

Immersive sounds mimic those in real life, taking you further into the game or video

  • Haptics

Lets the user feel touch objects in the game and adds a sense of balance.