Virtual reality is an ocean of opportunities that has not been explored fully yet. No exact definitions and rules exist for defining VR technology. There is variability in the selection criteria for judging VR as well. For this reason, many believe that videos played on computers cannot provide a typical virtual reality experience. But what if we tell you that you can watch VR videos without the headsets and special VR laptops? Do you want to know how to watch VR videos on PC? Then follow along.
Do VR Videos Exist?
Virtual reality has some typical principal characteristics, but they are not followed rigidly every time. These include-
- Any display experience that immerses the user.
- A view that can adjust as per the user’s perspective.
- An interactive environment with computer simulation.
When we talk about computer VR videos or 360-degree videos, they provide all these experiences except an interactive environment.
For this reason, some people accept computer VR videos as VR experience while many others do not. Nevertheless, these videos are worth watching on your PC. It is interesting to watch them on the PC as it is a simple way to experience VR.
How to stream VR videos is something not many are aware of.
Why Watch VR Videos On PC?
It is needless to say that watching any regular video in virtual reality format enhances its appeal by a thousand times.
While watching regular two-dimensional videos feels mundane, watching the same in VR format provides us a surreal experience. A 360-degree video allows you to view any display from multiple angles that increase its allure manifold.
An immersive experience from VR videos is a gateway to feeling that you are a part of the video, not just a mere viewer.
The world is enjoying every bit of it, why shouldn’t you? That is why you should know how to watch VR videos as soon as possible.
- It is going to be a simple guide for you to learn how to watch VR videos on PC. Quite obviously, you shall require a PC or a Mac device to view the video. While this minimal requirement is enough, optional accessories are also available that can enhance the effect manifold.
- These optional accessories include a pair of simple 3D glasses that are readily available.
- A VR headset can also serve for an interactive and more immersive experience of virtual reality. HTC Vive and Oculus Rift being popular options among those.
- Several apps provide databases and softwares to implement Virtual Technology in a structured manner. These can available for installing on the desktop. Some of these include virtual desktop, Whirligig, etc.
After reading all this, if you feel that the options in viewing VR videos through PC have limitations, then you are wrong. An array of options and variety is available to choose from when you are willing to see virtual reality videos on your computer. The experience and immersion in all of them may differ, but all are virtual reality-based.
Videos That Are Available
Simple 2D Videos
A fascinating fact is that with the help of correct applications, even the simple two-dimensional videos that may be available on YouTube, or are possessed by you can play in virtual reality mode. If you have a VR headset available, then it will play all these videos in theater mode that provides extraordinary virtual reality experience.
3D Videos That Support VR
Three-dimensional videos are being made for quite some time now. Initially launched for theaters, it eventually succeeded only for individual use. Three-dimensional videos are available for free on platforms like YouTube as well. With optional accessories like 3D glasses, if you watch these videos on your regular computer, they will provide a virtual reality experience.
Apart from this, some videos may have a side-by-side (SBS) view. The shooting is done so as to present moving images for each eye side by side. They then get fused and the brain perceives it as a three-dimensional experience.
The optional accessories can greatly enhance the experience. But even if you do not possess any of these accessories, you can still watch these VR videos on your PC. We will come to that later.
360- Degree Videos
360-degree videos or sometimes even 180-degree videos are an exceptional way to watch virtual reality on your screen. In 360 degrees videos, you can see it in whatever angle you want by just tilting your head along with it. In the regular two-dimensional videos, you can only see the view which the camera will focus on. But in a 360-degree video, you can see all around.
For example, if you see a video of someone walking in a straight line in a two-dimensional video, you will only see the road in front. If you watch the same in a 360-degree video, you can even see whatever is happening on the sides or behind the person.
How To Watch VR Videos On PC?
To view Virtual reality videos on your PC, follow these steps:
- If you are willing to watch a three-dimensional video, first determine whether the video is in anaglyph three-dimension view, or a Side by side view. After selecting the video, play it on your screen.
- It will be better that you buy a pair of 3D glasses, also known as Anaglyph. These are cheap and readily available in local stores and online shopping platforms.
- In most platforms where 3D videos are available, an option is present to turn on the anaglyph 3D settings. Turn it on, before playing the video.
- If you are not watching the video on YouTube, and only have a video file then you have to ensure that you have a video player capable of running 3D visuals. One of the most popular and free video players that support 3D videos is the VLC Media player.
- Once you have ensured all this, put on your 3D glasses and play the video. Enjoy!
For Watching 360- Degree Videos
The procedure is similar for watching 360-degree videos on YouTube or otherwise. After selecting a video and a suitable video player, start the video. If you want to pan around the 360-degree view, then just left click on the video, hold the button to move around to see from different angles.
So, if you want to know how to watch VR videos on PC, then this is the most simple guide for you. Even the regular two-dimensional videos, 3D videos, and 360-degree videos are capable of virtual reality experience.
The nature of experience in virtual reality depends on the equipment in use for the same. Still, a surreal, satisfying experience is possible if you watch these videos on PC following this guide.
As for the optional accessories, those are not mandatory to attain VR qualities. But if you possess any of these, then they will make the experience better than before. In all, it is possible to view VR videos on your PC and, you must try it out now.