The United States leads the world in many areas, one of which is entertainment. We love unlimited choices of TV programs and movies. While this has for some time been the case, new technology will lead to more options. This article will discuss watching movies in Virtual Reality and the options available to experience this immersive technology.
The State of Video Streaming
The availability of high-speed Internet and streaming video has now become accessible to most. Youtube is the most popular streaming platform, with 197.5 million monthly users on average for streaming video. Netflix comes in second and has shared some impressive statistics. According to Netflix:
In 2020, users watched an average of 3.2 hours of video per day through the service—6 billion collective hours per month.
47% of Americans prefer Netflix over any other video streaming service.
Netflix has set up 1,300 recommendation clusters based on our viewing preferences.
Netflix is responsible for 8% of all time spent watching videos worldwide.
The median age of Netflix users is between 35-and 44 years.
41% of Netflix users use the platform without paying.
THE GROWTH OF VR
While our interest in entertainment and ability to stream video continues to grow, there is also massive growth in the use of Virtual and Augmented Reality headsets. Orders of VR equipment are expected to grow by over 40% in 2022, with an estimated 14 million VR devices to ship.
The growth of VR is in both the commercial and consumer markets in education, training, manufacturing, and entertainment. The number of commercial VR games that can be licensed is close to 1000.
WATCHING MOVIES IN VR
With millions of VR headsets sold a year, many people are moving towards watching movies in VR to experience the immersive environment. Leading companies such as Netflix and Prime Video are playing their part to enable this growth by creating native apps that can be installed on headsets, making them easy to download.
Streaming Netflix and Amazon Movies in VR
Streaming VR videos on Netflix is a relatively painless process. You download their application, sign in, and you are ready to view the VR movie. Amazon Prime takes a similar approach as members can stream movies in VR through the Prime Video app. Just download the app and log into your profile to start watching your favorite movies.
How to Rent VR Movies
If you want to rent recent movies to watch in VR, the YouTube app offers a sizable catalog of films at various price points from $6 to $25. After renting a movie from YouTube, you are given one month to begin streaming and 48 hours to finish the film.
Big Screen VR was founded in 2014 and considers itself a virtual hotspot where you can hang out with friends, collaborate with coworkers, play games, and watch movies.
In Big Screen, you create an onscreen avatar that can join up to 7 other avatars in an environment that simulates a movie theater. Big Screen will work with most leading headsets. Movies can be rented and then watched in 2d and 3d in your private viewing room.
With Bigscreen VR, you can watch movies, news channels, Twitch, sports games, and free live TV channels in your headset. When you rent movies directly from Bigscreen, they'll be functional in 2D and 3D. Once you rent Watching movies online with VR is easy. Once your VR headset is set up and ready to go, all you have to do is download your app of choice. There are several ways to do this:
• Download an app to your Android or iPhone
• Download the movie directly to your PC and stream it via a mirrored server
• Connect your VR headset to your PC, download your app of choice to your PC, and then stream the movie from there
CINER feels like you are in a movie theater from the comfort of your own home. They offer daily screenings of recently released movies, have private viewing rooms, and allow you to watch films in 2D, 3D, and 360-degrees, alone or with others.
There are various movies on demand, including an extensive French catalog for those interested in foreign films. Ciner also allows the creation of different film rooms that pair with the film's genre, like a 1960s-style drive-in theater for a classic movie, a haunted house for a horror movie, and a beautiful tropical island atmosphere for a romantic film. CINER brings the Movie Theater at home to watch videos in 2D, 3D, and 360° either on-demand, in private rooms with friends, or during daily public screenings.
Plex Media Server
If you have an extensive media collection, you can't go wrong with a Plex media server and a Daydream-enabled Android phone. It's a great way to organize your music, videos, photos, and other files across various platforms. With Plex VR, you create a room where you can access your media and experience it all in virtual reality. These rooms are fully interactive environments, and you can pick from a drive-in theater, a loft apartment, and a room called "The Void."
You can also invite up to 4 friends to your room to socialize, interact with the environment, and start watching movies and other media in your Plex library. To do this, each participant needs a Daydream-enabled Android phone, a VR headset, and the Plex VR app to access your media server.
Many consumers consider SKYBOX VR the ultimate video player for a Windows PC. It is compatible with VR headsets like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Microsoft MR and supports any format video, including MP4, AVI, MOV, VR, 2D, 180, and 360 degrees.
Skybox VR Player offers a more personalized experience than many of its competitors. They have 4K local and streaming playback support and a Theater mode to watch 2D and 3D videos. You can create various environments for your friends to "hang out" with you, ranging from a movie theater to a space station. Video rentals are for 48 hours, have extensive playback controls, and ultra-high bitrate video quality.
Unlike other services, it doesn't upload your entire media library to the watch party by default. Instead, you can use a server application to install the media player directly to your PC. You then manually decide which files are accessible within the VR player.
Virtual reality is continually evolving, with ongoing updates to both gear and the number and quality of integrated applications. We expect new and improved apps with additional social features that turn watching VR videos into a communal experience. Some can even render virtual movie theaters that allow you to "sit" beside your friends and watch together. With so many ways to experience movies with your VR headset, it may be hard to decide which one is the best option for watching VR movies with your favorite people.