Oculus Go: Guide to watching 360° and 3D VR videos

The Oculus Go standalone VR headset gives you a Gear VR level experience without requiring you have the right $800 smartphone to put into a near $100 headset. No more unlocking your phone, taking off the protective case, attaching headphones and plugging it into the headset… only to find there is dust on the smartphone screen, so you must take it back out and wipe it down, before getting into VR.

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Image: Uri Eliabayev

With the Oculus Go you just put it on, it turns on, hold the Oculus button down on the controller to align it and you are in. (This also blows away the 30 seconds or so it takes to fully launch my HTC VIVE) You can use headphones, there is a standard headphone jack. You don’t need headphones as the spatial sound come out from a pair of slits in the hard side straps, it’s surprising good. Because it is so quick to get into VR, it has become my go to headset for viewing 360 and VR videos.

First, I’m going to go over the pretty simple process to load your own 360/VR videos shot with the Vuze camera into the Oculus Go to view them locally and then cover viewing videos uploaded to YouTube and Facebook.

Copying 360/3DVR Videos and Images to Oculus Go from Windows

If you have ever transferred files from windows to a smartphone or similar storage device over USB it’s pretty much the same process. Connect the Oculus GO to your computer with a standard USB to Micro USB Cable and after accepting permissions you are connected. In File Explorer, head to This PC and you’ll see “VR-Headset” listed as an attached device. Open that up, open the Internal Shared Folder inside, and inside that, you’ll see a Movies folder. Just copy your videos into the Movies folder, and you’re ready to view them in the Oculus GO. For 360/3DVR still images copy your files into the Pictures folder.

Loading VR Videos to Oculus Go from Mac

If you’re using a Mac, you have an extra step before you can copy movies over. Go to the official Android website and download their File Transfer tool. Install that on your Mac, connect the Oculus with the USB cable, and then you can find it listed under Applications as “Android File Transfer.” Once you do this and accept permissions, copy your 360/VR videos and images into the Movies or Pictures folder.
If you don’t have any 3d 360 movies, stop by our showroom and download one of the experiences.

Playing 360/VR Videos from the Local Storage on Oculus Go

Go to the home screen (momentary press on the Oculus button) and look at the toolbar toward the bottom. Select Navigate > Gallery to open the Oculus Gallery, then select “internal Storage”. From here you will see any 360/3DVR movies and images (as well as any 2D movies and images) you have loaded into the Oculus Go, click a 360/3DVR video or picture to launch it.

The 360/VR movies I tried all launched in the correct 360/3DVR mode, but if they launch as 2D it’s a quick fix. Pull the controller trigger pointing anywhere and it will bring up a floating menu with playback options. Click the “2D” button and that will bring up a menu of 2D, 3D, 360, VR360 and VR180 formats you can switch into. (For 360 videos shot with the Vuze camera pick 360, for 3DVR videos shot with the Vuze camera pick VR360)

For 360/3DVR pictures shot with the Vuze camera all opened in a 2D mode so you will need to Pull the controller trigger, bring up the floating menu, click the “2D” button and that will bring up the menu of options, pick 360 for 360 images and VR360 for 3DVR images. The 2nd time viewing pictures they came up in the correct format. (Please note that there is a slight delay with 3DVR images where it shows as a flat 360 before switching over to the proper 3DVR mode, 2nd time viewing it goes directly to the correct format.)

Playing 360/VR YouTube Videos

Go to the home screen (momentary press on the Oculus button) and look at the toolbar toward the bottom. Select Navigate > Browser to open the Oculus Browser where you will see a collection of Icons to launch you into various web-based services. Click the YouTube Icon to launch YouTube. You will be presented with the familiar YouTube web site, where you can log in and watch videos much as you would on a regular browser. Once you have a 360/VR Video you would like to watch click it and then pause it. Click the Gear Icon to set the resolution then the full screen icon from there you will see the menu of a menu of 2D, 3D, 360, VR360 and VR180 formats you can switch into. Press play and select the correct format for the video you are watching and you are good to go.

Playing 360/3DVR Facebook Videos.

There is a dedicated app for watching 360/3DVR videos from Facebook. Look for and install the free “Facebook 360” App from the Oculus Store. The app is straightforward, letting you search for videos or browse through categories like featured, suggested, live, etc. 360/3DVR videos open in the correct format and you can even watch 2D videos on a large curved screen in front of you.

360/3DVR Video doesn’t end here on the Oculus Go. There are several apps that you can try including Hulu (Yes, Hulu has 360/3DVR videos) Discovery VR, Amaze, Within, Veer and more. So, if you want to see 360/3DVR the way it was intended to be watched you should consider getting yourself an Oculus Go.

About the Author:

Rob Crasco is an independent Virtual Reality, Virtual World & 360 Video Influencer / Developer / Consultant. Background in computer science and marketing, worked for AT&T, Ziplink, News Corp, and iBasis. Decade of experience in virtual worlds, top 10 rated VR & AR influencer.

Twitter: @RoblemVR
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