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

This article is a detailed post on how to watch 3D and 360° videos, as well as pictures, on the Oculus Go. If you’re new to the Oculus Go please keep reading. If you have a Go you can skip a few paragraphs to the step-by-step guide.

The Oculus Go standalone VR headset is an amazing headset at just $199 (for 32GB, $249 for 64GB). It gives you a Samsung Gear VR level of experience without requiring you to have the right $800 smartphone to put into a near $100 headset. It doesn’t require cables (wireless and cableless) or a computer to run it. The Oculus Go is one of the new generation of untethered VR headsets and also the fastest way to get into VR, since you have everything you need in the dedicated wireless 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, via the standard headphone jack, as well if you don’t want to bother anyone in the room with the sound from the built-in speakers. If you don’t have headphones, no problem. Speakers are built into the Oculus Go for spatial sound that comes from a pair of slits in the hard side straps, and it’s surprisingly good. Because it is so quick to get into VR, it has become my go to headset for viewing 360 and VR videos.

Now that we have the Oculus Go charged and ready to go, we can start watching some immersive 3D content that we’ve captured with the Vuze XR. First, I’m going to go over the simple process of loading your own 360/VR videos shot with the Vuze camera into the Oculus Go so that they can be viewed locally. Then I will go over the process to watch videos that you’ve uploaded to YouTube and Facebook.

Vuze Cast - Streaming from VR Camera (DLNA source)

The Oculus Go can stream video from a DLNA enabled device or home streaming server. Using the Gallery app, video, music and pictures can be streamed without using additional storage space on your headset. Let’s see how to get started below.

First, enable DLNA on your device/server and connect it to your local Wi-Fi network. Turn on your Oculus Go and put on your headset. Make sure your Oculus Go headset is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your DLNA supported device. Open up the “Oculus Gallery” app, then select the DLNA device/server you'd like to connect to.

How to Watch your Vuze XR content in Oculus GO

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

If you have ever transferred files from a Windows machine to a smartphone, or similar storage device over USB, it’s pretty much the same process here. First, connect the Oculus GO to your computer with a standard USB to Micro USB cable, then accept the permissions for the connection. In Windows File Explorer (Windows KEY+E), head to This PC and you’ll see “VR-Headset” listed as an attached device. Open that up, then open the Internal Shared Folder inside it, and inside that you’ll see a folder named “Movies” Copy your videos from your desktop to the Movies folder on the Oculus Go. Once the transfer is done you’re ready to view them in the Oculus GO. For 360/3DVR still images the process is similar, but the destination folder on the Oculus Go is the Pictures folder.

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Copying 360/VR Videos and Images 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

The built-in storage on the Oculus Go means you can store quite a bit of content there for viewing at any time. To find and watch content open the “Oculus Gallery” app, then select “Internal Storage”. From here you will see any of the 360 or 3D VR movies and images (as well as any 2D movies and images) that you have loaded into the Oculus Go. Choose a piece of content with the Oculus Go controller and click to launch it.

Switching Viewing Modes: Video

Since you can watch 2D or 3D content in all the shooting methods (180, 360, etc) you sometimes may need to select the format you want to see for the best viewing experience. For example, if a VR180 3D movie launches in the wrong viewing format you can change it. 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, and select the one that you want to use and watch the video again.

Switching Viewing Modes: Pictures

Similar process here for images as we saw above for videos. Pull the controller trigger, bring up the floating menu, click the “2D” button and that will bring up the menu of options, pick the format that you want. (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.)

Advanced: Rendering specifically for the Oculus Go

The Oculus Go is fully capable of decoding video up to 5760x2880 at 30fps. While this might seem like the best resolution to use, bigger isn’t always better. Playing back higher resolutions video in the Oculus Go is usually fine but there is a risk of some image aliasing. Oculus has published maximum and peak quality recommended video resolutions for Oculus Go.

Maximum recommended video resolutions:
2880x2880 at 60fps, 4096x2048 at 60fps, 3840x3840 at 30fps, 4096x4096 at 30fps, 5120x2560 at 30fps and 5760x2880 at 30fps.

Recommended peak quality resolutions for 3D-360:
3840x3840 at 30fps or 4096x4096 30fps and for 3D-180 / VR180: 5120x2560 at 30fps

Oculus also recommends encoding video under 150Mbps for playback, and regardless of what parameters you choose to test playback in the headset before distribution. For more information check out the article on the Oculus website.

Start creating your own VR experiences for the Oculus go with the award winning 5.7K Vuze XR camera

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Playing 360/VR YouTube Videos in the Oculus Go

The Oculus Go has its own YouTube app which makes the experience much easier than trying to type in the URL of your favorite video. The official YouTube app for Oculus Go automatically plays back 360, VR360 and VR180 formats without needing to select the format. A great VR and 360 video channel on YouTube is our very own Vuze Camera page. If you don’t have the app you can still use the older method, but the app is recommended since the experience is much easier.

The manual method:
- Go to the Oculus 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. Keep in mind that YouTube will try to provide the highest resolution based on your internet connection speed. You may need to manually select the highest resolution, and wait for buffering, before viewing high res video if your connection is not fast enough.

Playing 360/3DVR Facebook Videos.

There is a dedicated app for watching 360/3DVR videos from Facebook and there is some interesting content that you may not find on YouTube or other platforms. 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. A great VR and 360 video channel on Facebook is our very own Vuze Camera page, just a click away.

Other 3D and 360 Video Apps for the Oculus Go

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 Rob Crasco:

Futurist, thought leader, influencer, consultant, occasional developer, designer. Focus on spatial computing, artificial intelligence, robotics and technology’s impact on society. Background in computer science and marketing. Over a decade experience working with virtual worlds. Currently work with individuals and brands on social amplification, social promotion, content curation and content creation.

Twitter: @RoblemVR
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