Horizon Home Gets Some Free Lionsgate Movies For Cowatching

Meta is streaming some free Lionsgate movies each month to Quest 2 owners, who can watch together in Horizon Home with friends in the United States.

Lionsgate movies like Gods of Egypt (3D) and Leprechaun can be watched together with friends in Meta Horizon Home. The free movies from Lionsgate will change monthly, Meta announced in a blog post, and this content is only available to people living in the United States. A Meta representative told UploadVR that in the future “we’ll explore the possibility of adding movies that are available to users outside of the US.

The latest feature lets people watch “2D and 3D rectilinear content together on a giant screen” much like startup Bigscreen has enabled with its VR service for years. Notably, Bigscreen went head-to-head with the company formerly known as Facebook a couple years back by contesting its platform fees for movie rentals. The startup continues to build its own synced video watching functionality, first launching free movies and recently making it easy to watch YouTube together.

Meta Horizon Home, meanwhile, was added to Quest this month with a key feature being the ability to invite friends to share your home space “as soon as you put on your headset” to see content like Alex Honnold’s recent 360-degree video release together. Cowatching traditional 2D content was promised late last year with the official announcement of Horizon Home, but Meta was non-specific about what videos would be watchable with the system.

Meta benefits from being the default experience you get with a Quest 2 headset and uses platform-level features starting with a “ Party—a VOIP call that lets you hang out and chat with friends in VR” which you can then use to “invite some friends to your Meta Horizon Home.”

The Lionsgate movies are available alongside a range of 360-degree content in the Oculus TV app.

Bigscreen Now Lets You Watch YouTube With Friends On Quest

Up to 15 people using Quest or PC VR headsets can watch YouTube videos together in Bigscreen with all the features of a fully logged in experience. 

That means people with Meta Quest, Valve Index, HTC Vive and all other SteamVR and Windows Mixed Reality headsets should be able co-watch any YouTube content via Bigdcreen. According to an email from Bigscreen CEO Darshan Shankar, that includes the ability to “rent movies and watch them on YouTube! The logged-in YouTube experience is exactly like on another YouTube surface.”

That’s a pretty significant addition to Bigdcreen as the feature should make it exceedingly easy to bring a large chunk of the web’s videos into a shared viewing experience in VR. Google also offers its own YouTube VR apps, but the key social feature of co-watching with others has been absent from official channels. Now, however, Bigscreen supports watching “YouTube with friends in your private room, or with random people in our public rooms” in a range of environments including the drive-in theater or a cinema.

Bigscreen has been working to improve its streaming quality and recently added a Remote Desktop feature to use a PC wirelessly while in Quest. The company is planning to add support for bluetooth keyboards and gamepads to the Remote Desktop feature “in the next few months.”

You can now Watch YouTube With Friends in Bigscreen

When it comes to socialising and watching movies and TV shows in virtual reality (VR) with your friends, Bigscreen is hard to beat. Today, the app has released a new update adding one big feature the community has been requesting, the ability to stream YouTube.

Bigscreen YouTube

Over the years Bigscreen has grown from a PC mirroring app to a fully functioning social experience, sitting on a virtual sofa to rent the latest films or switch things up to a nice cinema space. At its heart though, Bigscreen has always been about getting flatscreen content into VR, wherever it comes from, and YouTube always seemed like a big miss.

That’s now been rectified with Bigscreen’s own native YouTube all supported headsets such as Meta Quest, Valve Index, HTC Vive, and all SteamVR and Windows Mixed Reality. The free update means you can watch YouTube as you normally would – just in VR this time – whilst YouTube Premium users can log in to get ad-free viewing.

Nothing has been missed out by the sound of it, YouTube TV subscribers can still watch live sports and TV as well as rent movies through the platform. Being able to log in means you’ll still get all that tailored content you know and love from your favourite YouTubers.

Bigscreen

And because you’re in Bigscreen you’ll be able to watch YouTube with up to 15 people per room thanks to December’s Streaming update. That also improved the Remote Desktop feature for Meta Quest users ensuring the app now streams at 60fps over a local network.

As usual, Bigscreen has teased what’s next on its agenda, saying in the next few months: “we’re also launching a huge improvement to our Social VR platform with a new friends system, bluetooth keyboard/gamepad support for Remote Desktop, and more!”

For continued updates on the latest VR streaming technology, keep reading gmw3.

Quest Users Can Now Watch YouTube Together Thanks to ‘Bigscreen’ Update

Bigscreen is putting Meta to shame again, as the VR hangout app just got a serious bump in functionality for Quest users and PC VR users alike. Now VR’s favorite social viewing app includes native YouTube support, so you can watch anything on YouTube with friends and strangers.

Bigscreen has now added the version of YouTube you’d expect to find on a console or smart TVs, directly integrated into the VR hangout app. The update is out now for all supported headsets, including Meta Quest and all SteamVR and WindowsMR headsets.

This means you can use all YouTube features you’d expect, including logging in to your standard account or YouTube Premium account for ad-free viewing, watching YouTube TV for live sports and TV, and even renting movies through YouTube. Just like everything on Bigscreen, there aren’t any sharing limitations so you can easily pop on whatever you want: a TV show, rented movie, or live sport for friends and strangers.

For PC VR headsets, this also essentially means you don’t need to use the desktop mirroring function since YouTube is now baked in like all of the app’s other channels.

Following an update in December, this also means you’ll be able to share that screen with up to 15 people per room. Previous updates also brought improved spatial audio, new environments, and better remote desktop capability, which allows Quest users to stream their PC into their virtual room to share with friends.

Bigscreen says it has plenty more in the pipeline too. In the next few months, the studio says it’s looking forward to launching “a huge improvement to our Social VR platform with a new friends system, Bluetooth keyboard/gamepad support for Remote Desktop, and more,” Bigscreen CEO Darshan Shankar told Road to VR.

Bigscreen is available for free on all major headsets except for PSVR. There’s still no ETA on when to expect the app on PSVR although the developers have said in the past that its optimizations on Quest have essentially laid the foundation for PSVR in the future.

The post Quest Users Can Now Watch YouTube Together Thanks to ‘Bigscreen’ Update appeared first on Road to VR.

Bigscreen Update Adds Dedicated Servers, Improved User-Hosted Room Streams

The latest Bigscreen update makes big improvements to user-hosted rooms and remote desktop capabilities when streaming, alongside an increase in room capacity and other changes.

Shanks, one of Bigscreen’s developers, posted details of the update to Reddit. While there’s a lot of changes, the overwhelming theme of the update is improving the experience and video quality of rooms that use remote desktop and Windows PC desktop streaming.

Previously, a desktop PC stream shared in a user-hosted room with others would feature choppy video, low bitrate and an unreliable connection at times. With this new update, these connections should be much more reliable.

For those streaming their desktop PC to a user-hosted room, there are now dedicated servers that “massively improve video streaming quality with perfectly synced audio.” Bigscreen says this should allow users to watch movies, YouTube or play game together streamed from a PC without any issue. These rooms also now support up to 15 people at once.

The Bigscreen Remote Desktop app has also been overhauled, now featuring “ultra-low latency streams and improved video & audio quality,” particularly from a PC to Quest. When using the Bigscreen Remote Desktop app to stream to Quest, latency is now as low as sub-20ms with a bitrate of up to 100Mbps and support for 60fps over a local network, up from 30fps.  This all also applies to social settings, with these remote desktop improvements also applying when others join your room with a remote desktop stream running.

For these remote desktop changes to take effect, you’ll need to download the new Bigscreen remote desktop app for your computer here.

There are a few smaller changes in the update as well. PC and Quest users are now available to host up to 15 people in one room. Spatial audio is now also implemented across the board, giving a greater sense of presence. Frame rate on Quest 1 has been improved as well, now hitting targets with 15 users in a room – previously it struggled to do so even with just 8 users.

Bigscreen says it’s looking to implement a friend system in the future, alongside support for remote desktop input streaming through devices such as gamepads. There’s also plans for a built-in YouTube app.

The Streaming update is available for Bigscreen now. You can view the full list of changes in more detail here.

Bigscreen Streaming Update Improves Remote Desktop, Audio & More

Bigscreen - Streaming Update

Bigscreen may have expanded its focus from a remote desktop app for virtual reality (VR) headsets to a social platform where you can watch movies and TV shows but it hasn’t forgotten where it came from. Over the weekend Bigscreen launched its “Streaming Update”, improving a lot of the core functionality of the app, from the performance and audio to UI tweaks and hosting larger rooms of guests.

Bigscreen

The first big improvement is the addition of dedicated streaming servers which the Bigscreen team say ups the video streaming quality as well as offering “perfectly synced audio”. Another bonus from using dedicated servers is the ability to reduce the bandwidth requirements for room hosts who would experience choppy video, with blocky, low-quality video artefacts as well as delayed and laggy audio on occasion. Not only has Bigscreen solved those issues the platform has managed to up the room count for both PC VR and Quest users to 15 (previously 12 and 4 users respectively).

On the Remote Desktop side of things there have been some major enhancements, most notably for Meta Quest users. While Meta Quest had basic Bigscreen functionality users would get a laggy and low quality 30fps video stream. The update ensures the Remote Desktop app streams at 60fps over a local network and that when playing videogames the latency can be sub-20ms.

This should all mean that the social aspects of Bigscreen are greatly improved, making sharing your PC screen with a group of mates to watch a film a far more fluid and enjoyable experience.

Bigscreen

That’s not all though, voice chat now supports Spatial Audio so group events now feel more immersive as you’ll be able to tell where someone is within a virtual room. Rendering performance has been upped, especially for original Oculus Quest users which can also handle 15 people in one virtual space.

As for what’s next in the coming months, Bigscreen is still working on its Friend System, a built-in YouTube app, and Input streaming for Remote Desktop, including support for Bluetooth gamepads and keyboards. For continued updates from Bigscreen into 2022, keep reading VRFocus.

A Big Update to ‘Bigscreen’ Boosts Room Sizes, Video Quality, & Quest Performance

Social VR hangout app Bigscreen just got a bunch of improvements in a new update available now. The update brings a range of enhancements across all supported headsets, including boosting room size to 15 people.

Bigscreen is a social VR hangout app that lets users bring their PC into VR to share gaming, streaming, work or, well… anything else you can do on your PC, with friends. Not to mention a library of 2D and 3D movies you can rent to watch together.

A new update to Bigscreen available today brings some big improvements to the app.

Perhaps the most substantial change is that room sizes are being boosted to 15 simultaneous users. That’s up from just 4 users in Quest-hosted rooms and 12 in PC-hosted rooms.

The increase in player count is made possible by new dedicated servers that underlay each room. Thanks to the new dedicated servers, the developers say that the stability of streaming quality to other users in the room is significantly improved, while at the same time reducing bandwidth requirements for the host.

And if you’ve got a huge room full of friends it should now be easier to sort out who is talking even if there’s a lot going on. That’s thanks to an improved spatial audio system that the developers say was completely rewritten with performance in mind so that it could come to the Quest version of the app for the first time, which makes for a shared spatial audio experience across all versions of the game.

Image courtesy Bigscreen

The update also brings major improvements to Bigscreen’s remote desktop capability which allows Quest users to stream their PC into their virtual room to share with friends. Previously, the developers say, remote desktop ran at 30 FPS and could have issues like high latency, low quality, and audio sync problems.

The new and improved Bigscreen remote desktop runs at 60 FPS and streams up to 100 Mbps, with latency potentially as low as just below 20ms.

Along with all of these updates, the developers say that Bigscreen running on the original Quest is getting a huge performance boost. While the app used to have trouble maintaining its native 72Hz framerate with more than 8 users in a room, the original Quest can now “easily handle” 15 users at once.

– – — – –

Beyond all of these updates, the developers say that more improvements are in the works. Upcoming updates are expected to add a friend system, input streaming to control remote desktop from Quest, and a built-in YouTube app to make it easier to browse and watch YouTube content with friends.

Bigscreen is available for free on all major headsets except for PSVR. While the company had hoped to launch Bigscreen on PSVR in 2020, it says it hit “massive roadblocks” during porting. Thanks to a major rearchitecting of the app, this latest update “creates the foundation for PSVR,” the developers say, but don’t have a timeline for when PSVR support might happen.

The post A Big Update to ‘Bigscreen’ Boosts Room Sizes, Video Quality, & Quest Performance appeared first on Road to VR.

How To Watch TV Shows & Movies On Oculus Quest 2

Do you and your friends want to watch TV shows and movies on Oculus Quest 2? Here are the best ways to do it.

The Oculus Quest isn’t just great for VR games, it’s also an excellent media device as well. It’s becoming increasingly popular to watch movies in virtual cinema environments using VR headsets, so we’ve put together this list of the best apps and different ways you can watch movies on Oculus Quest.

Whether you want to rent a movie or watch something for free, virtually sit down with your friends or check something out solo, we’ve got you covered.

Bigscreen for Oculus Quest

Bigscreen Cinema Arnold

One of the best all-in-one and flexible ways to watch movies and TV on Oculus Quest 2 is Bigscreen, an app that lets you sit in cinema-focused environments and watch content on the big screen, hence the name.

Bigscreen has several options for you to play your own content or stream licensed content, both free and paid. It’s also got lots of social options, making it the best app to watch movies and TV with friends in VR. Here are the options, broken down into categories.

Bigscreen: On-Demand Rentals

Bigscreen - Social Movie Watching in VR Transformers

First and foremost, Bigscreen has a library of on-demand movies available for rent, including some 3D movies. You can see these by going to the Movies tab in the main menu, where you can rent any of the movies available.

The selection of movies available is decent, as Bigscreen managed to strike deals with some big movie studios such as Paramount, Funimation and more.

After you’ve finalized payment, you’ll be able to watch it in an environment of your choice. Plus, you can invite friends into rooms to watch rented movies with you — they’ll just have to make sure they also purchase access to the rental on their own device before joining your room.

Bigscreen: Free Public Movies and TV Rooms

bigscreen rick and morty

Bigscreen also has public rooms that constantly stream free TV shows and movies, similar to free-to-air TV channels. There are channels dedicated specifically to one show, like the Classic Doctor Who and Rick & Morty channels, along with ones that focus on a particular genre of movie or TV show.

These rooms do sometimes include ads and they run to set schedules, so you can’t choose what to watch on demand. They’re also all public, so you’ll be watching with anyone else who joins the room as well. You don’t have to interact with anyone, and you can choose to mute people if you just want to focus on the screening without worrying about talking to or hearing anyone else.

Bigscreen: Streaming Personal Media Content in Bigscreen

Bigscreen Your Name

If you have a PC with media content on it, it’s possible to play it in Bigscreen as well.

There’s a built-in video player, which can play any local video files stored on your Quest headset. You can transfer a video file from your PC onto your Quest using an app like SideQuest, however this is be a bit of a clunky and laborious option (especially given the Quest’s small storage size). Your friend will also need that video file as well to watch together.

The smoother option (which requires a bit more setup) is streaming content from your own DLNA media server, running from a computer on the same network as your Quest. A DLNA media server allows other devices on your local network to stream media content from your PC — if you have one already setup, it should appear in Bigscreen with no additional steps required. Some media server applications, such as Plex, have optional DLNA server options that can be turned on from the settings menu.

If you don’t have a DLNA server set up already, we won’t go over the process here — there’s plenty of guides online and it can be a bit of a process. If you’re purely setting it up for your Quest, it might not be worth the time. Instead, it might be easier to use the virtual desktop feature.

Bigscreen: Streaming Your Desktop

Not to be confused with the Quest app of the same name, Bigscreen also has virtual desktop functionality. This will allow you to stream a view of your desktop PC to Bigscreen, which you can use this to watch local video files from your PC in Bigscreen by pulling them up on Windows Media Player, VLC or a similar app.

To stream your desktop view to Bigscreen, you’ll have to install the PC VR version of Bigscreen (either through Steam or Oculus) and open the app in desktop mode (you don’t need any PC VR headset to do this). In the Oculus app, you download Bigscreen and right click on it in the library, where you’ll see the ‘Start in desktop mode’ option. This will bring up a Bigscreen menu on your PC, allowing you to connect to your Quest headset and start streaming.

While you can try to bringing up streaming sites like Netflix or Disney+ on your PC browser and stream the video to Bigscreen, it’s very likely that you’ll the video feed will just appear black, due to digital rights managements measures from the streaming services. For that, you’ll have to use a native VR app for each service, if it exists (see below).

Netflix on Oculus Quest 2

Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services in the world. Luckily, it also has a native app for Oculus Quest.

The Netflix app is available to download for free on the Oculus Store, and places you in a small, cozy cabin with a large screen (pictured above) that lets you browse and play Netflix content from your region. However, unlike Bigscreen, there’s no way to use the Netflix app to watch with friends or in any kind of social capacity. Plus, we’ve also found the video stream quality to be limited, so visually the movies might not look super crisp.

YouTube VR, Google Play Movies on Oculus Quest 2

youtube google play movies oculus quest 2

The YouTube VR app is not just an app for internet videos — it actually has quite a diverse and wide range of rental movies and TV shows available as well. YouTube now works seamlessly with the Google Play Movies and TV library, allowing you to purchase or rent content and play it through YouTube, including the VR app.

Given the wide availability of movies on the service, YouTube VR is the best option for watching movies in VR when you have something very specific in mind. The downside is that it’s a pretty boring environment to watch stuff in, with minimal customization. There’s also no options to watch with friends, so you’ll be viewing everything solo.

To watch movies or tv shows using YouTube in VR, download the YouTube app on Quest, open it and log in to your account. Then, you can browse the available movies and TV shows for rent using the app’s menu via the Films tab. However, you’ll have to purchase/rent the content using a computer or mobile device — you can’t purchase access from within the VR app. Once you’ve paid for the movie or show you want to watch, you’ll be able to stream it in the YouTube app in VR.

Any existing content you own permanently on your Google account (so either through YouTube or Google Play Movies and TV) will show up in VR under the ‘Films’ tab.

Can I Stream Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video on Oculus Quest 2?

disney+ oculus quest

The short answer: it depends.

Certain streaming services offer native VR apps you can use on Quest headsets, such as Netflix (as detailed above) and Prime Video VR. However, others like Disney+ and Hulu do not have native VR apps available on Quest at the moment.

However, it is possible to watch some streaming content using Oculus Browser, just like you would on a computer. This may depend on compatibility of the streaming service in question, but we were able to get Disney+ working just fine and most others should work too. You can simply log in to the service via Oculus Browser and then either watch windowed in your home environment, or go full screen to block out all distractions.

Skybox VR, Pigasus VR, FandangoNOW

There are other apps on Quest that offer similar functionality to Bigscreen for streaming personal content from a media server on your PC, such as Pigasus VR Media Player and Skybox VR Video Player. They both have DLNA and local file support, however they’re paid apps unlike Bigscreen, which is entirely free. The FandangoNOW app also offers rental movies in a similar manner to Bigscreen, but isn’t available in all regions and is one of the most poorly reviewed apps available on the store.


Those are the main ways you can watch TV shows and movies on Oculus Quest. Let us know what movies you’re watching in VR in the comments below.

Bigscreen Hosting Free Screening Of Insert Coin With Q&A

Bigscreen is hosting a free screening of video game documentary Insert Coin, preceded by a Q&A session with the film’s director and Ernest Cline.

The screening will be take place next Friday, the 26th of February, starting at 7pm PT and available entirely for free. A 30-minute Q&A session will take place before the film, hosted by Dan Amrich and joined by Insert Coin director Josh Tsui and Ready Player One author, Ernest Cline, who also stars in the documentary. The documentary screening will start at 7:30pm PT and run for 2 hours.

Insert Coin Bigscreen

Here’s a description of Insert Coin, courtesy of Bigscreen:

INSERT COIN is a Midway Games documentary showcasing the amazing behind-the-scenes story of one of the greatest video game studios of all time! It’s a great opportunity to dive deep into one of the most interesting contributors to modern arcade with massive hits like Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam. Eugene Jarvis, the “Godfather of Video Games,” and the small, tight-knit group of friends reveal the roller coaster ride of handling success.

The screening will be available in 12 countries, including the US, Canada and the UK. If you’re not able to make the live event, then both the Q&A and the documentary will be available as part of Bigscreen’s VOD rental catalog. Access to the VOD will be free for a week after the event and will then be available to rent for $4.99.

Late last year, Bigscreen hosted a similar Q&A with Ernest Cline to talk about his then-upcoming book Ready Player Two, the sequel to the cult-favorite Ready Player One.

Bigscreen’s Q&A and screening of Insert Coin starts next Friday at 7pm PT.

Bigscreen to Host ‘Insert Coin’ Documentary & Creator Q&A for Free Next Week

Bigscreen Insert Coin Cinema

Those of you who love retro gaming may want to tune into Bigscreen next week as the virtual reality (VR) app is going to be hosting a free screening of documentary Insert Coin. Additionally, before the screening it’ll be hosting a Q&A with its creators.

Bigscreen

Insert Coin is a Midway Games documentary, looking at how the studio became a powerhouse for arcade games, creating iconic franchises like Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam. The film charts the highs and lows of the company, with Eugene Jarvis, the “Godfather of Video Games,” and others contributing.

The Bigscreen Event will start on Friday 25th February at 7 pm PT (Sat 26th 3 am GMT) with a 30 minute Q&A with director Josh Tsui (director) and Ready Player One author Ernest Cline who is one of the contributors. Once that’s concluded, the Insert Coin documentary will follow straight away, so if you’re on Oculus Quest make sure its charged as the entire event will run for a couple of hours. It’ll be available in 12 countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

To attend all you need to do is grab a free event ticket directly though the Bigscreen app by tapping on the Insert Coin movie poster under the “Live Movie Events” category. After the event next week, the Q&A and documentary will be freely available on-demand in Bigscreen Movies’ rental catalogue for one week. Miss that promotion and you’ll then have to pay, Insert Coin will be $4.99 USD.

Bigscreen Insert Coin

Don’t forget that Bigscreen is celebrating Black History Month during February, where you can enjoy a selection of films in Bigscreen’s ‘Black Cinema’ category for free (ad-supported).

There’s plenty of content on Bigscreen now, whether that’s the Bigscreen Movies rental catalogue or the more than 172 free TV channels available (region dependent). Plus there are more updates coming including a Friends System and new servers that’ll improve the video/audio streaming quality during the course of 2021.

The Bigscreen app is free to download, supporting headsets including HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go and Oculus Quest. For all the latest updates, keep reading VRFocus.