None of the VR headsets on the market have native software to experience 360 content together. This is is why multiple companies have developed so called synchronization software. In this article we’ll list the most important features for synchronized VR.
The software available
There are 5 solutions available which all offer the basic function but vary in platform support, features and pricing. These are all the vr sync solutions available:
- Showtime VR
- VR Sync
Most important features for synchronized VR
The most important features is ofcourse the option to control multiple VR headsets and simultaneous playback 360 content. There are also a lot of other options to consider:
Most content which needs to play backed in sync is 360 degree content, photo and video. The software should support both and match the most used specifications for immersive content. A 4K resolution is the standard, bitrates and FPS vary per device.
Streaming or direct playback
With 360 content you’re dealing with large files which require a lot of bandwidth when streamed. Playing back to a lot of devices and then relying on WiFi connection is risky, to say the least. You should be looking for a solution which offers direct playback from the device.
Audio adds a lot to the experience, especially when it’s spatial. Meaning the sound changes with the direction you’re looking at. Look for a solution with spatial audio support to really add to the experience but at least choose one with stereo or 7.1 support
Platform & device support
Depending on the VR headset used it’s important that the software support the right platform and/or headset. For 360 video and photo playback we recommend the Oculus GO or Samsung Gear VR. Support for Android & GO are pretty must a much in today’s VR landscape. Also keep in mind how many devices you can connect and control at once.
Easy and fast management of your content is a real time saver. It’s very impractical to connect each device via USB and push your content manually. Especially when you have a lot of different or changing content or have to manage a lot of devices.
Playing back in sync, to multiple devices is the foundation. Looking for additional features like looping, grouping or creating playlists can make your life a lot easier. Also the option to monitor playback will increase the level of control and lower risk.
Extra features like branding, subtitles and playback from are for most nice to have. Not a must have. Determine if the added value ways against the costs or lacking of other features.
Most solutions offer different pricing options but all are based on a time based license fee. Most offer support for a number of devices for a set amount. Determine how many devices you’ll need the most and then determine the most suited solution
While most solutions are made to be user friendly, things can and will go wrong. It’s important to determine the level of support which is offered. Is there an tutorial, FAQ and documentation easily available? Does the company offer (free) support and is it easy to contact them?
We’ve done extensive research and have found 5 solutions which are available today and have determined a winner. It’s our own VR Sync solution. That we’re a bit biased may seem obvious but going by the mentioned criteria VR Sync is the clear cut winner. If you would like a more in depth review, please read: Comparing synchronized VR solutions – A benchmark.
Showtime VR seems to be the runner-up, but flexible pricing structure makes VR Sync a solid – and the cheapest choice for both small and large VR events. The least attractive options is Headjack because it features more as a CMS system than a sync solution.