Synchronizing VR Headsets for a VR cinema

VR Cinemas are great way to enjoy virtual reality in a group setting. It really creates a communal feeling, a more social VR experience. Making sure everything goes smoothly can be a challenge. Especially getting all VR headsets synchronized to play the same content at the same time is difficult. In this article we’ll talk about how to synchronizing VR headsets for a VR cinema by covering the following:

Choosing the right VR headsets for your VR cinema
Other hardware needed for a VR Cinema
Synchronizing VR headsets with VR Sync
Tips and tricks on operating a VR Cinema

Choosing the right VR headsets for your VR cinema

Typically VR Cinemas show 360 video’s on mobile headsets because of the lowers costs, scalability and ease of handling. Assuming you’ve also chosen to show this type of content we recommend the Oculus GO. It offers by far the best experience for the visitors as well as the operator. The main features why we love the Oculus GOD for VR cinema’s

  • A great screen with a 4096 x 2048 resolution which support 70fps
  • Battery life up to 2 hours when playing and no depletion when not used
  • Lightweight, comfortable and lenses which are suited for most viewers
  • No overheating issues, easy charging and handling

The price of the Oculus GO at just 220 euros makes it the cheapest so called all-in-one headsets on the market. Alternatively you can use the Samsung Gear VR but at twice the prices and with lower specification we would not recommend it.

Preparing your 360 content for your VR Cinema

Your 360 content should match the maximum specifications  You can check the specs of your content by right clicking it and selecting ‘properties. We’ve done extensive testing and recommend not exceeding the following.

Oculus GO Gear VR

  • Resolution 4096 x 2048 3840 x 1920
  • Codecs H.264 en h.265 H.264 en h.265
  • Filesize 9,4 GB 700 mb
  • Length no limit 10 minutes
  • Bitrate 40 Mb/s 16 Mb/s
  • FPS 60 30

After checking the specs make sure there are no editing errors and the sound is in Sync. You can easily do this with a player like the GOPRO 360 player. Also check all your content on your VR device. Upload the content via USB and use the native media player on your device and watch the 360 content from beginning to end.

Testing your 360 content with a sync solution

We advise stress testing your 360 video’s with your devices. This can be done by playing it in sequence, looping it. With the native media players this is tedious work. We advise using specialized software like our own VR Sync. This allows you to easily test your content by following these steps.

  1. Upload your content via the dashboard
  2. Select which content you want to publish which of your devices
  3. Download the app from the relevant store to your VR headsets
  4. Enter your unique pin in the app

The content will now automatically and wirelessly be pushed to all selected devices. Using the remote you can now play your content simultaneously, in sync, on each devices. Using the looping function you can do a proper stress test. Let the content play four times as long as you expect to play it during operation of your VR Cinema.

Curious to try out VR Sync? We offer a free trial for unlimited devices for 72 hours.
Get it here.

Other hardware needed for syncing A VR Cinema

Since no VR headsets offers the possibility to play content in Sync with other headsets it’s necessary to use specialized software. Our VR Sync solution uses little bandwidth because there is no streaming involved, content is played directly from the devices. However, for intensive use we advise using our Sync box. This includes a local server, router and one or more access points. Enabling you to run your Synced cinema solution with just power with an added advantage of extremely low latency.

Synchronizing VR headsets with VR Sync

Connecting, monitoring and controlling your VR headsets is simple when using VR Sync, especially in combination with our VR Sync Box. First, connect your devices to your WiFi or our Sync Box. Then connect the remote, found on our web based dashboard and check the status of each connected device. Lastly start playback by pressing play.

Features of VR Sync for a VR Cinema
VR Sync has some great features which are ideal for usage with a VR Cinema:

Playback monitoring
Monitor what people are seeing at the moment.

Battery status
Check the battery status of all your connected devices.

Video playlist
Make a queue of al the 360 videos you want to show.

Let your 360 content run in loops without pressing a button.

Smart seeking
Fast forward or rewind your 360 content.

Single device playback
Control the playback of your 360 content per device.

Combining features like playlist, looping and device grouping makes operating your VR Cinema a breeze. You can select different video’s to play to different groups of devices maken segmentation of your space possible. Using the loop & playlist function you don’t have to continuously monitor playback.

Additional features like sending messages make communicating with the crowd straightforward. Just send a message when the show is finished and move on to the next group. Adding subtitles is possible so you can even show foreign films.

Try VR Sync
Are you eager to try VR Sync for your VR Cinema? You can get a free trial here.