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.

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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.

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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.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Holdup

    The avatar system suck in this app, never felt social

    • Holdup

      Maybe they should look into meta horizon avatars

      • VRFriend

        VRChat, not Meta crap

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        • Holdup

          Or that

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      • That would actually make a lot of sense, at least when on Meta’s platform. And the Meta avatars absolutely look better than the current Bigscreen ones, so yeah, I’d take them.

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        • Prefer uploaded/custom avatars than anything on these platforms.

          VRCHat comes to mind.

          • Well that would be cool too, but in terms of the standard avatars, I’d still like to see better ones than they currently have. Not everyone can be bothered adding in custom avatars and the like. Christ, I can barely be bothered changing the default avatar.

      • ViRGiN

        Love the downvotes from all the weebs and furries who think vrchat is literally the best thing

        • Cless

          Excuse you, those weebs and furries are paying my kids college, okay!? lol

        • It is literally the best thing…

          For roleplaying that is.

          Especially as your fav “Waifu” or “Loli”.

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    • The problem I’ve always had with them is that they are just ugly. Also, I REALLY wish it was much easier to go into a room and just hide away all other people so I can enjoy whatever’s playing without seeing them move around in front of the screen or hear them chatting over the movie. Having to do it individually and also having new people pop in that aren’t muted is just a pain.

      • ElChavo8

        There are other apps that are not social and you can be ALL ON YOUR OWN. For example, Virtual Desktop is quite nice, you can stream your PC and also have a good selection of environments.

        • Does Virtual Desktop allow you to stream your desktop in stereoscopic 3D on the projected screen? Because that’s one of the main things I like about Bigscreen, where I can use it to watch 3D movies and also play any games that have stereoscopic 3D too, like say Eternal Darkness as ran through the Dolphin emulator with that feature turned on. If it has that functionality too then we’re all good for the swap.

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      • Holdup

        Shut ur broke azzz up stop lying

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  • S Ander

    Great update!

    I just hope that there would be built in browser support(best would be of course built in android app support)

  • ViRGiN

    Worst developers ever. Still no hand tracking added, and how many times they are “improving” “quality” and “performance”? It’s clearly a never ending quest for them, and no, they absolutetly did not nail the basics.

    • xyzs

      Because you think in programming, optimization is a one time switch button ? That’s not really how it works dude…

    • Ted Bowie

      have a cry about it, poor baby

      • ViRGiN

        Hey triggered over someone not liking it. Are you the developer? Lmao

        Big screen focused more on selfie sticks than actual functionality. Did someone piss in your soup?

  • sjmort

    i don’t mind the avatar system, i think basic avatars is a trade-off on getting a good movie experience and lots of people added. However, i really struggle with this app. Audio / video issues.

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  • Erilis

    If Meta just bought this company, and implemented everything properly, I think that would be really effective. Better than Horizons