Bigscreen today released an update that brings to the social VR viewing platform a video player that lets you watch your own video files. Yes, even on Oculus Quest.

Bigscreen’s new video player lets you watch your own files alone, or with friends—provided they have the same file stored on their local machine. If your friends do happen to have the same file, Bigscreen automatically syncs everyone in the room so you can watch it together.

Exactly how you obtain those files is up to you; the new update is only a video player and not a file sharing service per se.

Bigscreen’s video player supports both 2D and 3D movies (side-by-side and over-under), and is said to support most of the common file types. At the time of this writing, the video player doesn’t support 180/360 content, or DLNA/Plex, although it’s currently being considered for a future update.

You’ll find the video player there starting today; it works cross-platform across all supported headsets, including Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, HTC Vive, and all SteamVR-compatible headsets.

The social VR platform already has robust support for screen sharing, which is accomplished by mirroring the desktop of a host user to anyone in the room. With the recent inclusion of more direct streaming services, which includes both TV and movies, Bigscreen offered up a big slice of functionality to users on standalone headsets like Quest or Go, as well as to users without access to their own premium streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.

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Today’s update, while offering a comparatively basic feature, actually puts Bigscreen in a better position to not only compete as a virtual desktop solution (more than it already is), but also to further fill the gaps that platform holders are leaving with their own lackluster native offerings.

There is another side to it, although it remains to be seen whether the worry is founded in reality or if it’s simple speculation at this point—anyway, insert grain of salt here. Bigscreen’s continued deals with movie studios and streaming services may put it in the position at some point in the future to somehow limit the screensharing aspect of its business on PC platform, as individual users can easily stream more movies than they could ever license for their paid (and free) movie viewings. The video player, for ill or good, may be a way for Bigscreen PC VR users to have their cake and eat it too should that particular shoe ever drop—putting the onus on the individual to share files instead of simply mirroring their monitor for all to freely view. Again, that’s a small slice of speculation for the old brainpan.

In any case, the next set of features on the agenda definitely sound exciting: a Bigscreen Friends system, more new environments, a redesigned avatar system, built-in YouTube and TV channels into rooms, and more movie studio partnerships to host 3D movie screenings.

Bigscreen supports Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, all Windows VR headsets, Oculus Quest and Oculus Go. Find out how to download it for free here.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Maven

    Who needs this thing? DeoVR Player plays all and if not all, then you have super advanced Whirligig (the best player!). Big screen is the Mc Donalds of VR players..

    • johngrimoldy

      As just a VR video player, Big Screen leaves a lot to be desired. BUT, it’s the social aspect that makes it a compelling app. Like you, if I’m going to watch video files, I’ll reach for something else.

      • Maven

        Yes I understand the thing with social. Big Screen has these virtual cinemas, where other people can watch it with you and be loud, interrupt :) Depends on what you want.

      • TechPassion

        VRChat also has TV channels, but I think you can’t play everything there for people.

    • ComfyWolf

      Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but every other video player I’ve used on Quest has had worse video quality than Bigscreen. I primarily watch anime, so maybe that has something to do with it, maybe just 2d animation looks worse?

      • Maven

        Quest is a special case I guess. Connect it to your PC via sidequest and try with SteamVR, DeoPlayer. Set supersampling to 150% or 200%. Depends on your GPU. You will experience a great PC VR player this way. Whirligig VR is good also, if you would like to decide on many parameters like if it is 360 video or maybe 320 angle video, how high is the screen, how bent and so on. Try it.

        • ComfyWolf

          Sorry late reply, my PC is older and can’t run VR, I’m looking forward to PCVR if I’m hopefully able to upgrade this year.

          I tried DeoVR, and while it’s not as bad as I remember, especially if I change the foveated rendering option in Sidequest, it doesn’t have any option to change subtitles or audio sources, which is pretty essential for anime. Bigscreen has those options, the downside being no support for media servers so I have to manually add shows to the headset(my internet is pretty crap so no streaming either).

          It’s unfortunate there’s no all-around great video player for Quest, I look forward to all the extra options I’ll have after upgrading my PC.

          • TechPassion

            Get HP Reverb G2 VR headset to be released in September 2020 and a descent GPU. I would wait for Geforce 3xxx serie to be released this summer. 2080 RTX eqiuvalent in 3xxxx serie. I have i7-6700k CPU. I overclock it to 4.5 GHz and memory overlocked to 2700 MHz. It works very very good, even with HP Reverb G2 resolutions (which I achieve with 202% supersampling in SteamVR), but for big map and 30+ player maps in Pavlov VR shooter my CPU seems to be too slow, even with overclocking. Consider this.

    • NooYawker

      This is first time hearing of DeoVR. I’ll have to check it out. I tried Whirligig very very early on and I didn’t like it. I’ll see how far they’ve come as well.

    • Cukko The Clown

      It’s comparing two extremely different things. One is a VR player mostly designed for watching 360 vr content by yourself, the other is a social app for watching stuff with friends in cool settings.

      • none yabusiness

        Yeah.There is no comparison to all the things Bigscreen does. These people have no clue. They use something for one thing, then try and compare it to other things that are far beyond that one thing they use it for. I can do about a million things at once of Bigscreen, and that doesn’t even include the theater option

    • Michael Greene

      I also use DeoVR for most things. But I guess I’m confused by the comparison to Bigscreen; I thought Bigscreen’s main draw was being able to watch videos in a virtual theater?

      Although I will agree with you on the McDonalds analogy. Anyone have any experience with alternatives to Bigscreen that have a similar virtual theater?

      I was skeptical at first, but there really is an impressive level of immersion when watching an actual feature-length film within a virtual theater.

  • impurekind

    As long as they never remove the option for me to view my PC screen then I’m good. I use that for stuff like playing Dolphin games in stereoscopic 3D in VR, and it’s amazing.

  • Every time I use Big Screen it crashes my VR headset. It got so annoying I don’t even bother with it anymore.

  • David Cole

    Works with Kodi. So you can stream 3D Movies.

  • Richard Carpin

    No public yhow

  • oliverpolden

    While standalone video players generally do the job better, it’s great to have this functionality within BigScreen, especially if you’re watching with other people. But I would prefer a native web browser in BigScreen, with all the bells an whistles including video player etc. built into the browser. Surely this should be easy with the open source web browsers out there?

    Going back to standalone players, I’ve found SkyBox works pretty well with lots of options such as being able to change the aspect ratio (a problem I’ve found with BigScreen). Also Kodi works surprisingly very well although you need some sort of server and to sideload Kodi. I have a Linux based TV receiver (dual satellite and terrestrial TV) inputs. It runs Enigma2/OpenATV and as it’s Linux, has all kinds of plugins available including Kodi. Now I can watch live TV on my Quest 2, view the EPG and watch any recordings on the box. An amazing experience. If there was a decent web browser in BigScreen (on Quest) I could potentially bring up the Engima2/OpenATV web interface and play anything that way.

    All that said, if we could just pin any “flat” Android app, including the Oculus browser into any VR experience then all this would be a mute point. Whether Facebook will do that I don’t know and it may not a priority for them. In the meantime, BigScreen… please?…