Bigscreen, the social VR app that lets you mirror your desktop monitor in virtual reality, and share it with friends, has received a new update which adds three new “Big Room” environments which support up to 12 players simultaneously (up from the previous four). The host of a Big Room can broadcast anything from their PC for all others to see, essentially creating a giant viewing party.
Update (2/15/18): Bigscreen today rolled out the ‘Big Rooms Update‘ to all users, allowing anyone to host a Big Room in one of three new environments. In Big Rooms, only the host can share their desktop (in normal sized rooms, everyone can share their desktops together); Bigscreen advises that the host will require upload bandwidth of at least 10 Mbps.
In addition to Big Room access for all, the update also brings what the company calls “significant” CPU and GPU performance improvements. This was achieved with most of the rooms being rebuilt for more efficient rendering. Furthermore, while each additional user in a room could add 5–15% more CPU usage, new users now cost almost no additional CPU work, according to the company.
Original Article (12/14/17): Since its 2016 launch, Bigscreen has supported up to 4 people per room, making the experiences decidedly more intimate than some of its social VR contemporaries. Still, the app is so far unique in its ability to let up to 4 users stream their own monitors to each other, allowing for smaller shared viewing sessions and “virtual LAN parties,” as the company puts it.
While the app has improved its ease-of-use, avatar builder, and has been overhauled to bring streaming video quality to a max of 1080p 30 fps, the number of users allowed in a single room has remained the same.
These regular 4-person rooms will still exist moving forward, but now you have the choice of creating a normal room, or a ‘Big Room’, which will give the room’s creator sole access to the main viewing screen, letting you stream a movie, create a virtual meetup or conference, or watch a livestream of an eSports tournament with a much larger number of users.
Although the official announcement doesn’t specify the exact max number of users allowed in one room, the Big Rooms update is said to support “dozens” of people in the same shared space.
Founder and CEO of Bigscreen Darshan Shankar says that all rooms are peer-to-peer encrypted, meaning both voice chat and desktop screens “stream directly to friends in the room. Your data doesn’t stream through our servers, which is great for privacy. You can invite many friends into your Big Room, depending on your Internet speed (upload bandwidth).”