TPCast, manufacturer of wireless adapters for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift systems, has announced an upgraded version of its eponymous wireless system called TPCast Plus. According to the company, the new Plus version, which will be demonstrated at CES this year, offers several hardware and software improvements, including a new mounting system that supports hot-swap batteries.

Cutting the cords on high-end VR is an important step for the future, but some early adopters have looked to third-party solutions such as TPCast that already offer products to transform a Vive or Rift into a wireless system, albeit at a high price. TPCast’s initial hardware launch hasn’t been the smoothest of rides, both in terms of delayed product availability, and the rather complicated setup process. The current hardware also had issues with microphone support, although there are workarounds.

TPCast’s first generation device, image courtesy TPCast

The TPCast Plus product family aims to address many of the problems based on customer feedback, claiming ‘full support’ for microphones, and “increased stability and anti-interference.” The setup process is said to be simplified in various areas, most notably with a “plug-and-play” USB wireless adapter rather than a router. According to the press release provided to Road to VR, the new adapter “supports automatic restart, wireless interference reduction, and automatic wireless channel detection that substantially improves the stability of the wireless VR connectivity.” It claims the restart time has also been ‘dramatically decreased’. The performance of the connectivity appears to be unchanged, with the same ‘2K resolution per eye’ at 90 fps with sub 2ms latency.

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An improved integration with the headset is achieved with a “built-in backplane” that incorporates the battery and wireless adapter into a single area, while supporting a hot-swap battery. A 4-cell battery charging cradle, is said to be part of a series of complementary products that enhance TPCast Plus product family. Production of the existing TPCast solution continues, and the expected release date for the TPCast Plus, which will be available for both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, is in “the first half of 2018.”

“The launch of the TPCast Plus Adapter positions TPCast as the leader in the wireless VR market. The consolidation of the adapter components into one wireless VR unit allows a fully immersive user experience,” says Michael Liu, CEO of TPCast. “We expect that this upgraded product family will lead to a rapid increase of VR content that takes advantage of wireless VR experiences, thus bringing more consumer and enterprise customers into the wireless VR market.”

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  • VRgameDevGirl

    Nice. To bad we can’t upgrade for a discount…. (give them our old one)

    • James Trotter

      You can buy just the head unit on its own if you already have everything else

    • Fra FazioxTx

      You have the tpcast. Could you please tell me how it is ? I am thinking about getting one for my Oculus Rift

      • VRgameDevGirl

        It’s awesome!!!

        • Fra FazioxTx

          :) Mine arrives tomorrow ! Did u have to change the firmware with the opentpcast or you just installed its software ?

          Another question do you notice any difference between the cable and with the wireless device ? Any latency ?

          • Muhammad Jihad ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            I’m considering getting one of these for my Rift as well – how has the experience been so far? did you end up having to change the firmware, etc? All the same questions you had, how did it turn out? Thanks!

  • JesperL

    Old one not upgradable? So they just screw all their firstmover clients?

    • Joey Chalker

      I wouldn’t really call it screwing over their first customers. They knew that they were buying into an early technology and as soon as they made the purchase, took a risk. With today’s modern cycle of new products yearly, this release shouldn’t exactly be a surprise.

      • Scypheroth

        yes BUT they said it was plug n play and didnt say ANYWHERE that the mic didnt work…so no the pp didnt know what they were buying into….its liek if you buy a charger r/t pick it up and 2 of the 8 cyls dont work and instead of chrysler fixing it you have to buy a new car.

        • James Trotter

          Thats TPCasts fault, they are a third party not affiliated with HTC. Also, just install OpenTPCast on your TPCast and the mic will work again.

          To extend your “chrysler” example, this would be like buying a Chrysler, ripping out the old radio, installing a new radio made by pioneer and then complaining the Chrysler that your new radio doesn’t work…

    • James Trotter

      If you have the old one you can just buy the head-unit standalone without lighthouses/controllers etc and get it cheaper.

  • Bboymassuk

    Anyone know if the receiver can cause issues with the brain? Also, its great you dont have to lug the battery around, just hope they are not samsung batts.

    Know what i mean guys?

    R.
    Bboymassuk

    • Caven

      The receiver can only cause brain issues if it’s used to physically inflict blunt force trauma. Worrying about the receiver is like worrying that people’s ears cause loud noises. The receiver is the part that “listens”, not the part that “yells”.

      The transmitter that actually sends the signal is mounted to a wall or ceiling, and the 60GHz signal is completely blocked by human skin. As non-ionizing radiation, 60GHz should be safe in the first place. Even if it wasn’t, unless you literally have the transmitter (not the receiver) implanted inside your skull, the signal simply cannot penetrate far enough to get to your brain.

    • Scypheroth

      are you serious?

      seriously…i cant tell if your trolling or just stupid

  • Enbee

    Anyone know if this means they’re not gonna bother fixing the mic in the current version? Open TPCast does it so there’s no reason the regular software shouldn’t be able to.

    • James Trotter

      They dont own TPCast… TPCast are their own company making a wireless transmission solution as a third party. Complain to the TPCast people.

    • Christopher John

      TPCAST likely wont fix this problem on the current hardware.. I can bet you they will on the Pro version of TPCast.

  • Nadim Alam

    Really hope they bring the price down, first one i badly wanted but it cost as much as a PSVR headset, make it cheaper and i will be on this day 1!

    • gothicvillas

      Why not Vive official wireless thing? Genuine question.

      • Nads

        Yes now that one would be my first preference, especially if it works with the existing headset.

      • StarLightPL

        TPCast plus will probably cost an arm and a leg, and for the official Vive version you’ll probably have to throw a kidney into the mix too ;-)

  • get lost

    very pricey, hope they go bankcropsing very soon

  • get lost

    HTC just release their own wireless adapter and Oculus will follow…

    • Fra FazioxTx

      Yeah Oculus will follow in a year and same for VIVE. They will release it in a year. Do you want to wait one year to get rid of the damn cable ruining the whole experience ? Answer is NO. I am waiting for my TPcast to arrive this afternoon.

  • Scypheroth

    they should be refunding or offering a free upgrade to the ppl who bought the original only to find out the DAM MIC DONT WORK!

    • James Trotter

      My mic has worked since i bought it over a year ago?

      • Scypheroth

        then your the only person in the world man…its a hardware issue with the TP Cast. It dont allow the mic to work or camera.

        • Christopher John

          It’s a software issue.. not a hardware issue. You can get the mic to work with open tpcast. It’s a new firmware.

          • Scypheroth

            that is correct but it didnt work for me. i tried it step by step and it never detected my headset. had to put it back to stock. They should release a firmware update FROM TP CAST not a 3rd party company one.

          • Christopher John

            TPCast screwed themselves using a software that wont likely be able to get the mic working and they would have to dish out lots of money to change to a new software and I think they just wont do that for this version of TPCast.. This is something they should have been clear with from the start. They really could get a lawsuit against them for not making that clear from the start.

  • I think TPCAST is going to have hard times agains the Vive official Wireless Adapter

    • ZenInsight

      Actually, from all the reviews I saw the wireless HTC (Intel version), greatly reduces the clarity to the point where backgrounds look very low resolutions smears in many case. Mostly distance viewing is destroyed. So, I would be curious to see which (newer TP vs Intel) keeps the original resolutions in place better.

    • Fra FazioxTx

      Who is so stupid to buy a Vive ajhahahaha Oculus Rift is 10x better

      • Nasafiyel Paige

        You’re a CLOWN!!

        • Francesco Fazio

          Sure sure. Take the pill now.

  • Michael Slesinski

    screw putting MORE stuff on our heads!! make it a fucking belt!