Read this review of the best VR Videos for an immersive experience. Also included top platforms & how to watch a VR Video on PC, Android, iPhone:
Today, virtual reality is being applied for training, and in medicine, education, and marketing fields.
This review covers the list of top ten virtual reality videos that will provide you with immersive experiences. The list is suitable whether you are looking at nature VR explorations or are interested in creativity in VR, movies, funny videos, zombies, horror, and other VR gaming experiences.
Besides covering best virtual reality videos on YouTube 360, Facebook 360, Vimeo 360, Oculus Store, Steam, Viveport Infinity, Veer VR, and other platforms, this tutorial also offers a guide on how to make VR videos, how to advertise using virtual reality videos and VR ads, and how to play them on Android, PC, and across different platforms.
What You Will Learn:
- What Are Virtual Reality Or VR Videos
- 7 Best VR Videos On YouTube
- Top Virtual Reality Video Platforms
What Are Virtual Reality Or VR Videos
Virtual reality videos are the immersive types of videos shot from all angles and sides or rather in 360 degrees, and which make the viewer feel as though he or she is physically present in the environments in which the scenes in the video are taking place, and/or interacting with the characters and objects, and/or controlling the VR objects and the environments with their hands, body, etc.
These videos are shot using virtual reality cameras or 360 degrees cameras, but can be generated through simulations using computer software and/or in combination with other digital videos and images, or can be a mixture of both. In most cases, they are a mixture of raw shooting and studio editing.
Virtual reality videos can be viewed using browser and apps ordinarily, but offer the option of the user being able to scroll the video internally from all directions (using the scroll button with four arrows on the top left corner of VR video) to change the user’s point of view.
In normal shooting language, the viewer is not obliged to follow the story line in the same way it is told by the storyteller or movie or video director because the viewer can change their viewpoint of the video at any time.
Otherwise, the best way of enjoying virtual reality videos is through strapping on a virtual reality headset, blocking your natural views totally, and enjoying what you see–we call it VR immersion.
Ideally, there are countless videos for every VR headset device available in the market whether it is a Valve Index, HTC Vive, HTC Vive Pro, Vive Cosmos, PlayStation VR, Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and the cardboards–name it. In this case, you can use mobile devices or PCs or other kinds of gadgets to view the VR videos through compatible headsets.
Different Formats/Types Of VR Videos
Stereoscopic VR Video–independent videos per eye:
This was the first immersive video format and is still the most prominently used today. A mono VR video is one that is relayed from a single channel but the display is rendered to both eyes in the VR headset. There is no sense of depth for this video because the perspective is the same for both eyes.
#2) Stereoscopic 3D 360 Video
In this case, the video is being delivered as two video channels within the same video container, for the left and right eye. Perception of depth are present since each of the two channels gives a different perspective to the eye.
It is costly because even the parts of the 360 degrees content that is back of the eye is streamed, which takes more bandwidth.
#3) VR180 Or 180 3D video
The VR180 video has two channels each for one eye but only for the front-facing 180-degree field of view. It gives a sense of presence but not fully immersive as 360 degrees videos and is best for where or when the content remains in front of the eye.
It is affordable to buy cameras for this, and the format saves bandwidth to stream on headsets.
=>Here is a video on video formats
7 Best VR Videos On YouTube
#1) BBC Earth: Total Solar Eclipse: 360 Video Seen From Space
If you are a fan of the space, this Virtual Reality video by BBC Earth lets you witness a total solar eclipse as seen from the space.
#2) NASA: Cassini’s Grand Finale
NASA produced this video to take its audience to a journey in the space even as the spacecraft explores Saturn’s orbit. The 20-year journey of the spacecraft gathered information to help understand how fast Saturn planet rotates, its atmosphere, and the famous rings, and one of the many moons in the planet called the Enceladus.
#3) MythBusters: Sharks Everywhere
You should check out these VR experiences such as MythBusters: Sharks Everywhere, Great Hammerhead Shark Encounter by National Geographic, and Diving With Sharks on the Oculus store.
#4) Free Solo
Free Solo is a National Geographic VR video that immerses you into free solo climbs to the top of the Yosemite’s giant El Capitan. You get to explore new heights and breath-taking views in VR, which is fascinating especially if you are a nature lover.
#5) Superman Roller Coaster
This virtual reality experience video takes you through a VR ride on the real Superman roller coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
If looking for more roller coaster riding experiences, you could also hop to see Stormrunner 360 VR, Otherworldly Theme Ride, Oktoberfest Thrill Rides, 360 Roller Coaster in VR, and GhostRider Wooden Roller Coaster.
#6) Mission Impossible: Fallout BTS
This video immerses you into the scenes of the movie, sitting beside Tom Cruise, who is navigating through insane tiny passageways and doing insane stunts. Film’s director Christopher McQuarrie provides commentaries on the experience.
#7) Brave Wilderness: Giant Mud Dragon
Also called Big Daddy, this VR180 video brings its audiences closer to animal encounters.
National Geographic, being wild adventure specialist and documentalists, is not short of VR videos on wild. In Africa’s Pristine Delta video, you can immerse yourself in an expedition of Okavango Delta in a canoe. You also get close and personal with lions, zebras, and elephants, as well as other animals.
Top Virtual Reality Video Platforms
Where to Find VR Videos?
The best places to be if interested in sharing your VR and 360 degrees video or if interested in discovering and watching virtual reality videos are enlisted below. Some of these have marketplaces allowing you to sell your VR and 360 degrees videos or monetize to make money out of them.
#1) YouTube 360
YouTube’s VR dedicated platform has over 3.2 million subscribers and it has VR video content of all kinds–movies, documentaries, short clips that are collected from different sources including BBC, movie studios, individual VR content creators, groups, and dozens of brands.
You get to watch 4K/HD 360 degrees and VR videos.
To upload 360 degrees and Virtual Reality video on YouTube, it requires having a frame rate of 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, or 60 frames per second. You can then add metadata such as location, maker, and date, using a different app. Upload it normally.
To watch VR and 360 degrees videos on YouTube, download the YouTube app or the YouTube VR app and browse and watch raw videos or scan your headset to watch the video.
#2) Vimeo 360
Vimeo, through its 360 degrees platform, allows users to upload their VR videos, play them, and share them with friends even on YouTube and on Facebook for free, although uploading and hosting large videos come at a cost. You can embed these videos on websites for your audience.
To upload, simply upload normally and tick the box “this video was recorded in 360” box at the bottom of the page. You can embed the video while choosing your frame in the field of view and set the default orientation by selecting the coordinates of the pitch and yaw.
To watch, open the video on a normal browser or download the Vimeo Android and iOS app and scan your headset or tap the headset icon in the mobile app. Then insert the phone in the headset and strap it on the head.
#3) Oculus Gear VR Store
The Oculus Gear VR Store is a place for downloading not just VR videos but also VR games, apps, and other experiences. With most of the apps including the Samsung VR app, Samsung XR, SkyBox VR Video Player, and many others, allow you to watch VR videos on Oculus and Samsung Gear VR, and HTC, and Valve headset devices.
To watch Virtual Reality videos, download the app and scan your headset QR code to sync with Samsung Gear VR, other smartphone-based, and non-smartphone-based headsets such as Oculus. If using a PC, you can opt to download and transfer the video from computer apps to USB and/or other folders on the headset or smartphone and watch with VR headsets.
#4) Steam Powered
Almost every great VR headset supports Steam because it is a popular place for VR titles. Steam VR store has thousands of VR titles for Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and other Oculus headsets, Windows Mixed Reality, and other Steam compatible headsets.
#5) Facebook 360
This platform started in 2015 and has countless videos. For enhancing customers’ VR experiences, Facebook has acquired VR building start-ups such as Two Big Ears and even Oculus, the company that originally invented the Oculus headset.
To upload on Facebook Timeline through Facebook 360 and VR platform, select the video option, choose the video, and click post. On Facebook Page, click on the 360 Director Tools tab from the 360 Mode menu. The tools allow you to add metadata for the video. Select the correct projection and confirm that spatial audio is selected for the video, then publish.
For a 360 degrees video for Facebook, you will need to make a video that meets minimum requirements as per their website, in relation to resolution, aspect ratio, etc. The Facebook 360 app allows you to shoot VR videos directly.
To watch Virtual Reality videos on Facebook, browse them raw from your Facebook or use Facebook 360 app from the Oculus Store to watch the videos using VR headsets such as Oculus Go and PlayStation VR.
#6) VeeR VR
VeeR VR platform allows creators to upload their VR content, including from their mobile phone devices or through embedding and sharing them with friends.
To upload, set the video format by setting the field of view and format of the original file. Choose the file to upload, write a topic, and then set the video as Public if for public viewing. Publish your work. You can use the Veer VR editor to edit videos.
You can watch VR videos by downloading the Veer VR app for Oculus, HTC Vive, Gear VR, Daydream, Steam VR, Windows VR, or watch the videos normally on the web and mobile browser.
Visbit VR and 360 degrees video-hosting site allow you to host ultra-high resolution videos of up to 12K, and you can either share the video or stream it to the audience as you would like. You can share direct links with your audience. It is a paid service.
360 Rise, which was formerly known as 360 Heros, has videos organized in different categories including music, concerts, sports, wildlife, etc. The platform allows users to watch the VR videos online and to share them on their Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
AirPano has thousands of panoramas of different interesting locations. It is one of the largest sources of online 360-degrees aerial 3D panoramas of locations from around the world.
Play VR Videos On PC, Mobile And Headsets
The below image is showing VR experience on iPhone 7:
Most virtual reality headset can support the playing of raw VR videos using in-built or pre-installed players.
Some of the best virtual reality players for different platforms include VR Players for Mac, Windows, and Android; RiftMax for Windows and Mac; Kolor Eyes for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android; LiveViewRift for Mac, and Windows; Total Cinema 360 Oculus Player for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
Play Virtual Reality Videos On Web
Just open YouTube or Vimeo or other platform on your browser or your app and search for VR videos. You can also download and use Vimeo, YouTube, and other apps to discover VR videos and play them on the mobile.
Once you have the video you want to play, click the video to play without a VR headset, browsing the video in all directions with your cursor if on PC or finger if on the smartphone.
Alternatively, after browsing the video online, please slot the smartphone into your VR headsets such as the Cardboard headsets and smartphone headsets such as Samsung Gear VR, to watch these videos on a phone-based VR headset.
Play VR Videos On Your Android
You could opt to download the many VR apps that either host VR videos on their Cloud storages, allow users to share VR videos with others, or those that allow you to search them on YouTube, Vimeo, and other platforms such as Vuze that allow you to watch it online or to download.
Once you install the app on your phone and search the video, click on the video to watch it while scrolling in 3D using your fingers in all directions without the virtual reality headset.
Alternatively, slot your phone inside a Cardboard VR headset or on another kind of headset after browsing it on YouTube or other platforms that host VR videos on the Internet.
Standalone headsets or smartphone headsets such as Samsung Gear VR allow you to search for virtual reality apps and play them directly from the headset. Some apps that is used to play such videos on the smartphone with cardboard and Samsung Gear VR include the Cardboard app, VaR’s VR Video Player, Fulldive VR app, etc.
You can tilt your head sideways to change the point of view and explore the entire shot while the VR headset is on your head.
Play Virtual Reality Videos On Your VR Headset
Buy a Cardboard headset for as low as $10 for the headset cost
Browse the VR video from YouTube or via an app and slot it into the VR cardboard headset and strap it over your head. These headsets use rotational tracking, which means you tilt your head sideways to browse through the video.
For a better Virtual Reality video watching experience, you can opt for the Samsung Gear VR headset, which costs less than $150 and has better graphics and better VR video control like via a hand controller or button on the device.
With headsets such as Oculus Go and other tethered or wireless headsets, you can connect to PC or wireless and transfer the VR videos to the headset’s folder or USB drive, or download the videos to the device using the web browsers on these headsets. The transferred or downloaded video can then be watched using an appropriate app –such as Virtual Desktop for Vive and Oculus Rift, Samsung VR videos app on Oculus Go, and Media Player app on PSVR, supported on the headset.
How To Create Virtual Reality Videos
=>> Watch the video on how to create VR Videos.
You can directly do shooting with 360 degrees or VR camera. Best virtual reality videos are created with top of the range cameras, and sometimes videos shot live in VR also require editing and integration of other videos and images can be made during the refining process.
You can also create by simulation, on computer programs alongside real videos and images, or a combination of these methods. Most of the virtual reality headset will support 3D SBS/360 degrees video format in addition to playing 2D.
For VR Cameras and Accessories => VR Controllers & Accessories
If you want to convert a raw video shot with ordinary cameras from regular video to VR, you could check the different resources available online or as PC and mobile apps to do so.
These converters include:
- Wondershare Uniconverter or formerly called Converter Ultimate for Windows PC, and Apple iOS devices – on this tool, the 3D maker allows you to upload videos and select the output settings.
- VideoProc for Mac and Windows.
- Pavtube Video Converter.
- iFun Video Converter.
- VideoSolo Video Converter Ultimate.
This complete guide on VR Videos covered how to make them, and most importantly, how you can watch and use them for other purposes like marketing and advertising.
The VR180 category is popular than the 360 degrees video for its low bandwidth when streaming and lower cost of cameras. We looked at the top videos and VR experiences. We saw that it is possible and indeed very easy and quick to use your VR headset to play virtual reality videos on YouTube, Vimeo, and other platforms.
Also read =>> Best Video Streaming Services