With the release of the development kit of the Oculus Rift, individuals have started developing software that will aid in the variety and functionality of the device. While the Oculus Rift has been in a lot of videos and articles as a gaming device, watching videos and looking at images using it can be a great experience too. In this guide or tutorial, however you want to call it, I will only refer to watching videos on the Oculus Rift. I mean, it’s not hard to put on the headset, switch it to display your desktop screen and watch a youtube video of cats, but in reality if the video is not properly formatted for the headset, then you have not accomplished anything if your desire was to enhance your usual viewing experience.
Before displaying the information below, I would like thank the Oculus Rift community for dedicating their time developing these tools.
Stereoscopic Player with Oculus Rift support
Initially, the Stereoscopic Player is exactly what its name stands for but on top of that, it has an immense amount of different viewing methods. Developed by 3dtv.at, the Oculus Rift integration is one of the latest updates to the player and it’s as simple as few clicks so set up. In the player, go to the View tab -> Viewing Method and then select Oculus Rift. When full screened, you will get something very similar to the image below, only a different video of choice.
2D videos are a treat, but 3D videos will seem even more enjoyable due to the default Oculus Rift support for 3D content. To start testing few of them, you can grab the 3D movies or 3D trailers on their site and load them up in the player using the simple steps above. You will probably have to tweak the player’s settings to suit your needs when it comes to zooming and full screen content.
Making Viewer VR 360°
You have probably seen some videos on the Internet where you can observe everything around the camera. Making View is one of the companies who made such videos popular and they have released the Making Viewer VR which is basically their 360° videos introduced to the Oculus Rift headset. The development is currently in its alpha stage with 3 videos to use as demos for your VR. You can use the keyboard keys to control your view, which so far it seems to be only left and right. For most 360° videos, check out this wiki list.
Other video players
The following are video players developed for the Oculus Rift that support different video formats, camera tracking, effects and other functions specific to the players.
VR Player - 2D/3D image and videos with different formats, projections, tracking, effects and distortions
Oculus Video Player - 2D/3D videos, keyboard movement, different views
Ibex - virtual reality desktop environment; turn your desktop into a 3D scenery and watch videos on it