Methods to Stream Films and TV in VR on Your Oculus Quest 2
Photo: Boumen Japet (Shutterstock)
Virtual reality attracted me to the idea of being able to actively dive into other worlds. I loved the idea of chopping up fruit all over my body in Fruit Ninja or getting fit with Supernatural’s boxing workouts. In practice, however, the most satisfying experience for me was watching Vivarium on a virtual big screen while lying on my back in bed – little did I know that watching a movie could be any lazier! Share the joy of virtual inactivity with this guide on how to watch streaming video on your Oculus Quest 2.
How to watch Netflix on your Oculus Quest 2
Netflix has been available in the virtual world since 2015 and has not expanded in that time to go far beyond the basic features. But that’s cool; I just want to watch movies anyway. Setting up Netflix on your Oculus couldn’t be easier: Download the app from the Oculus Store, log into your account, and you’ll have access to everything you can watch on Netflix on your TV. You can watch movies either in a virtual living room or in “Void” mode. I prefer the void because you can position the screen anywhere, which to me means that I can lie flat on my back with a large virtual screen on the ceiling. All right then.
How to see Amazon Prime on your Oculus Quest 2
Setting up Amazon Prime on your Oculus is easy: Download the app. Fill in your data. Watch Prime content. Unfortunately, you can’t rent or buy movies from Prime directly through the VR app, but you can watch movies you’ve already rented or bought on other devices. The app itself offers a virtual demonstration room and the option to position the screen anywhere. There’s some VR-specific 360-degree content to check out – things like scuba diving and hot air balloon rides. Amazon’s “Watch Party” was already announced for VR in June 2020, but when it is available I cannot figure out how to access it from the Oculus.
Here’s how to watch YouTube on your Oculus Quest 2
YouTube’s VR Hub lets you watch all of the 2D content YouTube has to offer, as well as 180-degree and 360-degree videos. All you have to do to set up is download the app and enter your login details. Lots of YouTube channels are dedicated to creating and sharing VR content, so there are tons of interesting things to try out Mountain climbing adventure to a completely 3D, 360 degree, immersive stumble into someone else’s closet. YouTube also lets you rent movies directly from the VR app.
How to Watch Disney +, HBO Max, and Other Streaming Services on Your Oculus Quest 2
If you prefer Hulu, Paramount, or any other streaming service that doesn’t have a dedicated VR app for the Oculus, you can still watch their content. All you have to do is point your VR browser to the appropriate site, fill in your information and start streaming. Of course, these won’t be 3D or VR streams. I streamed some videos from HBO Max using Oculus’ built-in browser and it worked great, but how smooth it all goes depends on your internet speed.
Here’s how to use your Oculus Quest 2 to view video files on your computer
The easiest way to watch videos from your PC on your Oculus is to transfer them to the headset. It’s easy, but you need a USB-C cable like that Oculus linkto connect them. Once you’ve done that, you can easily transfer the file to your headset and watch your content on one of the many Oculus video players.
If you want to stream movies to your Quest 2 directly from your PC or Mac, the Skybox VR app does, as does Bigscreen (more on Bigscreen below). I haven’t tried Skybox personally – it costs $ 9.99 and I don’t get a lot of the chance – but it’s a highly rated app that’s supposedly easy to use and lets you watch everything from 2D movies to 3D Full-length movies to stream virtual reality videos.
Bigscreen: This is how you have a unique VR movie streaming experience on your Oculus Quest 2
While the “big name” video services like Netflix and Prime Video are basically an easy way to watch movies and TV shows on your headset, the bigscreen app is all bells and whistles, and that’s what I’m here for. This free app features avatars, props, social interaction, and more. This allows you to set up a remote desktop client and stream videos directly from your PC to your Quest 2 (I’m a Mac, so I haven’t had a chance to test this feature out). And again it’s free.
Bigscreen allows users to host and attend viewing parties where you and some friends (or interested strangers) can rent the same movie, eat virtual popcorn, and relax. You can watch ad-supported movies or rent them through the service, but everyone who watches has to pay for the same movie.
Bigscreen also has public viewing rooms where anyone can join a party for a ton of different movies and TV shows, from Rick and Morty to old episodes of Dr. Who to Bob Ross’ painting show and more. This morning I went to a virtual theater to see a little bit of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and then had a surprisingly great time doing a rerun of Dr. Seeing Phil in a virtual living room with a bunch of strangers. We threw tomatoes on the screen, heckled the guests, and otherwise had a Tuesday morning party.