Welcome to VR Cinemas
Not everyone is in a position to visit a movie theater often, especially in the light of the recent world health crisis. Perhaps you live in a remote area, are too busy to drive down to the local cinema or, plain and simple, the movie theaters in your town are closed because of lockdown and social distancing rules.
Don’t worry, we miss going to the movies, too. However, you can have a similar – if not an identical – experience in the comfort of your own home. We’ve covered this topic, or more specifically the question ‘Will VR change the way we watch movies?’ in December, talk about foreshadowing…
Through the power of VR, you can watch movies on the big screen without worrying about the loud kids in the back, crinkling snack wrappers and slurping drinks, or, indeed, a potentially deadly respiratory infection. You’re on your couch, with a bowl of popcorn in hand, and you’re ready to be transported into a cinematic story of your choice.
The Benefits of Watching Movies in VR
If a movie theater is not easily accessible to you, you can enjoy one in your favorite room of the house. This is also true if you are always on the go – countless VR users say it’s a “next-level experience” when they break out their headset at an airport and watch a movie while waiting for their flight.
In VR, you can choose to have an entire screening room all to yourself. Empty seats all around you, with you sitting in the best position to follow the action onscreen. If you’re not a fan of that, you can easily organize group viewings with friends and family who are not close by. If all of you have a VR headset, you can log on at the same time and watch the same movie sitting next to each other in VR while actually being miles apart in real life.
In the same vein, you can also watch a movie in a room filled with strangers, just like in real life. Only in this case, the people around you are likely from different parts of the world, all interested in seeing the same movie you want to watch.
All of this can happen without you having to do much but put on your VR headset and sit back in your favorite spot. No frustrations about traffic or parking space or any type of distractions during the movie. Just you and the big screen, as it’s meant to be.
Best VR Cinemas
While there isn’t an overwhelming choice of VR cinemas yet, there are a few that are ahead of the curve. To ease your journey into the world of VR movie theater, here are three VR cinema apps you should check out:
A fan-favorite, Big Screen is exactly the type of experience we love to see. You can choose from hundreds of blockbusters to watch, either by yourself or with your loved ones, no matter where they are in the world. Pause, rewind, fast forward – in this movie theater, anything goes.
At the same time, Big Screen organizes live viewing events of movies, sports events, and rocket launches. You can customize your viewing environment and enjoy all the benefits of this inexpensive app.
For many, SkyBox offers a more elegant experience than Big Screen. It is a computer video player, essentially, but it has a neat feature that allows you to stream videos to any device, such as your VR headset or phone.
SkyBox supports many VR platforms – Oculus and Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, Gear VR, and Daydream. You can watch both 2D and 3D movies in this player, and best of all – you can also enjoy the 4K resolution if your headset supports it.
Virtual Desktop is exactly what it says it is – a virtual desktop. It projects your computer (or mobile) desktop in VR. You can use it to play games, surf the web, or indeed, watch your favorite movies and YouTube channels. You can select whether you want a true cinema environment or if you want a more subdued home theater experience.
Virtual Desktop may lack the finesse that the previous apps have, but many VR users are praising it for its versatility and ease of use. All in all, it’s an experience worth testing out.