At Oculus Connect 5 , Oculus has announced Casting, an amazing feature that lets you stream the content of an Oculus Go to a smartphone. But how to use it? And is it possible to use it also to stream to PC? Keep reading and you will know that.
How to use Casting to stream Oculus Go content to your smartphone
This is the step-by-step guide on how you can use the Casting functionality:
- Open your Oculus Go companion app (if you have a Go, for sure you have installed it to configure the device. In case you uninstalled it, get the “Oculus” app on Google Play or iOS store);
- In the app, log in with your Oculus account, if needed;
- Turn on your Oculus Go;
- Pair your app with your Oculus Go (you must have Bluetooth enabled on your phone) and make them connect to each other by pressing the button with the name of your Go inside the app;
- Make sure your smartphone and your Go are in the same Wi-fi network;
- Put on your Go and in the menu select “Sharing” and then “Cast”, that is the leftmost button;
(If you don’t see the button “Cast”, then you have not the latest version of Oculus Go runtime. Follow my guide on how to update your Oculus Go until you can select the “Cast” option)
- On the popup that appears, confirm that you want to cast;
- Remove the headset and check your phone: you should have another popup there, asking if you want to start the streaming. Confirm that you want.
- Voilà, enjoy your streaming!!
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If you need a video for steps 6 and 7 (the ones that happen inside the Go), here you are:
To stop the streaming, you have just to return to the Menu and select the “Cast” button again.
Considerations on smartphone streaming
The Casting functionality is incredibly handy and works very well. I think it is especially useful for demoing Oculus Go to our friends or customers. Finally, we have a way to guide them in their VR experience.
The streaming quality is good, even if not optimal (don’t expect a full-HD streaming, it would be too heavy for the device). While you use Casting, the performances of the headset are slightly degraded, so your user may experience more motion sickness symptoms.
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To see how it is, here you are a streaming sample recorded from my phone:
How to use Casting to see Oculus Go content on your PC
There is no direct way to use Casting to stream to PC . But once you have the streaming to your phone, you can stream the smartphone content to your PC , so that to see in the end the content of your Oculus Go on PC.
To stream the content of your phone to your PC you can use various methods:
- ADB : the Android Debug Bridge is always my favorite solution to stream content of my Android devices to PC. It is free, it works well, it may work even in wireless mode and it is complicated enough to make me look like a nerd superhero. Its problem is that it doesn’t stream audio ;
- Vysor : an application for PC with related companion service on your smartphone that will let you use ADB in a simple way, without you having to worry about command line arguments . It is free for basic functionalities, and it has a quite low price for a lifetime license. Since it is a wrapper for Adb, it doesn’s stream audio as well;
- MirrorOp : an application that I found very good in streaming content from your phone. You need a sender app on your phone and a receiver app on your PC. It also features audio mirroring if you have a smartphone with at least Android 4.4 . It doesn’t require root (don’t trust the warning on its website) and it is free to be used for 5 minutes of consecutive streaming, otherwise, you have to pay $10;
- Miracast/Chromecast : with these ones, you can also directly stream to an external big HDMI display, without the need of having an external PC.
There are also other solutions (e.g. Mobizen), but the four above are my favorite ones.
Basically what you have to do is starting the Casting streaming to smartphone using the guide that I wrote above and then use one of the above tools to stream the smartphone screen content to your PC.
For a guide on how to use ADB and Vysor, refer to my article about streaming of Vive Focus : the Vive Focus is an Android device, so it works exactly as your smartphone in this sense. For the use of MirrorOp and Chromecast, I have written something in my post about the mirroring of Gear VR .
Considerations on PC streaming
This is an example stream I got on PC:
As you can see, the quality is not bad and even the latency was not terrible . Of course, being a streaming of a streaming, expect more latency and more compression than what you would like to have.
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My advice is, if you can, to attach your phone to your PC via USB , so that the streaming to PC may happen in a wired way and be so faster. Using ADB, I also found streaming to MPLAYER much better than the one with VLC.
You may wonder why you should ever perform this double streaming: the answer is that Casting offers you an undistorted 16:9 streaming of your Oculus Go content, something that you can’t get by directly connecting your Go to your PC through ADB or Vysor, where you get the typical split-in-two distorted view. Furthermore, you may also get audio through this solution.
Streaming to PC may be useful to show the Go content on a big screen, for instance, during conferences and presentations.
You can substitute the above methods with the native streaming of Oculus Go to Facebook , that is easier to be performed… but it requires you to go through Facebook and has a questionable video quality.
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I hope this post has helped you in streaming the content of your favorite VR headset… and if it is the case, please, do you mind liking and sharing it to support my VR magazine? 🙂
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Virtual reality has captured to the interest of Baby Boomers, Generation Z and Millennials.