The Samsung Gear VR has plenty of potential, but it is limited by a sparse content store out of the box. The positive is that Samsung and Oculus have made it easy to import and watch your own movies (even 3D) in virtual cinema mode. So how do we accomplish this?
The short answer is to import your movie files (the Gear VR by default supports most common file formats including MP4, AVI, and FLV) into the “My Videos” folder on your SD card. To watch your 3D videos, however, there is an additional step, and it’s not entirely straightforward.
The following will allow for perfect 3D playback of videos set up in a side-by-side (SBS) format (the left and right video channels are contained within the same file and appear as a near-mirror image when played back using a standard media player). To view your SBS 3D video files on your Gear VR, follow these steps:
- On your MicroSD card file directory, navigate to Oculus > Movies > Your Movies
- Create a new folder within “Your Movies” and label it “3D”
- Import or move your side-by-side 3D videos into your newly created “3D” folder
Once you have created your 3D content folder and imported compatible video files, insert your MicroSD card into your Galaxy Note 4 (if it isn’t already), dock the phone in your Gear VR, and don the virtual reality headset. Then:
- Navigate to Oculus Cinema from the main menu
- Navigate to “My Videos” from the Oculus Cinema content library menu
- Select the 3D video you wish to view (if you followed the above steps it should have a “3D” label in the upper righthand corner)
- Choose the cinema mode to begin playback
The software is coded to automatically convert any video in the “3D” folder for 3D playback. While the included documentation and tutorials don’t make the process completely obvious, the answer is buried in the literature accompanying the Gear VR’s Oculus Mobile SDK along with plenty of other tips on importing your own content for viewing on Samsung’s virtual reality headset. We’ll be sharing more of these helpful tips and tricks in the coming days.