Putting together room-scale VR setup for your Oculus Rift may prove to be tricky. This is mostly due to the number and complexity of cables which you’ll have to extend, in order to provide room-scale tracking and freedom of movement. The critical issues are ensuring your HDMI cable can handle the video signal output, and that the USB extension cables are capable of transferring the camera/sensor tracking.
Higher bandwidths usually don’t go well with Ethernet cables, so we recommend using only HDMI and USB cables. This proves to be fairly complicated, since the Rift is very specific about both PC ports and the extension cables you may use. On /r/oculus you can find a good guide on the extension cables which have been tested, and proved to work.
You should however proceed with caution, and put in some additional research, since some motherboards and GPUs simply aren’t compatible with all the listed extension cables.
You should also have in mind that the maximum length at which USB 3.0 cables work is about 15ft (3 meters), and if you want to buy a longer cable, consider getting an USB 2.0 extension. USB 2.0 uses less bandwidth data, hence it often works more reliably on lengthy cable extensions, 15ft and longer.
Oculus Rift HMD extension cables
It is possible for you to expand your room-scale Oculus Rift setup to a larger area than Oculus recommends. In order to extend your Oculus Rift headset, you gotta purchase two types of cables. These are HDMI 1.3 and an USB 3.0 extension cables.
Noticing that many users are willing to experiment with unusual setups, Oculus tested the following 6 foot cables which will enable you to enjoy VR in a larger area.
USB 3.0 Rift Cable Extension recommended by Oculus
Oculus Rift Sensor extension cables for wall-mount setups
For most standard setups, you can get away with 6ft USB cables, but for wall mounting you are going to need some 15ft extensions. For maintaining the recommended setup which includes two USB 3.0s and one USB 2.0, you are going to have to buy sensor cable extensions for each of them.
You should never buy USB 3.0 extension cables longer than 15ft – 17ft (5m), as we explained earlier. Besides this fact, backed up by experiences so far, you should always choose active extension cables over passive ones when purchasing. This is due to the fact they tend to maintain the signal better than the passive ones, so we recommend using active extension cables if possible.
Even though the Vive is one of the most feature-complete virtual reality headset on the market, there are various accessories for HTC Vive available designed to optimize your experience. Third-party manufacturers, in cooperation with HTC, have produced many neat HTC Vive accessories which will enable you to enjoy high-end VR to the fullest extent.
Some of the gadgets which made our list of must have accessories for HTC Vive aim to improve the degree of immersion. Others are simply some quality-of-life improvements for HTC Vive owners, like storage and transport solutions. Eager to improve the already awsome HTC Vive experience? In that case, let’s take a look at the must have accessories for HTC Vive which will take it to the next level!
HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap
Audio plays a huge role in the world of virtual reality. In the Vive box, you get a pair of fairly basic earbuds, which don’t really provide the necessary audio quality. To achieve the more immersive VR, you are gonna have to invest in a pair of decent headphones, and the HTC Vive Deluxe Audio Strap is one of the best you can get.
Deluxe Audio Strap has the over-the-ear design, featuring two headphones hanging over your ears, which are attached to the adjustable strap. The build quality is very good considering the price range, combining lightweight and flexible plastic materials with foam padding for the comfortable fit.
Besides the significant improvement of audio quality, the Deluxe Audio Strap brings extra comfort to your VR sessions, as it complements HTC Vive’s design beautifully. It makes putting the Vive on just a bit easier every time. You can easily flip the headphones up in order to listen to the real world around you, if it’s really necessary.
HTC has officially announced the release of their own wireless adapter for HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro in the beginning of 2018. However, it won’t be available until the end of 2018 (rough estimate), so if you are too impatient to wait for it, you can jump into tetherless VR using TPCast today!
The future of virtual reality will most certainly feature wireless headsets. Probably the most annoying thing about room-scale VR setup is dealing with all the cables, and therefore the somewhat limited freedom of movement.
For further explanations and installation instructions regarding TPCast, you should probably read this article. Clearly, there are few issues you may encounter with this, such as relatively short TPCast battery life. However, the benefits of wireless virtual reality by far exceed the few drawbacks every pioneering product comes out with.
The reason TPCast made our list of must have accessories for HTC Vive is the fact that once you’ve experienced tetherless VR, you’ll be wondering how the hell were you using the original, wired version for so long!
Cheap and essential accessory for HTC Vive, the set of two replaceable covers which ensure your Vive foam padding doesn’t soak up the sweat during long and intense VR adventures. HTC Vive does come in the box with two face cushions, and while they are all soft and comfy at first, over time they do collect plenty of impurities. Once they accumulate a fair amount of dirt, there is no easy way to clean them properly.
The product from VR Cover on the other hand, can be washed in a washing machine, just like any other piece of cloth. It’s made of 100% cotton, meaning it will absorb any sweat and oil your skin may excrete during your VR sessions. While designing the product, manufacturers had both the hygiene and comfort in mind. The VR Cover doesn’t narrow your field of view the tiniest bit, since it adds less than 1mm to the Vive’s existing face foam.
VRGE manufactured a product which enables you to organize your virtual reality hardware in style! Not only can store your HTC Vive HMD, but also charge the Vive controllers on it.
The top section is made out of solid, high quality wood, polished to a satin finish. It comes in two different hues, lighter made of maple wood, and the darker one, which utilizes naturally glossy walnut wood. Soft-touch bumpers ensure you don’t damage your HTC Vive or the controllers when you put them down.
This VR docking station looks really classy and it is very compact. You can simply put it on your desk or mount it to the wall with ease (the necessary wall-mount hardware is included). It is available for all of the three high end VR headsets – Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PSVR. The version of this HTC Vive accessory comes with a pair of 6ft USB cables.
What’s the point of having a virtual reality headset if you can’t show it off to your friends? Maybe you just travel a lot and decided to pick up a VR ready laptop since you want to enjoy high-end virtual-reality on the road.
In either case, you’re going to need a proper carrying case, and the Hyperkin Polygon VR Protector Bag might be just the right choice for you. It provides heavy duty protection at a fairly reasonable price. There are, of course, plenty of carrying cases to choose from, but this particular one made our list of must have accessories for HTC Vive because of the best cost/benefit ratio. Compartments are modular, meaning you can reorganize it in order to fit other accessories inside.
Last but not the least, VIVE N CHILL is definitely a must have accessory for your HTC Vive! This is an ingenious solution for one problem you cannot avoid during long and intense VR sessions – the HMD heats up after extended use, the heat is transferred to your face, hence the sweating is inevitable!
You can install this accessory for HTC Vive in under a minute. It is very lightweight, so you won’t even notice the added weight, and it is guaranteed to keep your head cool!
The diversity of the Rift makes it one of the premier Virtual Reality systems as of the moment. Yes, there are a lot of enthusiasts passionate about the Rift, and they have been around since it was first in development. But, with all the other VR systems out there, you have to decide whether the Rift is the one worth spending money on. Factors you have to balance are the resolutions of the eye screens with the actual prices of different VR headsets. Here are some of the main points to consider if you’re planning on buying an Oculus Rift.
What do most people who have bought the Rift think of it?
Well, most reviews are fairly positive. Those who have bought the rift because they are dedicated gamers looking to level up their gaming experience are reasonably pleased. Playing a VR game has never been so accessible or easy. Move a few years back, and VR meant visiting a special arcade or something of the sort. The charm of having a VR installation right in your own home is something that hasn’t worn out yet for most VR enthusiasts using the Rift.
While some claim that the Rift is as easy to use as a game console, this is not quite the case, as some level of setting and calibration is involved. However, the resolutions of the Rift are in dire need of an upgrade, even as competing devices forge ahead, and visual resolutions improve across the industry. The price of the Oculus Rift, while not exorbitant, could hardly be called inexpensive. However, if you look at the price of cutting edge devices like the HTC Vive Pro, the Oculus Rift, while offering lower resolutions, suddenly looks positively economical.
That’s really a winning combination. It is lightweight (it weighs only 380g), the helmet is easily worn, and the slick finish makes it look less like a gadget and more like something right out of science fiction. While it does tend to heat up with use, this does not become unpleasant. Moreover, the strap system is easily adjusted when the headset is on your head, and the lens adjustment button is more convenient than the Vive.
However, the ergonomics could be improved, especially when the headset is worn by someone who wears glasses. The layer of protective foam is very thin in some areas, or too thick in others. Thus, especially around the cheeks, the headset tends to press on the skin, and cause discomfort to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the individual shape of a person’s face.
How does the Rift compare to the Vive Pro?
A comparison is rather unfair, considering the exorbitant cost of the Vive Pro. That said, if you have the money to spring on a Vive Pro, it is the superior alternative at the moment, in terms of resolution and clarity. Do bear in mind that its massively enhanced resolutions demand enormous computational resources, which also massively increases the ultimate costs of a Vive Pro VR setup.
However, considering its price, the Oculus Rift certainly delivers
The Rift costs just $400 as of now, while even the classic Vive retails at $500, and the Vive Pro is too expensive to mention to people who don’t have a bank balance that can handle economical shocks of considerable magnitude.
The Rift really wins people over in terms of sheer performance. Its 5.7-inch OLED displays at 90Hz create resolutions of 1080p for each eye, or a combined resolution of 2160p x 1200p. You’ll have a viewing angle of 110 degrees, which sort of makes it feel like you’re looking at virtual reality through a scuba mask, but which one rapidly gets used to. On a reasonably high end machine, frame rates of around 45 FPS should be easy to reach.
Another big surprise is the sound quality. The headphones built into the headset do not look to impressive at first sight, but they offer a quality of sound that is not only perfectly adequate, but which actually generates a realistic ‘sound stage’ and creates good sound isolation.
Why, it varies from game to game. No matter what the level of your display hardware – and that’s really what the Rift is – what you actually ultimately see in VR depends on the graphics of the app you’re using or the game you’re playing. It also depends on the computational power of your PC or VR laptop. But if the graphics of the game are great, the immersion and graphics quality created by the Rift are excellent. To most users, VR does become a convincing alternate reality with the Rift.
A great catalogue of games!
When the Rift first came out, it struggled against a lack of content. That’s now well in the past. One of the main strengths of the Oculus Rift today is its games catalog, with a growing number of exclusive games of very good quality.
In order to differentiate itself from its competitors, Oculus has chosen to form partnerships with various developers to ensure exclusivity on certain games in virtual reality. In fact, the Oculus Store is already full of exclusive titles of excellent quality, and the list continues to grow over the months. While we are hardly going to go into all the games available for the Rift here, I’ll just mention two or three to show you what the Rift could do for you.
From Other Suns, a cooperative space game for the Oculus Rift
From Other Suns is one of the most ambitious virtual reality games ever. Three players can join in VR to take control of a spaceship with the goal of returning to Earth. Finding resources, trading and fighting enemies are some of the ups and downs that await them on their journey home.
The timeline of each individual game you play in Other Suns is computer generated, so that no game resembles a previous one. The number of weapons you could collect is theoretically infinite. The content is colossal.
Ripcoil – Frisbee dueling on Oculus Rift
This game is simple but effective. Two players face each other in an arena, and throw a frisbee. The goal is to score a goal in the opposite camp. Standing on a mobile platform, players move by swaying from right to left.
The idea is to grab the disk in flight to send it back to the opponent. Walls on the sides of the arena help to bounce the frisbee. Each time it is sent back, the disc gains speed, which intensifies the rhythm of the action.
The Mage’s Tale, a virtual reality RPG for the Oculus Rift
In The Mage’s Tale, developed by InXile Entertainment , the player takes on the role of a sorcerer’s apprentice. The title features more than 10 hours of adventure , during which the player will have to create his own spells with an ingenious crafting system, defeat hordes of enemies by casting elemental spells with Oculus Touch controllers, discover hidden secrets in the depths of the dungeons and solve various riddles to find his master.
Those are just a taste of the games and apps available on the Rift – as you can see, there’s a wide selection that ranges from sci-fi to fantasy to horror.
Should I buy the Rift?
It all depends on your budget. If you can afford the Vive Pro, go for it. There are apps that allow you to play the entire Oculus library on the Vive. However, most people could not afford the Vive Pro. In which case, the Oculus Rift does provide an excellent VR experience at what has become a very competitive price. Whether for the gamer or the VR enthusiast, the Oculus Rift at the price it is available for today represents excellent value for money.
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