Tons of customization, multi-user support and attention to detail could make this one of the best content viewing applications for VR yet.
Finding a VR experience to watch your favorite media on can be a daunting task. Sure there are plenty of official apps from Netflix, Hulu and other major players, but all of that treasured content doesn’t mean much if you’re watching it in an uncomfortable virtual theater.
That’s exactly why fans of the popular media player system Plex were delighted to find out the intuitive all-in-one service is finally making its way to VR. Thanks to a collaboration with a small community VR project called Plevr, Plex VR allows Google Daydream users to access their entire personal catalogues of television, film, music, pictures and other media all without taking off their headsets. If you’ve never heard of Plex, it’s more-or-less software that connects to all of your devices, scans your personal media and catalogues it into one beautifully organized library.
Now that same convenience comes to VR, providing users easy access to their favorite shows and pics across all their devices in an immersive virtual experience. Plex VR also happens to feature what is arguably the more impressive virtual theater experience currently available on the Google Daydream platform. At first glance the sleek, modern living room appears to encompass the usual features included in most virtual viewing apps: a big screen, large couch, coffee table with various items scattered about, you get the picture. However, if you look a little closer, the app is actually bursting with little details that culminate into an intuitive experience.
The screen is fully customizable which allows users to adjust the size and position entirely to their liking. Do you like watching your TV on a massive screen that would cost tens of thousands in real life? No problem. Or maybe you’re looking for more a standard, 60-inch experience for that latest thriller? Of course. Feel like laying on your back and watching a couple of episodes projected onto the ceiling? Go for it. There’s also a full drive-in movie theater setting for premium members.
Much like many modern-day smart homes, the blinds of the apartment automatically close when a video starts, shrouding the space in darkness. Media can even be ejected into DVD-type discs the user can grab, inspect and throw down in front of them. There’s also support for local 3D, 360-degree and 180-degree videos.
Of course what’s the point of a kick-ass virtual apartment and countless hours of entertainment if you have no one to share them with? Plex VR features multiplayer support for up to four friends at once. Users can add one another to their friends list and keep track of each others via their online statuses. Create your free Plex account, download the app, build your own custom avatar, add your buddies to your list and then share your streamed media in a virtual “get together.” You can even talk through the whole movie in real time via voice chat integration.
Plex VR is available now on the Google Play Store for all Daydream-ready Android smartphones. Users can view their streamed content in VR for free, but a Plex Pass subscription will be required in order to access the drive-in setting as well as watch with friends. Thankfully only one person in your squad needs the pass in order to start a group viewing. First-time users will also be given a free week of premium services upon the initial download.
As multiple providers continue to battle it out in the hopes of becoming the gold standard of VR media viewing, Plex VR is sure to make its major competitors nervous.