Bigscreen: A Brief Introduction

Bigscreen 18 July 2018.png

Bigscreen is, as the name suggests, primarily an app for watching movies in VR. But it is also a social VR app, because you can share the experience with your friends:

Bigscreen is your VR movie theater.

WATCH movies with friends in a virtual theater.
PLAY your favorite PC video games on a huge screen.
HANGOUT in social VR chat rooms.

We also host events like weekly 3D movie nights and VR LAN parties!

— Features —

Your DESKTOP IN VR: see your PC’s desktop screen on huge virtual monitors that can be customized to any size or shape. Multi-monitor support for up to 3 virtual monitors.

DESKTOP STREAMING: screensharing in VR chat rooms enables you to watch movies with friends, play games together, and more.

Supports 3D MOVIES in Side-by-Side 3D or Over-Under 3D.

CROSS PLATFORM VR headset support

Public and Private social VR CHAT ROOMS with up to 12 people per room

Choose from a variety of environments like campfires and movie theaters.

Bigscreen is a free app available via both Steam and the Oculus store, for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets. They are also currently doing alpha testing on Samsung Gear VR headsets:

And, according to the chatter on their official Discord server, they are also doing alpha testing for the Oculus Go VR headset.

So I downloaded and installed the client software to try it out. You can create public or private, invite-only rooms. The avatars reminded me of those in Rec Room, with only a head, torso, and hands. I found that I had a little bit of trouble getting all the avatar customization features to work properly. You cannot freely move your avatar around, but you can teleport from one unoccupied seat to another.

The first place I visited was a movie theatre where two other avatars were watching a bootleg copy of the Steven Spielberg movie Ready Player One, complete with Korean subtitles (which, ironically, seemed rather appropriate: why not watch a movie about VR in VR?).

Now, I’m sure that the makers of Bigscreen are not terribly thrilled that people are breaking copyright and misusing the platform in this way, but I can also see a lot of legitimate uses for the software. For example, you could invite your far-flung relatives into a private room in Bigscreen to watch that video you shot of your five-year-old’s birthday party, for example.

Bigscreen also allows you to see your computer desktop in VR:

Instead of that tiny 13″ laptop, play any game on massive, customizable screens. Wrap the virtual screen around you for a more immersive experience.

You can follow Bigscreen and its future development via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, or Discord.

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