With all the hassles and busy schedules that modern day living brings us, it can be hard to drive across town to hang out with friends and watch your favorite shows together. Maybe the problem is that your friends live in another state or country, or maybe your couch or Internet connection speed just kind of sucks. Whatever the reason, the big, comfy virtual couches in Bigscreen Beta are getting a massive upgrade thanks to the launch of Bigscreen TV.
This latest update for the free Bigscreen Beta app is available on all VR platforms including SteamVR (HTC Vive, Valve Index), Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, Oculus Quest, and Samsung GearVR. What sets this new update apart from regular Bigscreen Beta?
In the standard mode, Bigscreen is a free VR app that lets you use your computer in VR in a more social way. Play games, watch videos, use any existing app or just browse the Internet with friends. It's all done in virtual rooms where you can use a floating screen to display content, or project it onto a larger screen for easier sharing.
Bigscreen TV does things a little differently, as the rooms are now divided into "channels" like a regular TV service provider would, except each of these channel's support thousands of people at a time and make things more manageable by breaking that down to rooms which can hold up to 8 people in them. Since its cross platform you won't have to worry about whether your friends have the same VR headset as you. Just pick and channel and go.
For today's launch there are over 50 channels to choose from, which will vary by region, and include things like movies and TV programs, gaming, sports, news, finance, music, and live events. The most impressive part of this is the inclusion of big-name networks like NBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, Twitch, Comedy Central, PlutoTV, and plenty of others as well.
All channels are 100% free and are a mix of commercial-supported and commercial-free, depending on the station. There's a handful of live events coming up that Bigscreen developers have highlighted, including the Overwatch League Playoffs on July 11 to 14, the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch on July 21, and the DOTA 2 International Grand Finals on August 25.
Bigscreen has also partnered with major movie studios to bring social movie nights later this summer and will be covered in a later announcement when more details are available.
Players who have been enjoying Bigscreen Beta since its launch will know how exciting this announcement is. Since Bigscreen has traditionally been a user-curated set of entertainment, there's always a level of uncertainty that can come from knowing whether or not a stream will be reliable, or if everyone's connection will be good enough to ensure a good experience. With Bigscreen servers handling the load, there's little worry about streaming quality and availability of content.