Awesome 360 Videos on YouTube Right Now
Getting the BEST “VR Movie” Experience
Virtual Reality (VR) is taking the world by storm and as people catch on to all the things that they can do, see and share with a 360-degree experience, you can bet that you’re going to see more and more options to view virtual reality (aka 360 or VR videos) firsthand. Of course, GoPro cam recordings have been around for some time and so you may have already seen a 360 video and just didn’t know it. However, seeing a one on a flat screen is not nearly as impressive as viewing it the way in which was intended, as a completely immersive experience.
360 Experiences are not VR Videos
Now, before we go on, let’s go over what exactly is a 360 video and whether or not it is truly a virtual reality experience. The terms 360 and VR video are used interchangeably for any cinematic content that you control the perspective of and that you can have a panoramic viewpoint. However, the phrases not entirely accurate. It seems like a small point to contest, but it probably won’t be too long before virtual reality viewing is commonplace, so why not know the proper terms from the beginning?
You can have virtual reality experiences in VR games on rigs such as the Oculus Rift, and then you can watch recordings of people as they play. This is what you are likely to find if you look up “VR video” in your YouTube search. It’s a great way to see the new games but those videos won’t allow you to control any part of the environment. Rather, you can see the concept of virtual reality live from the perspective of the game player. Essentially, a VR video of a game such as The Climb is still just a gamer replay.
This is why “360 videos” is a more accurate term when searching for an actual recording online. They aren’t an alluring video game or virtual reality, but they are still totally immersive and totally awesome.
These videos allow you to view the scene from a 360-degree perspective. The environment is controlled by wherever the camera is placed, so in some videos it may be on a person’s head so that you feel as though you are really there in their situation or on location. Other 360 videos are stationary and allow you to see what is going on in one place from a bird’s eye, pedestrian or bug view point. Essentially, with 360 videos, you get the chance to see in a way that you never have before and choose the direction to look. As you turn your head, the screen moves with you and you can look in whatever direction you want from the camera’s vantage point. It’s a unique experience and there has already been some really awesome footage loaded onto YouTube!
YouTube: Your Main Source for 360 Videos
YouTube is a popular place to load videos about trendy topics. Thanks to increasing popularity of virtual reality, there are loads of VR and 360 content uploads already for your viewing pleasure. Add in the fact that YouTube has finally launched their 360 Hub and viewing 360 videos is easier than ever. For viewing on YouTube, apps are available that allow you to easily connect with your devices that connect to the internet. YouTube has long strived to cater to smartphone viewers, so that is perhaps the easiest way to watch what you want on the YouTube hub. However, we strongly suggest that you consider some form of head mount or head mounting display (HMD). That may sound pretty technical, but really needing an HMD just means that you need to wear the screen on your head in front of your face, just like the old bulky 3-D gaming headsets but cooler and more streamlined. Modern HMDs today are, for the most part, lightweight and easy to use.
YouTube Hub 360 on Your Smart Phone
All you need is a smartphone head or eye-tracking capabilities. You can load your selection and just hold the
phone up to your face, which works to watch but maybe a bit uncomfortable. This is why it is suggested to get an HMD. If you get a device such as Cardboard or Daydream View by Google, you can use them to mount your phone to your face for hands-free watching at the optimal viewing distance.
HMD VR Console Devices and How They Work with Hub 360
If you have a PlayStation PS VR and a Wi-Fi connection, you’re one of the lucky ones that can use your virtual reality gaming headset to both view 360 videos and the latest VR games with ease. Just log on to your PlayStation account and sign in to YouTube from your home screen and select “360-videos” from the menu bar option.
Unfortunately, other gaming devices such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are not directly compatible with YouTube. Don’t worry, you can workaround for now. You’ll have to look up the directions for your rig for now.
Thankfully, it probably won’t be too long before there is an app for that!
That being said, no matter what you use to watch, there are quite a few popular selections for your viewing pleasure. You just need to know where to find them! Lucky for you, we did some digging already and found some of our favorites that have been loaded so far. Check them out and then get searching for your next cinematic adventure.
Rocket Launch to Space
GoPro Awards consist of some of the most interesting and action-packed content for 360 viewings. The rocket launch done by Aerospace Inc. back in 2015 is still one of our favorites and if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out. This video shows the launching of an SL-10 rocket up into the upper reaches of our atmosphere in order to test the stability and aerodynamics of the Maraia Capsule. The view you get at 1:50 is especially impressive.
GoPro in a Cannon
Another GoPro favorite by Sam and Niko from Corridor Digital. They have other videos with GoPro on an arrow and a sword, but with this recording, they have really upped their game. Now you can find out what it is like to go to battle, from a cannon ball’s point of view. This video walks you through the bulk of the development process and then finishes with the GoPro being fired. This maybe nauseating for some, but extraordinary none-the-less.
PacMan in 360
Now is your chance to experience PacMan in a way that you never have before. Not to be confused with PacMan VR, a first-person mode game that allows it to be played in 3-D fashion, PacMan in 360 only feels like you are controlling the directions but it Is actually a video of someone else playing. You can still look around and break through the 4th wall and immerse yourself in a land of pellets and ghosts.
SpongeBob: How to Blow a Bubble Technique
Now you too can spend some time under the sea and see for yourself all of the joys that Bikini Bottom has to offer. This is just one of the many 360 SpongeBob experiences out there. In this one, stand by and learn how to blow a bubble along with Patrick, or you can simply see the rest of the scene as if you were standing there for real.
Stranger Things in 360
If you want to take creepy to the next level then this is the video for you. The video puts you inside an eerie house where you are the one being tracked by one of the malicious otherworldly creatures from the show. Viewable with up to Ultra HD 4K formatting capabilities, this is the first VR content release from Netflix and if it is any indication of what to expect then we should all be hoping for more.
Surfing in Tahiti
Hosted by CJ Hobgood, a Champion Surfer with the World Surf League (WSL), this video has an up-close view of barreling above the surf and below the water’s surface. Surfing in Tahiti offers a unique 360 viewing experience that shows you exactly what it is like to “Hang 10” in Tahiti with beautiful scenic views along the coast and an immersive ocean experience.
Go and Make Your Own 360-Video Experience
You should be pretty confident to go out and explore Hub 360 on your own and find your own cinematic adventure.