How to best experience 360º VR Video

There are many ways to experience virtual reality, and more particularly, 360 degree VR, sometimes referred to as spherical video or panoramic video. We currently publish our videos in three places: YouTube, VeeR, and our website through YouTube embedding. Enjoying our videos is easy, but to have the best experience, continue reading below.

A Note About Quality

Our videos are all currently filmed and published in 4K 360 VR at a frame rate of 30 frames per second (NTSC 29.97), but depending on your connection, YouTube lowers that quality. It sometimes lowers it to an unacceptable level, but you can do something about it.

On YouTube videos there’s a cog wheel icon which you can click on for settings. Depending on the platform, you may have to click on the three-dot menu “…”. You can see an example here:

From the quality menu, select the highest quality available, which with our current crop of videos is usually Google’s 2160s 4K. As you can see here:

If you find that your connection is making viewing in that quality impossible, simply click on the next one down. Remember that the lower you go, the worse it’ll get, so it might be more prudent to either wait to get to a faster WiFi or patiently wait for the higher quality version to load.

Desktop VR and other browser peculiarities

While our videos look great on every platform, the best way to experience them is with a Google Cardboard or other virtual reality viewer. When you look at them on a desktop browser, you usually get this view:

You can use the wheel to move the video around or click and drag the video itself. It’s a nice way to look at the videos with the effect turned on, but not ideal. Still, it’s better than the alternative, which is no effect at all. In that case, you get the full, stretched out image, which you can see here:

It still looks nice if the original is decent, but the nadir is stretched and you can clearly notice distortions, though when it’s just blue sky, that’s hidden a bit. Some players simply don’t work, and on iOS, it’s usually a toss up in that regard, which is why we recommend using the YouTube or VeeR apps to best enjoy them on iOS. Here’s another example of the Safari browser player that didn’t work properly with the YouTube Sa Coma video on iOS:

For the best experience, you should really use the YouTube or VeeR apps and your mobile (you can often just click on the YouTube icon on a video to go there, if installed), preferably with a Google Cardboard.

Google Cardboard or other VR Viewers

Google Cardboard and other VR viewers provide that fully immersive experience that fulfills the promise of 360 VR and puts you right in the middle of the video. It’s what 360 video is really created for and is the ideal viewing experience. You haven’t seen 360 VR video or photos unless you’ve seen them with a Google Cardboard or other viewer. The experience is simply mind-blowing in comparison. Most people report having an “aha” moment when they try it, feeling highly euphoric, especially if it’s a good quality video that shows a scene they enjoy. Once you’ve tried it like that, you don’t want to experience it any other way. It’s simply amazing.

Thankfully, it’s quite cheap and easy to get it. Google Cardboard viewers are usually between 5 and 10 dollars/euros/insert-your-currency-equivalent-here and work with most any sized smartphone. There are more expensive options that take you all the way to the full, virtual reality experience (and expense) of an Oculus Rift. For our videos, a Google Cardboard is enough, as it’s cheap, light, portable, and works anywhere with just your smartphone. It’s simply amazing that something so simple can provide such an amazing experience. We love it.

When watching on YouTube or VeeR, it’s simple to activate the feature:

Click on the Google Cardboard icon that appears on the bottom, and the view will change to this:

Align the center line between your eyes in your Google Cardboard and you’re good to go. Depending on your configuration, you can even navigate the controls simply by moving your head as shown in this next image:

If the Google Cardboard icon doesn’t appear, check the settings cog or triple-dot menu (depending on the platform you’ll have one or the other). You should be able to activate it there when available for your platform.

Enjoy!

That’s it. Now, go enjoy our videos! With smartphone and Google Cardboard in tow, you can experience Mallorca as if you were right here right now, anytime and from anywhere. Watch our 360 VR videos here: YouTube, VeeR, and our website.


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Note: Google Cardboard links throughout the article are affiliate links that take you to Amazon USA which help support Mallorca 360 when you shop through them. In Spain, use: http://amzn.to/2zU9ZhG and in the UK: http://amzn.to/2zU4oIf

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