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So I paid for Cineveo and installed on my system.

Cineveo is a movie app for the Oculus Rift, and other VR players. You currently get 6 different scenarios. A movie theater, an outdoor theater, water themed, space themed, and dark void. To actually purchase and download Cineveo was a bit weird. I used paypal to purchase, $10, the software then I received a notice saying I would get an email within the next day or so with a link to download the software. So, I had to wait a day. The email and link showed up. It was just a strange transaction.

I guess you can get it off of Steam also. I just don’t trust them to have a VR app working if it killed them. So, I’m avoiding Steam like a plague ship. Which, as far as I can tell, they deserve.

My first impression of Cineveo was “Holy Cow!! This is Awesome!” When I figured out the head tracking interface and got a movie running the first thing I loaded was the outdoor drive in theater. It was bloody amazing. Sitting in an old convertible looking down at the lights of a city. The show playing on the big screen.  First impression was awe. It was really neat being in such an immersive environment.  Then I tried out the 4D theater. Again, an amazingly immersive experience.

But. There is always a but isn’t there?

After looking around and drooling like fool for a while I sat back to watch a show. Unfortunately with the current version of the Rift the movie quality was not good. It’s actually quite poor. The screen door effect was very pronounced. It was distracting it was so bad.  This is a limitation of the Rift DK2. I’m hoping the commercially available version won’t have this problem. So. To break things down.

The Good

  • The interface is neat once you figure it out.
  • The themed environment is awesome.
  • The feeling of being immersed was really good.
  • Fairly inexpensive. Only $10. Worth the price.

The not so good

  • I couldn’t figure out how to play DVD’s or BlueRay’s. Only local MP4 style movies. Great if you’ve torrented your movies. Not so good if you’ve purchased.
  • No Netflix, Hulu, etc support.
  • Purchasing the software was a bit weird.
  • The movie quality on the Rift isn’t worth watching at this time. Better to just use the normal display.

Final Thoughts: I’m glad I bought the software. Probably won’t use it much currently because of the poor movie quality. Here is a picture looking back at the Drive In Theater.

A drive in theater

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Well,

I’ve tried for two days now and my educated opinion of Steams Oculus Rift support is Excrement! Large stinking piles of excrement. Heck, it’s so bad it makes excrement seem good.

So. On to other things that actually do work.

Quick reasoning why I am so disgusted.

  1. Install steam.
  2. Install steamVR
  3. Download several “VR” aware games
  4. Modify a bunch of hidden options according to web pages.
  5. Fire up games. Nothing goes to the Oculus.
  6. Try a bunch of setting. Search internet. Again nothing goes to the Oculus.
  7. On every reboot. F$%#@ steam starts up and demands to connect to my account.
  8. Try games again. Again  nothing.
  9. Uninstall the whole fricken thing.
  10. Move on to things that work.

So,

In preparation to the Oculus Rift DK2 showing up I needed to build a computer that was powerful enough to drive it. I also wanted to build a system that would be somewhat future proofed. As such I build the baddest system I could with the money I had budgeted.

  • Motherboard – ASRock Z97 Extreme 6 – Toms Hardware recommended
  • CPU – Intel I7 4790k – Toms Hardware recommended
  • CPU Cooler – Corsair H50 Hydro series – Went mid level, I plan on upgrading to a CPU/GPU system in the future.
  • Memory – 32 GB G.SKILL Ares (4x8GB) DDR3 2400Mhz. (Best speed for money. Didn’t want memory to be a bottleneck)
  • Boot Drive – Samsung SM951 M.2 SSD 256GB (Fasted SSD without going crazy expensive)
  • Storage Drive – Western Digital 2TB Green 6GB/s SATA
  • Case – Arctic Nine Hundred – Decent case with ports for water cooling and 2 front USB 3 connections
  • Video Card – EVGA GeForce GTX 980 TI – This is where I spared no expenses and went for the best, within reason.
  • Monitor – Acer 27″ 2K – Looking for a good monitor without going to far, I’ll be using the Rift mostly (I hope)

 

Some lessons learned.

  1. The case fan had to be removed, the radiator installed and the fan put back on.
  2. UPDATE FLASH IMMEDIATELY!! The ASrock mother board will update the flash itself. A very nice option.
    1. Plug in a network cable
    2. Go into the UEFI (F2 on boot) and find the option under tools for Internet flash update
    3. Select go
    4. Wait 10 minutes.
    5. Done
  3. The M.2 SSD will NOT boot without a newer flash (2.30) installed.  It will install, just not boot.
  4. To create a USB install for windows 8.1 Pro.
    1. The full install takes about 10 minutes. Seriously. That’s it using the USB 3 ports.
    2. Go HERE and select “Create Media”
      1. Full link http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/create-reset-refresh-media
    3. You will need your Windows 8.1 Pro key to install. No surprise there.
  5. There is a weird bracket on the back of the central drive bay. This must be removed for the GTX 980 TI video card to fit.

Boot time after everything is installed and working? About 15 Seconds.

Well, the Oculus Rift DK2 showed up in the mail yesterday.

The Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2

The Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2

The box came in at just under 6 pounds.

The main things I remember that came in the box (I’ll upload us unboxing it)

  • Small setup document – a couple of dozen pages
  • The Oculus itself – plastic wrapped with the A lenses installed
  • An extra set of Lenses – B lenses for nearsighted folks
  • The Positional Tracker – IR webcam
  • Positional Tracker cable – looks like an audio cable
  • Positional Tracker USB cable –
  • Power Adapter and multiple international adapters – I’m currently not using.
  • Lens cleaning cloth – The most useful item so far.

 

The physical installation was pretty straight forward.

  • Plug the HMD (Head Mounted Display) USB cable into a USB port on the back
  • Plug the HMD HDMI cable into the video card
  • Place the PT (Positional Tracker) on the monitor (It didn’t fit well on my monitor)
  • Plug the micro USB side into the PT, the other side into a USB port on the back of the computer
  • Plug the PT cable (looks like an audio cable) into the side of the PT and then into the box on the HMD cables.

The physical installation of the Oculus Rift DK2 is complete.

A few notes. We discovered that, by habit, we kept trying to put the Oculus HMD on like you would a baseball cap. IE hook on the back of the head and pull it down onto your face. We would then need to take it off and clean the forehead oil off of the lenses.  We’re still working on the best way to put it on, but so far it’s putting it up against your eyes with one hand and pulling the straps down the back of your head with the other hand. This way you don’t put your forehead agains the lenses.

Megan initially trying the Oculus Rift DK2 on.

Megan initially trying the Oculus Rift DK2 on.

 

Here is the initial unboxing of the Oculus Rift DK2.

 

 

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