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captain420

Prepar3d and VR headset, the next big thing?

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With the rise of VR headsets this year. I was deciding on which setup to go with that will give me the most immersive flying experience in Prepar3D, X-Plane, DCS World, and upcoming flight sims.

 

I'm deciding on the following:

 

1) 49in - 65in 4K UHD TV

2) Triple Monitor Setup maybe 3x24"

3) VR Headset

 

I can't decide which would be best. I'm leaning towards the VR route. Since that will be the future and seems like it would be much more immersive to fly vs the other 2 choices.

 

Is anyone here currently using a VR headset and could tell me how the experience is? The only thing I can imagine being difficult is how to see your keyboard and stuff while wearing the headset. That would be the only downside. And do you need special software to make VR work with P3D, X-Plane, etc or do they have it the VR features built-in?

 

I will also be using the VR for other stuff besides flight simming as well. So keep that in mind.

 

Anyways, what are your thoughts on this?

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Anyways, what are your thoughts on this?

 

I don't have a VR headset, but I have been pondering the very same questions. My thoughts, based on how they apply to me:

 

1) 49in - 65in 4K UHD TV

Depending on the your viewing distance, and if you have the hardware to reliably drive 4K, I think this could be very immersive. I personally am not ready for 4K yet, but if I were, I'd be going with at least a 48" TV. I was very impressed with the extra real estate and immersion my 32" at 1440p gave me over a 24" at 1080p, so I'd imagine the jump up to 4K with a large TV would be very impressive.

 

2) Triple Monitor Setup maybe 3x24"

I've done it, and personally didn't like it. I found it to be too vertically constrained for flight simulation, compared to the huge amount of horizontal viewing area. I really enjoyed it for racing, and it was impressive to play MMO's with, but I just felt like it was wrong for flight simming.

 

3) VR Headset

I've been very tempted to get into VR, but more for racing than for flight simming. My reason for that has more to do with the fact that I have a huge amount of physical hardware - PFC Cirrus console, trim wheel, custom switch panels, additional axis levers, etc. I've pretty much ruled out VR for X-Plane/FSX/P3D for that reason alone.

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As someone who has used the Oculus Rift for the past month or so in P3D, it truly is incredible.  Pulling away from the runway I start to actually feel im being lifted, yet im sitting in an office chair.  I will say the only gripe I have is the resolution.  However the dev of Fly-inside added a quick zoom mode which helps tremendously.  Quick button tap to zoom in to the FMC for instance, make a change and back out again.  It's something that needs to be experienced to be believed.  Haven't messed with the leap motion controllers.  Supposedly you can use your hands to flip switches and turn knobs.  Still waiting for XP support though.

 

Side note - I do have a handfull of Go Flight modules.  At first its a little weird feeling your way around but eventually I guess the muscle memory kicks in you start naturally going to where you physically have the modules.  Although for someone who hasn't invested in to modules, its very easy to look around and scroll with the mouse.

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Interesting, I've heard many people being disappointed about the resolution on the VR headsets. Is it really that bad? I wish there was a way for me to try these before I buy. Thanks to Jim's opinion, looks like I'm going to rule out the triple screen setup. Either a 4k UHDTV or a VR headset. So you need additional software in order for it to work in P3D?

 

I also play racing sims like Assetto Corsa, Project Cars, etc. So I'm curious to see how VR would be with that as well. Sigh, it's hard to spend so much money on this when I have never experienced it. I can only go by reviews or what people have told me.

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i have the oculus..you can pretty much fly your 737/777 with the oculus rift. You can even fly the GA aircrafts.You need a little help with the dials..The binocular mode of flyinside offers help here..But its very immersive..For the first time, after flying a GA in a thunderstorm, I did feel that i made a mistake of taking off....its that immersive..


Here is my review which i wrote the day i tried oculus..

 

http://forum.flyinside-fsx.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2136

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Just few weeks ago I was in the same situation and asked whether to buy a widescreen 34'' 1440p monitor with G-sync or a VR headset.

 

The outcome was that the current consumer VR glasses are just not ready for flight sim due to low resolution and the high fps demand. With a VR headset, you will not get the high resolution and fluidity that you currently get with a monitor. If you are not willing to put the sliders to the far left, VR will need some more time to develop. Maybe in 2 to 3 years...

 

I decided to stay with the monitor (and TrackIR), which also helps in reading charts from the iPad during approach.

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If you are looking for immersion then go VR, it's absolutely incredible for flight simulation.  The feeling of being there cannot come close with 65inch 4K TV or 3x24inch letter box effect.  Flying around it feels so real, so much more believable and actually easier to fly / land well.  The 'presence' you get cannot be described, i find my jaw dropping to the floor time and again.

 

If you have a modern computers its pretty easy to get the fps you need, flyinside/pd3 version has the ability to use a tech that gives pretty robust 90fps solid, moving your head around feels lightning responsive and fast no real slowdown to speak.

 

Have said that, obviously there are drawbacks and issues, the main one being resolution.

 

I have CV1 Oculus Rift which i understand is 2x1200p, but because your eyes are extemely close to the screens you need a very very high res to get anywhere near comparison to today's monitors offering 4K or 1440p resolution.  So you have to accept the fact that the graphics will be somewhat low res / blocky, you can always zoom at the click of a button if you need the details, but don't let that put you off, at least not until you have tried it.

 

The other draw back is field of view, i think the default is about 110degrees, but flyinside can increase this to about 140degrees, however obviously the human eye can go 160-170degrees, so you do get a slight binocular effect, but it's not a major drawback.

 

I would reckon if we can see 4K or 2400p resolution with the next VR generation, that will be awesome graphical quality too, but yes i expect that will take another couple of years at least.

 

Invest in VR if you want an immersive experience, however i'd still think you'll be flying using a regular monitor too, having VR is great, but you don't always want to fly using it, sometimes, it's great also just to go back to my default 1440p G-sync 27inch ACER monitor too.

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I have CV1 Oculus Rift which i understand is 2x1200p

 

Forget the '2x', the Rift's resolution is 1080x1200 - i.e. a 1.3Mp display, which is lamentable in comparison to modern desktop displays (barely better than 720p).

 

My vote to the OP is you'll be much better with a 4K display at maybe 55" and a TrackIR, assuming your PC can keep up with 4K. It's a more natural aspect ratio than the super-wide and with the TrackIR you'll get as much presence as you really need. Okay, you won't get a stereoscopic virtual cockpit, which is what I suspect is the thing that makes people rave about the Rift and its ilk. But you will be able to do all the other things that the Rift denies you - write on a pad, drink your coffee, flip your switches, etc, etc.

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I have a GTX 1080 with both the Oculus and a 40" 4k screen. I much prefer the 4k.  Yes, the immersion and feeling of flying are great with Oculus, but the resolution is just not good enough.  The low resolution produces quite a bit of noticeable flickering, which I find quite distracting (even though the 1080 allows me to run FlyInside at the highest settings).  I have recently uninstalled FlyInside and now fly exclusively with the 4k screen.  Once once gets used to the colors and clarity of 4k, it's really hard to go back.  Also, I missed being able to using Saitek panels effectively with Oculus, although I suppose with enough practice one could do so even without seeing them.

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What 4K TV do you have? I heard it's hard to read text on them, is it true

 

I plan to sit about 20-25" away. It's basically replacing my 30" monitor on my computer desk. I won't be sitting at a couch in a living room or anything. So I'm assuming a 40-43" TV would be a good size at that distance?

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Ive just sold my HTC Vive. The resolution is just not good enough giving me eye strain. Gauges on PMDG are a real struggle. Its also irritating to wear for long periods. Have to agree that immersion is unbeatable. Back to 4k TV.

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What 4K TV do you have? I heard it's hard to read text on them, is it true

 

I plan to sit about 20-25" away. It's basically replacing my 30" monitor on my computer desk. I won't be sitting at a couch in a living room or anything. So I'm assuming a 40-43" TV would be a good size at that distance?

I have a Samsung 6300 series (forget the exact model, as I'm not at the computer now). It was around $550 at Best Buy. It's great. You can use DPI scaling in Windows for text, so that's not an issue at all. In P3D the only small text is the ATC window. I sit about 3 feet from the screen, and 40" is perfect.

 

If you get a Samsung TV, there is a great tuning guide out there somewhere for how to calibrate it for use as a monitor. For instance, you have to turn on the UHD color setting and disable some TV settings. Easy to do. I'm happy to share my settings with anyone who is interested. Samsung is a good choice because input lag is very low when properly calibrated and using the PC input.

 

Edit: here is the tuning guide I mentioned.

https://hardforum.com/threads/2015-samsung-4k-tv-as-a-monitor-set-up-guide.1869675/

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Just few weeks ago I was in the same situation and asked whether to buy a widescreen 34'' 1440p monitor with G-sync or a VR headset.

 

The outcome was that the current consumer VR glasses are just not ready for flight sim due to low resolution and the high fps demand. With a VR headset, you will not get the high resolution and fluidity that you currently get with a monitor. If you are not willing to put the sliders to the far left, VR will need some more time to develop. Maybe in 2 to 3 years...

 

I decided to stay with the monitor (and TrackIR), which also helps in reading charts from the iPad during approach.

Yeah, sorry but you're wrong...

 

Sure, resolution isn't super yet, and maybe woth fsx/p3d fps culd be an issue (not from what I have read) but as soon as you try DCS World and fly inside an F-15 in vr, there's no question that there's nothing wrong with the framrate, and you're "there"...

Of course the same with car racing, etc.

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For me VR comes down to a committed decision. I'm interested in flying more than eye candy. No amount of flat screens is going to compare with VR. I've flown on a flat screen for a long time and have trained my brain to make the conversion from 2D to 3D in my head. However, like falling in love for the first time for real, there would be nothing like meeting a real 3D display compared to an imagined one. 

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I tried the oculus rift with FlyInside software for P3D. In my opinion, the fly inside software is not ready for prime time. It does not support any HDR, so no adjusting brightness, bloom, or saturation. This is a shame because the visuals in P3D in a Rift are too dark and increasing the brightness would help. With FlyInside, you also have to turn off most shadows because the software does not allow it. To add, the resolution is poor. I typically use a 1920x1080 monitor, but the FlyInside software seems to really downsample the image to where everything is quite blurry. For instance, when looking out the window, you cannot see the definition of trees or buildings that well as they are all blurry. FlyInside is a work in progress, and I would think that in time they will  be able to support a more robust feature set, but if the items I mentioned above are important to you then I would wait. 

On the positive side, using VR within a flight sim is truly amazing and hard to describe the feeling of immersion. It will simply blow you away, so if you can compromise to accept low resolution, no HDR, and some other limitations then I would recommend it. The best thing to do is purchase a VR headset and give it a try, as long as you are able to return the headset if you are not satisfied. That is what I did, got a Rift at BestBuy and was able to return it within 14 days.

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I returned my rift after a couple weeks. 2 deal breakers for me, the resolution is a major step down from my 4k 40in tv. the other thing is i get motion sickness after a session.  in a couple years i might come back if the tech has advanced enough because the immersion is amazing, like you are really there in the cockpit. 

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i get motion sickness after a session

 

This will be a bigger issue than most people realize with VR technology.....

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I've flown on a flat screen for a long time and have trained my brain to make the conversion from 2D to 3D in my head.

 

What 'conversion'? When you talk of 'a real 3D display' you're either talking about stereoscopic vision or about the fact that the Rift's head tracking creates an impression of being inside the sim. For the latter, we already have that with TrackIR (slogan: 'put your head in the game'). For the former, it is generally accepted that stereoscopic vision only contributes to depth perception up to about 20ft away and hence your stereoscopic display, cool though it is, is only really relevant inside the VC. Everything outside the windows is just like it is on a flat screen (or in real life).

 

Personally I would like to see a monoscopic variant of the Rift, which at least would have a sensible horizontal resolution. Of course that still doesn't mitigate the elephant in the Rift's room, which is that it shuts out those parts of the world that aren't (and don't need to be) simulated.

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I own the vive and I'm not going back to flat screen ever.

As technology improves I'll keep upgrading and adapt

Jay

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What 'conversion'? When you talk of 'a real 3D display' you're either talking about stereoscopic vision or about the fact that the Rift's head tracking creates an impression of being inside the sim. For the latter, we already have that with TrackIR (slogan: 'put your head in the game'). For the former, it is generally accepted that stereoscopic vision only contributes to depth perception up to about 20ft away and hence your stereoscopic display, cool though it is, is only really relevant inside the VC. Everything outside the windows is just like it is on a flat screen (or in real life).

 

Personally I would like to see a monoscopic variant of the Rift, which at least would have a sensible horizontal resolution. Of course that still doesn't mitigate the elephant in the Rift's room, which is that it shuts out those parts of the world that aren't (and don't need to be) simulated.

I meant the conversion that we are doing in our brain when we look at a flat 2D screen of a 3D rendered world. Since it is not stereoscopic, our brain cannot judge distances it can only make a best guesstimate. A flat screen TV only works when we are able to recreate an imagined 3D world in inside our brain from the 2D image, to assist our brains in guessing distances.

 

TrackIR is not 3D. TrackIR just means that we rotate our view looking at a flat image.

 

It is impossible to have a monoscopic 3D display unless the 3D world is actually represented in 3D physical space.

 

The Rift is the real thing, because it presents a virtual world the same way that our eyes see reality. Our eyes collect light from reality which is then projected onto our retinas as a 2D image in each eye. Our brain takes both eyes and converts reality back into 3D.

 

We do not even see reality directly. We convert reality.

 

The Rift works because it presents virtual reality to our eyes the same way as reality does. The flat 2D images in the Rift are just copies of what is placed onto the back of our flat 2D retinas in our eyes when we look at reality.

 

EDIT: At least I think it is impossible to have a monoscopic 3D display of 3D reality. Someone prove me wrong!

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Since it is not stereoscopic, our brain cannot judge distances it can only make a best guesstimate.

 

So you're talking about the stereoscopic display and you have convinced yourself that this makes a big difference to your flight sim. You probably missed the part where I pointed out that stereopsis is irrelevant for the outside view - there's a nice quote from this article that says we are "effectively one-eyed for distances greater than about twenty feet". That article also goes some way towards explaining why we are better at perceiving depth than we predict from the limits of stereopsis (and why one-eyed people can play tennis).

 

We already know that a stereoscopic display is largely an irrelevance for flight sims - nvidia cards have had stereoscopic 3D since about 2008 but hardly anybody uses it for flights sims. Which is why a monoscopic Rift would be much better for flight sims at the current state of the art. But the Rift isn't designed just for flight sims, so we probably won't get it. And people seem to enjoy the game-like experience of sitting in a 3D virtual cockpit. I'm not knocking this, I'm just saying the 3D VC experience isn't the totality of a flight sim and in my estimation isn't worth the great compromises it requires.

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I have been flying my "cockpit" with three 27" in a wrap-around format along with a 4th for gauges.  Been very satisfied with the immersion and good FPS.  Next upgrade I will probably go with three 30" 4K.  I like all the display space for when I do normal computing and design as well as flight simulation.

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So you're talking about the stereoscopic display and you have convinced yourself that this makes a big difference to your flight sim

 

 

No, I appreciate you applying a cold shower on this technology that is excellent. I have not committed to it yet but all my logic tells me the Rift makes a lot of sense.

 

I have no idea what you mean by a "Monoscopic Rift" technology would be. As I understand it, the Rift gives our brain depth information. When we are looking at a flat screen no matter how big, we are one eyed and there is no depth information. How would a monoscopic display give depth information to our brain then?

 

On your point about not seeing 3D beyond twenty feet or so, that argument isn't relevant. The Rift duplicates how our eyes work in reality. So whatever the Rift does is worthwhile because it will induce the same response we have to reality regardless of our eyes limitations in reality. If you stand at the edge of the Grand canyon, will you be more scared looking down in a Rift or just as scared looking at it with a 2D screen? Does the 20 foot limitation matter to your overall emotional reactive response? 2D just can't do that.

 

The reason the Rift has emerged now in 2016 is only because GPU's are just capable of driving two displays in 3D offset. I doubt any card prior to 2010 vintage would have had any hope of doing that.

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I wonder how it goes with the infinitus prime...

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