Bigscreen may have expanded its focus from a remote desktop app for virtual reality (VR) headsets to a social platform where you can watch movies and TV shows but it hasn’t forgotten where it came from. Over the weekend Bigscreen launched its “Streaming Update”, improving a lot of the core functionality of the app, from the performance and audio to UI tweaks and hosting larger rooms of guests.
The first big improvement is the addition of dedicated streaming servers which the Bigscreen team say ups the video streaming quality as well as offering “perfectly synced audio”. Another bonus from using dedicated servers is the ability to reduce the bandwidth requirements for room hosts who would experience choppy video, with blocky, low-quality video artefacts as well as delayed and laggy audio on occasion. Not only has Bigscreen solved those issues the platform has managed to up the room count for both PC VR and Quest users to 15 (previously 12 and 4 users respectively).
On the Remote Desktop side of things there have been some major enhancements, most notably for Meta Quest users. While Meta Quest had basic Bigscreen functionality users would get a laggy and low quality 30fps video stream. The update ensures the Remote Desktop app streams at 60fps over a local network and that when playing videogames the latency can be sub-20ms.
This should all mean that the social aspects of Bigscreen are greatly improved, making sharing your PC screen with a group of mates to watch a film a far more fluid and enjoyable experience.
That’s not all though, voice chat now supports Spatial Audio so group events now feel more immersive as you’ll be able to tell where someone is within a virtual room. Rendering performance has been upped, especially for original Oculus Quest users which can also handle 15 people in one virtual space.
As for what’s next in the coming months, Bigscreen is still working on its Friend System, a built-in YouTube app, and Input streaming for Remote Desktop, including support for Bluetooth gamepads and keyboards. For continued updates from Bigscreen into 2022, keep reading VRFocus.