The best VR video player and the right way to set it up(includ method to watch 4K videos)


Interesting to see that there was a similar thread to mine “ages” ago. If anyone ends up here he might consider catching up on my thread since a lot more players have been tested in detail. Also giving a heads up on pros and cons, which might be preferable for certain use cases.


Guys, after playing with many video players, here I highly recommend the DeoVR player from SteamVR. Now it becomes the only video player I use.
The benefits are many, but first you need to know how to set it up. I have a 5K plus pimax. I use Windows 10, Ryzen 5 2600 and Geforce 1080 (not Ti). The main purpose of this gig is to play my collection of 5K videos as smooth and high quality as possible, so far only DeoVR achieves the best score.
DeoVR deosn’t come with HEVC decoder, but it will give you a link to download the latest LAV filter. The LAV filter will create a folder in the start menu, there you can change the video settings. Of course you want to enable the Nvidia CUVID acceleration, but my experiments told me that it’s actually better to use Ryzen 5’s pure 6 core power to decode. Leave the GPU alone to do the hard part of showing the videos in a 3D space.
I don’t have a Xbox controller, so I downloaded a nice program called “Virtual Controller” from vjoy:

With that nice little app I mapped the space-press to button A-press and and space-release to button A-release (of course you can map many more, but A button is good enough). In options->Output I click the vXbox’s “Settings” button, then click on “Plug In”. Viola! Now I have a xbox gamepad that has only an “A” button, and that’s all I need.
Now you will see in the “SteamVR Status” the gamepad becomes available. Don’t run DeoVR yet, you need to click on the down arrow next to “SteamVR 1.2.10 (or whatever your version)” then choose “Settings”. There you need to “Enable the direct mode” in “Developer” tab. Only then you can run DeoVR.
What’s the difference between direct mode and normal mode? Without direct mode, my 5k videos plays max to 50 fps, but with direct mode the videos plays at 80+ fps. The difference is very obvious when the camera or people moving around in the videos. Everything seems smooth and natural.
Hopefully my little tips here can help you to achieve the best result as well. Happy VR watching!


Sorry, I forgot that in DeoVR you need to disable the “Head Tracking” by setting it to zero. Once it’s disable you can adjust many settings like Zoom video. Also the gamepad icon allow you to assign the buttons to do certain things. I mapped my keyboard’s direction buttons to the controller’s DPad, then I use DPad’s up down to control zooming, and left right to control seeking forward backward. It’s quite helpful when playing the video.
Also don’t forget to enable the “Direct mode” in DeoVR too.


Happy to hear you like DEO player but imho it is not the best player. Having configured and set LAV filters’ hardware decoder to cuda, performance is no issue for 5/6k footage on a 1080ti at least. I like Simple Player VR and Whirligig a lot more in terms of picture quality. Whirligigs inbuild controller mapping allows you to map anything, even wands and knuckles which are more comfortable than a gamecontroller.
Deo is best on a weak rig because you can disable direct mode if video gets too demanding. Don’t get me wrong, deo is great, beeing free and all, but I don’t agree it is the best. It unfortunately somehow lacks of contrast and you always need to crank up contrast bewtween 2-10% (+0,5 sharpness) depending on footage and you need to do it EACH time since it does not save gobal settings for videos which I find very annoying.


Vjoy btw is awesome!!! I use it as one part of the chain on my 3dconnexion controller. After vjoy, I convert to midi and use it to send commands to cubase. It is also fun to use it for mouse /keyboard games. Thanks to vjoy I can use the controller for WASD.


may have an edge with ryzen over of my 6700k so this may indeed be an alternative to gpu acceleration. But I cant do it with my cpu although I don’t think that it is weak (OC to 4,5 - 4,8) but sure, probably for multitasking ryzen shows it’s strenght in a case like that and the additional cores come in handy.


@noro Yeah, you are right in many points. I just need a free player. Picture quality is not the biggest concern. I just love the smoothness after enabling the direct mode. For me it’s much more noticeable.
When I use direct mode plus software decode. The power usage is %70 cpu and %50 GPU, and everything looks great (maybe except the contrast).
When I use Nvidia CUVID to decode the video, the usage becomes %20 cpu and %80 GPU. The picture will have some obvious stuttering. I think it is because the GPU is doing both decoding and 3D rendering at the same time. A little too much for it. I think a 1080ti can do both, but I didn’t want to spend money on that. The machine is not for gaming anyway.


I just tested the Whirligig. It seems still has a long way to go. The interface is fancy but not practical. Unlike DeoVR, where one A button change everything, for Whirligig to work I have to remember which key to press, like F8 to open file browser and Y to switch between mono and 3D. It doesn’t have have an intuitive way to switch between 3D/2D/SBS/HOU, and 180/360/Flat like DeoVR. I have to figure it out.
Then it cannot open the regular x264 mkv, which is very strange. HEVC videos are fine, but x264 should be universally supported, right? DeoVR didn’t give me this problem. It opens all videos like an ace.
In Whirligig, the letters in the file browser are too small to read as well. I can read them, but it is not comfortable.
Lastly the video shouldn’t show up in the main screen. I don’t want people to see what I am watching. DeoVR did a great job in this. It shows movies only in the headset, which I appreciate it. Whirligig opens movies in full screen with no control, which not only hard to minimize, it’s not practical at all.
I heard good things about Simple Player, but it’s not free, also in its description it says “keyboard and mouse free”. So I worry that it will not work with my setup like many other players.


Well I admit that Whirligigs flaw is to get used to the massive options. The switch is very intuitive btw., since its just one button :slight_smile: mirroring can! be deactivated. it takes some time to figure it out, but after that, you are glad of all the options. Also for watching 2d movies. Unlike deo you can curve the screen rear and bottom! With simple player VR at least the rears. With deo…nada.
You can map ANYTHING the way you like in whirligigs mapping options, so you’ll remember.
As for simple player look at @Heliosurge free apps thread, you can DL the non steam version for free legally. Simple Player VR is the very best in terms of visual quality, make sure to have enhanced checked in the options.


@noro Thanks for the heads up!! Will try the simple player.
Curve screen is not important to me. Yeah, it’s nice to have but not essential.
I couldn’t figure out how to switch the Whirligig rendering method. And how to map keyboard keys. The vjoy controller somehow crash the Whirligig occasionally. So I’d like to use only the keyboard. Thanks again for your help!


don’t u have wands? you do not need vjoy for whirligig as you can map wands-touch/Xbox controller/keyboard