There’s no doubt that 2016 is the year of VR. The high-end VR devices are now available for everyone, and it’s never been easier to record a VR 360-degree video.
There are literally tons of 360-degree videos all over the internet. The majority of browsers support them, so we can enjoy watching VR content online, without owning a VR device. But what if we want to download a 360-degree video? Your regular video players, such as Windows Media Player or the Windows 10 Video app still don’t support it, although they probably will in the future.
Luckily, there are some players that, besides regular video formats, support VR videos, as well. As a result, we’ve come up with a list of the best 360-degree video players for Windows you can find right now. Check out our list below, to find out the best solutions for the best possible VR experience in Windows 10.
Best players for watching 360-degree videos in Windows 10
Video 360 (recommended)
If you’re more into UWP apps for Windows 10, than regular programs, Video 360 is a VR video player for you. This extremely simple app allows you to watch 360-degree videos on any Windows 10 device, as it’s compatible with both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile.
It allows you to easily move the camera with your fingers on Mobile devices, or with a mouse cursor on your computer. The app uses YouTube as a source for 360-degree videos. Since it was developed Webrox, the developer of one of the most popular YouTube clients for Windows 10, Tubecast, these two apps perfectly work together. As soon as you open Video 360, it will use Tubecast to search for 360-degree videos on YouTube, and you’ll be able to play them.
Video 360 is available in the Windows Store for the price of $2.99, but you can try its trial version for free.
GOM Player (suggested)
GOM is definitely the most famous name on our list, and one of the best-known video players, in general. This video player is used mainly for playing ‘regular’ videos, but also has 360-degree video support.
GOM Player allows you to play 360-degree videos downloaded on your computer, but the best thing is that you can play 360-degree videos directly from YouTube, without bothering to download them. To play a 360-degree video in GOM Player, simply right-click anywhere on the screen, go to Playback 360 degree video, and then click Playback 360 degree video to load a list 360-degree videos available on YouTube.
As soon as you select a video you want to play, the playback will automatically start. You can watch a video from various perspectives, like top, bottom, left or right. Just move your mouse cursor between the screens, or use a dedicated keyboard shortcut.
5KPlayer is also one of the best VR players for Windows computers. It supports a high variety of formats, including 4K, 5K, HD, SD, and even 8K videos. And of course, 3D/360° VR videos, and VR movies.
Another great feature of 5KPlayer is that it allows you to download videos from more than 300 video-sharing services, including Facebook, Yahoo, DailyMotion, Vimeo, Vevo, Metacafe, Myspace, Vine, UStream, MTV, Instagram, Bliptv, LiveLeak. So, if you’ve just seen a great VR video on YouTube, you can keep it on your computer with 5KPlayer.
5KPlayer is available for free, and you can download it from the tool’s official page.
Plain VR is another UWP app for playing 360-degree content, but unlike Video 360, it’s free, and only available on Windows 10 Mobile.
You don’t need a VR device connected to your phone to be able to watch VR videos with this app. Plain VR shows VR videos in a regular view, allowing you to pan around by moving the phone.
The biggest downside of this app is that you can only watch online VR videos with it. To do so, you need to import a video URL from the source, and stream it through the app. You can’t watch videos locally stored on your device, but we hope the developer will eventually change this.
That’s about it for our top picks for watching 360-degree videos on Windows 10 devices. We know the offer is not very generous, but that’s simply because the VR technology itself is relatively young. As we said, we expect many more video players will start supporting the VR technology soon. Until then, we have to work with what we have.
Do you agree with our choices? If you have other recommendations, let us know in the comments below .
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