Much like the Netflix VR app, Hulu’s take allows you to watch videos in a virtual setting. But whereas Netflix only includes a living room environment and an empty ‘void’ space, Hulu’s app includes locations ranging from a theater, to a living room, to a beach. You can also adjust the outside scenes and lighting in each environment, which is a nice touch.
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Another advantage over the Netflix VR app: it actually includes virtual reality content. Whereas with the Netflix app you’re just watching 2D videos projected onto a large screen, Hulu includes some VR content from the likely of Discovery, Nat GEO, Showtime and others. There are 25 videos in all so far – including Hulu’s first original VR short film – and you can actually watch these without a Hulu subscription.
VR aside, you might wonder why you’d want to watch 2D video using a headset instead of your TV or the convenience of your unadulterated phone screen, but as someone who’s used a Gear VR for several months, it can actually be a superior viewing experience to your home theater system. VR allows you to feel like you’re watching content on a much bigger screen than you might have access to at home, and in a completely isolated environment. Having your own personal Imax theater, even if virtual, is pretty nifty.
Of course, you miss out on being able to watch things with friends, but it can be a great viewing experience if you’re binge-watching a show solo. It’s also nice that you can move the screen wherever you want, so you could theoretically lay in bed and watch a movie in your virtual ‘ceiling.’
Currently the device is only available for the Gear VR, but the company says it will arrive for more devices and platforms soon. We imagine that will include the Oculus Rift when it launches, given the Gear VR uses Oculus technology.