Find The Top VR Series, TV Shows And Movies
VR is becoming more mainstream. While most people associate virtual reality with video gaming, it’s becoming clear that there are many more applications for this advanced technology. The worlds of health and fitness, and medicine and travel, among others have adopted VR to great advantage helping people to enjoy new experiences, improve their well-being and discover new things.
One of the most exciting recent developments has been in the world of VR movies and television. With the latest headsets, viewers can plunge themselves into an immersive and engaging three dimensional world of drama, history or blockbuster storytelling. Find out more about the best VR series, TV shows and movies in this article which is written in collaboration with Bet MGM.
VR Films, Videos and TV Shows
How To Watch VR Films, Videos And TV Shows
Where To Watch VR Films, Videos and TV Shows
Best VR Films of all times
Best VR TV Shows
Best VR Series
Best 80 movies about VR
Not so long ago, the idea of watching a TV show or movie in virtual reality was just a pipe dream. The technology simply wasn’t there to enable us to immerse ourselves into a virtual world. Of course, that didn’t stop writers and movie directors from seizing on the idea. As long ago as the 1970s film makers were considering the possibilities that VR could offer and were making movies around the concept. Some of the best known movies today are focused on VR including the original 1980s Total Recall movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger which saw the leading man plunged into a virtual world where he lived the perfect life.
Although technology hasn’t quite caught up to the possibilities outlined in movies, there have been considerable advances over the past few years. Now, many TV and movie companies as well as independent producers and directors have recognized the possibilities that VR can hold for viewer entertainment and have begun to create their own television shows, movies and series utilizing this cutting edge technology.
VR films, TV shows and videos are on the rise, and it’s easy to see why. They offer a considerably more immersive experience than any of their 3D counterparts, with 360 degree viewing that makes viewers feel as if they were truly there with the actors. This doesn’t just make these VR movies more exciting and interesting, they make them watchable again and again since you’re most likely to spot something different each time you watch as you’re able to look right around you at any given moment.
However, despite the exciting potential of VR films, some really aren’t worth the bother. Some are horribly underdeveloped while even those which have strong backing sometimes suffer from issues or poor storytelling. There also aren’t yet any full-length VR feature films, so that’s something to bear in mind if you like to absorb yourself in a long drama. Only short films have so far made it onto the market. Nevertheless, many of the offerings available are well worth a look, and provide a fascinating insight into the possibilities that the future of VR TV holds.
If you already have a headset for playing games, you should definitely consider broadening your horizons and using it to watch videos too. Whether you have an HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Oculus Go, you can still enjoy everything that VR movies have to offer. Even more interestingly, you aren’t only restricted to watching series and films that have been made specifically for virtual reality headsets. In fact, you can watch any movies on your headset, whether they may 3D, 2D or 360 degree productions.
If you’re wondering why you would want to use your headset to watch videos when you could be playing games, you should definitely give it a try to see the difference that a headset can make to your video-watching experience. Imagine that you’re watching a movie in 3D on a curved television which measures 100 inches and which fills your visual field entirely. It’s an experience that has to be seen to be believed.
Of course, it’s important to remember that virtual reality is still at a relatively early stage of development. The resolution of your headset may not be quite as advanced as your regular TV set or cinema screen when it comes to seeing high quality video. You’ll be able to see pixels and you’ll find your movies has a “screen door effect”. Also, you need to be aware that you might find the headset a little uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time, not to mention you might find that your eyes begin to hurt. However, with the shorter-length shows and movies you can find that are especially made for virtual reality, you’ll find that the experience is perfectly comfortable and mind-blowingly impressive.
There are four types of video which can be watched on a VR headset. You can obtain each from a different source:
- A standard 2D video – these are regular videos which can be found on Blu-ray discs, DVDs or on YouTube.
- A 3D video – you’ve probably watched a 3D movie at least once in a movie theater and now you can purchase them in 3D for viewing on Blu-Ray paired with a 3D TV. You can watch these movies in BR too by ripping the 3D blu-ray to an over under or side by side format. This can then be played on your headset in full 3D. Usually, you have the choice of Full SBS (this contains full resolution for each eye) or Half SBS )this contains subsampled half resolution for each eye). While Full SBS videos have a much higher quality, they’ll take up more storage space on the hard drive and require extra graphics power if you want to play them, so this is something to bear in mind.
- 360 or 180 degree videos – these are relatively new types of video however there are several already on YouTube. Some can also be downloaded from a range of other sources. Using your mouse with your 2D computer monitor, you can drag around the video to observe different views, but if you play them on your HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, you’ll find that you can physically move your head to look around. That’s pretty cool!
- Full VR videos – this is a format which combines 360 or 180 degree footage with 3D footage to provide a fully immersive, three-dimensional, head-tracking experience. Some are available on YouTube for free, while others can be purchased from certain companies out there.
It’s fair to say that at the moment, there aren’t many VR and 360 degree videos available, however VR as a technology is on the rise and this means the range available will be increased too.
In the meantime, there are options to watch standard movies on Netflix, Hulu or on other apps using your VR headset. While these won’t give you the same fully immersive experience that you would enjoy with a movie or show that was designed specifically for virtual reality viewing, it will still allow you a great deal more enjoyment than simply watching it on a regular flat screen television. There are also a lot more options open to you if you want to watch these regular shows and movies through your headset. A quick browse through the contents of any of the most popular apps will reveal a wealth of programs and films that you can access easily and enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
If you do want to watch a regular 2D or 3D film using your headset, however, you’re going to need to know what to do. This will vary depending on which headset you’ve got. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the different headsets on the market and the best ways to access movies and shows for them.
If you have the Oculus Go which is a self-contained unit which doesn’t connect to your PC, you’ll need to utilize the in-built Browser app. This is launched by using the menu. Some videos can simply be streamed direct to your headset without any need to download them however, those which do need to be downloaded should be downloaded to the PC then directly copied onto your Oculus VR headset with your USB cable. Alternatively, you can use Skybox VR to stream the videos from your Mac or PC to the Oculus Go headset.
To stream the movie from a website directly, click after the movie has begun playing then click on the HQ icon to change the quality to the highest possible resolution or HD. By default, most sites use a blurry resolution but HD is usually available for manual selection and it will give you a much better viewer experience.
There are a few other options too. For example, if you have a Plex server, you can simply install the Plex client from your store then connect to the server. However, if you’d prefer not to mix your videos into the Plex server or want a quicker and easier way of simply playing directly downloaded content, Skybox VR player is an excellent option.
What is Skybox? Essentially, it’s a digital VR theater or content library which catalogs videos on your device so you can watch almost anything you desire in virtual reality on your headset. Just install the Skybox app and you’ll be good to go. Even better, it won’t just work with any video which is locally stored on your device – you’re also able to utilize the AirScreen plugin which allows you to stream video from your computer (so long as you’re using the same Wi-Fi network as your other device). You can find the Skybox client on the Gear VR, Daydream or Oculus Go store. You can then find videos which are already on your PC in the Skybox download section. Choose the right client for your Mac or PC, download it, install and you’re ready to get started.
It’s easy to use Skybox. Just click on “Open” and add folders or files to the library. If you want to play the videos, drag them to the player window and drop them there. It isn’t necessarily a quick process, but it’s not complicated and when it’s done, you’ll see all your videos right there in Skybox. Now, you connect it to the PC by clicking on the AirScreen button and selecting “Search Device”. Your PC will show up in seconds. Click on the PC button to connect to it and straight away, you’ll see all of the videos which you’ve already added to your PC’s Skybox library ready for viewing on your headset.
Usually, Skybox works perfectly well. However, if, for some reason, the movie doesn’t play correctly click on the menu and use the cube icon which adjusts your playback options. Choose between 360, 180 or side by side formats. If you don’t know which one to use, try trial and error until you think the picture appears properly. If that fails, utilize the settings button. This will allow you to adjust the aspect ratio and other settings for a perfect result.
HTC Vive Or Oculus Rift
If you have an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headset, you can also use the Skybox VR player to watch the videos on your computer. It can be downloaded from Steam or the Oculus Rift Store depending on your headset and it’s a brilliant free app that gives you plenty of options for adjusting your playback. Again, you can use the cube icon just like with the Oculus Go to adjust playback options if the movie doesn’t display properly, or install a K-Lite codec pack as a last-resort measure if you find movies aren’t playing at all. This should get things going.
There is another option if you’re using the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. This is to use Whirligig. There are several apps available which allow you to watch videos in virtual reality, however Whirligig is arguably one of the very best. There is an older version available for free, but the newer version is worth paying a small amount for on Steam since it offers improvements, new features and updates. It will also play large files more smoothly.
Note that if you have an Oculus Rift headset you’re going to need to enable the Unknown Sources option as this will enable SteamVR to use the headset. Remember that Rift allows only Oculus Store apps so this means that Steam games and SteamVR won’t work without enabling this option.
Once you have Whirligig, you should open up Steam and open the Library tab. Click on “Games” then “Software”. This will find the Whirligig app in the library. Next, right click on the Whirligig icon in the sidebar, go into Properties and click on the Betas tab. This will allow you to opt into the must up to date beta, enabling Whirligig to automatically update to the most recent version. Once this is complete, you may have to download the K-Lite Codec Pack and install it, The Basic version is adequate as long as you choose the Expert radio button.
After completing the download and installation procedure, it’s time to launch the Whirligig app in your VR headset. You’ll be able to use the Vive touchpad, Xbox One or 360 controller, keyboard or mouse to control your menus. You can watch your video by clicking on the Browse button and selecting the file you wish to watch. Once the video is playing, you may need to alter the settings with the heads-up controls.
The best settings are as follows:
- For standard 2D videos you should set the projector to cinema curved or cinema
- For 3D videos you may need to check the settings you’ve used. You should check whether its full side by side, half side by side, full over-under or half over-under. Choose either cinema curved or cinema for the project settings then choose OU or SBS rather than Monu. The exception to this is if you have half SBS video. You should then choose stretch to 100. This will ensure it displays with the right aspect ratio.
- 360 or 180 degree video requires the projector to be set to Fisheye with FOV at 180 (for 180 degree video) or Barrel with 360 FOV for 360 degree video. In some cases, you’ll need to tweak the rotation for 360 videos or tilt for 180 ones. This will ensure the video faces the correct direction for viewing.
- Full VR videos can be watched by combining the right settings from the above 360 or 180 degree video and 3D video sections above.
You’re also able to adjust the distance and scale settings to suit your preferences, while the settings cog allows you an even greater range of options.
There is another option available if you don’t want to use Whirligig and you’re prepared to pay a little more. Virtual Desktop is quite good and can achieve more than just playing videos. In fact, it’s a VR version of a regular PC desktop. All you need to do is play videos in your desktop player, set the settings to full screen and you’re good to go.
Now you know how to watch VR shows, videos and movies on your headset, you need to know where to find them. The best way to do this is to use some of the apps which have been designed to incorporate all the necessary features to benefit from this cutting-edge video viewing technology.
There are several apps which allow movie watching in VR. Netflix is one of the biggest and best-known options, with Hulu following closely behind along with HBO GO. If you have PSVR, you’ll have even more options when it comes to watching VR movies through the cinematic mode when compared with other available platforms. The PlayStation VR headset can be used to watch movies from literally any streaming service which has a PlayStation app. That means you can easily watch any movie you own or rent, with some movies being available for purchase via the PlayStation Store.
Another popular option for watching shows, series and movies is YouTube. There are many VR titles available for free on this platform which are accessible to users who have a wide range of headsets. That means that whether you have an HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Oculus Go or even one of the other options such as the PlayStation VR or Daydream you can enjoy all of the benefits of virtual reality programming in the comfort of your own living room.
It’s fair to say that you can watch pretty much any movie in VR using your headset. All you have to do is pop on your headset, visit YouTube, Netflix, Hulu or any of the other popular apps, download the title of your choice and start watching. However, those movies which were created in 2D or even 3D simply can’t offer you the same kind of quality experience as a movie which was designed and created for viewing in virtual reality can.
There are only a limited number of VR films out there at the moment. Those which are available are all short films. This much is true. However, when you watch them, you’ll be amazed at the difference of the experience they can offer. You’ll truly feel as if you’re immersed in the virtual world of the characters and you’ll really be a part of the story and the action.
Nevertheless, not every VR movie is really worth the time and effort taken to find and watch it. Unfortunately, some lack development, have poor narrative or just aren’t very good. If you want to have the best possible viewing experience when watching movies that were designed purely for VR headsets, you need to read on and discover the following 25 films which were all created for virtual reality and all of which have been tried and tested.
If you’re seeking a fun experience which is suitable for both adults and kids, you’ll love Invasion. This short film won awards for its great interactive storytelling. The plot revolves around two aliens who dream of conquering the planet. However, once they arrive, they’re met by two rabbits. With lovely visuals and stunning animation, this short movie is narrated by actor Ethan Hawke.
2. Ashes to Ashes
This is a more adult movie than Invasion but well worth watching. Telling the tale of a very dysfunctional family who are struggling to cope with the loss of their grandfather whose final request was that his ashes were blown up, this movie puts the viewer in the role of the urn of ashes. This allows you to observe the tale passively as it unfolds. Not only that, but it also exposes the processes of moviemaking behind the scenes, showing the crew and actors out of their roles.
3. It: Float
If you’re a fan of the horror genre and loved the retelling of IT by Stephen King, you’re going to love this VR version. You’re transported to the abode of Pennywise the Clown. The details are horrifying, so it isn’t a suitable movie for kids or those who are easily scared, but if you love a bit of adrenaline seeking, you should check this one out.
4. The Conjuring 2 – Enfield 360 Experience
Horror fans will also love the Conjuring 2 – a VR experience which was originally developed to promote the full length regular movie’s release. The viewer enters the Hodgson’s home, experiencing the full horror of the Enfield Haunting. You’ll see objects moving, lights flickering and lots of other terrifying close-up moments.
5. The Invisible Man
This short film has more plot than many other VR movies out there. You’re watching Kid and Mick – low-level drug traffickers who have hidden their stash in a barn. When Frank – the man they owe money to – arrives at their hideout, they have to play Russian Roulette to settle their scores.
6. Duck Tales: The Lost Keys of Tralla La
A great choice for kids and adults who want to recapture their youth, this Duck Tales VR short film is a cool venture into an episode of the classic cartoon. At just under two minutes in length, it’s fun without being too long for those who experience nausea when in the virtual world.
7. The Protectors: Walk in the Ranger’s Shoes
BR has made an amazing impact on the journalistic sphere and this short film takes journalism to a new and immersive level, taking the viewer through a single day in the life of a ranger. We all know that elephants are an endangered species and this VR National Geographic video shows us how park rangers in the Garamba National Park of the Democratic Republic of the Congo tries to stop poachers from slaughtering more of their number.
8. The Displaced
This New York Times content is a short video which follows the lives of three children who have been affected by warfare. From Ukraine, Syria and the Sudan, these kids have had to leave the homes they knew to survive the conflict.
If you’re looking for a great horror movie experience in the full immersiveness of VR, Rings is the movie for you. With its Japanese style storytelling, the Ring movies are already popular worldwide and this spin-off puts the viewer in a room with a TV set out of which a drowned girl emerges. You follow a set of events which lead to complete horror. It may be under 2 minutes in length, but the intensity is serious.
10. The K3YS: ASMR Experience
This ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) video promises a tingly experience for viewers where the senses are tantalized in every respect. You’ll be whisked through a sensory experience in a wood, with a trio of hooded women known as wisdom, courage and time who accompany you on your journey.
11. Marshall from Detroit
This 20 minute film shows viewers Detroit, the Motor City, through the eyes of music star Eminem. Join radio host Sway Calloway and legendary rapper Marshall Mathers as they head off on a night time ride through the cityscape. Marshall talks about his career and the role the city played in it while the stunning city views roll by.
12. Traveling While Black
Discover this VR documentary from Roger Ross Williams, an Academy Award-winning director. Taking its inspiration from the mid-20th century travel guide called the Green Book aimed at African American travelers who needed to find safe places to stay and eat while on America’s roads, this movie explores discrimination in a time of segregation.
This movie was worked on by a team that have previously collaborated on projects like Toy Story 3 and Brave, so you can expect a similar experience to a Pixar short. This film tells the tale of a hedgehog called Henry who is preparing for a celebration for his birthday. All alone, he wishes he had a friend in a touching tale with narration by actor Elijah Wood. It’s child-friendly, but adults will love this sweet tale too.
14. Coco VR
Disney bring animation magic to a brand new medium – VR. Their Oscar winning movie Coco has now moved into the virtual reality sphere in this short interactive and immersive movie which takes you into the dead’s magical kingdom. The viewer meets Hector, Miguel and Cici and discovers locations that are familiar from the recently released kids’ film. You’ll love the stunning visuals while the experience itself is interactive, allowing you to dress up, dance and enjoy other immersive activities.
15. Dear Angelica
This VR short was created using the Quill tool that allows illustrators to directly animate in virtual reality. For this reason, Dear Angelica represents a unique and exciting experience. Starring Mae Whitman and Geena Davis, this movie features hand-drawn animations and tells the tale of a daughter who remembers her mother, Angelica while watching her movies. Moving, lively and poignant, this film draws viewers into the action and surrounds them with works of art that are truly amazing.
16. Jack Of All Trades
Cirkus is an international production company which puts imagination at the center of everything they do. The team of animation directors have won awards for their work and it’s easy to see why. Mixing up styles and techniques, this short creates entertaining and exciting images which really impress in the virtual environment.
17. VR Dream Treatment Follow Up Patient DCAEX431
Having won top place in the T&T’s creators challenge in 2017, this short takes the viewer into a scientist’s crazy lab as patient DCAEX431 who is there for a follow up treatment. Bridging a gap between vision and real life, this stunning movie is in full VR 360 degree action.
Dirrogate is a teaser for a Stereoscopic 360 VR novel and goes some way towards demonstrating with iClone’s VR animation team can really do.
19. Heroes of Night and Tragic
This strange little tale tells the story about someone who is trapped in a shoebox before a tragic occurrence takes place. This is the only movie so far from the Ateater experimental theater company, but it’s entertaining and creative.
20. The Dream Collector
As one of the finalists at the Venice VR film festival, the Dream Collector is a sweet and well-crafted tale of a dog and an old man who collect together broken dreams before trying to repair them. This VR animation is child-friendly but adults will be enchanted too.
21. Back To The Moon
This is a delightful animated short which pays homage to Georges Melies, the pioneer of movies. This isn’t just an entertaining film, it also offers an interactive experience to viewers with the story taking a break until the watcher looks at the correct place.
22. Age Of Sail
This is a touching short which was premiered at the Venice film festival telling the tale of a sailor who meets a young girl who brings him a fresh lease of new life. The animations have a very unusual style, but the story itself is convincing and beautiful. Viewers are whisked away to a wooden boat in the ocean – a wonderful use of the power of virtual reality.
23. Buggy Night
This cute and funny film from Spotlight Stories tells the story of little bugs who try to escape from dangers like a frog and a light! This is another interactive story which will only progress once the viewer has looked in the correct direction.
This short was the first ever virtual reality film to be nominated for an Oscar and it’s easy to see why. The tale centers around a father and daughter who are taking a cross-country drive whilst making music. Beautiful and with a strong focus on the auditory experience, this movie is a top choice for watching with your headset.
25. The Martian
This short VR film was released as a sneak preview of the movie of the same name. Starring Matt Damon, this movie lasts for 20 minutes and uses shots from the actual filming of the movie itself allowing viewers to experience the surface of Mars, all from the main character’s perspective.
These 25 movies were all created specifically for viewing in the virtual reality format and it really shows. While viewing a regular 2D or even a 3D movie on a VR headset will give you a more engaging and exciting experience when compared with watching through the flat screen of your regular TV set, you’ll find that a fully immersive VR film offers something incredible. Tailored to the specific demands of the software, each virtual reality experience is engaging, interactive and really makes the viewer feel a part of the action – something which simply isn’t possible even with the very best 3D graphics and filmmaking. Try watching any of these 25 movies for VR and you’ll see exactly what we mean.
In the same way as you can watch regular 3D or 2D movies through your VR headset using one of the apps out there like Netflix or Hulu, there are also TV shows which can be viewed through your Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or Oculus Go headset. While they’ll offer a more engaging and exciting experience than watching the action on your regular TV, they won’t be a patch on the quality TV shows which have been designed and created purely with virtual reality in mind.
The VR TV show market is still a relatively small one. However, there have been more developers, writers and directors out there who are keen to cash in on the latest advances in VR technology. It is for this reason that there are a small number of television shows which have been filmed for viewing on a VR headset and that number is growing all the time as interest increases and technology advances even further.
These shows which are created for VR viewing have been carefully designed to offer a fully immersive and often an interactive experience. By allowing the viewer to engage with the content in an unusual and unique way, these TV shows offer something truly special that cannot be replicated elsewhere. If only for this reason it’s certainly worth investing in one of the latest headsets and experiencing the thrill of watching television through VR.
However, once you’ve made the investment in a headset, how do you know which shows to watch. There are still limited numbers to pick from, and some aren’t perfect. However, there are several TV shows which have been specifically developed for viewing in VR which are well worth your time. Some of the best include the following.
1. VR Comedy Door No 1
Door No. 1 allows viewers to direct their own movie. This TV show is set at a ten-year high school reunion where you have one more chance to prove what an amazing person you are. You can tell your own tale in your own way. From visiting hermits to confronting bullies, VR Comedy Door No 1 gives you an exciting insight into the potential of VR.
2. Doctor Who: The Runaway
For fans of Doctor Who, this single VR episode is a treat. Starring Jodie Whittaker as the first female doctor, this animation from the BBC encompasses interactive elements as you pilot the TARDIS to take an alien home. Beautifully designed and highly creative, it’s a fun and engaging view into the world of this popular series.
This TV show takes the viewer behind the scenes at the Cirque du Soleil as the artistes prepare for their performance of Immercirque. Here, Danila Blim takes viewers backstage and shows them makeup, training, costume and an amazing performance.
4. Wild With: Bears
If you love a nature documentary, you’re sure to love it even more in VR. This show takes you into the wilderness so you can see Kodiak grizzly bears close up. There’s no more immersive way to see life size grizzlies without the risk of getting attacked!
5. Elton John – Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour: The Launch
If you’re a fan of rock music, or of Elton John himself, you’re sure to love this amazing VR TV experience. This show lets viewers join Sir Elton John live on-stage for an up close performance and a chat with Anderson Cooper with the man himself.
6. Isle Of Dogs Behind The Scenes
The Isle of Dogs animated movie was a feat of stop motion film making by Wes Anderson and this short TV program is dedicated to taking viewers behind the scenes to show them the process of making the movie with the crew creating the animation around them.
7. The Joel Embiid 360 Degree Experience
If you’re a fan of basketball you’ll love this VR experience that lets viewers get up close to NBA star Joel Ambiid. Watch him take on one to one match ups and destroy the rim in an immersive video produced by GQ.
8. Free Solo 360
One fantastic aspect of virtual reality is the way in which it can transport the viewer to places that they could never visit in real life. In Free Solo 360 you can visit Yosemite National Park’s El Capital with Alex Honnold who is taking a daunting solo free climb.
9. Africa’s Pristine Delta in 360
Discover Botswana’s secluded wetland of the Okavango Delta on an eighteen-day long expedition with Dr Steve Boyes. Captured in the splendor of virtual reality, this show lets viewers see elephants, zebras lions and other African wildlife species all live in their own natural habitat.
10. Lines Of Sight
This is a groundbreaking TV show which allows viewers to experience the thrill of heli skiing without ever having to leave your sofa or the warm comfort of your home.
11. Do Not Touch
This fun TV show lets you see what happens if you touch the art inside a museum. You’ll discover that this can have some seriously unintended consequences in this AI style show which transfers you into a world of paintings and artwork.
12. Nightflyers VR
If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones and are missing this popular TV series you can get your fix of George RR Martin with Syfy’s Nightflyers. This VR show takes you with Kel aboard the ship in the role of a new recruit so you can discover secrets about the mysterious cargo that the ship is holding.
13. Jeep Sessions: A Surfing Journey
Not only will this show let you witness Malia Manuel and Jordy Smit, the WSL Championship Tour surfers carving the waves, but it also documents the quest to find some of the world’s top surfing spots along with a plethora of amazing vistas along the route.
14. Deep Dive
Although this show doesn’t have any narration, this only adds to the experience since you can genuinely feel as if you’re diving in the waters that surround Gili Trawangan in Indonesia. This is a very calming experience which allows viewers to explore the ocean bottom.
15. A Day In St Pete Clearwater
If you’ve never been to Clearwater or St Petersburg, you simply can’t imagine how beautiful this part of Florida really is, but this show lets you experience this stunning location in all its glory. Thanks to the immersive technology of virtual reality, you can take a full day tour of the St Petersburg area, and while you can’t physically feel the hot sand, you can see the blue ocean, experience the bar scene and enjoy the sights without having to pay for an expensive vacation.
16. Against Blue Currents
VR offers the advantage of having absolutely no physical constraints – an idea that Against Blue Currents has run with. This VR experience shows you all of the delights that some of the most exotic locations around the globe can offer without ever having to leave the comfort of your home. You can dive into the ocean and discover marine animals in their amazing habitats, even if you’ve never scuba dived in your life!
17. KINOSCOPE: A VR Journey Into The World Of Cinema
We all know and love the cinema, and with most of us watching at least one movie a week and visiting a movie theater monthly, it’s clear that this art form is here to stay. Yet, despite our fixation with cinema, we know little about its history. This immersive virtual reality experience aims to change all of that, taking you through cinema’s earliest days. Viewers can see how this industry started up and the ways in which it was changed over the years.
18. Celebrate World Cup 2018
If you’re a soccer fan, you’ll love this show which takes you right to the heart of the excitement of the 2018 World Cup. If you would have loved to attend the event but couldn’t spare the time or couldn’t afford the ticket, this show lets you travel to Russia and enjoy the popular sport close up. You can experience first hand what it was like to sit with thousands of fans and cheer your team on as they moved towards victory.
19. Star Wars – Hunting Of The Fallen
Star Wars is one of the most popular movies ever to have been released, and now this VR show is set to make even the most reticent viewer fall in love with the universe that spawned Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Telling the tale of Jedi warriors who managed to survive after the execution of Order 66, this engaging story won’t disappoint any fan.
20. Friend Like Me – Aladdin On Broadway
Whether you’re a Disney fan or a lover of musicals, this show will engage you from the outset. Musicals have long been one of the best ways of telling stories and involving the audience and this program which captures the magic of live theater is sure to delight and impress in equal measure. You’ll sit in a front row seat and truly feel part of the action when you watch the performance from the best vantage point.
21. Kit Kat #MyTravelBreak
If you’ve ever eaten a Kit Kat, you’ll be familiar with the tagline “Take A Break”. Now, the marketing team behind the chocolate bar has produced a 360 degree show which offers everything you could possibly want from an exciting virtual tour. You’ll see stunning landscapes, pristine scenery and experience the rich culture of India in this special virtual reality show.
22. NASA: Cassini’s Grand Finale
Who isn’t intrigued by the beauty and danger of space? Whether you’re a fan of astronomy or whether you’re simply keen to enjoy a unique VR experience, this show won’t fail to impress, outlining the 20 year journey of the Cassini spacecraft.
23. National Geographic: Lions 360
One of the best uses of VR has been to allow viewers to get up close to wildlife and natural phenomena. This video centers around a lion growing up into adulthood in his native Zambia. You can see these wild creatures in all their glory and splendor but experience no danger at all with this show.
24. What Happens Inside Your Body?
This show delivers information in a manner which is simple to understand. Colorful and fun, this virtual presentation reveals the workings of many of your body’s key systems. The camera cleverly transports the viewer between different parts of the body, traveling through blood vessels, and all the while the narration explains how each system which you’ve visited functions.
25. New York Times: We Who Remain
You can expect the New York Times to produce some seriously impressive content, and indeed, We Who Remain won’t disappoint. This virtual reality documentary informs viewers about citizens’ lives as they suffer from warfare taking place between the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North. This may not be a story which is action packed, but it does tell a real life tale and will provoke plenty of thought amongst viewers as they see the victim of war and experience their hardships first hand.
Watch any of these 25 TV shows which have been designed specifically for VR viewing and you’re sure to be impressed by the immersive and interactive nature of the content. It’s certainly a far cry from switching on your regular TV set and passively watching your favorite show. You’ll be getting up close and personal with the characters, seeing the sets in intimate detail and exploring the finer plot points in a way that you would never have dreamed to be possible just a few years ago.
Of course, it’s now possible to watch numerous TV series in VR thanks to the many streaming services like Netflix and Hulu which offer apps which can be used on headsets. However, most of these have been designed for viewing on regular TV. Yet now, there are a number of series which have been specifically created for VR viewers. You can find these on streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, and some are well worth your time thanks to the engaging content, the interactive elements and the immersive nature of the film making.
Which series should you download and watch? It can be hard to make a choice, but we’ve done all the hard work for you and highlighted the top options available today. Here are 25 of the best VR series available online today for your pleasure, excitement and interest.
This original series focuses on design and is set the change how viewers see the world. This series presents design in terms of how it intersects with anthropology, technology and science, weaving several items together which link every episode through a humanistic theme. Presented by charismatic and well known designer, Paola Antonelli who takes the role of a guide, this series takes audiences through a fun, surprising and captivating journey where they travel around the world to discover the stories of different artists and the projects that they’re working on. From bizarre inventions to objects which we regularly use but don’t really think about, this series invites the viewer to look at the world in different and exciting ways.
2. Bro Bots
This sci-fi scripted comedy series is designed for VR and is set in NYC during the future where robots are all around us. Robots walk and talk like humans and they all have huge personalities. None have bigger than Roberto and Otis, a pair of British robots who come to New York to join the New York Police Department. While Otis has a similar personality to the butler from Downton Abbey, Roberto is tough and rough. Yet somehow they’re great friends. Quirky, irreverent and funny, this VR series is all about being buddies.
3. The Interpretation Of Dreams
In the late 19th century, Freud published the Interpretation of Dreams, his magnum opus. It caused shock around the world, forever changing the way that we understand the unconscious mind and dreams. This fiction narrative series takes a new and reimagined look at all of Freud’s case studies – Dora, the Ratman, Irma’s Injection and Anna O. Each one is visualized as a psychologically complex, luxurious, emotionally haunting and immersive VR dreamscape with a mystery ready to be solved by the viewer. In each one the patient arrives suffering from a specific and mysterious symptom such as recurrent nightmares, insomnia, inability to swallow or communicate. To find a cure for them, the viewer has to enter into their dreams where they see characters and symbolic objects which all have a hidden meaning. This series is the perfect vehicle to showcase the wonders of VR by constructing surreal landscapes and distorting space, time, physical laws and perception in a fascinating way.
In this series, the Earth is going through a period of evolution, digesting the human footprint and leaving humanity with just a single option – to leave or to stay and face the consequences. Lightcatcher revolves around humanity in 2150 and takes viewers on five different adventures with separate adventurers who travel through a range of unique environments and suffer the hardships and triumphs of a brand new world. Viewers explore caves, discover the thrills of zero gravity and then grapple with high canyon walls in this young adult saga which takes them on an exciting and adventurous journey which combines romance, science fiction and adventure in one thrilling series.
5. Sam’s Surreal Gems
This VR series which is directed by Sam Cadman is set in a range of real world spots. Bringing funny and fresh challenges to viewers, this program invites them to find eight unexpected and surreal Easter eggs which have been hidden in every episode. This antithesis of fantastical and overly futuristic VR celebrates the wonderfully funny and entertaining possibilities which VR can showcase in the world which is around us all every day. Every surreal gem is carefully and seamlessly choreographed and rehearsed so that it takes place in just on single take which lasts no longer than three minutes. The same actors appear in every episode and location, playing characters with understated and natural ease.
6. Voyages – Pilot
This VR animation transports viewers on a fascinating journey which lasts from birth until death. The six distinct parts guides viewers through an entire lifespan and its emotional arc. In virtual reality, you’ll experience birth, growing up, growing old and, eventually, death. Featuring wonderful original music by Little Dragon, Amon Tobin, Elliot Cole, Roomful of Teeth and Jonny Greenwood, this is a moving series that won’t disappoint.
This immersive and live-action virtual reality series allows viewers to see both sides of today’s gender divide and raises the level of engagement with gender diversity. Viewers are placed in the heart of intertwined stories which are told from either the male or female character perspective. Interactive elements abound where viewers are able to select the perspective that they wish to view at any one time. Scenes being watched are heard via a spatial sound unique design and whatever is missed changes the viewer’s opinion about the story overall.
8. Vader Immortal
Star Wars fans are going to go crazy for the Vader Immortal VR series which takes viewers deep into the galaxy far far away where they can experience a tale which is centred in the Star Wars universe and created specifically for VR. You can explore the mysterious fortress of Darth Vader, meet new allies and battle fearsome enemies, as well as Vader himself as you take central role in a tale where you alone can hold the key to salvation of the galaxy or its complete destruction.
9. Gloomy Eyes
This series takes us back to 1983 but in an alternate universe where the sun has gone and a religious revivalist is trying to lead a crusade to combat zombies. That is until his daughter realizes she loves one of them! Gloomy Eyes is a three part miniseries of animated episodes narrated by actor Colin Farrell. Adorable, yet slightly creepy, this tale focuses closely on romantic relationships and epic struggles.
10. The Female Planet
This series designed for VR follows females in the world of their work. Specifically following women who have taken unusual career paths for their gender, the episodes take an in-depth look at how modern women are changing the world as we know it. For example, one episode focuses on Tiera Fletcher, an aerospace engineer who works for Boeing and NASA, who is designing a rocket to take people to the moon and then to Mars.
11. Google Spotlight Stories
There is some excellent narrative virtual reality work out there at the moment, but the Google Spotlight Stories series is among the best. With episodes focusing on a range of subjects, this series features all kinds of topics including a celebration of Georges Milies’ life which won an Emmy nomination for the most Outstanding Original Interactive Program.
Invisible by Doug Liman holds the honor of being the first ever major scripted series to be specifically designed for VR. It can now be watched on Samsung BR and JauntVR and contains five episodes. This supernatural drama delves into the legacy of a family from New York, the Ashlands, who have their fingers in many pies including those of the world’s biggest governments and largest corporations. While they control much of the economy of the world, they’re also lurking in the shadows of society due to their unique and amazing genetic ability while allows them to move about undetected. Yet a genetic research laboratory is now working on uncovering the source of the Ashlands’ ability. This exciting series follows the action as it unfolds.
13. The Wayback
The Wayback offers something a little different, being designed specifically for use by those who suffer from dementia. Every episode has been produced as a result of many hours of memory sessions and research in different care homes, and this epic amount of groundwork has ensured that each scene is packed with details to trigger emotions and memories in anybody old enough to have experienced the situations which are revealed. For example, in one of the films, set in 1953, all the drink and food on the dining table was suggested by participants in the surveys while one film outlines skipping songs which were also sung by one of the interviewees.
14. The Phoenix
This sci fi series is set in a distant future where humanity has reached the universe’s furthest reaches. Unfortunately, they are now being targeted by an unknown enemy with only a single group of mercenaries who are able to come to their aid and save them – the PhoenIX. This thrilling action series gives viewers an exciting and visceral experience as they are plunged into the heart of the conflict.
The action of this series takes place in 2045, a time when patients are routinely frozen with liquid nitrogen and kept alive until an effective treatment for their diseases has been developed. Joan Garrison is the lead character of this drama who wakes up after 30 years in a frozen state. While she manages to reunite with her loved ones, that reunion is, unfortunately, bittersweet since her relatives are now strangers to her. Filmed in 3D and 360 degrees, this series allows viewers to witness the events directly from the perspective of the primary character for an immersive and intimate experience.
16. The Exorcist: Legion
Everyone has heard of the original Exorcist movie, and now this VR series takes the idea of the horror world created by William Peter Blatty and takes it to a new level of supernatural. This series explores demonic exorcism and uncovers secrets which eventually result in the viewer confronting their hidden, darkest fears. Part exorcism, part investigation and entirely horror, this series offers more than two and a half hours of terrifying VR viewing.
17. The Possible
Within, a VR company, has released a 5 part series called The Possible which takes viewers into some of the most recent technological and scientific breakthroughs. Available through the Within app and able to be viewed through any smartphone VR set up such as the Samsung Gear VR, this documentary series is directed by veteran David Gelb who was responsible for the creation of Chef’s Table, an Emmy nominated series on Netflix. The first episode takes a look inside the Boston Dynamics laboratory – a firm which designs robotics and which is owned by Alphabet Inc, a parent company of Google.
The real world and virtual world become blended into one in this original whodunnit mystery from the SyFy channel. Taking place in a future where virtual reality is part of the everyday, this crime investigation series looks at an incident with a murder in VR crosses into the real world, leaving detectives baffled. With ten episodes, this series runs on the Syfy channel, but also features five specials which can only be watched on VR. If you have a Samsung Gear or Oculus Rift headset, you’re in luck as you can see these interactive and immersive episodes which allow viewers to look for clues, explore crime scenes and eavesdrop on the conversations of the detectives. All in all, the experience is a cool one, and while the click and point navigation isn’t ideal, the experience is so immersive that you’re sure to love it.
19. Wentworth VR
If you ever watched Prisoner Cell Block H, or the spin off, Wentworth, on your TV, you’ll love this VR series which takes viewers into an interactive and thrilling cinematic world where you go behind the bars of the female correctional center. Viewers are unaware of the reason for their incarceration, however they have to use their wits and cunning to remain alive as they battle wits with the inmates and hostile environment. The plot goes through a narrative alternative scenario in J Block where fans can get up close and person to the universe of the TV show first hand, and see a fascinating insight into the colorful cast of characters. Interactive, exhilarating and fun, this prison virtual reality thriller is designed for a mature audience.
20. ISS Experience
This immersive documentary series is filmed both around and on the International Space Station. Filmed over the course of a year, this series uses specially engineered technology solutions and even culminates in the first cinematic VR capture of a space walk. Created in partnership with the Felix and Paul Studios, this project is available in numerous platforms and is designed to be an educational yet entertaining experience for those who would love the opportunity to go into space themselves.
21. Trending Gold
Whether you’re a sports fan, an athlete or simply someone who wants to experience the best in VR TV series, you’ll love Trending Gold. This series enables viewers to get first hand experience of the life of athletes. Having debuted in the Olympic Channel platform, this VR original series was entirely filmed in 360 degree VR and includes a range of immersive additional content including episodes that go behind the scenes as well as short-form videos. Nine athletes are featured in these series who are all Olympic hopefuls and who represent six different countries across 4 different sports from alpine skiing and bobsleigh to speedskating and snowboarding. Viewers can truly immerse themselves in the world of training and preparation that these athletes experience as they get ready to compete.
This VR series is in three parts and is produced by Darren Aronofsky. The series explores the “songs of the cosmos”, turning on its head the concept that space is silent. This VR experience is designed as an immersive story for those with an Oculus Rift headset. The score was produced by Survive, the electronic band which created the season one score for popular TV shore Stranger Things, and the first episode takes viewers into a black hole for a truly out of this world experience.
23. Matpat’s Game Lab
If you’ve ever heard of The Game Theorists YouTube channel from MatPat, you’ll know that it’s all about busting the myths that surround some of today’s most popular video game titles. This VR series allows guests to compete in a real life version of some of those games. While the series is available on YouTube Red, every episode also comes accompanied by a VR bonus episode which immerses the fans even more into the crazy action sequences.
This series is an original sci-fi production which is the first of its kind. Debuting as both a TV series and also as a VR 360 narrative, the series comprises 13 episodes of 20 minutes each which explore our reliance on and relationship with technology together with the influence that it has on our identities. This series pairs blockbuster action with a dramatic tone, throwing viewers in a first person view of a dystopian future in which personal memories have become just another digital asset. In every episode, audience members can explore the future in a manner that suggests their rifling through their memories, breaking through the traditional cinema fourth wall.
25. The Master’s Vision
This three part VR series looks at three of the world’s most famous works of art and the emotions behind them. Exploring Monet’s Water Lilies, Friedrich’s The Monk By The Sea and Edvard Munch’s The Sun, the three episodes explore in virtual reality the masterpiece itself and the story behind it which remains unknown to the general public. Using restorations, research and new analytical methods, this series offers new and fascinating insights into the origin of each artwork.
Whatever your passions and interests, you’re sure to find something in this list of 25 different VR series to take your fancy and stimulate your senses. Whether you love design, cartoons, horror or drama, you’ll discover at least one of these top titles that will delight and amaze you in equal measure. There’s nothing quite like getting up close to the characters in a VR series and when you can be physically present in the sets and landscapes, you’ll find that the immersive nature of the experience is impossible to beat. We guarantee that once you try watching series in virtual reality you’ll be completely hooked. You may never want to go back to watching regular television series again!
Have you yet to invest in your virtual reality headset? Or are you ready to watch some movies about VR to prepare you for the experience that lies in store? Here are 80 of the best:
- Ready Player One
- The Matrix
- Total Recall
- Tron Legacy
- The Matrix Reloaded
- The Matrix Revolution
- The Thirteenth Floor
- Johnny Mnemonic
- The Lawnmower Man
- Vanilla Sky
- The Cell
- Strange Days
- Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
- Cube 2: Hypercube
- Storm Watch
- Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace
- Dark City
- Beyond Cyberspace
- Ender’s Game
- Total Recall (2012 remake)
- Creative Control
- The Call Up
- Empathy Inc
- First Person Shooter
- Game Over
- Napping Princess
- Johnny English Strikes Again
- The Signal
- Summer Wars
- Synthetic Pleasures
- Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale
- Uncanny Valley
- Virtual Weapon
- Virtual Revolution
- Welcome to Blood City
- The Zero Theorem
- World On A Wire
- The Congress
- Until The End of the World
- Code Lyoko
- Ghost In The Shell
- Star Trek:First Contact
- Wreck It Ralph
- The Last Starfighter
- Minority Report
- Project X
- Assassin’s Creed
- Synecdoche, New York
- Source Code
- Open Your Eyes
- The Nines
These movies all explore the possibilities of a virtual reality world. While some show positive examples, others show that VR could prove to be a terrifying tool if placed in the wrong hands. With some of these films dating back several decades, it only goes to prove that virtual reality has been an obsession among filmmakers and game developers alike for generations, and it’s only now that we’re beginning to catch up with some of the possibilities which are outlined in this movies.
It’s unlikely that we’ll ever see the extremes of VR that we’re exposed to in movies like Total Recall, however it is pioneering films like this which inspired and encouraged today’s software and hardware developers to push the boundaries of creativity and to design something even more advanced so that players and viewers everywhere could enjoy a fully immersive and engaging experience.
With the arrival of the most up to date software and headsets, it’s clear that the future is going to have virtual reality as a key part of it, but with any luck, it’ll all be used for the good of mankind. Already, we’re seeing the technology being put to good use in training medical staff, in helping individuals to become more healthy and in allowing those who are unable to travel to get outside the confines of their home and see the world.
In the next few years, who knows where technology will take us, but with any luck VR will only go from strength to strength, bringing us even more exciting and immersive experiences that mean we watch less television and spend more time engaging with our headsets.