To S or not to S....that is the question. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-30-2019, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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To S or not to S....that is the question.

On the upside: Cheap Upgrade* at $399. Also on the upside: Another Rift Setup never hurt anyone....and no, don't worry, I won't be flooding the market with my Gen 1......who knows what weird bugs and incompatibilities will arise with the S in it's "first gen form"......

My issue is the length of the Display Port Cable: Do they make hubs for that sort of thing, or extension cables? My current setup has my Rift wire going into a 15' extension cable (HDMI and USB 3.0) so I can do room scale comfortably and drape the wires from my ceiling via bungies in a home-brew setup I'm ashamed to show-off....but it works.

I haven't honestly looked, and could easily just google...but you know....internet and all...topic for discussion....who's diving in?

Will I miss the crazy-accurate tracking of my 3 camera setup? I suppose I could just do that crazy thing and....wait it out.

What say you all.....


NOTE: *I was an early adopter, so my 1st gen Rift was $500 (I think) + $150 (when the hands shipped, I think thats what they cost) + $75 (3rd camera)....so, $400 all-in is cheap to me in this respect. Figured that needed quantifying.

Valve's HMD and hands look like something off a Nebula-winner paperback's cover.......and at $999 (Edited for Stupidity, I thought initially $999 was just the headset...but not-so!) its a bit of a hard-sell.........its a $600 additional investment over going with the Rift S.......honestly not sure I'm seeing the value there since most VR software today that wants to survive natively support all the dominant machines.....and even if you have never bought into VR yet...damn, a $600 premium? Isn't this the same blunder made with HTC's Vive Pro? Hmmmm..

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post #2 of 7 Old 04-30-2019, 10:54 PM
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I only bought the Rift earlier this year. My computer was quite ready. The Rift S didn't excite me because to upgrade I have to insist on a big upgrade to resolution. I use the Rift for video editing of VR projects.

I just bought the Quest preorder for use in my Home Theater where I don't have a computer.

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post #3 of 7 Old 05-01-2019, 06:16 PM
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I pre-ordered a Rift S from Best Buy yesterday. I'd been wanting to get into PC VR for a while and this seems like a good compromise of performance and cost. I got an Alienware 17 with an 8th Gen Intel i7 and GTX1070 a few weeks ago and it easily meets the preferred requirements for the Rift S so hopefully I'll be good to go on May 21.
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-05-2019, 04:13 AM - Thread Starter
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You'll be good to go Tony, don't worry, it's going to be an impressive experience.......

I've decided to sit this one out for now. I like the integrated audio on the rift CV1 and since the screendoor didn't bother me much, and there is no real "resolution bump" in these panels (more screendoor reduction, better PPI I think) its more of a lateral move, but it makes absolute sense for new buyers...I'd just plan on plugging in some ear buds. The CV1 has decent cans, a shame they went with a "Go" type solution here.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-05-2019, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch View Post
You'll be good to go Tony, don't worry, it's going to be an impressive experience.......

I've decided to sit this one out for now. I like the integrated audio on the rift CV1 and since the screendoor didn't bother me much, and there is no real "resolution bump" in these panels (more screendoor reduction, better PPI I think) its more of a lateral move, but it makes absolute sense for new buyers...I'd just plan on plugging in some ear buds. The CV1 has decent cans, a shame they went with a "Go" type solution here.
If I already had a CV1 I'm sure the Rift S would seem far less attractive; but for folks like me who really didn't have the space for satellite towers and wanted a more straightforward setup this seems like a good compromise. I've read that the rear firing speakers are one of its weaker features so I already have a good set of earbuds. I also have a set of Mantis Headhpones from Bionik that I bought for my PSVR which might fit as well. And the bump in resolution and RGB stripe pixel structure won't hurt either. At this point it's just a matter of being patient, waiting for it to drop and hoping there are no surprises with my laptop.
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-06-2019, 03:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Agreed. If I saw the S for #299 or $300 I'd probably consider it, and I'm guessing this shipping begins the death march for the CV1, again not surprising and makes total sense. When mine breaks, I'll upgrade. When I see the S on sale, I'll upgrade.......right now...I'm willing to wait. A couple of velcro straps for some permanantly-affixed earbuds makes sense, but I never ever liked the idea of having t oput on a headset/strap and then mess with padded ear-cans. I don't want to have to get into a space-suit just to fire up a VR experience.

It's unfortunate we can't yet have it both ways, being: The Quest....with a cable...so when you're in your home, you can plug it in and get a higher-end experience...but when you're not, you can unplug and run off the internal processor with access to the "portable" section of your games library. I'm curious now if the Go! has a future.

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post #7 of 7 Old 05-26-2019, 04:07 PM
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I was able to pick up my Rift S a few days ago and have now put a couple of hours in the headset. As to some early impressions:

SETUP

I installed the headset on an Alienware 17 R5 and installation was largely quick and painless. About the only issue I ran into was that the sensors in the headset were not being found by the installation program. After disconnecting and reconnecting the USB cable and moving the headset closer towards the room's main light source everything finished installing fine. Setting up the guardian boundary was quick, intuitive and seamless. The Touch controllers were already paired and as I never used the old versions they felt comfortable and natural to me. I was really impressed (and relieved) at how easy it was to get everything up and running.

COMFORT

Coming from the PSVR I'm familiar with the halo style headset. While the Rift S felt comfortable it never felt as snug as my PSVR even with the overhead strap. The PSVR has an elastic that runs along the inside of the halo and helps to keep the headset snug to the head; it's absence on the Rift S was noticeable and I do wonder how much it will move around when I get to more active games. The headset also tended to get fogged up pretty quickly even though the room was fairly cool and I was wearing loose clothing but once I set up a fan and blew some cool towards me (I actually had the fan behind me) the fogging quickly became a non issue. The headset does a great job of blocking out light from the real world and I felt quite isolated even in a well lit room.

VISUALS and AUDIO

Colors definitely were a bit more washed out than my PSVR (understandable, going from OLED to LCD) but still looked more than good enough overall. Black levels really didn't seem bad to me and seemed dependent on the app. Outer space in Mission ISS (where you can explore the International Space Station and even go on spacewalks) seemed more on the grey side but a similar app (BBC Home - A VR Spacewalk) had black levels that were downright dark and inky.

Sharpness on the other hand was outstanding. Coming from PSVR's 960x1080 per eye panel the Rift seemed much, much sharper. SDE was ever so slightly noticeable in a few spots but I really had to look for it. The improved resolution coupled with the increased pixel density really lends the headset's sharpness a greater than the sum of its parts feel.

I'd never experienced godrays before but from my understanding of what they are it similarly seemed largely a non-issue; there was some slight shimmering to white text on dark backgrounds but that was about it.

Reading text in experiences and on the virtual desktop was felt great as everything was sharp, clear and legible. My IPD is 68 and visuals looked fine at the default (66 I believe) and also when I bumped it up to 68. I have bad astigmatism so need to wear glasses pretty much all the time but the experience for me was usable even without my specs (though I still prefer to wear glasses). With PSVR I'm used to 90hz or 120hz (usually reprojected) so I was curious about how 80hz would feel; in my time in the headset I didn't have any issues or discomfort at all and movement always felt smooth and natural.

The audio actually seemed fine to me as I was able to make out positional audio cues and never had any trouble making out dialog or sounds. I'm sure it's inferior to the Rift CV1's headphones but I've never heard those and have never been much of an audiophile. I never even thought to plug in a pair of earbuds (and I have a nice pair of Samsungs) or clip on my Mantis headphones so make of that what you will.

EXPERIENCES

First up was Aircar, which was one of the things that really convinced me I needed to try PCVR when I first saw it. This is a pretty straightforward experience where you pilot a flying car that bears more than a passing resemblance to a Spinner around a futuristic city shrouded in perpetual rain that bears more than a passing resemblance to Los Angeles 2019 from Blade Runner. I had all post-processing effects at max and the visuals were amazingly sharp and clear and movement was butter smooth. I'd love to see a full game built around this engine.

I next tried the aforementioned Mission ISS (I'm a longtime NASA/astronomy buff) and once again was floored as I was quickly navigating the insides of the ISS, pushing off handholds and walls and generally messing around in zero-G. I tried a quick spacewalk and the sense of scale and immersion were very impressive.

There was a free demo of some canned Oculus experiences including one where you come face to face with a giant T-Rex which was, quite honestly, terrifying. The clarity, fidelity and lack of SDE made for the most detailed VR T-Rex I've seen yet and getting up close and personal with it as it's giant mouth hung over my face was downright disturbing. I was actually happy to move past that one.

Tracking was always spot on for me with zero controller judder or dropouts. If I moved the controller really, really close to my face it would start to get glitchy but even at a few inches away from the visor it tracked fine. Mission ISS required me to grab handholds all around me but I don't ever recall tripping up the tracking at all.


FINAL THOUGHTS

So overall my first steps into PC based VR were quite positive. Setup was quick and largely easy; headset is comfortable but potentially shaky with games where you move around a lot; video was great; audio was more than acceptable; tracking felt completely solid. I'm sure the Rift S will get some aftermarket products to help with its potential shortcomings.

Next up are some premium games and experiences. Lone Echo looks especially interesting.

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