Today, we are going to review a standalone VR headset you probably have not heard of — the Pico G2 4K. This 3DoF headset features a 4K display that is capable of playing up to 12K 360 video with the Visbit VR player. The video color is more vivid compared to Oculus Go or the brand new Oculus Quest. Sounds interesting? Let’s find out how to do this together!
Let’s talk about the specs. Here are the Oculus Quest, Oculus Go and Pico G2 4K specs comparison.
The Pico G2 4K, uses Snapdragon 835 as CPU, just as Oculus Quest but better than Oculus Go. The single LED panel has a higher resolution than both Oculus Quest and Oculus Go. Also, lost of people do not like the Diamond Pentile OLED displays Oculus Quest use. It has less red and blue subpixels compared to the Go, which is LED. But Go has its own issues. On the other hand, Pico G2 4K does everything right, for VR video application.
In term of comfort for long hour video viewing, the design of Pico G2 4K is brilliant. It is one thing that I absolutely love. Right here the back part, it is the heaviest part of the entire headset — it is the battery. So when you wear it, the weight is evenly distributed and it will not cause neck pain — which is a side effect for long hours VR session with the Oculus Quest — a front heavy VR headset. Another reason why lots of business is NOT investing in the Quest, but instead, stick to the Go. Causing your clients’ discomfort can sometimes mean losing that business deal. That is why businesses spend the premium on demo headset to give their potential clients the best VR experience EVER.
Another cool thing about the Pico is that the headset has all its controls built around and can be controlled using view glazing instead of a remote. You have no idea how many time I lost my Oculus Go controller.
One thing is kinda a bad design is the speaker — it is at the bottom instead of on the side like Oculus Go — make the music sound a lot further. I will recommend using a noise canceling headphone for G2 4K.
So the Pico G2 4K has a better CPU, higher resolution LED display and more comfortable wearing experience, BUT, it is not cheap. The official price is not confirmed yet in the US, but it will cost around $370 US dollars.
That is not your ONLY cost tho. The Pico G2 4K comes with its own app community and also VIVE Wave. Well, you are not a gamer, so the selection of VR games does not concern you. But its native video player is not as robust as Oculus Gallery. Lots of my H.265 compressed videos are not playing correctly. So, in order to have a seamless VR playback experience for your VIP clients — who is going to give you lots of money for creating their VR video contents — you want a better software solution. Here comes Visbit, a VR player already well-known in the professional VR community.
Visbit 12K Player
Visbit has a new update on Vive Wave that will leverage all the available pixels on the Pico G2 4K — to display 10K 360 videos and 12K with a zoom feature — that allows you to zoom for details. You know sometimes your VR videos just look too far and your clients always want a tighter shot to maybe showcase their Logos? Well, there is no tighter shots in VR — and most of the time, that is your only shot. With the zoom in feature, it solves that problem. Altho you do need an 11K or even 12K VR camera. Well, check out the Insta360 Titan review right here:
Another big problem is teaching your clients, who never use a VR headset before, how to pick the floor level and draw their safety boundary with the Oculus Quest. All you want in a trade show is someone pick up the headset and the video start to play without them or you doing anything. We call it the Kiosk Mode.
There is also an important mode called theater mode you should learn about if you are running a VR theater. Check out this video right here:
Visbit player allows you to do both. But it is not cheap. In fact, pretty expensive. I don’t blame you if you stop watching this right now b/c most of you prob don’t need this kinda of fancy features. But if you want the absolute VIP experience for your client showcase and if you are running a very important tradeshow, let’s keep watching. We are going to get technical here.
Okay, how come Pico G2 4K with Visbit can do close to 10K and other headsets can only do 6K or even less? Well, foveation technology. This allows VR headset only display high-density PPD (pixels-per-degree) where the viewers are looking.
But even with foveation technology and projection optimization, the resolution is limited by the headset physical display.
1. FOV of most HMDs are around 90 degrees horizontally. (You may see a higher number like 100 or so, but that is diagonal — confusing marketing statement, huh?)
2. 12K video (11520 * 5760) equals to (11520 / 360) = 32 pixel per degree;
3. Pico G2 4K has a resolution of (3840 / 2 =) 1920 per eye;
4. Average PPD of Pico is (1920 / 90 =) 21.3;
5. Higher center density: In VR, images are distorted on the screen, see screenshots right here, so that the lenses will un-distort the distortion. See the lines are bent and the pixels in corners are more compressed than the center ones. The Pico higher center density is around 15% more — so we get 21.3 * 1.15 = 24.5PPD
6. If we assume 1:1 pixel mapping, Pico 2G 4K saturates at a resolution of 24.5 * 360 = 8820 pixels;
7.Visbit over fit about 10% more pixels for higher sharpness, while still keep aliasing low enough. Again, watch this video for over fit pixel concept. Then, do the math, 8820 * 1.1 = 9702 is arguably the ideal resolution here, which is 10K without Zoom.
8. Visbit has zoom feature which allows users virtually move 2 times closer to the pixels with half the FOV. With “VR Zoom”, you may see (9702 * 2 = ) around19K of details — it is actually more than 12K.
Well, in reality, how much better? Let’s take some screenshot and check it out.
Here we have a screenshot in Oculus Go. Then here we have a screenshot of the same video in Pico G2 4K with Visibit player. Now I put them side by side. You can immediately tell Pico G2 4K has a larger FOV. I highlighted a detail area and zoom in 300%. You can read the text BAR on the Pico version but not really in the Oculus Go version. Also, you see fewer compression artifacts on the Pico version, and also the skin tone looks more natural due to the extra color calibration Visbit does base on the headset in use.
You see chromatic aberration on the Pico screenshot. Visbit on Pico has a feature called “Chromatic Aberration Correction”. Basically, it shifts the red/blue colors more on peripheral area, to compensate the light refraction for different color through the lens. It may look worse in screenshots, but it will look much better in the headset. An extra feature Visbit does to make your footage look better.
Now, let’s take a look at the Zoom feature on Visbit. Now distance details look even better. It is kinda like a 6DoF experience with the Zoom, give you an entirely new level of information that Oculus Gallery or any other player does not offer.
I have to warn you if you do not capture your 360 videos in at least 10K in sensor level, none of these are useful to you. Stick to your Oculus Go. But if you have a custom rig that can do 12K or the brand new Insta360 Titan — that can do 11K in monosporic — then you should consider Pico G2 4K and Visbit.
Thank you so much for sticking around. If you are still here, you just become smarter than most of the people in the 360 world. So congratulation. Now you can argue with your camera technician over a pint of beer — because you just learn that from your Boy Hugh.
Again, this is the last step of your entire pipeline — the delivery. It is not going to be useful if you mess up somewhere during stitching, editing, or post-processing. So make sure you check out my other 360 post-production tutorials and follow the best practices.
Find out more about Pico G2 4K here (*NOT affiliate link!)