Most likely you’re reading this article in 2D, either with a phone, tablet or PC monitor. Since VRCircle is a Virtual Reality site, then obviously Virtual Desktop is something different. Your assumption would be correct. The virtual desktop brings you from 2D computer interaction into 3D interaction.
I first tried the Virtual Desktop back in December 2014 with the DK2 and declared
"Quite simply. The Virtual Desktop is the coolest Oculus Rift app out there"
Today, July 2016 the Virtual Desktop still is my favorite VR utility App. Unlike back in 2014, I wrote this entire article while in Virtual Reality. The increased resolution of the Oculus Rift allows me see and read text very clearly.
Setting up Virtual Desktop
Download and install the Virtual Desktop from Steam. The cost is $14.99, but well worth it. The first thing to do is determine how BIG you want your desktop. The app lets you fully customize the size of the desktop. You can even specify with a simple slider control all the way up to 360 degrees which wrap the entire desktop around you. Although neat, 360 degrees is not too practical. Personally, I like 180 degrees with a screen distance around 3 meters.
What can you do with Virtual Desktop?
What can you do with Virtual Desktop? Anything and everything. Anything you would do with a regular monitor, you can do within the Virtual Desktop.
Watching Movies and Netflix with Virtual Desktop
Probably the most impressive aspect of Virtual Desktop and one that you can easily impress your friends is the ability to throw any video onto a massive screen. You can choose to watch a movie floating in space with no background or a beautiful nebula background. Perhaps you’re a little traditional? Then try the home theater environment complete with seats and cup holders.
.MKV Movies in Virtual Desktop
If you watch movies stored in .MKV files. You will first need to install a player; I would recommend VLC Media Player. Once VLC player is installed (no need for additional CODECS), just click and drag your video file into the player and Maximize the window.
Watching Netflix on Virtual Desktop
Netflix is even easier, just bring up Netflix in your browser, maximize the window and enjoy.
Watching 3D Movies in Virtual Desktop
There is just no stopping this app. You can watch 3D movies in Virtual Reality too. Just change the 3D options to whatever the format of the film is. For example, Avatar should be set to Half SBS (Side by side)
Related: How to watch VR 360 Movies on the Oculus Rift & HTC Vive
The sound should come from your Oculus Rift headset automatically. Mine switches from my headphones to the Rift as soon as I put on the Rift. However, some users had to change the default headphones to the Rift in the Playback Devices window.
Can I talk to my computer?
Not only can you enjoy your system in Virtual Reality but you can even command it to do your bidding
You can control your computer to launch programs, exit the current game or switch the background. Changing the background to Home Theater is particularly useful, just say “Change Background to Home Theater.” Awesome!
As you may have gathered, I love the Virtual Desktop. Love may be a strong word, but accurate in this case. I hope you will love it too.