Watch 3D movies on Samsung Gear VR (Update: April 2016)

While the Samsung Gear VR is nowhere near the Oculus Rift in terms of sheer power, it takes watching 3D movies on your smartphone to a whole new level. It makes the experience more immersive and saves you from having to squint at the small screen. But that’s assuming you know how to properly watch 3D movies on your Gear VR.

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How To Watch Movies on the Samsung Gear VR:

If you just started using Samsung Gear VR the easiest way for you is to experience VR movies with Oculus video application bundled with the Gear. Just click on “Video” where you will have an option to choose from wide selection of Vimeo and Facebook 360 videos, Twitch streaming and finally your media library.

1. Run video app

2. Choose “Your own videos”

3. Select a theater to use

4. Start watching


When you are done experiencing default options now you are ready for next level. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to download and watch 3D movies and 360 movies on Gear VR.

Step-by-step guide for watching 3d movies on Gear VR

Make sure you have the correct smartphone. Yes, it’s a silly instruction, but people have been known to make mistakes once in a while, so it doesn’t hurt to check. The Gear VR only works on the following Samsung Galaxy smartphones: Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6/S6 Edge/S6 Edge+, and Galaxy S7/S7 Edge.
Get a copy of the 3D movies you want to watch and make sure they are in the correct format (.mp4 .m4v .3gp .3g2 .ts .webm .mkv .wmv .asf .avi .flv). Also, check if the audio are in .mp3 or .aac formats. If you have the movies in a different format, you can download a converter like Freemake Video Converter and VidCoder.
Place the movies in the correct folder in your phone. To do this, simply navigate to the default folder created by Oculus/Gear VR, but don’t paste them there just yet. Create a new folder within that folder and name it “3D” (/oculus/movies/3d/). That’s where you need to place your 3D movies since the root folder is reserved for your regular 2D movies. 2D or normal movies you copy/paste into the /oculus/movies/ for 360 movies you create folder called “360videos” (/oculus/movies/360videos/ ) and copy your 360 videos
Search around the internet for your movies’ posters and copy them on Paint, or any other image editing program you prefer. Do them one at a time, of course. Resize the images to 232 x 344 pixels and save them in the 3D movies folder as .png, making sure that the file names are EXACTLY the same as the respective movies. This will display the movies’ posters when browsing on Gear VR, instead of some random image. It’s entirely optional, though. But it makes things look neat.
Grab some popcorn and start watching your movies.


Downloading 3D Movies for Gear Vr

When downloading 3D movies, you’ll notice that they come in either Side-by-Side (SBS) format, which comes in Full SBS and Half SBS, or Over/Under (or Top/Bottom) format. For the non-techie people, they refer to the resolution of the movies and the way the two frames are separated (vertically for the former and horizontally for the latter).

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A Side-by-Side format comes in 1920 x 1080. Full SBS nets you the full resolution in both frames, while Half SBS gives you 960 x 1080 for each frame. On the other hand, the Over/Under format comes in 1280 x 720, with each frame coming in at 1280 x 360.

The Gear VR automatically assumes that all files in the “3D” folder are in the SBS format. If you have a movie in Over/Under format, you must create a text file to have it correctly read. Simply copy and paste the following to Notepad and save it in the EXACT name of the movie:


“format”: “3DTB”


Yes, the quotes are included. So, Over/Under movies in your 3D movies folder should have two accompanying files: the .png file for the poster image (assuming you got one) and the aforementioned text file.

Except for that last part which borders on the technical side, watching movies on your Gear VR is a simple matter. All you really need to do is copy your movies in the correct folder and you’re good to go.

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Previous version of the Guide

Even it is limited by a rare content store out of the box, the Samsung Gear VR gives a lot of potential. Thanks to Samsung and Oculus it is possible to take in and watch your movies in virtual cinema mode.

Step-by-step guide for watching 3d movies on Gear VR

To do that you first have to place your video files into the folder named “My Videos” on your SD card. It’s important to know that Gear VR supports most conventional file formats like MP4, AVI, and FLV. There is another step necessary to play 3D videos.

Read More How to use Samsung Gear VR

User movies could be seen in perfect 3D playback set up in a side-by-side (SBS) format. SBS format means that left and right video channels are placed at same file. When it is played back by standard media player movie appears as a near-mirror image.

First you should enter MicroSD card file directory and then manage to Oculus > Movies > Your Movies. Inside “Your Movies” file you should create a new one named “3D”. In this folder you should place your side-by-side 3D videos.

After creating your 3D folder and placing proper video files, put your MicroSD card in Galaxy Note 4. Prepared smartphone slide in Gear VR, and put the device on.

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From the main menu you have to enter to Oculus Cinema and after that to “My Videos” in content library menu. Hereyou can choose the 3D video to watch. Pick the cinema mode to start playback.

The software is coded to automatically convert any video in the “3D” folder for 3D playback. While the included documentation and tutorials don’t make the process completely obvious, the answer is buried in the literature accompanying the Gear VR’s Oculus Mobile SDK along with plenty of other tips on importing your own content for viewing on Samsung’s virtual reality headset. We’ll be sharing more of these helpful tips and tricks in the coming days.

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