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VR vs a very large monitor with TrackIR


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Greetings,

first of all excuse me if I am OT a little bit.

So far I've used a 27", 4k, 60Hz monitor and I wish to make some improvements in terms of immersion. I'm doubtful whether to switch to a much larger monitor (I am thinking about the Acer Predator CG437K and I would put it directly on my desk) that basically is something like a "more of the same" solution, or aim at vr.

I know that here you are all vr enthusiasts, but obviously you also have experience with various types of displays, therefore I would like to know if you think that a large enough monitor, coupled with a TrackIR, can be a valid alternative to vr. When I talk about "valid alternative", I am not referring just to pure immersion, that is obviously another world in vr, but also to global aspects including the ease of use of a monitor (that is basically a plug-and-play thing and an omnipresent peripheral) and the fact that right now with my pc I'm already able to achieve a very good visual quality with 4k resolution and medium-high graphics settings.

Many thanks!

 


Edited by Sparrow_1976
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I used a 3 monitor setup. 27'' central and 2x 24'' (one on each side). So gave a 'curved' cockpit view. Personally, I found the cockpit interaction with TrackIR a bit frustrating and frankly having 1 monitor or 3 was not that much of a difference in terms of experience. I did not want to go to VR because of the need to have sharp / crisp graphics for cockpit and spotting and headsets did not have a sufficient resolution for that / graphic cards were struggling.  When the reverb G2 came out I made the plunge and glad I did.  Transformed the experience, made cockpit much more practical/useable, made easier flying and off course the 3D and total immersion.  Had it for a couple months and have not gone back to playing on screen once yet.  We also have a quest2 but I find the resolution to be too low on it for my comfort. It is good but you effectively trade graphics for immersion with it which I did not want to do. Hope this helps.

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There is no valid alternative to VR outside VR. Once you try both systems you will notice they are two quite different things. I will consider into your equation the pricetag of the monitor you mentioned VS VR headsets pricetags. Also it would be useful to know your rig specs to have an idea if you need to spend more the achieve a decent VR experience, in my case VR performance is about 60-70% worse than 2D monitor.
Regarding your omnipresent pheripheral, bear in mind this, some days, I just use my old 24" FullHD Asus monitor to turn the computer on, start Oculus home, Oculus Tray Tool, Simshaker for Aviators and DCS. Then headset on and that´s it 😉  I´m eyeing now and then bigger monitors 2K of WHD but end up not buying so far.

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There is no doubt, in terms of absolute clarity and pure performance in terms of frames rendered; a monitor with track-ir will "win"... i look at the picture on my monitor when i am doing some thing new and go "i wish it was that clear in VR"... and when i am playing in VR ... I just dont care... i never understood before I got my first VR headset the massively uncomfortable Samsung Oddessy Plus ... it literally hurt my nose and face to use and the screen quality was comparatively horrible ... I just could not go back ... the sense of being *in* the game is just stunning .. sure no g-forces etc...but the immersion is compelling .

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I have been happy playing on a large 4K monitor for several years now. About every two years I try out the latest VR headset and inevitably sell or return it as it doesn’t seem worth trading away my high detail 4K setup quite yet.

Just yesterday I got a Reverb G2 and I tested in DCS for the first time last night. There’s no doubt that it is a significant improvement over the Samsung Odyssey that I tried last time. I’m not quite ready to pass judgment on it yet, especially as I also want to try it out in some other sims, but it’s definitely impressive. I immediately noticed details in the cockpit that I never noticed before, and it’s true that the immersion and sense of depth is absolutely stunning.

But as others have noted, there is simply no way to match the sharpness and detail level of a 4K monitor in VR. And I suspect that if like myself you wear glasses and also have astigmatism in both eyes, the center cone of sharp detail on the G2 is frustratingly small. I am considering ordering some of the addon lenses that various sites sell, as this would hopefully at least solve the problem of my glasses getting pushed up against my face while wearing the headset, but I don’t know if it’ll actually make the overall clarity or extent of it better.

As I’ve noted in several threads like this over the years here, I seem to be in a very small minority of users who try VR and end up going back to regular monitors as the drop in visual clarity is just too extreme for me. It’s possible that the G2 could change my mind, but we’ll see. I’ll post back here as I keep experimenting.

Just a note on 4K monitors though, I tried a few of the 43 inch models and they all suffer from the same problems, namely poor response time. If you end up sticking with a monitor, I would highly recommend an LG OLED instead. I’m using the CX 48 inch and it’s absolutely stunning. Best monitor I’ve ever owned.

EDIT: Just ordered lenses from VROptician, fingers crossed!

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6 hours ago, Ala12Rv-Tundra said:

There is no valid alternative to VR outside VR. Once you try both systems you will notice they are two quite different things. I will consider into your equation the pricetag of the monitor you mentioned VS VR headsets pricetags. Also it would be useful to know your rig specs to have an idea if you need to spend more the achieve a decent VR experience, in my case VR performance is about 60-70% worse than 2D monitor.
Regarding your omnipresent pheripheral, bear in mind this, some days, I just use my old 24" FullHD Asus monitor to turn the computer on, start Oculus home, Oculus Tray Tool, Simshaker for Aviators and DCS. Then headset on and that´s it 😉  I´m eyeing now and then bigger monitors 2K of WHD but end up not buying so far.

 

About my rig, it's not worth to mention it because I'm about to make an upgrade very soon (although, like I said, I can already achieve a good framerate in 4k with balanced graphic settings). The new rig will be the following: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X mounted on an ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero, 2x16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 3600 MHz, GeForce RTX3080.

And, about vr headsets, I'm interested the Pimax because of the wider FOV.

Do you think I would get a good vr experience?

 

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15 hours ago, speed-of-heat said:

There is no doubt, in terms of absolute clarity and pure performance in terms of frames rendered; a monitor with track-ir will "win"... i look at the picture on my monitor when i am doing some thing new and go "i wish it was that clear in VR"... and when i am playing in VR ... I just dont care... i never understood before I got my first VR headset the massively uncomfortable Samsung Oddessy Plus ... it literally hurt my nose and face to use and the screen quality was comparatively horrible ... I just could not go back ... the sense of being *in* the game is just stunning .. sure no g-forces etc...but the immersion is compelling .

 

Absolutely this. My first experience of VR flying was Ace Combat on the PS4 and it left me hungry for more, something far more realistic, so I downloaded DCS just to try out and I was immediately hooked and bought a Rift 2, then a Quest 2 and now I have a G2. Even before I had the clarity of the G2 I couldn't go back and play DCS in 2D, it was all about the immersion for me. The other week I did a poor weather mission in the Viggen, I returned to base, landed, taxied to a stop and then I found myself just sitting there for minutes listening to the sound of the thunder storm and the rain lashing down on the canopy. It might sound silly, but I found it hard to end the mission, it was just so amazingly immersive. I almost enjoyed just sitting there more than I did flying the actual mission! You just can't experience that in 2D. 

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14 hours ago, GregP said:


As I’ve noted in several threads like this over the years here, I seem to be in a very small minority of users who try VR and end up going back to regular monitors as the drop in visual clarity is just too extreme for me. It’s possible that the G2 could change my mind, but we’ll see. I’ll post back here as I keep experimenting.

Just a note on 4K monitors though, I tried a few of the 43 inch models and they all suffer from the same problems, namely poor response time. If you end up sticking with a monitor, I would highly recommend an LG OLED instead. I’m using the CX 48 inch and it’s absolutely stunning. Best monitor I’ve ever owned.

EDIT: Just ordered lenses from VROptician, fingers crossed!

 

I don't think you are in the minority - I know many DCS players who tried VR, thought it was cool at first, but after a few hours found the issues too great to continue with and went back to 2D.

 

I have used a 34" IPS curved Ultrawide, Reverb and Reverb G2, and the LG C9 55", all powered by extremely fast hardware (9700K @ 5GHz, 32GB DDR4, 2080 Ti and RTX 3090). For me, VR's reprojection artefacts are impossible to ignore, even when I have the detail dialed right down - in 90% of dogfights, even over clear areas and at altitude, when I enter the merge and look at the bogey it stutters and ghosts past me, totally ruining my immersion. Same thing happens when I fly by the carrier, any other aircraft, etc. It is fine for doing circuits and navs, but when combat is involved it's horrible. Apparently some people either don't see, or don't mind, this issue - I struggle to see how, but more power to 'em. 

 

Personally, the 55" LG OLED offers a vastly superior experience to my Reverb G2. Bare in mind I'm running an RTX 3090 and, even with the gfx options and resolution very low, performance in VR is intolerable. So, buyer beware - if you can, I highly suggest you try these HMDs out before buying. And don't just fly a few circles high in the sky - get into some actual fun stuff. If you love it, grab that wallet. If not, don't. 


Edited by GunSlingerAUS
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There is no wrong answer. It is all a matter of personal preference. I still believe in the value of both 2D/TrackIR and VR. But the Reverb G2's resolution and image quality are such that I no longer want or need to fly 2D for any reason other than to enjoy maxed out graphics settings with a fairly steady VSync 60 fps. But for combat, carrier operations, and helo flying, I am now 100% VR. I only use 2D for sight seeing and testing.

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1 hour ago, streakeagle said:

But for combat, carrier operations, and helo flying, I am now 100% VR. I only use 2D for sight seeing and testing.

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It's not really versus thing.  It's just different.


But having said that, I have 34" Dell 4K curved monitor.  I have TrackIR.  I have VR.  And I don't fly on monitor.

It's not just immersion but depth perception also makes you better.  When things get too close like your wingman or ground, my body instinctively react.  Makes landing and air refueling so much easier.

 

Just like the old 3D movies when things fly into your face and people jump, I still jump out of my seat when I see a missile fly into my face.  Never got that playing on monitor.

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It’s possible that the G2 could change my mind, but we’ll see. I’ll post back here as I keep experimenting.


Well, experiment over. :) I've decided to return my G2. Here's why:

- While clearly better than the last time I tried VR two years ago, it's still not up to the level that I personally would need to see in order to move away from my 4k monitor. I think that the average DCS user who has better eyesight than myself, and has gotten accustomed to playing at 1080p or 1440p on say a 27-inch monitor, would understandably be blown away by the clarity and performance offered by the G2. But as I noted before, I think I've gotten spoiled by having been using a large 4k monitor for years now, where everything is razor-sharp, easily legible and nearly life-sized.

- Maybe an odd thing to mention, but I've gotten so used to TrackIR that now having to move my head and neck around so much in order to look at all the side consoles, and to look behind me, is really quite difficult! I'm sure I'd get used to it, but I have to admit it's kind of offputting at first. Especially when (I think made worse by my glasses) looking far down or to the side tends to move my headset just enough to really shrink down the cone of clarity. And yes, I know people have developed utilities to quickly check six to make viewing near the extremes faster a la TrackIR, but even with that I'm not sure it would end up feeling as 'accessible' as I'm used to.

- I don't like having to give up using some of my peripherals like button boxes, programmable keyboard, etc. that have labels I generally refer to when flying. Also makes drinking beer while flying nearly impossible. :)

So, all things considered, I decided that, although improving, VR still isn't quite there yet, for me. I have to admit I'll miss feeling like I'm really there -- I was shocked at how different the Hornet and Tomcat cockpits felt; the sense of depth is just astonishing and so damn cool, with everything so lifelike -- but the level of concessions I'd feel I'd had to make in terms of image quality and performance unfortunately overwhelm the advantages that VR brought.

Anyway, just wanted to share my experience.



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4 hours ago, GregP said:



 

 




So, all things considered, I decided that, although improving, VR still isn't quite there yet, for me. I have to admit I'll miss feeling like I'm really there -- I was shocked at how different the Hornet and Tomcat cockpits felt; the sense of depth is just astonishing and so damn cool, with everything so lifelike -- but the level of concessions I'd feel I'd had to make in terms of image quality and performance unfortunately overwhelm the advantages that VR brought.

Anyway, just wanted to share my experience.


 

 

 

Yep, I reckon VR isn't far off to be truly superior to bigscreen 4K displays. Maybe 3 years if we're lucky. Right now it feels like we're on the cusp, as seen by the users who already enjoy it. I've been a VR advocate for over a decade, well before the first Rift, so it's been fantastic to see how far its come. I'm personally gonna keep my G2, as there are other sims that look and run beautifully in it. 

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5 hours ago, GregP said:



 

 


Well, experiment over. 🙂 I've decided to return my G2. Here's why:

- While clearly better than the last time I tried VR two years ago, it's still not up to the level that I personally would need to see in order to move away from my 4k monitor. I think that the average DCS user who has better eyesight than myself, and has gotten accustomed to playing at 1080p or 1440p on say a 27-inch monitor, would understandably be blown away by the clarity and performance offered by the G2. But as I noted before, I think I've gotten spoiled by having been using a large 4k monitor for years now, where everything is razor-sharp, easily legible and nearly life-sized.

- Maybe an odd thing to mention, but I've gotten so used to TrackIR that now having to move my head and neck around so much in order to look at all the side consoles, and to look behind me, is really quite difficult! I'm sure I'd get used to it, but I have to admit it's kind of offputting at first. Especially when (I think made worse by my glasses) looking far down or to the side tends to move my headset just enough to really shrink down the cone of clarity. And yes, I know people have developed utilities to quickly check six to make viewing near the extremes faster a la TrackIR, but even with that I'm not sure it would end up feeling as 'accessible' as I'm used to.

- I don't like having to give up using some of my peripherals like button boxes, programmable keyboard, etc. that have labels I generally refer to when flying. Also makes drinking beer while flying nearly impossible. 🙂

So, all things considered, I decided that, although improving, VR still isn't quite there yet, for me. I have to admit I'll miss feeling like I'm really there -- I was shocked at how different the Hornet and Tomcat cockpits felt; the sense of depth is just astonishing and so damn cool, with everything so lifelike -- but the level of concessions I'd feel I'd had to make in terms of image quality and performance unfortunately overwhelm the advantages that VR brought.

Anyway, just wanted to share my experience.


 

 


It seems I can´t refrain myself from chiming in. Did you install the extra lenses you ordered?
Did you try different settings, PD, supersampling and whatnot? Do you consider 48 hours time enough to test? to develop some muscle memory for your buttonboxes and addons? to "retrain" your neck which has also been spoilt against moving 1:1 realistic tracking?
Regarding the most important issue 😉 I had to give up drinking using a pint-size glass and changed to normal, regular 33cl cans, the smaller the hole, the better.
Happy flying sir!

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The lenses were apparently going to take 4-5 weeks minimum, so no I never got to try them. But I did spend about 8 hours in total trying every conceivable combo of SS, motion smoothing, reprojection etc. I began by following the guidelines provided by several users in this forum, as well as the excellent guides on VR4DCS. I overclocked both my CPU and GPU by about 10% each, so I think I was squeezing the maximum potential out of my system hardware wise.

Although I listed all of the reasons in my previous post, by far the most important one for me was simply the lack of image clarity compared to 4K on a monitor. Of course I knew going in that there was no way to make things that sharp in VR, but I was curious to see what the past two years of VR tech had yielded in terms of making that gap smaller. And while the gap is without question getting smaller, it’s just not close enough in my opinion.

I’m reasonably confident that the prescription lenses would’ve slightly broadened the cone of clarity that I was seeing, and also that with continued experimentation I probably could’ve come up with some settings that would’ve yielded acceptable image quality at a playable frame rate. But overall it still felt to me like I was going to have to make too many concessions in order to get it all to work acceptably. I also tried a bit in MSFS and the initial results were not encouraging even with painfully low detail levels.

As I’ve stated in several posts over the past few years, I have absolutely no doubt that VR is the future for flight sims and honestly cannot wait for that future. But unfortunately for my preferences, it’s simply not there yet.

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I should also note that I really do think that the astigmatism in both of my eyes plays a large role in my continued dissatisfaction with VR. I know from experience that whenever I try to start wearing contacts, it’s extremely frustrating how whenever the lenses get even a little bit out of rotation my vision gets blurry. I think wearing my glasses inside the headset replicates the same problem, in that as soon as they’re a little bit out of alignment with my eyes my image is not sharp anymore; that’s why I said I think that the add-on lenses would’ve helped, but likely would not have completely gotten rid of the problem.

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I have very bad vision with severe astigmatism, too. On top of that, I am old enough that I need reading glasses, so I have the expensive progressive lenses that only focus correctly when you look straight at the object of interest with the correct elevation angle. So, my vision already has its own "sweet spot" independent of any VR headset. Contact lenses never worked well for me. The severe astigmatism requires them to sit at a certain position and rotational angle, but they always move with every blink and make it impossible to maintain a constant sharp focus at any distance.

 

As a general rule, I have to buy the absolute smallest glasses frames and use the most expensive high index material available to keep my glasses as small and light as possible for general comfort. The byproduct of this strategy is that the Oculus CV1, Rift, Quest 2, and HP Reverb G2 all fit over my glasses with minimal issues. The CV1 did put a lot of force on my nose pads, causing fatigue and headaches after using VR too long. All of them require me to carefully adjust my glasses so their sweet spot lines up with the VR sweet spot. But the end result is that I don't really have any problems using VR despite my glasses and poor vision. Therefore, I haven't had any reason to buy dedicated VR headset lenses.

 

I guess I am fortunate, because GreP is not the first person I have seen post they were less than impressed with the G2 and were returning it for the same reasons.

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i used to play in front of a 4k 65inch curved tv at 60cms with trackir and it was more than ok, but  then i test the rift S and i never use trackir again. 

 

I know is a matter or preferences, but for me is no brainer.

 

Now i use the G2 and is fantastic i with my hardware i can get solid 45fps.

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1 hour ago, despinoza said:

i used to play in front of a 4k 65inch curved tv at 60cms with trackir and it was more than ok, but  then i test the rift S and i never use trackir again. 

 

I know is a matter or preferences, but for me is no brainer.

 

Now i use the G2 and is fantastic i with my hardware i can get solid 45fps.

 

Pure awesomeness.

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Don B

 

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FWIW... just watched a video from C W Lemoine (ex F18 Pilot)... He is set up on VR now (with G2 actually) and says Trackir just doesn't give him the sense of depth and perception you need to have in the aircraft and flat screen takes away the 'feel' factor.  Not my words 🙂

 

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On 1/18/2021 at 10:33 AM, GregP said:


Well, experiment over. :) I've decided to return my G2. Here's why:

 

 

May I ask where you purchased your G2 and their return policy?  I would like to try the G2 (I tried the Rift several years ago), but will not do so until I can find a company with a good return policy in case I feel as you do.

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Sorry for the delay, I just saw this now. I bought from the Microsoft store, and they had free shipping and returns: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/hp-reverb-g2-vr-headset/93qb262d0514

Seems they’re out of stock at the moment though.

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Boss of the squadron I'm in is a retired RAF group captain, fast jets. He's been using a monitor/TrackIR/Helios setup for a few years. Recently helped him setup his first VR rig, a G2. He is totally blown away with the realism of it and says he couldn't go back to a flat screen.    


Edited by oz555

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Me too....I have always used the best and highest resolution monitor available and visual clarity was my number one priority... I got a rift CV1 when they first came out but was very unimpressed in DCS and sim racing because of the lack of clarity. However, getting my G2 was a real game changer for me, once set up, I find the whole sim experience so much more realistic and immersive and enjoyable.

 

Sure, the clarity is not perfect, but with my settings, its great in cockpit and up close, I am dissappointed by other planes past  a few hundred metres being pretty blurry and not being able to refer to another screen or notes is a pain at times, but there are ways around this with tools like VR scratchpad and making sure your knee boards have all the information you might need. Also, to help with FPS, I turn my detail and land textures down, as you simply don't need to see that far and clear anyway, plus, in real  life, you rarely get conditions that enable that anyway, so I feel its realistic....

 

Regarding dogfighting - apart from not being able to spin my head around like the exorcist kid to check six like I could using Tir, its actually way easier using VR.....and, I feel much more like the real jet, if you strapped in, wearing a full flight suit and helmet with JHMCS, in a high G turn, there is no way you could turn your head much anyway.......

 

I love my G2 and certainly wont be sending mine back.....


Edited by markturner1960
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System specs: Scan 3XS i9 9900K @5ghz, 32GB Corsair veng DDR4 2666, EVGA GTX 2080ti Win 10. Reverb G2 , 50 inch 4K Phillips monitor. Real simulator FSSB R3 with F-16 SGRH grip and warthog with RS F-18 grip, plus Cubesim TM MFD's, Tir5. Winwing F-18 throttle, Tek creations UFC, panels. Cougar throttle & TUSBA, plus ICP for the Viper. MFG crosswind rudders. Jet seat and butt kicker..

VR Settings: 90% (90 & 100 ), motion re projection locked 45 FPS, MSAA x2, shadows off, water med, terrain low, draw distance med, no aniso. DCS PD =1.    15ms GPU frame time & super smooth....looks great too.

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2 hours ago, markturner1960 said:

I feel much more like the real jet, if you strapped in, wearing a full flight suit and helmet with JHMCS, in a high G turn, there is no way you could turn your head much anyway.......

🤔

 

Velocity Micro PC | Asus Z97-A | i7-4790K 4.7GHz | Corsair Liquid CPU Cooler | 32GB DDR3-1600MHz Memory | EVGA RTX 2080 Ti XC | 240gb Intel 520 Series MLC SSD | 850 W Corsair PSU | Windows 10 Home | LG 32UD99-W UHD Monitor | Bose Companion 5 Speakers | CH Fighterstick | Ch Pro Throttle | CH Pro Pedals | TrackIR 5

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