Image: Guy Godin
A major update for Virtual Desktop prepares the streaming app for Meta Quest 3 and brings several improvements.
Virtual Desktop, the popular app for wirelessly streaming PC content to mobile VR headsets, is getting a major update. This means you’ll be able to use the app with Meta Quest 3 right from its launch on 10 October.
Quest 3 supports AV1 codecs
Virtual Desktop developer Guy Godin announced the update yesterday via X (formerly Twitter). Thanks to the more powerful Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, Virtual Desktop version 1.29 on Meta Quest 3 also supports AV1 video codecs.
Big update today! Version 1.29 adds official Quest 3 support with a bunch of specific improvements such as AV1 codec support, 120fps in all environments, higher resolutions. The update also adds face/eye tracking support on Quest Pro, a screen transparency option for Quest/Pico.
— Guy Godin (@VRDesktop) October 4, 2023
This is supposed to enable better image quality at the same bit rate compared to HEVC. According to Godin, AV1 ensures fewer hiccups during locomotion in VR games.
However, the process is more demanding for GPUs. Depending on the graphics card used, it may not achieve the same resolution or frame rate as HEVC. AV1 codecs require Nvidia 4000 or AMD 7000 series graphics cards.
Virtual Desktop: All new features in update 1.29
According to the release notes of the update, you can also look forward to the following new features:
- Maximum bitrate increased to 200 Mbps for all codecs and 400 Mbps for H.264+.
- “Godlike” quality usable up to 120 FPS
- Snapdragon Game Super Resolution can be used with all VR graphics quality options
- 120 FPS can be used in desktop/video mode in all environments.
- Environments are rendered at higher resolutions
New features for Quest 3, Quest Pro and Pico 4:
- Toggle for screen transparency (above the screen in the first 4 environments).
- VR passthrough option in streaming tab with configurable chroma keying
- Face/Eye tracking with VRChat on Quest Pro (via VRCFaceTracking).
- Passthrough environment on Pico
- New virtual assistant that answers Virtual Desktop-related questions in many languages
- Turkish and Russian keyboard layouts added
- Nvidia settings are now automatically saved / restored
- Fixed compatibility issues with Onward via SteamVR when launching via the “GAMES” tab.
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