HTC Vive Pro non-review :)

This is not a joke - I just have bought a brand new Vive Pro and decided to share some thoughts here for those interested :smiley:.

Some history:
I bought used OG Vive (complete set) in 2018 in an anticipation of my Pimax 5k+. This was the best investment I made as I got everything to run my 5k+ when it materialized in 2019, plus I could tinker with SteamVR using the OG Vive.

I was looking forward to Index, but when it was eventually released, it did not support my IPD (72 mm). And then basically every other headset after that. I am not sure how to interpret that. Did the OEMs decide that it did not matter whether you had worse optics or skewed geometry? (Well, it does.). Or they just do not care? Hard to say.

Surprisingly there was another headset which fit me in 2019 - Oculus Quest and I bought one just before the last year Christmas. At the same time I RMAd my 5k+ because of bad pixels and black dots (202 series). It took Pimax 5 months to replace it and then another 6 to deliver the KS box and my v2 bases. Once received everything I added Index controllers (from Valve - took two weeks) migrated my home setup to v2 lighthouse tracking and sold my OG Vive set.

Meanhwile neither Quest 2 nor Reveb G2 really helped and I felt like I really needed some native SteamVR headset (mostly for tinkering). At the same time two things happened. I started playing HL:Alyx the long anticipated game (and possibly the only one on my “must-play list”) and I borrowed Vive Pro to do an OTA firmware update of the bases Pimax sent me. And I tried Vive Pro with Alyx and then got confused.

I was quite familiar with 5k+ and I was getting more and more irritated by it. Not sure if it was some FW upgrade and/or the new hardware (203 series) I got as a replacement, but the 5k+ was dull, distorted and flat in Alyx, which I only realized once I tried Vive Pro. (I am going to explain why a bit later, but I believe anyone frequenting this forum most likely already knows why.)

So the dull, distorted, no sweet spot (in the eye-box sense) and flat Pimax version was replaced by SDE-ed and toilet-paper-tubed version of Vive Pro. And I liked it better. In fact I liked it so much that after I returned borrowed Vive Pro I told myself to by one ASAP, before continuing Alyx.

Buying Vive Pro
You may think that buying Vive Pro should be an easy task. While the price did not drop much from the release there should be plenty of them used, right? Not really, at least for me. I could probably import one from either the US or AUS, but even with a favorable price, including the shipping and taxes made it immediately a lost deal.

The situation was different in Europe. On Ebay (which I checked mostly) there were only Germans selling there and they always ship only to Germany. I guess the other countries use their local auction/sell web sites, which I did not know, except one in France (leboncoin) where I even found some really good deals there. Too bad no one even bothered to answer my offers even when there were no one else interested :slight_smile:. So in the end I bought a new one (headset only) locally and paid probably as much as I would if I imported a used one from overseas.

After finally getting one I realized why Pimax needed two years to come up with the KD/S-MAS. They were trying to copy the Vive Pro strap, but they could not copy it entirely because of the off-ear design, therefore the delay. When looking from the right angle, I would not be able to tell which one is which.

Playing Vive Pro
I am well aware of OLED vs LCD difference (had OG Vive, have Quest 1) yet I was again surprised how much difference it makes (in Alyx) when compared with 5k+. The colors, the brightness the contrast for me were worthy the buy. The SDE is definitely worse, the resolution is also worse (because of the pentile matrix and the subpixel deficiency), the FOV is terrible. Yet, when I decide to spend some time in HL, I do not hesitate. The added bonus was that my prescription inserts I had made for OG Vive are compatible with Vive Pro. And the general ease of use - I do not want to debug the VR stack every other time I start the headset :slight_smile:.

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wait until you try the lense mod :wink: vive pro with lense mod is still the best vr solution in 2020

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Yeah the vive pro is a great unit. Very good sense of 3d and beautiful colors indeed. It just needs g2 resolution and a bit more FoV. I don’t understand why a company like HTC doesn’t release such headset

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+1 for the Gear-VR mod, edge to edge clarity, no barrel distortion for my sight (71 IPD) no more god rays.
Its like having a new generation headset (albeit for the SDE)

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I pulled out my OG vive and thought about selling it recently… the colors are just so damn good though. Even quest 1 is no comparison imo. Decided it’s worth more than the
~$150 it would get for the hmd used. When resolution was all i wanted more of, it was easy to take for granted how much they got correct in gen 1 vr.

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after modding Samsung O+ to DAS I stopped using my Vive Pro, WMR adds a bit more hassle, but I finally was able to fix grey screen issue for some games with open space calibrator & index setup, so now I can play everything, after WMR update Odyssey+ with 350% SS and WMR setup to highest possible picture quality is spectacular, so bright (brighter than Vive Pro on par with OG Vive maybe a bit brighter, great contrast, almost no SDE visible ony on white screen, it’s not as sharp as Pro but has the same amount of details & as you almost don’t see SDE it adds to immersion, it’s my favourite HMD now for DCS, the aiming knob in cockpit just looks so spectacular, hope Samsung will finalize their prototypes as it’s the only company (and HTC but they have less quality panels unfortunately in regard to SDE) who can offer nowadays great VR experience. Curved panels with higher than reverg g2 perceived SDE would be blast + ofc FOV.

Btw regarding mod for Vive Pro, it didn’t work well for me, I get good clarity but it messes up the 3d ration, I tried to fix it with IPD offsets in steam vr, it changes but I still couldn’t achieve the same perfect 3d calibration a I had with OG lenses, even with lesser sweetspot, so I wouldn’t recommend it 100% & you need to be careful as lenses full of glue (black silicone) & if you are not accurate it can fall on the display & then you will have hard time to clean it.

But Vive Pro is one of my best HMD, it’s native steamvr, smart smoothign is working, great colours, contrast, brightness, very good 3d image considering other HMDs, the only problem is SDE but it’s not too much, I would say it’s slightly better than Quest 1 & has no blurriness from USB pipeline.

Try Samsung Odyssey+ if you can, but keep in mind that it should be configured properly, by default it doesn’t look good (same as Pimax with max resolution setting)

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Vive Pro and O+ use the same exact display, except the Samsung uses a filter that makes the difference on the SDE to my understanding

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I heard it as well, I also heard 5kxr uses the same panels, but that’s not comparable, lenses, magnification factor, software/firmware differences, according to recent research (I posted it in another thread about 1 months ago, too lazy to find it) it measured NITS & its the brightest displays, it’s up to manufacturer to decide how to tune panels, I don’t think you may do something there until they have opened the code & you have plenty of time & coding skills

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When you say the Ody+ needs to be configured properly what do you mean @Teigue ?

I can’t say for sure what exactly made the difference for me, but here at least a bullet list of what you can try:

  1. ensure in win 10 settings you have everything on highest
    https://forums.x-plane.org/uploads/monthly_2019_03/vr1.jpg.4109bf8f9fbb1d902b382c7b9ec309c6.jpg

  2. use the latest win 10 build with all the updates (you may to google what win version has the latest wmr update, maybe it’s included in all of them but I doubt it). For G2 launch I believe they did a patch that increased clarity of WMR stack

  3. have steam & wmr steam plugin on beta versions

  4. games without steam vr render quality doesn’t look as good as with it, use 350% minimum if you PC & games you play allow it

  5. make sure steamvr doesn’t fail to render in good resolution, see tips & tricks here in regard to max resolution setting & GPU horsepower one, recent steamvr updates also could affect it: How To Make Your Pimax Image/Picture/Screen Clear/Crisp (Increase Clarity)

Also you shouldn’t consider O+ as best HMD from OLED ones for all the cases, it’s really cool, but one of the main problems I have with it is strong smear, it’s not that strong & totally playable, but in fast paced games like auto simulators you may don’t like it, in shooters, in DCS for me it’s fine.

Also comfort out of the box & FOV are terrible, at least for my head shape so it requires modding (I used HTC DAS & kept default O+ audio solution).

I have no G2 nor 8kX (g2 will be here only in Feburary), I guess I won’t order 8kX as I know what to expect from it in terms of image quality. So apart of this I don’t have starvr one, old reverb g1, other wmr headsets like lenovo & pico & other non common companies, other than that I believe I have every HMD apart from business segment like Varjo, at least what you can find in all youtube reviews I have it & for me nowadays O+ is best option, I wish it have a bit more resolution but cockpit & readability totally fine. I can’t use Quest2 or Index for all the games I have as don’t like the image it’s drab & contrast not as great + O+ has much better anti aliasing before my recent finding I used Vive Pro a lot & liked it but indeed considering latest clarity updates in HMDs like Q2 & G2 Vive Pro starts to feel obsolete but O+ filter still makes the difference for me, before I didn’t use it for 1 year as I found the image too blurry & distracting, Im not sure but I believe the recent WMR patch is what made difference for me + I bought 3090 & now can play with 350% SS without much troubles.

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I just got into DR2 and night stages look so so so good with OLED (5K XR)! Every time I see those dark scenes rendered correctly, and memories of how 5K+ was, I just can’t force myself putting an order on 8KX, I am just too afraid it will look awful during the night racing (rally and 24hr circuit racing). And yes, Alyx looks fantastic with OLED. Sigh!

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Its better in 8kx than 5k+ ,for intance ACC in night is impressive with +2 contrast -3 bri and 70% backlight

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Did you try DR2? Darkness on a racetrack is not the same as darkness in the forest, covered by the trees. It is DR2 night stages that made me really doubt I should get any LCD based HMD, that’s how pitch black (like IRL) it is.

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Will try Today forest track in night. In fact DR2 is my second favorite racing game for 8kx. It’s not Oled panels but colors are more vibrant and accurate than in 5k+

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