How Does He Do It? A Guide to Gear VR Screen Recording

People love to film themselves playing games, and whether it is for personal use or distribution purposes, getting good video from the Gear VR has been an elusive subject for many people. Ever since I started my popular series, “Lunchtime with my Gear VR” the one question that I am constantly asked is, “How did you do that?”. So I thought it was high time for a tutorial on just what I use to get good quality recordings!

OK, so the first thing I should mention is that if you currently want to record your screen, a Note 4 is recommended. I’m not saying it can’t be done from a one of the newer variants, but as of the writing of this article I have not been able to verify that anyone is having good luck recreating this on the newer phones. I have attempted to share these settings with others using the Note 5 or S6 versions but they have unfortunately not had the same luck.To capture your screen in the Gear VR you will need some software to make the magic happen. There are currently two ways I have used with success to get good quality screen recordings from my Note 4 and Gear VR Innovator Edition. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. The first method is done directly from the phone and the latter is done using your PC.

Recordable Pro
Image taken from http://recordable.mobi/

Recordable Pro is my preferred method for screen capturing the Gear VR. I first discovered this app after finding an archived post over on Reddit that Youtube personality eVRydayVR had shared when the Gear VR Innovator Edition first surfaced. After trying almost every screen capture app on the Google Play store I thought could this finally the one! So I immediately purchased it and to my dismay I couldn’t get it to work. So I kept trying, changing settings and tweaking things in my phone without success. Then it hit me… I was still running Android 4.4.4. and this turned out to be the problem. After updating to Android 5.0.1 finally I was capturing video and not just a black screen. Most people will no longer have this problem as all new phones including older ones like my Note 4 should have been updated by now.

So now that I had the right OS I could start to capture smooth video right? Well, almost… Little did I know at the time that the 5.0.1 system update had broken the Qualcom GPU drivers and this would add lag and very quick overheats with my Gear VR. Even with these issues I pressed on and started to get decent video at the expense of very quickly overheating the phone. While on the 5.0.1 update I was able to capture video at 720p and 30fps, but this wasn’t good enough for me and not what I wanted to present to my viewers. So many months later Verizon finally sent out the Android 5.1.1 update this was when everything fell into place! Suddenly I was able to capture very smooth 720p video at 60fps. I’m sure by now you are saying, “Alright man.. quit babbling and tell us how to do it!”, so here’s what you will want to do:

  • Download Recordable Pro from the
  • Google Play Store
  • Activate the app from your PC using the Recordable activator    ( You will need to do this after each time you restart your phone)
  • Once the app has been activated start it on the phone.
  • Make sure you holding are in landscape. This is important because if you don’t, your video will not be oriented correctly to fill the screen!
  • Go to your settings and make sure they are set just like this: –>
  • Once you have verified your settings are correct return to the main screen and hit record. (Again, make sure your phone is in the landscape orientation)
  • Place your phone into the Gear VR and you are now recording your screen!

The one drawback to this method and that is that all audio is captured directly from the phones internal microphones, so this unfortunately will not give you the ability to use a headset with a mic and prohibits capturing conversations in apps like V-Time, Altspace or Oculus social. There are ways to do this by recording the audio separately using a jack splitter and external audio recording device and then merging the audio and video tracks using an editor, but I have not yet tried to do this so I am not including instructions on how to do it in this tutorial.

Samsung Sidesync / OBS
Image from Samsung.com
The second method I’ve used and have had descent success with is a combination of an app called Samsung Sidesync and free PC screen recording utility called OBS. This method mirrors your phones screen to the PC where the OBS application gains the ability to capture it. Doing the screen recording in this way has the advantage of being able to record both the phones audio and a headset mic making social recording possible, but the trade off is that the image captured seems to be slightly blurred.

Sidesync requires an app to be installed on both the phone and PC side. Once these apps are installed and running you will be able to share your phones screen and all the functions of it with your PC.

After the connection is established all that is left to do is to set up presentation mode on the on the PC side of the Sidesync app so that you can see both the phone screen and the mirrored image simultaneously. Once the phone screen is showing on your PC you will want to click the at the top and set screen mirroring to be on. This will allow you to see the image on both the PC and phone screen simultaneously. Now that you have a good connection and both screens are turned on the last step is to start OBS and set up game capture mode to hook into the Sidesync app.

Both methods listed here will cause a slight amount of judder in some apps while viewing them in the Gear VR, but this does not translate over to the finished recordings.I hope this was helpful in some way to those out there who want to make quality recordings of their apps or gameplay. I have very much enjoyed being able to share my Gear VR experiences with a wider audience. Be sure to check out “Lunchtime with my Gear VR” on my YouTube channel to see the results of using these recording methods.

 

Captured using Recordable Pro
 
Captured using Samsung/OBS
Brought to you by vrgamerdude of the VR Spies
www.vrspies.com

3 thoughts on “How Does He Do It? A Guide to Gear VR Screen Recording

    • February 17, 2016 at 12:12 am
      Permalink

      Will this allow for 720p 60fps recording? I'm interested in the internal + Mic feature listed in the XDA thread, but not worth it to give up the smooth video playback. Have you tested this with the Gear VR and do you have a sample out there somewhere I can view?

      Reply
  • November 2, 2016 at 8:28 am
    Permalink

    You can use iDealshare VideoGo step by step to Merge OBS Recordings in FLV or MP4 Video Format into One

    Reply

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