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Virtual Reality Video vs. 360 Video

Catrina Jones
Catrina Jones

Catrina Jones is a qualified editor of this website aimed at multimedia software. She is a regular contributor of product tutorials, reviews as well as tips and tricks, helping all users edit, download or create enjoyable videos.

Are your get excited about your first taste of VR? We are now entering a new era that you can not only view ordinary videos but also watch videos in 360 or virtual reality. 360° videos or VR videos is a wonderful experience which gives you the feeling of being in the middle of the action. But there is a confusion in terms like 360 Video, VR video, live-action VR, CG VR, AR, MR, etc. In this article, we'd like to draw a clear line between VR video format and 360 video format and alleviate the confusion.

VR Video vs. 360-degree Video: What’s the Difference

VR Video VS 360 Video

Although they may seem the same, VR and 360-video have stark differences.

1.Virtual Reality Video Is Interactive

360-degree videos are known for their natural progression from scene to scene. That means filmmakers handpick what they want to present their audience. Viewers consequently don't have any power over their interactions. In contrast, VR thoroughly immerses users into the environment and allows them to explore whatever and however they want to.

2. Access Through Different Devices

Virtual reality is only possible with VR headsets, whether these are mobile devices like Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR or more advanced HTC Vice and Oculus Rift. You can achieve really high quality of content with Oculus and HTC Vice. As for 360 video, it may be accessed both through a VR headset and any other device with a regular 2D screen.

3. Story

360 content will let the filmmaker control the story and the timeline. Unlike in the 360° video, a VR story is not set in stone. User are able to create their own experiences in the VR simulation instead of follow pre-determined timeline.

4. Summary

Virtual Reality Video Format

360 Video Format


Digital Environment

Live Action


Immersive world that you can walk around   in (as long as you are not connected to a PC

360 degree view from camera’s   perspective, but limited to filmmaker’s camera movements

Video Timeline

Video can   progress through a series of events or experience can be simply an existing   world to be explored by the user

Video progress   on a timeline created by the filmmaker’s camera movements


Full experience requires a VR headset or   mobile

Available on 360 compatible players   including YouTube (desktop and mobile)



Filmmaker does   not control physical location of viewer in the built environment and as such   must capturer attention and also motivate user to travel in the direction of   the events of the story. 

Filmmaker   controls physical location of camera. But must capture attention of viewer to   direct the story.


You can explore more tips about VR video and 360 video from these guides:

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