How to watch NCAA March Madness in Virtual Reality: A step-by-step guide
For the second straight year, Turner Sports, in partnership with CBS, the NCAA, Intel, and Oculus, has released a virtual reality app — NCAA March Madness Live VR for the Gear VR. The app will stream live games from the West Region Sweet 16 and Elite 8, as well as the 2017 Final Four:
- Thursday, March 23: West Virginia vs. Gonzaga at 7:39 p.m. ET and Xavier vs. Arizona at 10:09 p.m. ET.
- Saturday March 25: Winner of West Virginia/Gonzaga vs. winner of Xavier/Arizona, time TBD
- Saturday, April 1: National Semifinal games at 6:09 p.m. and 8:49 p.m. ET.
- Monday, April 3: The National Championship game at 9:00 p.m. ET
To access the app and stream the games in virtual reality, here’s a step-by-step guide:
1.) First, you need to have a Gear VR headset and a compatible phone.
2.)If you haven’t used the Gear VR with your smartphone before, you’ll need to install Oculus by inserting your phone in the headset and following the on-screen instructions. Once you’ve installed Oculus, you’ll be able to access the Oculus app on your phone or by inserting the phone into the headset at any time.
3.) After you’ve installed Oculus, there are two ways to download NCAA March Madness Live VR:
- You can open the Oculus app on your smartphone and search in the store for “NCAA March Madness Live VR”.
- When using the Gear VR headset, open the Store and browse to “NCAA March Madness Live VR” in the app catalog.
- 4.) Download the app for free from the Oculus store. Once you do, it will appear in your Oculus Library, accessible whenever you insert the phone in your headset.
5.) For the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games, there will be a limited promotional period of viewing, after which you will have three options to view games in full:
- Gold – for $2.99 per game or $7.99 for all six games, fans will be able to feel like they are sitting courtside with their favorite team, via fully-produced VR coverage incorporating multiple courtside cameras, sounds from inside the arena and dedicated game commentary featuring Spero Dedes with analyst Steve Smith and reporter Lisa Byington. Dedes, Smith and Byington will call the game specifically from the perspective of fans watching the live coverage in VR.
- Silver – for $1.99 per game, fans can experience VR through a single courtside camera presentation (180-degree live stream) with the same commentary featured on the CBS broadcast with Jim Nantz, analysts Grant Hill and Bill Raftery, along with reporter Tracy Wolfson.
6.) After you’ve enjoyed live games in VR, explore the app! You can catch up on highlights and view the bracket, customize the locker room with your favorite Sweet 16 team, or view highlights and replays in VR — all for free.