Bigscreen Beyond: No full resolution at 90 hertz after all?
Does the tiny Bigscreen Beyond PC VR headset not offer full image clarity at 90Hz? That's what VR analyst Brad Lynch reports.
The Bigscreen Beyond PC VR headset is surprisingly small, weighing in at just 127 grams, and even comes with a foam pad that can be custom-fitted to the user's face. However, a technical detail about the high screen resolution of 2,560 x 2,560 pixels per eye has caused some debate.
After Norman Chan from Tested, VR analyst Brad Lynch also reports that SteamVR outputs a maximum source resolution of 1,920 x 1,920 per eye when running at 90Hz. The image scaled up to full resolution in the VR headset looks slightly less sharp to him than at 75Hz. According to Lynch, the small difference is generally overstated, but it is there.
Bigscreen Beyond: 75 versus 90 hertz
Lynch discovered the lower resolution with the help of the Lighthouse console in a config file. In it, a third-party tool notes the corresponding values for the VR headset. Whenever Lynch switches to 90Hz, he says the file only notes a resolution of 1,920 by 1,920 per eye, which is scaled up to the full value in the headset. When testing both refresh rates, Lynch set SteamVR to 100% supersampling in each case (the topic starts at minute 17:05):
He said the result matched leaked specifications from display supplier Seeya. According to the documents, the backplane of the built-in display would only be able to receive SteamVR's full resolution at 75Hz. Display Stream Compression (DSC) compresses the signal losslessly and decompresses it in the headset.
DSC, which is common for high-quality VR headsets, is also used when operating at 90Hz. However, the built-in panel only supports a maximum source resolution of 1,920 x 1,920 at this higher refresh rate, which is upscaled to 2,560 x 2,560 in the headset, the video explains. According to Lynch, the slight difference in image sharpness is most noticeable in text. Bigscreen Beyond is primarily intended for watching films on a large virtual screen.
Bigscreen had previously contacted MIXED for clarification on the Beyond VR headset. The manufacturer explained that the headset always works with a resolution of 2,560 × 2,560 per eye at both 75 Hz and 90 Hz. This is possible thanks to the "visually lossless" DSC compression technology, which reduces scaling to use the bandwidth of DisplayPort 1.4, it said.
Lynch's findings contradict this claim. We have contacted Bigscreen for clarification and will let you know if we receive a response.