Introduction: What is Headjack XR Video Cloud Transcode?

This article will dive into one of the most powerful features of the Headjack platform XR video cloud transcoding. As every XR video producer knows, transcoding videos to final deliverables can be very time-consuming and is a process that is prone to error, especially when there are a lot of different devices and platforms involved. 

Headjack XR video cloud transcoding is developed to mitigate the risk of faulty playback and streamlines the process of getting your video from a master format to final distribution files that mobile and VR apps can wield without compromising on video quality.

Make sure to download the newest version of Headjack Link and Operator apps or start a new Headjack Cloud Build in the CMS to use the latest transcoding profiles and app playback settings fully. 

Headjack XR Video Cloud Transcoding has seen various iterations over the last couple of years to keep it up to date with new device releases and the latest video encoding/playback technologies. We also guarantee backward compatibility (for apps built before November 2021); read more on that at the end of this article.

How to upload your videos correctly to the Headjack CMS

First, make sure your master video is encoded in one of the following video containers before uploading. There is no maximum on the video resolution or bitrate you can upload to the Headjack CMS.

Video: Mp4 (H264/H265), M4V, MOV, AVI, WEBM, MKV(with no spatial audio)

Make sure the video has enough bitrate to do another recompression (if desired) on our platform. We recommend 100mbit/h264 or higher as a general rule of thumb to get a good result.

When you start uploading a video to our platform, either by creating a new project or uploading it to the media page, The following pop-up screen will appear.

first pop-up Headjack upload module

How to set the correct metadata for your (360 videos)

The window above is crucial to fill in correctly since this will tell the video player in the VR or mobile app how to playback your video. You can always change these properties later by simply changing the values on the content > media page, clicking save and restarting the app.

  • First, Set the Video Projection of your video, Flat (for standard 2d video), 360 (for equirectangular 360 videos), 180 (for 180-degree videos), or Other (for videos with a custom FOV)
  • Next, set the correct 3D setting for your video, Off (for mono videos), Top-Bottom or Side-by-Side for videos with a 3d setting
Headjack video upload module with correct video playback settings

Select the correct playback behavior for your app

The second part of the form will tell your apps how the video is delivered and presented in the app’s user interface. It can be distributed as a download only, a download + streaming, or streaming only. These settings can be altered for various platforms to enable a customized experience on each platform.

Headjack Playback Options

Set multiple behavior profiles for different platforms or devices

Headjack XR Video Cloud Transcoding can be used to distribute your videos to the various XR platform by only uploading a single master video file and then letting us do the optimal video transcoding for each individual distribution platform.

For example, I want my video to be available as a download only on Oculus Quest 2 but as a download and stream on iPhone. On top of that, I like the Original video I uploaded to be distributed in the Quest 2 and a high-quality transcode for both streaming and download distributed to iPhone. In this case, my playback options will look like the following. 

Headjack Playback Options mobile

The green checker marks indicate that I have set up each platform correctly and can proceed with transcoding the actual videos for these various platforms from my uploaded master.

Start a Cloud Transcode, check its progress, and view the result.

Once you set up the playback properties of each platform correctly, you can let Headjack XR Video Cloud Transcode do its job, just hit Save and Transcode, grab a coffee, and your final videos will be done in a matter of minutes. You can check the overall progress of the transcodes on the media list.

Once the videos are done transcoding, restart your VR or Mobile App, and your videos should be available as download or stream.

Headjack mobile app with playback options

If you want to know more about the exact resolutions we transcode your videos to, please check one of the following articles for more info on exact resolutions and bitrates.

Resolutions Headjack Cloud Transcoding For:

When you have streaming turned on, we will always create an HLS playlist with various qualities to ensure smooth playback; depending on the quality of your internet connection, we will play the highest quality transcode from the HLS playlist. 

If you want to bypass our transcoding entirely and take complete control over the quality of your video, make sure to set the download quality to “use original video.” Of course, in this case, you will be responsible for the final playback in your app since we can’t guarantee proper playback of your original uploaded video on all devices.

Add or change the playback behavior of your app after the initial upload.

Of course, it can be possible that you would like to change the setting for playback after you have already uploaded your video. You can do this by navigating to the Content > Media page, select your video, set the new playback settings for your video, and hit Save & Transcode. After the video is done processing, all you need to do is restart your VR or mobile app, and the app should start with the new set playback options.

Backward compatibility with older apps

With the latest update to our XR Video Cloud Transcoding profiles, we also considered backward compatibility for apps built before November 2021. On the media details page, you will find the legacy apps profile automatically turned on for all videos uploaded before the November date. This profile preserves the old settings of your cloud transcodes and makes sure your older apps don’t break or will have missing videos.

Headjack legacy app profile

With this legacy apps profile, it is also possible to add new videos to older apps; simply configure this profile in combination with any other profile. Apps built before November 2021 will still playback the newly added video once you hit save and restart your app.

A new cloud build is required to make use of the newer video transcoding profiles (and an app update in the stores if your apps are distributed through any of the VR App stores) since older apps can’t handle the new JSON format that is being used for these more recent videos transcodes.