Read this before setting up your HTC Vive


Today I unpacked and set up an HTC Vive for the first time. It arrived in a huge Amazon box. The box was so big partly because it came with tripods for the lightboxes too. It was mostly filled with packing paper.

I dove in and started pulling out the headset, controllers, and cords. However, when I noticed how many parts there were I decided to stop. I went through putting up the light boxes and plugging them in before starting the Vive tutorial on my laptop. I knew about how the lightboxes should be set up from the different demos I have given with my co-workers HTC Vives.

When you start the HTC Vive setup it tells you that it takes 28 minutes to set up. What it doesn’t tell you are the pre-steps to the actual set up. I recommend taking a deep breath and start with the software instructions before pulling out all the different cords and parts.

  1. You’ll need 6 electrical plugs. I got away without needing an extension cord because we had enough plugs distributed throughout the room. You will needs outlets for the 2 light boxes, 2 controllers, the computer cord, and a plug for the headset.
  2. Adjust and set up the lightboxes before plugging them in. This makes sure that you don’t accidentally yank on the cord while adjusting the boxes. Also, it’s important for the mechanics of the lightboxes to be adjusted without running.

    Notice that slight downward angle.
  3. Have comfortable headphones available. The HTC Vive tutorial talks you through the controls in virtual reality. Plug your headphones into the jack coming out of the top of the HTC Vive.
  4. Measure your IPD. IPD is an acronynm for Interpupillary Distance. This is the distance between your eyes. I either measured my IPD incorrectly or the Vive isn’t set up to go as low as mine was. My IPD measured as 55 but I could only get the vive to go to 64.2. At that point the display moved faster than my head turned making be feel dizzy. I had to turn it back up to 68. The only difference changing the IPD made was the clarity of the objects in my vision. Although, I didn’t see a large difference between 68, and my husband’s setting 73.

    The numbers are backwards so you can read them in a mirror.
  5. Contain your pets and children! My dog was laying all about in the middle of the Vive’s “play area” (what they call the area between the lighboxes where the Vive controllers are tracked). I had to close her out of the room, which she wasn’t very happy about but at least I was able to complete the tutorial without disruption to the lightboxes.

    Sugar was not thrilled about  being kicked out of the now, “VR Room”.

It took a bit over an hour to do all the setup; from standing up the lightboxes to completing the HTC Vive tutorial. Some parts were a bit frustrating such as getting the controllers to connect and update the firmware. After that everything was pretty straight forward. I am currently downloading Google Earth for VR.

pairing controller
Pairing the controllers.

I think the best part of the Vive was seeing my husband experience virtual reality for the first time. He wasn’t as vocal about how excited he was to be in virtual reality until I heard him popping the balloon animals from the Vive tutorial.

SteamVR Ready
We are ready for lift off!

My next mission is to figure out how to view 360 photos from my Ricoh Theta on the HTC Vive.

How was your HTC Vive setup experience? What was the first VR simulation you experienced?

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