Using Pimax 8K to view YouTube videos

I have a Pimax 8K with no controllers, just a mouse, keyboard and joystick (mainly used for Fsims). My attempts to use the YouTube VR app to view some video files (ie “360 video, Lake Baikal, Magical Ice, Russia. 12K aerial video”) have been unsuccessful.

Is there a simple way to do that, preferably offline after download? I have to use Steam VR for this device.
If not how to online, I cannot navigate to where they are, YT VR defaults to some site and I cannot find a way to get to them. A dot appears that I can control by moving my head / HMD but cannot be activated, seems to be waaay in the background.

Is there a way to get GoPro Fusion video files to render in 3D?

How do I stop Steam VR from automatically updating every time I go to their site?

I am having a very difficult time enjoying VR, I am not sure why things have to be so difficult?
Some 50 years ago I was able to use these devices, put a slide or a photo in the front and enjoy the 3D views a lot more than the nowadays VR. Am I expecting too much?

You don’t need to use SteamVR (though it is generally preferable), since the Pimax headsets can also be used with Oculus Home.

If you are looking to stop SteamVR from ever updating, then I don’t think there is a feasible way to do so. You can only change when it updates.

If the issue is that it waits to update until you try to use SteamVR (instead of updating in the background), then you can do the following:

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There are numerous options. For a 2D movie, you can use VirtualDesktop and any suitable video app. I also use Simple VR Video Player sometimes (and it will play 3D movies). Both are available on Steam.

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Thank you both for your help.
About Steam VR my choice would be to not ever have to go to the site and have to accept the updates. I have a set up that I use with some sims and it’s right on the apex all tweaked in if you will. Every time I go to their site the just update the version and I have to start all over trying to get things working, basically I prefer NO updates period.

About the Simple VR video player and by the same token YouTube VR I am not able to get any Search going, there is dot appearing in a different plane that I cannot manipulate with the Keyboard Mouse or anything else I have available. I only have the Mouse, JStick and Keyboard, no other controllers. Am I missing something should I be able to access that feature in some way?
SkyBox VR for Windows will Not find any Device in my Win 10 system, is there a need for a special driver to use it with PiMax 8K?
Thanks again for you input.

I tried to install Oculus software and after about 1 hr of 5.15GB of download and another 15 min of install I was not able to get the PiMax 8K to be recognized by the setup. I tried all 3 models, I tried to disconnect and reconnect the HMD, I tried ti Import the Oculus and start it within the PiTool and still no luck.
I hope I am doing something wrong, I hate to think that I have $1000.00 worth of hardware that is of very little use to me.
What do people use this headset for?
It seems like there is a lot more information, about Oculus, Vive… but very little about PiMax.
If it was wasn’t for some of these boards this unit would have been useless.
Would buying Controllers, Stations… help in any way. I hate to spend another K and get no where.
If any one knows what I may have done wrong, and or how to resolve some these issues I would appreciate your help.

Strange. I don’t have any VR controllers either, but I am able to use a mouse with both Simple VR and Virtual Desktop (so I can watch YouTube videos too). Unfortunately, I don’t have any suggestions as to how to fix your issue, since everything “just worked” for me. I do have 1 base station, which means that I did a “room setup” in PiTool, which might possibly be why I’m able to use a mouse, but that seems like a slim possibility.

Have you tried a Google search? I doubt that your problem is exclusive to Pimax.

Yes, I found very little help except for you guys. I think that having a Base station may make it work.
What make, model and where do you think I can get on? I looked on Ebay but I am not sure which one will work with the 8K it looks more and more like an orphan device.
Does the Oculus, Vive… work with it?
Looking at some of apps I cannot find any specs, what does what device work with, except for Oculus I do not see much information about, there was no app that I could find that said that it is PiMax compatible.

You need Vive base stations. All base stations (in the same room) must be the same version. I have 1 version 1 (because ver 2 wasn’t available yet). Both versions work with the Index controllers, but early Vive controllers don’t work with ver 2 base stations.

Currently, ver 1 are cheaper. I’ll likely get another, before they stop being sold.

Ver 2 is on backorder:

OK, thank you for the information.
I was able to enter search in YouTube VR via Steam by using the monitor, with the HMD off my head just point it to the letters and entering them from the Keyboard the put the head set on and watch some YouTube Scenery videos.
It does look like I will need some device to place the dot in the same layer, maybe the Base station?
I am in a mode where the PiMax has given me so many problems that I am thinking to set it aside. I do not think anyone will buy it now, and get the Valve Index, but I am not sure what it comes with and what else I have to get to make it work, how much it all costs… I do not want to repeat the same mistake twice.
I’ve seen a video with a guy that says that he can use the 8K X without any Base Stations but he does not describe the Settings, how he gets started with the device… mostly useless information for me.

Pimax headsets will certainly work without base stations, but you are limited to 3 “degrees of freedom” (you get 6 DOF if you have 1 or more base stations).

Those are the standard (if confusing) terms. What this means is that if you don’t have base stations, you only get rotational movement: Your head can tilt up and down, turn left and right, and tilt to the left and right (placing an ear on your shoulder). This is enough for a seated game, but you cannot lean forward to get a better view of the cockpit instruments. 6 DOF adds translation (movement offsets): forward and back, to the left and right, or up and down.

More importantly for you, you cannot track VR controllers without at least 1 (and preferably at least 2) base stations.

Have you tried Virtual Desktop? It’s only $15 on Steam and it allows you to use a keyboard and mouse to control a view of your desktop in VR. Note that it is a true simulation of your desktop, so while you can view stuff like YouTube videos, you can’t really watch a 3D video. (You’ll see a flat projection, just like if you were watching on a flat screen.)

Simple VR does allow you to watch 3D movies, like Avatar, but it doesn’t directly play 3D Blu-ray discs. You must first rip them, using an app like Pavtube ByteCopy. I don’t have VR controllers, yet I can use Simple VR by looking at a push-button and clicking my mouse.

Have you run the PiTool “Room Setup”? It’s on the main PiTool page. I’m not sure if it requires a base station, but if you haven’t done that, it’s worth a try.

If you can download the video, IIRC, VirtualDesktop is usually a good program to watch 3D video with. It has a video player feature for this.

There is a way to stop SteamVR from updating. Offline mode. And the popup nag can be suppressed with this.

As a flight simmer myself, I probably hate these sort of hassles more than you do. SteamVR.

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Thank for the help.
I will try and see how the Offine works. It looks like you have to run .bat every time before you run Steam? I will look pinto having the .bat execute every time win starts? Do you know a better way?
Thank you.
I also saved some of the Steam files that get updated every time Steam gets new updates, in the present configuration and will try to force them back, restore them to the version I want. I did not try that yet but it looks like it should work?
It looks like only 2 directories: config, and logs and 4 files: GameOverlayRenderer.log, GameOverlayUI.exe.log, GameOverlayUI.exe.log.last, ssfn12973507811004363,are affected in my case.
I am sure you know but XPlane CD version, can be run Off line.

Simplest thing to do is to use this hook, in place of PiTool ‘home’.

  1. Clone my repository to “C:\core\infrastructure\extendedInterface” . With GitHub, you can simply download a ‘zip’ file.
  2. Navigate to “C:\core\infrastructure\extendedInterface\app\VirtualDesktop\hook” .
  3. Run “install_hook.bat” now and every time PiTool is reinstalled.

This will start VoiceAttack, SteamVR, and VirtualDesktop, with some workarounds, every time PiTool ‘home’ would normally be launched. Which is much better than ‘when the MSW OS starts up’, because now these applications will only be launched when all the appropriate hardware is available.

A bit more manually, you can just call the offline workaround bat file from another, that also starts SteamVR, like this.

CALL "C:\core\infrastructure\extendedInterface\support\steamvr\SteamVR_allow_offline\steam_allow_offline.bat"
start "" "steam://rungameid/250820"

If you use the hook script, what actually happens is another script gets called with parameters like…

  • “_start” - Start SteamVR
  • “_start_vd” - Start SteamVR and VirtualDesktop.
  • “_stop” - Explicitly terminates SteamVR.
  • “_restart” - Explicitly terminates SteamVR, then starts SteamVR.
  • “_restart_vd” - Explicitly terminates SteamVR, then starts SteamVR and VirtualDesktop.

In practice, “_restart_vd” is very useful to reset SteamVR after changing settings.

Yes, it is all a bit complicated. I should probably document this more, and create more shortcuts.

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No problem, I started with the Mainframes, Minis and Micros got them all. I started in the computer industry in 1970 on a 350/30, talking about need of patience, we have to use a jump wire for every bit of information to program and it was basically all Machine, then Mini, and Micros came along, my first processor was an Intel 4004, then 8008, 8080…
The first OS, if you can call it that was CPM, and you had to write your own BIOS to interface to your Video, Keyboard,… then the S100 came along, Multi Buss… When DOS and some languages like Basic from the nasty MS / Bill G things got to be too easy, now no body really knows much about computers just superficial knowledge.
I use a Speech app called Vocals, it’s free and open source, if you are interested let me know. Very easy to create new Phrase.
See some commands below:
Commands / Phrases for Vocals Speech control app used in XP11.
To use: Place “win.xpl”(, and “Vocals.exe” (Vocals) and “” and profiles.vd included here, in a newly created directory …X-Plane 11\Resources\plugins\ExtPlane\Vocals, and Start XP11 in windows mode. Make changes to the keys NEW and CHANGE keys listed below, Start Vocals with Run as Administrator, and select XP11 profile, and Application X-System You can now go back to XP11 and use Full screen.
To use with VR XP11 start Vocals, Start XP11 with VR enabled.

Note: Dx is Decimal number 1… OemOpenBrackets IS [ etc.

Command Key Answer
Flaps up D1 Flaps up
Flaps down D2 Flaps down
Brakes toggle B Brakes toggle Off / ON
Landing gear down D Gear down
Positive rate gear up U Gear up
Map toggle M Map toggle
Mixture Off F7 Mixture Off
Mixture Full F8 Mixture Full
Carb heat off F9 Carb heat off
Carb heat on F10 Carb heat on
Trim nose down OemOpenBrackets Nose down
Trim nose down a lot OemOpenBrackets Nose down a lot (4x)
Trim nose up Sft OemOpenBrackets nose up (NEW KEY XP11)
Trim nose up a lot Sft OemOpenBrackets nose up a lot (4x) (NEW KEY XP11)
Reverse trust toggle Sft OemBackslash Reverse trust

G 1000 approach toggle SHFT O Approach toggled (NEW KEY XP11)
Autopilot toggle SHFT G Autopilot toggle (NEW KEY XP11)
Auto pilot approach toggle CTRL A A. Pee Approach toggled
Autopilot heading hold toggle SHFT A Heading hold toggle
Auto pilot altitude on SFT i Altitude hold
Flight director toggle SFT J Flight director toggle

3 D cockpit SFT D9 3 D On
Move head up CTRL K Head up (CHANGE IN XP KEYS)
Move head back Oemcomma 2X Head back
Move head forward OemPeriod 2X Head forward
Move head down DOWN +Shft Eye point down
Move head down a lot DOWN+Shftx4 Head down a lot
Look ahead W Forward view (DEFAULT)
Forward view NumPad1 Num pad 1 (VIEW SAVED CTRL NumP1)
Look up SFT R Look up fast Inactive in VR
Look down SFT F Look down fast Inactive in VR
Look left SFT Q 4x Look left (90DEG.) Inactive in VR
Look right SFT E 4X Look right (90DEG.) Inactive in VR
Increase ground speed SFT T Increase ground speed Inact in VR?
Increase ground speed a lot SFT T 2X Increase ground speed a lot Inact in VR?
Outside view D8 Outside view
Zulu time backwards K 4X Time backwards
Zulu time forward L 3X Time forward
Zulu time backwards a lot SFT K Time backwards
Zulu time forward SFT L Time forward

Swap Nav 1 CTRL D9 Naav1 swap
Swap Nav 2 CTRL D0 Naav 2 swap
Swap Com 1 OemMinus Com 1 swap
Swap Com 2 CTRL 0 Swap com 2 (CHANGE IN XP KEYS)

Pause P Pause
Exit Shft F4 Exit (CHANGE IN XP KEYS)
Testing KeyCode Speech is On sir (TEST)
Zoom in VR Period x9 + DOWN x3 Zoom in (To read the small text)
Toggle VR Cursor Y Toggle cursor ;Needs assignment in XP “Y”
Cowl flaps open OemBackslash+Ctrl x10 Cowl flaps closed (CHANGE IN XP KEYS)
Cowl flaps Closed OemBackslash+Shft x10 Cowl flaps open (CHANGE IN XP KEYS)
Toggle Recording Ctrl+Space Recording toggled
Reset Flight Sft+OpenBrkt Reset Flight

Stop listening ControlKey Press Control on Keyboard to Listen >Change in “”


What is the backend for Vocals? VoiceAttack is useful to me for its ability to manage the MSW OS - sending keybindings to specific programs or switching windows.

You may find my PanelBoard project interesting. Right now, I can use it in a VM that takes keybinding input generated by Voice Attack. However, I have been thinking of embedding PocketSphinx to do some of this internally.

It was written in Visual Studio Windows based and it can send commands to any of the active apps / windows that you can select or it will attach itself to the active app.
It’s no longer supported and it has some short comings where it does no properly send Alt+key, but it’s easy to work around it.
It originally has french words and made some changes to it to translate it to English and recompiled, but the rest of the code is from the original programmer. You can find it on Github GitHub - Al-th/Vocals and if you want my version I can send you the executable. I may be able to find the source but it’s on my old system.
I am not familiar with this board and do not know how to attach a .zip file otherwise I could send it to you including the profile.
It t looks like you have an interesting project going.
I am not sure if you are a Real World pilot and familiar with Avare but I help them to maintain that app for RW pilots. We are a group a pilots that are providing that app free to RW pilots. You can find it on Github and the forum is here: Redirecting to Google Groups


Thanks for linking me to the Vocals source code. Voice Attack works well enough on the MSW platform though. What I really need on the voice recognition side is an FOSS program that can run under Linux, and launch shell commands in response to voice commands. Preferably efficient enough to run on a RasPi CPU, or at least something of comparable size and power consumption. PocketSphinx seems promising so far, though if it doesn’t work out I may end up trying to build something from TensorFlow…

Avare looks very interesting. I have been looking at these sort of apps for a while, and will definitely add it to my list.

While I do not yet have a pilots license, I hope to get one after having a chance to practice more (now that SteamVR is not breaking my workflow as often). At the moment though, I am a bit more focused on developing some of my own hardware products.

Perhaps you might find this specification for a future force feedback controller interesting…

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Very interesting project. Over the years, since 1976 when I got my PP certificate, I’ve built, and tested, a lot of hardware, and wrote my own Navigation for VOR, ADF Simulator. The only thing that I found in the Flight Simulator area that was close to the real life was the 6 DOF C130, and a couple of others professional sims.
The PC sims, regardless of the hardware attached, are mostly good for procedural use. You can learn Navigation, practice IFR, if you use something like Avare to interface with you can use use RL Plates, Charts… information, but for landing none of them have sufficient feedback to do a good job and help.
My hope was that the VR, and that was the reason I got involved with this device, would give me a tool when interfaced to a sim like XP or P3D, to recommend to students that want to learn to fly. It helps a little but much of the necessary real life sensation / feel is missing. The forward view, like the C172 in XP during approach to landing phase with Full flaps, is wrong, the pitch attitude is way too steep, the resolution of the instruments in the panel is not good enough…
I’ve also tested, and have many in my possession, the Force Feedback controllers, from Yokes to Jsticks and found none to be sufficiently accurate to give good feedback.
After testing Platforms with 3 DOF, Chairs… I am back to Jstick (Cyborg X) and Rudder (CH Pro) pedals. Ideally a Jstick with about 14 buttons and 5-6 axis of rotation, where you can assign all the necessary functions needed to fly a complex GA acft. like a C182 I found it to be the best and simplest solution.
If you do decide to look into Avare, and you have an Android device with ver 4.5 and later you can interface it with XPlane and or MSFSX. Let me know an I can add you to the active Avare user’s group if you want, just send me a private Email.
I will keep trying to see what else may be available that does a better job to help with the quest to get a better tool to help people learn to fly, but at this point I am not sure what to try next.
Real life flying can be expensive and it would be nice to find something that can do a good job to supplement it using a PC.

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much of the necessary real life sensation / feel is missing

I find the experience of VR, as contrasted with a monitor, helps a lot with this. Recently, I had the chance to try two different full motion flight simulators, and I have to admit, it didn’t feel nearly as different as I expected. In fact, it didn’t help me shape up my pattern work substantially, even when roll simulation was given priority over gravity.

By now, I probably have about 2000 hours in VR ‘sims’, though about 1500 of that is things like ‘Elite Dangerous’. So my sense of motion in VR may be rather well tuned, albeit I don’t feel it hit me like it did at first.

mostly good for procedural use. You can learn Navigation, practice IFR

Exactly my thoughts.

The forward view, like the C172 in XP during approach to landing phase with Full flaps, is wrong, the pitch attitude is way too steep, the resolution of the instruments in the panel is not good enough…

I am just about to try X-Plane. My strategy so far has been to seek out the hardest possible scenarios, like landing an FA18C on a carrier in DCS World. So far, the results seem to match up well enough to real footage in terms of things like bank angle, at least under normal flight conditions. When departing from those severely, the results are at least balanced enough so an FA18C can play its natural advantages against an F15C and vice versa.

not sure what to try next

Well the 8kX of course. Which, if I forgot to mention, I am actually using, since I was lucky enough to get one of the pre-production units for testing and evaluation. :wink:

I can tell you that while the Quest might be enough, with a decent flight simulator like DCS World or X-Plane, after a while, the wider FOV, and especially high resolution, makes it much, much easier to spend more time in VR.


My biggest issue with that will be getting some kind of emulator in my Panel VM. I need it to work well with my VR overlays, voice commands and such. Certainly though, I will be looking into this, and will keep your offer in mind!

Have you tried mentioning this to AirFoilLabs (the creator of the C172SP)?

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