Everything You Need for VR with HTC Vive

Recently, I learned about the technology of the future — virtually reality (VR).

I was instantly intrigued on the idea of being able to be in my living room at one moment, and looking over the edge of Half Dome the next.

After setting up my own VR system, I realized how crucial getting all of the right equipment is. It took me some trial and error to get everything I needed. So, to save everyone a bunch of time here is a list of exactly what things you should buy in order to achieve an amazing VR experience.

1. HTC Vive Virtual Reality System

Image of the HTC Vive Virtual Reality System - Recommended hardware for HTC Vive Virtual reality (VR) system.

To start off, you need to get the basics; the headset, basestations, and the handheld devices.

Buy on Amazon

2. Deluxe Vive Audio Strap

Image of Deluxe Vive Audio Strap, part of recommended HTC Vive VR eqiupment.

This add-on allows you to hear VR audio and also have a nice, snug fit for your headset. It’s definitely worth it.

Buy on Amazon

3. Alienware M15 Gaming Laptop

Image of the recommended laptop for HTC Vive virtual reality system. This machine meets or exceeds these requirements with a 15.6" LCD, 16GB RAM, 512 GB PCIe M.2 SSD storage, NVIDIA GEForce RTX 2060 graphics card with 6GB.

Not just any Windows PC will run your VR system well. You’ll need the power of a gaming machine. This Dell Alienware gaming laptop is the right mix of cost (not too expensive) and power (plenty of power to run VR). A powerful computer is crucial for a smooth and high def gaming experience, since the VR headset and software will run from the computer. In my opinion, it’s good to get a notebook instead of a desktop so that your VR setup is portable. However, a notebook is not easy to upgrade, so you might need to upgrade your notebook after a few years.

If you prefer another brand of computer, here are the minimum specs I recommend to give you a bit of future proofing, and also will be able to support your own VR creations, if you decide to start building your own VR scenes:

  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 or better
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-7820 or better
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Video out: HDMI 1.4 for the Vive, plus a second video out for an external display
  • USB ports: 2x USB 2.0 port

I recommend the Alienware M15 Gaming Laptop Intel i7-8750H (2.2-4.1 Ghz on 6 cores). This machine meets or exceeds these requirements with a 15.6″ LCD, 16GB RAM, 512 GB PCIe M.2 SSD storage, NVIDIA GEForce RTX 2060 graphics card with 6GB.

Buy Dell Alienware M15 Laptop on Amazon

4. Lighthouse Mount Stand Kit

Image of the lighthouse mount stand kit, equipment for the htc vive vr accessories.

These stands are for mounting the light houses (sensors for HTC) without drilling wholes into your walls.

Buy on Amazon

5. HTC Vive 3-in-1 Cable

image of the HTC Vive 3 in 1 cable, one of the accessories for the htc vive setup

This cable is extremely handy, and works perfectly with the Alienware gaming laptop. It makes it easier to have just one cable running to you headset.

Buy on Amazon

6. HTC Vive Clamp Mount (Optional)

image of clamps used to mount the htc vive light houses, part of the needed equipment for this vr setup

You may not need this accessory if you purchase the stands. However, if you prefer to clip the lighthouse (sensors) to something, these help to mount the lighthouses without having to drill wholes into your walls.

Buy on Amazon

7. VR Protector Bag (Optional)

image of the vr protective bag used for the htc vive vr setup equipment

If you plan to store or transport your VR kit, this case provides good protection to your HTC Vive headset equipment organized and unscathed.

Buy on Amazon

8. Leather VR Face Cushion

picture of HTC Vive vr padded face pads

These leather cushions provide nice padding, important for a pleasant VR experience. The cushions will wear out after a while and also become dirty after several people use the headset for a while.

Buy on Amazon

9. DisplayPort HDMI Cable

picture of display port hdmi cables, part of the needed equipment and accessories for htc vive vr set

Most people like to wire their notebook computer to a big screen TV so that other people in the room can see what is happening in the VR world. to If you want to be able to display what you are seeing in VR on a TV, this HDMI cable will route the video and audio from VR to your TV. If you get the Dell Alienware notebook I recommend, you’ll need the next item as well

Buy on Amazon

10. USB C to HDMI Adapter

image of a usb c to hdmi adaptor cable for the htc vive equipment list

This Anker USB C adapter works perfectly with the USB C port on the back of your Alienware gaming laptop, so that you can successfully stream audio and 4K video directly to your TV.

Buy on Amazon

11. Samsung 55″ UHD LED TV (Optional)

image of a uhd tv to display live vr gameplay for the htc vive

This is completely optional if you have a modern High Definition (1080p) For my setup, we got a Samsung UHD 7 Flat 55″ Series 7 Smart TV to display the video and audio from the VR headset, since it is a great TV and relatively affordable for the quality. It is important that the TV you use supports the same resolution as the notebook display, 1920×1080 pixels. The Samsung UHD TV supports this resolution, and works great. You could also opt for a smaller TV, such as the 43″ model.

Buy on Amazon

I hope that this list of VR equipment and accessories is exactly what you are looking for. If it wasn’t, or if you have further questions, leave a reply or shoot me an email at grant.steins@gmail.com.

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