Windows Mixed Reality is for much more than gaming, and content consumption is high up on the pecking order. Fully immersive, 360-degree content is on the rise and as the technology improves so too does the quality.
The built-in Movies & TV app on Windows 10 will play 360-degree content, and it plays it very well. So why, might you ask, would you spend $40 on an app that does basically the same thing?
The answer is, you shouldn't. This is a good app, but one with a really bad price.
Simple but effective
Power Media Player MR does exactly what it says on the tin: It plays media in Mixed Reality. Not just Mixed Reality, either, as you can use it on your regular PC desktop as well to view both 360-degree and regular content.
By default, it just pulls in whatever you've got in your stock photo and video folders in Windows. If it's 2D content it'll display as such, and if it's 360-degree content you can either view it in such a way that you have to drag the camera to move around or in fully immersive, 3D 360-degree mode if the video supports it.
When you're using the app inside your Mixed Reality headset, you'll be viewing it on a 2D plane until you go into the immersive 360-degree mode, when you'll be transported to a full-on VR experience.
Video quality is only as good as the creators who made it, but Power Media Player MR plays it all without skipping a single beat.
YouTube 360 on Windows
Perhaps the biggest reason you'd consider using Power Media Player MR right now is that it supports 360-degree content from YouTube. This is by far the biggest repository of this type of video right now, and interacting with it through Microsoft Edge is still a mixed bag.
A Youtube video is pulled into the Power Media MR player, and you'll be able to amend the quality settings just the same as you would on YouTube on the web. From there you're free to move your head around and enjoy the content.
The app will serve you some, admittedly great suggested videos, but it also allows you to sign in to your own YouTube account and view your subscriptions. With this feature, this is probably the best way to follow and view 360-degree content on Windows Mixed Reality right now.
It's too expensive
The problem with Power Media Player MR isn't what it does because functionally it's a nice app. It's simple to use, looks pretty good and functions without fault. The issue is that Cyberlink is asking $40 for it.
For the YouTube integration alone I'd be happy to pay, as I'm sure a number of people would. But $40 is several times more than this app should cost right now. If there's more to come in the future that may justify it, that's one thing, but right now, it's nigh impossible to recommend someone spend all that money, Especially since Windows Mixed Reality is still in its infancy.
There is at least a 30-day free trial, so everyone can check it out and I recommend you do. It's a nice app and it's a great way to explore and enjoy 360-degree content. Even if you won't want to pay for it.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine