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About the product
- Wireless connection adaptor for HTC Vive
- Easy to Install, No modifications required
- The transmission Resolution is up to 2K and provides an extraordinary virtual reality experience
- Getting rid of the HMD data cables enables full freedom to move around
- Battery Pack provides up to 6 hours of operation
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TPCAST Wireless Adaptor for VIVE is an accessory especially developed for HTC VIVE. Users can easily upgrade the HTC Vive HMD to work wirelessly. With highly optimized antenna array and large bandwidth, it ensures the display experience is exactly the same as that with the cable. By dropping the cables, Vive users now can enjoy a perfect Virtual Reality(VR) experience.
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0. Unpack and identify all components; there will be several.
1. Go to https://www.tpcastvr.com/support (or the site indicated in your instructions) to download the latest version of the TPCast Vive setup software.
2. On the same site you will find a relatively short video that shows you how to setup TPCast. Make sure to watch it since installing the cables isn't as simple as you may think. (TIPS: The TPCast logo on the receiver should point toward the back of your head. Thread the HTC Vive strap through the receiver last; it should go under the TPCast cables so that it separates the cables from the top of your head.)
3. When you install the TPCast transmitter, you can use a camera tripod. I had a lightweight tripod available, but there are plenty of affordable alternatives.
4. The battery is high capacity and can take hours to fully charge. Mine arrived with a half-charge and it took over 2 hours to get it to full charge. BONUS: TPCast uses an Anker PowerCore 20100 juice pack, so it's easy to pick up a backup battery if you use Vive controllers that can go beyond 4 hours of continuous play.
5. In all the TPCast pictures that I had seen, they never show the waist strap that you need to use for the battery. I was surprised when I unpacked it and wondered what it was for, but that may be just me. It's no big deal, but I was expecting a fully head-mounted setup. It isn't like that.
6. You will need to setup the included wireless router, and then connect your VR PC to that router for the easiest configuration. I also like to access my VR PC remotely, so I had to add a secondary Ethernet adapter (USB 3) to avoid having to add static routes to my main router. Now my TPCast router is using the 192.168.144.0 subnet, while my secondary Ethernet adapter is on the 10.x subnet. TIP: The supplied Ethernet cable is only 3ft long. You will need a longer cable if the TPCast router will be more than 3ft away from your VR PC.
7. If you want to log into the TPCast router to change the default password for tproot (I highly recommend it for security reasons), look for a document on the web called "Optimizing The TPCast Router". It has the default tproot password and other useful tips. (To avoid complaints, I didn't post the password here, but it is public knowledge anyway.)
TPCast performance is simply amazing. I noticed no issues at all with my VR computer, which is running with Windows 10 Fall Creators edition and a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti video card. I played games like Overkill and Arizona Sunshine without any problems. All I could notice at first was how wonderful it is not to worry about the original VR cable. Soon you leave that thought behind and lose yourself in the wonderful world of VR!
I hope that this review is useful. I will update it if needed.
- When it's working it doesn't drop frames and has low latency
- Five hours worth of charge
- It's not just a three-piece setup, the simplicity is oversold
- You need to add in an additional (included) router
- You lose front camera functionality (can't use chaperone mode with camera)
- It's a temperamental bugger. Took ages to set up initially and then it worked fine for a while but after that it all went to hell.
- Instructions are worse than useless and refers to sections that are not even present in the user guide. Needs better localization.
- No troubleshooting steps in user guide and troubleshooting recommendations on site are copy-pasted from user guide. Lack of support.
I like what it promises but ultimately it fails to deliver. It's more frustrating than anything else.
So after using this for a while I have some additional tidbits.
Part of the connectivity problems stem from how the software interfaces with SteamVR. If you can't get it to connect the first time here's my recommended steps:
1. Close out Steam entirely and relaunch SteamVR.
2. Repeat previous step and also close out and restart the TPCast software.
3. Repeat previous steps and also unplug/replug battery and cables.
It turns out there is a troubleshooting guide that wasn't immediately apparent or in the documentation. I found it only by clicking the text in the software saying "HMD not bright?" Link here: tpcastvr.com/vive-errorcode
The hardware can suffer frame stuttering as time goes by due to the receiver on your head starting to overheat. It *really* should have been built with active cooling because sometimes it heats up enough I'm worried it's going to set my hair on fire. One 5V fan can't cause that much EMI on the 5GHz band :/
Well it's dead now and won't even connect anymore. Support is unresponsive so off to the return bin it goes. It powers on but beyond that it's a brick.
I'd go through the whole warranty process but at this point it's just worn me down enough I no longer care. I'll try this again after the Vive Pro comes out.
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Additional system diagnostics would help target whatever is preventing the system from working.