HP VR and Warranty

I’ve been on the road a lot recently, and thought I’d grab a quick VR flight in something, only to discover my HP Reverb was starting to flicker and get ‘green snow’ last week. Uh oh. All the symptoms of a crappy cable connection. Here’s the timeline of my HP headset back-story (all prices USD, although I paid Canadian pesos when in Canada):

  • I originally picked up a HP Reverb G1 for $470 from Amazon, about Jan 5 2020 . It was listed as ‘Refurbished’ but with existing HP valid warranty. My thinking here was that if it was terrible then I have Bald Bezo’s Easy Returns. My Rift and Odyssey Plus sit on shelves looking at me guiltily, so unless I liked it it was going back.

  • Still deeply suspicious of any bargain I (very unusually, I never do this) I ticked the ‘Extend Warranty for $50’ box on the Amazon order page. This gave me a ‘4 Year PC Peripheral Protection Plan’, with my thinking that if the HP warranty ended it might help. I sort of view these things as a pure fool con, so not sure what I was thinking at the time. Anyway, $50 more down.

  • Within a week of getting it I phoned HP and enquired about the warranty using the serial number on the unit I had. It had a HP Next Business Day Exchange Pro on it for 9 more months, which was surprising. I spoke to a nice guy from HP and said ‘I don’t think it works right’ and breezily they say ‘We will dispatch a replacement now!’. Cool, especially consider the serial number marked it as a US unit but they didn’t care and sent stuff to Canada. Fedex in about 24 hours arrives, I give the ‘old’ one back in a sack and have a now unopened new Reverb G1.

  • With the new unit, I pinged the HP rep on reddit (Voodoomaxx or something) and said I don’t have a cable clip. He took my address and they mailed me one. Cool (again).

  • About a month a go the strap broke. I taped it, for max hobo VR chique.

So, after not playing sims for a while, was kind of sad about the now broken Reverb. I googled around and seriously considered just cutting it up and modding it. Apparently the issue is the bad design of the short connector cable (the one that goes in the headset). What you can do is just bypass it and cut things up and connect the main cable direct. Tempted, but a lot of sawing, gluing and then no chance of repair if it didn’t help. Link to a how-to [here] for those being brave.
(https://www.reddit.com/r/WindowsMR/comments/l5h46s/hp_reverb_g1_faulty_connection_hack_it_works_great/).

So not a trivial mod. I then remembered the 3rd party warranty and thought ‘why not try that first’. I phoned them, they sent a Fedex box, in it all went and a few days later I get a status update of 'Parts no available, tagged for scrap. Speaking to them the deal with this is that they just send me a cheque for the purchase price, so now I’m $470 back up again. Cool (we’re up to 3 of these!). The warranty place and the repair outfit acted like they had no idea what the hell this thing was, as they just seem to do HP laptops.

So now I’m thinking what to do. I look today on HP Canada and they have a 20% coupon off today, and with a credit card offer I got, I’m down to $481 for a Reverb G2. Ordered, as what could possibly go wrong?!

The only wrinkles are I trust these headsets about as far as I don’t throw them. The build design is super crappy. I umm’d and aah’d and then added a $90 3 year next day replacement HP Pro warranty to the order, as once you’ve been bitten so many times it seems prudent.

Anyway, not sure what this post is about, but to help others; my summary:

  • HP VR build quality is crappy, get an extended warranty (either 3rd party or not) because they don’t last. You can buy a warranty direct from HP if you are still within 1 year of a consumer purchase (local rules apply), so if you don’t have one then I would consider it. For the US, the ‘care packs’ are here with various options of coverage.

  • HP Support was actually very good.

  • For the first time in recorded history, a 3rd party warranty (Asurion) actually worked and quickly paid out. I’m still sort of shocked.

I’m now going on a trip again, but hopefully when I get back, another box to open. It’ll probably turning up with an old cable, but I’ll do that battle when I return.

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The G2 turned up yesterday and, as is tradition with a new box here, wanted to provide some thoughts:

  • The G2 headphones off-ear sound really nice. Lots of sound leakage though, as I got complaints from 20 feet away spooling up a CRJ too loud. I might just shut the door, as I like the sound quality.

  • The G2 lens are better (bigger than the G1’s) but the gasket pushes your eyeballs quite far back, losing some FOV. I got the velcro tape out (already) and put a VR Cover gasket on from the old Samsung O+ I had hanging around. Much better. Details on how to do that here - REVERB G2 FRANKENFOV MOD - Drastically Improve FOV Of Your Reverb G2 - NO 3D PRINTS NEEDED! - YouTube

  • The cable is much thinner than the Dinosaur Tail G1 one. It’s the Mark 1 cable (sigh) but given that I’m using an Intel chipset then it’s all working fine so far. I’ll ping HP support and get the v2 cable (with the hub/on/off switch etc) sent out, but no rush. I plugged the USB-C straight into the 2080 and leave the headset powered off, pulling the cable out the breakout box when not using it.

  • Only tried MSFS and DCS really quickly. MSFS with OpenXR set to all defaults and a Render Scale of 100 looked great. Reprojection on OpenXR is a marvel. My 2080 is really sweating though and is starting to look at me nervously as I check stock. DCS crashed with SteamVR of course, but it helped to do the following:

  1. Nvidia 496.13, SteamVR beta latest, WMR for SVR beta latest.
  2. SteamVR resolution down to 60%.
  3. WMR for SVR settings put to force DX11 mode and turn off the latest Optimize, as I think DCS hates it:

With that DCS seemed stable reprojecting ok on Caucaus and struggling to get to under 22ms on Syria (RE: 2080 nervous laugh). DCS had a 34GB update to do first, so it’s been a while. No VR shader applied, but the Reshade sharpener used (I do like that).

  1. No idea if this helps as haven’t proved it, but I also turned off GPU monitoring in fpsVR. You can do that in its setting under ‘GPU monitor refresh rate’ and flip it all the way to ‘off’. It’s just GPU temps etc, and Nvidia drivers under VR are twitchy about being polled (or maybe it’s fixed under 496, but better off than sorry).

So next up I have my eye on a 3080 Ti, although they are looking like $1,900 CDN ($1,500 USD) around here right now (and still a chase to grab one), so quite painful. I’ll also need a bigger case plus a 850W PSU, so my wallet is hiding in a corner right now whimpering. The weird thing about the 3080 Ti’s is that they have a weird OEM price variance, in that a Gigabyte Eagle will be $1,600, an EVGA $1,900 and something dumb like a Zotac AMP will be at $2,400 (!) - while all being pretty similar performance, bar a mild factory overclock. While not happy about it, I’ll probably pay the EVGA tax, as they’ve got good warranty/support.

I took a look at a 6900 XT but they don’t benchmark so well at VR/4K+ resolutions, plus I might miss the DLSS bits (unlikely, but classic FOMO) plus less outputs (I use 3 monitors plus VR). Even those are around $2,200 at somewhere gougy like NewEgg.

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Congrats on getting a G2! :+1:

Just let them know that a real CRJ would be much louder.

I just ordered this noggin interface from AMVR. Will report back on how it is…

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For free as well, just had to pay the extra $100 for the extra 3 years next-day warranty, as I don’t have a huge amount of trust in HP to build things that last beyond the initial year.

That looks good, especially the Anti Nose Leakage bit as I don’t have that (although nose peering is useful in sims). The VRCover is quite squishy and can get warm as well, while pleather might be nicer.

I saw today that HP themselves might be shipping a smaller gasket, but then including an extended for those with glasses? Ideally they might offer it as an option like the improved cable one day?

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I had no idea… Interesting.

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