Frequently Asked Questions

3 days, manAfter you select the START WATCHING button, the countdown timer starts. You get 72 consecutive hours until it expires. However many times you choose to play the show during those 72 hours is up to you!

Yes — when a show's 72-hour countdown timer expires, you can rent it again. You get a START WATCHING button for each different show you rent, so you can have multiple shows available to present during the same time period.

stream vs downloadAh, that's called buying, not renting! If you want movies you can run from your local hard drive, just follow the show's "More info..." link. If it's a show Loch Ness Productions distributes, it will take you to the LNP Web site. Select the "License Prices" link there, and follow the regular ordering process for conventional fulldome licenses.

(Actually, we could make the streamable movies available to download through VHX, but the prices would be the same as our traditional licenses. You're better off ordering a full-featured retail package.)

There are some posted already. Scan down the All Shows — A to Z page for the country flags!

But we really are FULLDOME On Demand. If you don't see the language you want, tell us! If a soundtrack already exists and is available from the producer, we will try to get it, then make and post the movies as soon as we can. Read more here.

it's a planetWe all have a thirst for ever-higher resolution. In many locales today, it's a challenge to access enough available Internet bandwidth for smooth 1080p video streaming, let alone 2K or 4K. So for now, our streaming infrastructure is in place at HD resolution. But the future holds more promise, and when the pipeline capacity is available, we'll all be looking to upgrade our capabilities.

Any of the trailer previews should demonstrate how strong your Internet access is. If you don't run into a "Buffering" spinner at HD with those, full-length movies should work the same.

The trailer for HUBBLE Vision 2 is more than 5 minutes long, and the Seasonal STARGAZING demo is 10:17, so if you can preview those successfully, your Internet connection should be good enough.

Alignment grids are online here. They are also included in every rental package, for your ease of setup.

pizzaWe're currently using the video hosting service VHX.TV, based in Brooklyn, New York. Our videos are stored on their servers, and streamed to the VHX player modules you see embedded in our Web pages. Their e-commerce module handles the payment process too, and reports to us.

From the rental fee you pay, VHX keeps a small percentage, and sends the remainder to us. We split that amount with our producer partners, according to the agreements we have with them. The show's producer gets the lion's share of your rental fee.

Thanks pageSmoothly, we hope!

Once you've selected a RENT NOW button on our site, VHX pretty much takes over from that point, feeding you the subsequent "Buy", "Thanks", and "Watch" pages.

On the "Buy" page, you submit your email address and payment info. (You can save the credit card number, so you don't have to re-enter it every time you want to rent a movie.) After it's processed, you're presented with a "Thanks" page, featuring a big START WATCHING button. Select it, and you're transported to the show package's "Watch" page.

On the "Watch" page, you see all the videos in the package. There are usually at least six: the show, its trailer, and our alignment grid to ease your setups — in both prewarped and fisheye forms. Just select the one you want, and do the "make it fullscreen and HD" routine. Away you go!

Thanks pageYou'll also receive an e-mail message with your receipt. It will include the same START WATCHING button, linking to the show's "Watch" page too, for quick return trips.

The "Watch" page will show the time remaining until the rentals expire. You can return again and again during the rental period; you don't have to keep your device on and the browser window open. When you come back, just select the "Sign in" button from our menu bar above. We should recognize you from the browser cookie stored on your device at purchase time, and you'll see the START WATCHING button again.

You may also see your rental history on the "Watch" page, so you can easily rent a title again.

You can access your videos using any Web-capable device — your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop. However, you will need to access our initial email message with the START WATCHING button on the same device you have connected to your projector. So you might want to use a Web-based email account when you purchase; then if you need to, you can do all this within the same browser app.

VHX offers apps for streaming to a Roku or Chromecast too. After you have installed the app on your playback device (you may need to enter the authentication code from another device), the app will then take you to the "Watch" page with your video rentals.

You can — with a few additional steps.

After you pay, you'll receive our email message with the START WATCHING button. You could then start watching videos in your office, but that's not what you want to do.

When you get on the dome computer's browser, select the "Sign in" button in the menu bar above, and enter the same email address you used in your office. We'll resend the email message with the START WATCHING button link. For this to work, you'll need to access your Inbox on the dome device, at least the first time, in order to get that message and link. Selecting the link will plant a cookie identifying you and your system to VHX, so they'll know who you are and can feed their players the correct videos you rented.

Once that's done, you should be good to go. VHX should recognize you and your dome computer, and show the START WATCHING button immediately upon sign-in.

browsersYou're probably running an obsolete Web browser app that does not support the fullscreen or HD options in VHX's HTML5 player. Portable devices in particular can be tricky, and Internet Explorer is always troublesome. We recommend running from a desktop, and using Firefox, Chrome or Safari. Let us know if that doesn't work.

browsersAnswer 1. We've seen that happen sometimes. Please try reloading the page. That usually fixes it. Let us know if you still can't get it working.

Answer 2. Internet Explorer is always troublesome. Try using Firefox, Chrome or Safari instead.

Buffering - click to enlargeAnswer 1. The player is trying to load the video stream into its buffer, but there is not enough Internet bandwidth to both fill the buffer and play it at the same time. You have probably run into this situation with YouTube videos too. Try pausing the player, and monitor the progress of the gray "loading" bar as it fills from left to right. When the buffer is full, un-pause the player, and you should be good to go thereafter. (This may depend on your device's memory capacity.)

Answer 2. Your system has a nanny filter installed that blocks streaming videos. Contact your IT department or Internet Service Provider.

In theory, you shouldn't need to do anything special for FULLDOME OnDemand to work. You don't run any planetarium software or media player (like VLCWarper). You play movies from our pages, in your Web browser.

Just select a pre-warped movie, and make it fullscreen in the VHX player. If your display is mirrored going to the projector, you're good to go. Hit "Play" and enjoy. (If your display is set up as an extended desktop, you may have to drag your browser to the secondary screen before making it fullscreen.)

Arthur Bogard from Digitalis Education Solutions writes:

"It is insanely easy to get FULLDOME OnDemand working with Digitarium systems.

First, boot your system normally and level your horizon.

Then, connect your laptop to the HDMI 2 port on the projector. Using the projector remote, switch to HDMI 2 port.

Finally, make sure you extend your desktop from your Windows/Mac computer, or that the laptop has a 1920x1080 screen so scaling won't occur when you mirror the display.

Fire up your FULLDOME OnDemand content, and fullscreen it."


F - Fullscreen toggle

Spacebar - Play/Pause toggle

Up arrow - Volume up

Down arrow - Volume down

M - Volume mute

Left arrow - Seek backward

Right arrow - Seek forward

When you select the START WATCHING button, VHX logs you in, and plants a cookie on your device so it can recognize the correct player to send movies to. On return visits, this cookie is read, and should identify your device to VHX automatically, without need to log in again.

But if that cookie gets deleted — say, if you have your browser set to delete cookies automatically upon exit — the next time you visit and select the START WATCHING button, VHX will log you in again and plant another cookie. If you do this repeatedly, you'll eventually run into this error message.

To avoid this, go to our Sign in page and select the Log out on this device link, before closing your browser.

Perhaps easier: just don't delete the VHX cookies.

Actually, the computer is pretty much irrelevant. In fact, for FULLDOME OnDemand, a computer does not even need to be involved.

Yes, feeding the projector 1080p video, usually by an HDMI cable, is necessary. But upstream, all you need is a device capable of streaming a Web video. That could be a streaming appliance, such as a Roku or Chomecast. It could be 4G smartphone with an HDMI output.

When it comes to playing our videos, the computer doesn't do any heavy lifting other than running a Web browser; these days all computers can do this. Processor speed, RAM, all that — doesn't really apply when it comes to running just a browser. As always, the more speed and RAM the computer has, the smoother things should run. Having abundant fast Internet bandwidth is more important.

Sorry, you do need a debit or credit card, to enter its account number into VHX's e-commerce module. That's the way the system works.

Here are several courses of action to consider:

•  You could get your school district to issue you an institutional debit/credit purchasing card, if they have such things.

•  You could take some money out of petty cash, go to the supermarket, and buy a refillable Visa gift card off the rack. Load it with enough cash value for your rentals. You enter its 16-digit card number in the VHX e-commerce module.

•  You could use your own personal debit/credit card for the purchase. You can print VHX's email message acknowledgement as your receipt, then turn it in for reimbursement.

We cannot bill your Purchasing Department, because VHX handles the financial transactions, not us.

You can print VHX's email message acknowledgement as your receipt.

At the bottom of VHX's email message, there's a link to your purchase history, unintuitively called something like "ID#: 31415626". You can print that Web page too.