In July, our daughter was in school and so my wife and I snuck to the cinema for a day-time date. Watching the movie on the big screen was amazing: the story, colour, the scale, the sound, all fantastic.
A few weeks ago we watched it all together at home. We drew our curtains, snuggled up on the couch with chocolate and watched the movie on a smaller screen. It was amazing: the story, watching it with my daughter, pausing for hugs in sad moments, stopping to get ice cream, all fantastic.
In both times the movie was the same: we just engaged with it in a different way. In the cinema it was great to be able to get lost in the movie. At home it was great to be super comfortable and together. It was the same, but different.
And this is how we can think about the reality of in-person and video vivas: they are the same, but different.
Same purpose, same parameters, same drivers, same roles, same needs but different locations, different ways of engaging and different opportunities. Depending on who you are, who your examiners are and the regulations of your university you may have a choice or not about where your viva is. But fundamentally, despite the differences, you can expect the same process from the viva.