How to properly watch (and upload) 3D YouTube videos

UPDATE 3: Fake your browser as TV so you get the SBS image instead red and blue anaglyph:
On any chromium based browser install the Youtube for TV plugin then on the url address you want to watch add /tv#/ between and watch?
Example: It will open the Youtube TV version and allow you to go fullscreen by pressing the key F11 of the keyboard.

UPDATE 2: If you have nvidia 3d vision you can use this tool to open YouTube or Vimeo videos on the free nvidia 3D video player or on Stereoscopic Player. Also remember to download youtube-dl on same folder you unzipped OpenYT3D.

UPDATE: If you have an iPhone or iPad or Samsung or Pixel you can upgrade your device with a 3D screen with Mopic and view 3D YouTube right on your device.

Some years ago Google changed the rules to upload 3D videos to YouTube and the way they show them on a screen, from that moment YouTube treats any screen as 2d, except 3DTVs, so any other device receives a creepy anaglyph version of the video. That is a shame because 3D screens of other types are far more numerous than 3DTVs, including mobiles, monitors, and game consoles. Suddenly, all of them started receiving a low quality distorted 3D image instead of automatically enabling the native 3D screen of the device. Knowing these limitations 3D creators started uploading their videos in SBS 3D, without any 3D flag to fool YouTube into thinking those are regular 2d videos. This way any 3D screen can activate the 3D when watching these SBS videos, as almost all 3D devices support SBS and have a button to enable 3D, so the Side by Side image generates a 3D image.

YouTube is the biggest 3D content source, and every day new 3D content is uploaded

But there’s still people thinking 3D videos were deprecated from youtube. You can forget old yt3d videos. YouTube is the biggest 3D content source, and every day new 3D content is uploaded. But almost every 3D video uploaded today is uploaded as SBS with no 3d flag, to preclude YouTube from activating the creepy anaglyph mode. However, if anyone wants, 3D videos encoded with a 3D flag can still be uploaded, thus 3DTVs and VR headsets with properly players can still show the 3D image. Unfortunately, that way they’re discarding milions of users with other types of 3D screens. There’s no reason to condemn so much people to watch the anaglyph version.-

Full SBS provide better quality, and it will work directly on VR headsets attached to a smartphone. But even Half SBS will provide a much, much more improved experience than anaglyph.

With SBS you can activate the 3D playback on almost any 3D device, including 3DTVs without internet or any YouTube App, using an attached set-top-box, game console or smartphone. If you use a 3DTV you simply have to activate the 3D button, most of 3D devices have a switch to activate the 3D, default mode being SBS images (some also support other formats, as column interlaced and above/under). Therefore, SBS is a universal way to distribute 3D content, even for pictures and videogames, also is a format supported by the new Holographic 3D screens. Your viewers can also use any smartphone attached to a Cardboard or VR headset and play SBS 3D videos directly without even needing to touch anything, just make sure you upload your SBS videos not squeezed (100% SBS or Full SBS);
Most devices will detect automatically between Full SBS and Half SBS. Some old 3DTVs will always stretch images even if in Full SBS, but there are too few devices and there are far more viewers with VR headsets. PSVR and PC VR headsets users can play 3D SBS videos without any 3D flag encoded from YouTube too.

SBS is a universal way to distribute 3D content, even for pictures and videogames

If you use a PC with nvidia 3d vision: if you have a 3d vision ready monitor you have only one option: Use PowerDVD (PCs connected to a 3DTV doesn’t have this limitation, as previously said you only have to press the 3D button on the TV). With PowerDVD 19 (17 no longer works with YouTube, we don’t have checked with version 18) and above you can stream videos from YouTube and Vimeo. PowerDVD detects all these 3D flagged videos and plays them in your 3D monitor instead of anaglyph. For SBS videos you have to use the secondary button of your mouse above image (while playing the video) and select 3D Source Format and then Side by Side format (or one of the other 3D formats if you watch a video on that format). You can also use a VR headset instead the monitor.

With PowerDVD 19 you can find and watch both any 3D flagged and Full/Half SBS videos.

There are some 3D smartphones that doesn’t have a way to play 3D videos from YouTube
(nor 3D flagged, nor SBS), ironically the old HTC Evo 3D and LG Optimus 3D can, but no one of the new 3D mobiles -except the ZTE Axon 7 Max– are able to do this simple thing, almost any new user of a brand new 3D mobile the first thing he/she tries is to watch 3D videos from YouTube, so is strange and pitty brands does not offer this obvious function. In that cases you have to use a YouTube downloader (as Arktube, NewPipe or a Telegram bot).
On the Red Hydrogen One you also have to rename downloaded video so filename ends with _2x1 for Half SBS or _fullWidth_2x1 for 100% SBS (not squeezed), so a file named Asphalt8SBS3Dgameplay.mp4 becomes Asphalt8SBS3Dgameplay_fullWidth_2x1.mp4, that way Red Player will recognize it, maybe on a future update you will not need to download or rename video, as is a feature longly requested on the H4V forum and on the Red Hydrogen feedback App. Remember you can directly upload H4V videos from RH1 to YouTube in SBS, so other 3D devices can watch a 3D version of the Holographic video.

Google introduced another stupid problem; if you’re using the Nintendo 3DS, the official Youtube App will play 3D videos in anaglyph mode instead of using the glasses-free screen from the handheld…. Yes, they suck. But if you use the Nintendo web browser to visit youtube you will play the old yt3d videos in 3D, but in a reduced quality. The browser also allows to play Youtube SBS 3D videos on your 3DS, but with better quality than videos flagged as 3D. If the 3DS is your only 3D device we recommend you to buy a 3D Smartphone. For watching 3D videos directly from YouTube App (or even websites) we recommend the ZTE Axon 7 Max.

When looking for 3D videos on YouTube remember avoiding videos that say VR trailer or even VR 3D trailer, as they’re usually fake, they only show a 2D image even with a VR headset. Try using “SBS 3D” words on your search and ocassionally “real 3d” or “stereoscopic“.
If you find a video with fake 3D give it a thumb down and write a comment on the video saying: FAKE 3D, so other users will not lose time trying to watch in 3D that video. When browsing 3D videos you can suspect from videos with bad reviews.

YouTube channels with Real Stereoscopic 3D content

On this YouTube channel you will only find Real Stereoscopic 3D trailers, both 3D flagged and SBS, so you can avoid that false conversions made by amateurs.
If you want to know how good looks some PC games with NVIDIA 3D VISION this is your channel.
We hope you enjoy the experience of watching our high quality videos Full HD in 3D Side by Side with your TV (LG, Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, Grundig, Medion, Panasonic…) or VR glasses (Cardboard, Vive, Pimax, Daydream, Oculus, Windows Mixed Reality, SteamVR…)
from Germany
The first 3D video magasine on internet. We propose worldwide videos in stereoscopic format.
Channel dedicated to the art of underwater 3D videography. I’m a retired professional photographer & digital artist & have been diving for 49 years & doing underwater video for over 30 of those. I sincerely believe that 3D video is the ultimate medium for capturing the feel and beauty of an underwater environment, since by its very nature it is so multi layered. I strive to shoot 3D in a way that captures video in negative parallax, which is commonly known as 3D popout
Barry Chall
Quelques petites vidéo en 3D – Test et essais de logiciels – Mais surtout le plaisir de filmer et de monter en 3D Stéréoscopique. N’hésitez à laisser vos critiques, c’est toujours constructif. Vous pouvez copier et partager ces vidéos en respectant et signalant le nom de l’auteur “Jacques MARIAUD”
Jaques Mariaud
Welcome to my channel, I am a Stereographer and Stereoscopic Supervisor for the film industry, Here you will find some of my 3D stereoscopic work and educational videos on all things 3D, You can download the full 1080p and 4K 3D side by side or over and under versions of some of my 3D films suitable for your 3DTV. it’s also an opportunity to support independent 3D film making, The cost is as little as £2 per download and you can pay by Paypal, get details by contacting 3D Phil by the following email:
Phil Brown
Games recorded in 3D 360 degrees, you can rotate camera to look where you want.
Welcome! Please subscribe for a mix of gaming and VR entertainment. All created to share the fun, with a touch of creativity to make it interesting and unique.
3D/stereoscopic/monoscopic : All 3D videos are stereoscopic and all SBS videos are 3D, but 360° videos are either 3D (stereoscopic) or 2D (monoscopic).
Bast Amiramix

Do you have a 3D YouTube channel?

If you have a YouTube channel with only Real 3D videos we will add it for free. Use the website chat, make a comment, or request on our Telegram group.


16 Responses

  1. JAVIER says:

    Adding _2x1 works great for hsbs but what do I need to add to see hou(half over and under) in 3D? Have tried a lot of combinations (_1x2, _2x2, _4x1, _4x4) but nothing has worked so far.

    • Kano3D says:

      I published your concern to the h4vuser forum. Let’s see if there’s a way to watch HOU content.

    • Kano3D says:

      Still not official, but you can now use _1x2 for Over/Under videos on Lume and Hydrogen.

  2. Shanel says:

    thank you for this post, I am a big fan of this internet site would like to go on updated.

  3. Miguel says:

    Hello I used adding the _2x1 and worked fine but in the last update of the Red Player is not working properly and the image looks compressed and does not full all the screen, Do you know if there is a way to correct this. thank you

    • Kano3D says:

      Mine is working fine. Yesterday I updated to the beta version (open settings in Red Player), and it have a lot of new functions

  4. Zoltar says:

    So, I’m guessing English isn’t the author’s first language?

  5. Vasco says:

    hola quiesiera agregarme a su grupo de telegram 3D, tambien soy un apasionado de este sistema. estaba buscando como pasar una imagen 2D a 3D, pero una foto 2D del año 1900. Ahi di con su web. te dejo mi canal, tengo una grabacion de jazz en radio universidad de chile.

    • Kano3D says:

      Ya he añadido tu canal al artículo. Cuando entres a nuestro chat podemos comentar eso que dices de convertir una imagen 2d en 3D.
      El grupo de Telegram es @chat3D

  6. Shashidhar Mruthyunjaya says:

    How to download 3d content from youtube to copy it to a usb drive and play it on Sony Bravia 3D tv?

  7. Colin says:

    I wrote this to make a toggle button for anaglyph and 3DSBS for videos in youtube.
    First you install greasemonkey or tampemronkey in your chrome or firefox.
    Then you add this script, follow link.

    • Jigensan says:

      Colin, your script is excellent but you forgot to give the link! For everyone else, here it is:
      Once the script is running on a YouTube page, notice the new button that says ‘3DSBS’ on the top left corner of the page (at first, I didn’t see it). Clicking on this button and displaying the resulting SBS video in full screen on a 3D monitor or 3D TV makes it possible to see it in 3D with glasses.
      Unfortunately, as of now, this script only works on computers, since most mobile browsers do not support addons.

  8. Grzegorz says:

    Thank you Kano3D for this informative article. I’ve been experimenting with 3D and 360° content since I read it in Jan 2021. I have setup a YouTube channel with (among others) stereoscopic 3D 360° and OU (over-under) videos because I wanted to learn the process of producing, editing and publishing such content. For now it’s mostly based on gameplay (Fortnite) because it was easiest to start with, but with time I do plan to add more variety, depending on demand and popularity of the channel.

    I am trying to be methodical and I tag each video appropriately, please check the playlists:

    The main outcome for now is that playing 3D content in VR directly from YouTube is an almost impossible task. None of the players I tried support that and the native YouTube VR player is probably the worst of all (at least on Vive). One of them apparently support it but only on Oculus and I don’t have the hardware to confirm. Some online sources suggested watching in VR using a browser in a Virtual Desktop environment, which is a bit tricky to setup.

    I think the only option for now is to download the video using a downloader (or pay for YouTube premium to have the button) and look for a player that supports AV1 (I am yet to try that). Would welcome any suggestions if anyone has any?

    Lastly, would this channel I mentioned above be good enough and with the appropriate content to add it to the list on this page?

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