3D Explained

General 3D FAQ

What does Full 3D mean?

A projector described as having Full 3D capability supports all 3D format standards mandated by the HDMI 1.4 specifications.

What does "3D Ready" mean?

A projector described as 3D Ready can display 3D content viewable with DLP® link™ 3D glasses when connected to a computer with a compatible 3D graphics card and may require the use of a 3D-XL converter box for content requiring full 3D capability.

How does it work?

Current 3D technology relies on the viewer wearing a set of glasses designed to deliver a separate image to each eye. The illusion of depth is created by sending a slightly different image to each eye, much the same way our eyes see two slightly different images.

Content is filmed using a special camera system with two lenses that are separated horizontally. When viewed, the image appears to have a sense of depth.

Optoma uses two types of high-quality LCD shutter glasses in its 3D implementation, Radio Frequency and DLP® link™. These glasses show alternating left-right images very rapidly--up to 120 frames per second, effectively blocking the left or right eye. The brain pieces the two images together to create the 3D illusion.

What do I need for 3D?

Click here to find out what you need for:

Educational 3D
3D Home Entertainment
Professional 3D

What 3D content is available now?

There are multiple software developers creating 3D content for education, including, the following:

...with many more to follow.

Many professional OpenGL based 3D applications natively support quad-buffered stereo, including AutoDesk’s Maya, Dassault Systemes CATIA, Landmark GeoProbe, Eon Reality and many more. Additionally, applications such as Solidworks & OsiriX, will support quad-buffered stereo using custom plug-ins. Please check with your software vendor for support information.

(Note: Most educational and professional 3D software will require a "Quad-buffered" graphics card for 3D operation, please check the minimum system requirements of your software application)

Home Entertainment:

Movies – Many of the latest movies can now be enjoyed in Full HD 3D. A Blu-ray 3D player and Blu-ray 3D movie is required.

Console Games – Optoma projectors can display 3D games from the latest gaming consoles. The Sony PS3 and PS4 as well as Microsoft Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Broadcasts – DirecTV and Dish Network offer 3D programming packages that include movies, entertainment and sports programming.

Note: The above mentioned 3D content for home entertainment may require a projector with Full 3D capability or a 3D Ready projector equipped with a 3D-XL converter box.

PC Games - Using Nvidia 3D-Vision and a compatible PC, almost any PC game can be played in 3D on a display that has been Nvidia certified.

What is a "Quad-Buffered" Graphics card?

Professional & Educational software usually create 3D graphics using the "OpenGL" (Open Graphics Library) specification.

One of the cool features supported by OpenGL is Quad-buffering.

A normal graphics card has 2 buffers (one front & one back), this is fine for normal everyday 2D computing.

A Quad buffered Graphics card has 4 buffers (front left, back left, front right & back right) This allows you to simultaneously render and then display the 2 seperate video streams required for 3D viewing.

Both NVIDIA® & ATI have models that support Quad-buffering. NVIDIA® include support accross their whole Quadro® FX range, however ATI typically only include support on their high-end FirePro™ products. Please make sure you check the specifications before making a purchase.

Does the projector turn everything into 3D?

No. Only content generated specifically for 3D viewing will be displayed in 3D. All other content will be displayed in standard 2D mode.

Will it still work as a normal projector?

Yes. All Optoma projectors operate as a normal projector when not displaying 3D content.

Can I just plug it into my TV set-top box / XBOX / PS3 and get 3DTV and games?

Depending on the projector model and game console or set-top-box you are using, you may be able to display 3D content by simply connecting an HDMI cable from the gaming console or Set-top-box to the projector. 3D Ready projectors may require the use of a 3D-XL converter box.

What format must the 3D content be?

Projector models with Full 3D capability accept all 3D formats as mandated by the HDMI 1.4 standard. Content for 3D Ready projector models must be in frame-sequential format with a refresh rate of 120Hz, for resolutions of 800x600, 1024x768 & 1280x720.

Most 3D Ready models also include 3D support for SDTV signals, (480i @60Hz) for viewing “high quality field sequential” (HQFS) DVD titles – the projector will up-convert these to 120Hz in real-time to enhance your viewing experience.

I have seen other 3D systems that use two projectors, how is this different?

Passive 3D is a method of displaying 3D content that requires two projectors (one for each eye) special polarizing filters, a special silver screen and polarized glasses to separate the left and right video streams. Similar to the method of displaying 3D in movie theaters.

Optoma active shutter glasses simplify that process, requires a single projector, no special screen and no polarizing filters, making it less expensive and easier to setup and maintain than a two-projector system.

Can I use the glasses from the cinema, my 3DTV or the red/blue ones?

No. Optoma uses “active shutter-glass” technology, controlled by DLP® link™ to produce 3D images.

The glasses from the cinema use “passive, polarised” technology. The Red/Blue glasses use a technology called “Anaglyph.” 3DTVs typically use Infra-red to control their active shutter-glasses.

Will the 3D glasses work over my normal glasses?


How long do the batteries last in the glasses and can they be recharged?

Optoma’s third generation BG-ZD301 DLP® link™ glasses provide 60 Hours of 3D viewing. The Optoma BG-ZF2100GLS active shutter RF 3D glasses provide 15 hours of 3D viewing. Both models are fully rechargeable.

How long can I watch 3D, when should I take a break?

Optoma recommends taking a 5 min break for every hour of 3D viewing.

3D-XL 3D Projector Adapter FAQ

Which projectors are compatible with the 3D-XL?

Please click here for a list of all projectors that have been fully tested to be compatible with the 3D-XL.

Can I use the 3D-XL with my 120Hz TV or Monitor?

Many TVs that claim to support 120Hz cannot actually accept a 120Hz input signal, they only accept a standard 50/60Hz signal and convert the signal to 120Hz internally. These are not suitable for use with the 3D-XL.

Some PC monitors can accept a true 120Hz input signal, however they do not have the necessary DLP-Link technology to control the ZD201 Glasses supplied with the 3D-XL. To use these monitors with the 3D-XL, it will be necessay to use 3D glasses from a 3rd party that support a VESA 3D Sync signal (via the 3-Pin mini DIn connector on reverse of 3D-XL)

Why does the 3D become inverted & how do I tell if it is correct?

Each time the projector locks onto a 3D signal from the 3D-XL, the 3D sync has a 50/50 chance of being correct. This is easily remedied by changing the "3D-Sync" option in your projector's OSD menu. Some home cinema/entertainment models eg. HD67N can swap this even easier by pressing the "re-sync" button on the remote.

The latest firmware for the 3D-XL added a feature to easily tell whether the 3D sync is correct. During 3D playback, put on your glasses and close your left eye. If you can see the HDMI LED on the front panel of the 3D-XL, you need to invert your projector's 3D sync option.

Are there any Firmware upgrades availabe?

The latest firmware version & full installation instructions will be available for download soon. Please check back regularly for updates.

Does it support 1080p projectors?

The 3D-XL can output in 3 different 3D modes:

720p frame sequential - for DLP-Link 3D projectors
1080p (right frame only)
1080p (left frame only)

The two 1080p modes are for use in a dual-projector passive 3D setup. This setup will requires two identical projectors, an additional 3D-XL, an HDMI splitter, passive polarising filters & Glasses and a special "silver" non-depolarising screen.

What audio signals can pass through?

Audio Channels: 2 (stereo)
Audio format: Linear PCM
Sampling Rate: 32KHz/44.1KHz/48KHz/88KHz/96KHz
Sample Size: 24bit/20bit/16bit.

Note: If you wish to get surround sound from your source device, you will need to do it using seperate cables.