Wow, what a hassle. I recently acquired a new Optoma UHZ45 Projector and wanted to play some 3D MKVs I had laying around. This was simple on my old Samsung PN64D800 plasma TV and Kodi, so it should be simple here, too, right? No. Read on!

With the TV, any playing device would work - the TV would let you force 3D processing (side-by-side or top-and-bottom). Unfortunately, this projector doesn’t support that. You need a “real” 3D HDMI signal for it to turn on the 3D mode, otherwise all the options will remain greyed out and disabled. Some quick Googling showed Kodi introduced support for MVC 3D quite some time ago, so I picked my most-capable device to try first: the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro.

No dice.

Well, maybe it can’t do 3D @ 4K resolution, that’s reasonable, and the videos are only 1080p or 720p, anyway. I changed the resolution. Still nothing, all greyed out. Alright, let me try the refresh rate? 60 Hz? No. 24 Hz? No. 23.96 Hz? No! Better check the manual to see what’s officially supported.

Alright, the manual says side-by-side (and top-and-bottom) are only supported on HDMI port 3. (It also says frame-packed content is limited to 1080p/24hz or 720p/60hz, but can be on any of the 3 HDMI ports.) Alright, fair enough. Swapped the HDMI cable and… still no. To Google! Ah, NVIDIA does not support MVC 3D whatsoever. NVIDIA has even said in their forums they won’t support it, or at least there are no plans to. Let me try this Raspberry Pi 4B, surely that can do it.

I load up a fresh install of LibreELEC 11 Beta 1, configure my share, open the video. Too bad! Tried all the resolutions again, nothing. Tried some frame-packed Blu-ray rips, still nothing. More Googling. Apparently the Raspberry Pi 4 didn’t (and, therefore, maybe still doesn’t) support MVC 3D, but the Raspberry Pi 3 did. Alright, I thankfully have one of those, too.

Swap the SD card, boot the Raspberry Pi 3, try various resolutions. Still! Nothing! Is it time to return the projector and get a much more 3D-capable BenQ? More Googling. I found a comment in the Kodi forums where the recommendation was made, “if MVC 3D is important to you, stick with Kodi Leia (v18)”. Kodi somewhat recently changed their video rendering to a new driver, and MVC 3D is “not a priority”, and I guess it’s still broken/unsupported. Thankfully the LibreELEC 9.8.2 release featuring Kodi Leia (v18) is still available for download. In the Expert options there’s a new flag under Settings > System > Video: Enable Full HD HDMI modes for stereoscopic 3D: This option uses frame-packing to output full resolution for 3D through HDMI. Enabling this improves quality of Multiview Video Coding (MVC) videos, but may not be supported by all displays. This sounds promising!

I check everything: Raspberry Pi 3. Kodi v18. 1080p. 24Hz. HDMI 3. MVC video file. Let’s go! And it finally works. On a whim, I decided to try the original half side-by-side video I had: and it works, too! Fantastic. Hopefully this helps someone, I see a million posts on AVSforums of people complaining about Optoma projectors and getting 3D content to work. I nearly gave up myself, so I don’t blame them!