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FAQ: How to watch 3D videos on YouTube in 2023 (Meta Quest, iOS or Android)

How to watch 3D videos on YouTube in 2023

How do you watch 3D videos on YouTube in 2023?  Can you use 3D glasses, Google Cardboard, or a VR headset such as Meta Quest?  Here are the answers as of 2023.

Here’s how to watch 3D side-by-side (SBS) videos.  For other 3D formats, see below:

How to watch 3D VIDEOS on YouTube

1 – What are the types of 3D videos on YouTube?
Type 1: Side by side 3D videos (SBS):  These are videos that were uploaded to YouTube as side by side videos split in the middle, usually with the left eye view on the left side, and right eye view on the right side.  YouTube’s viewer does not recognize these as 3D videos and will not show the options for viewing 3D content.  Here’s a sample:

Avatar 2 Way of Water 4K 3D H-SBS teaser trailer

Type 2: 3D videos
 These are 3D videos that have the correct metadata and are recognized by YouTube.  You should see “3D” in the YouTube setting cog wheel on the lower right corner of the video:
3D videos on YouTube will have a Setting icon like this
Here’s a sample of a 3D video on YouTube:

3D | The Mirror Dimension (Spider-Man: No Way Home) | Dolby 5.1

Type 3: VR180 videos:  These are like conventional 3D videos, but they fill the entire front hemisphere of your view, as if you were watching them on a giant IMAX screen.  You can look up, down, left, right, and your view will change.  Here’s a sample:

VR180 3D VIDEO | Dragon in front of you - 8K ULTRA HD 60FPS

Type 4: 3D 360 videos: These are similar to VR180 videos, but you can see the 3D video all around you (even behind you).  Here’s a sample:

Kandao Obsidian Pro 8K 3D 360 sample video with depth map (Nov 2021)

2 – Are 360 videos the same as 3D videos?
Some people see 360 videos and call them ‘3D’ but they are not 3D in the sense that they are not stereoscopic and have no illusion of depth unless they are 3D 360 videos (see #1).

3 – How do you find 3D videos on YouTube?
Simply searching “3D video” is going to produce a lot of irrelevant results.  Instead, use YouTube’s filter feature.  First, type in a search such as “3D” or “vr180”.  In the search results, click on “filters,”  and under features, select “VR180” or “3D”.  For 3D 360 content, it is better to search for “3D 360” to distinguish them from regular 360 videos.

Use YouTube search filters to find 3D videos
Use YouTube search filters to find 3D videos

4 – How do you watch SBS 3D videos on YouTube in 3D?
For Type 1 3D videos (see FAQ #1 above), the best way is to watch them on a Meta Quest, using the Quest browser.  Here’s a tutorial:

How to watch 3D VIDEOS on YouTube

You can also view these videos without glasses if you use parallel viewing method, which means diverging your vision so that your left eye sees the left image, and the right eye sees the right image.

5 – How do you watch 3D videos on YouTube?  How about VR180 or 3D 360 videos?
For anything other than SBS 3D videos (type 1), the best way to watch 3D videos on YouTube is with a VR headset that supports the native YouTube app.  This includes Meta Quest, Meta Quest 2, Playstation VR, and Playstation VR 2.  Launch the YouTube app and search for the 3D video you want to watch.  YouTube will automatically show the video in 3D.  This will work for type 2 3D videos, VR180 videos, or 3D 360 videos.
The second way to watch a 3D video (type 2) is with anaglyph (red / cyan) 3D glasses.  To use this method, watch the 3D video on your phone with the YouTube app (not on a browser).  The YouTube app will automatically show the video in anaglyph 3D format.  This works for both iOS and Android.  Alternatively, you can watch the 3D video on a desktop.  Click on the settings icon and click on “3D” then choose “anaglyph.”

6 – Can you watch 3D videos on YouTube with 3D glasses (red blue anaglyph glasses)?
Yes, if they were uploaded in 3D format (type 2, not type 1 SBS).  To view a 3D video in anaglyph format, see #5 above.

7 – Can you watch 3D videos on YouTube with Google Cardboard?
Yes on Android devices only.  On iOS, you can no longer do so as of September 2023.  On Android phones, launch the YouTube app and look for a 3D video (type 2), VR180 video, or 3D 360 video.  When viewing the video, you’ll see a Google Cardboard icon on the bottom right.  Tap on that and it will switch to a Google Cardboard view, then you can insert your phone in a Google Cardboard viewer.

8 – Can you watch 3D videos on YouTube with a VR headset such as Meta Quest?
Yes. See #5 above.

10 – Can you create 3D videos and upload them to YouTube?
Absolutely.  You can get a 3D camera (see #11 below), or a VR180 camera, or a 3D 360 camera.

11 – Which is the best 3D camera for consumers?
For under $400, I recommend the Qoocam EGO (check the price here).  It is a 3D camera, not a VR180 camera that can take photos and videos.  See my review here.

12 – Which is the best VR180 camera for consumers?
As of July 2023, there are no VR180 cameras for consumers.  You can instead check out the Calf camera ($1499) or Canon’s Dual Fisheye lens.  Canon might also produce a hybrid 360 and VR 180 camera.

About the author

Mic Ty


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  • Hello Mic Ty,

    thank so much for your “3D-viewing-article”, i really like to watch 3D-content on my Quest-VR-Headset. One small hint….there is a US-Startup called “OWL3D”, the develop an AI-software, to convert 2D-content in 3D-content. The 3D-results, in many different 3D-formats, are amazing. There is a (limited) free version and a paid version, that can convert up to 8K.
    I think it is really worth to have a look on it. https://www.owl3d.com/
    Best regards Aurel

    • Owl3D does a amazing job doing conversions, I just dont get why we have apps like bigscreen that can view yourtube but won’t let you change the video mode to 3D while it can if you load a movie manually, why not give the option to change modes.

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