Can I watch 3D content using a 3D projector connected via VGA?

Hitonian October 17, 2012

I have a 3D projector and wanted to know if I can watch 3D content using it. I will be connecting the projector via my laptop’s VGA-out port – will this work?

What do I need to make it work?

  1. Dimal Chandrasiri
    October 17, 2012 at 7:48 am

    VGA is capable of out putting what is necessary!

    • A. Gilbert
      January 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      It does work. Finding a thread on AV Forums I purchased an HDMI/VGA converter and an Optoma 3D-XL. I have an Acer X1230PK 3d ready projector.
      I can confirm it is showing blu ray 3D at 120hz despite the converter saying it only handles 60hz.
      I can only assume the converter is giving out the HDMI"handshake" although it is not advertised as such??
      There is also a video on you tube with a similar set up on a different projector.

  2. James Bruce
    October 17, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Hi Hitonian. This is a complicated answer, but I'll try my best.

    Short answer: yes.

    Depending on the required format of your projector (side by side, or interlaced) interlaced, there is some content you can play. You don't NEED to output "HDMI 3D" format if you projector can understand side-by-side. The only benefit to sending atual 3d formatted video frames is that your TV/projector will automatically switch to 3d mode. Now I'm not sure about your porjector specifcally, but this is how my 3DTV works.

    So what content can you play?


    - Downloaded 3d movies in SBS format (these are typically pirated from blurays). Simply load them up in VLC, play fullscreen, and send to the projector (assuming your projector supports SBS - you may need to set this format on your projector options).

    - 3D games .. if you purchase third party 3D drivers from - these replace your nvidia drivers (assuming you have a decent laptop with descrete graphics card), and allow you to output in a variety of formats suitable for your projector.


    - Nvidia native 3d output (probably not, I believe this requires HDMI)
    - 3d blurays (though you probably dont have a bluray player anyway in your laptop, so this is irrelevant. but this also applies to download 3d bluray disc ISOs).

    Does that answer your question? I might be able to help more if you specify the exact projector model.

    This also very much depends on your laptop; if it's crap, you can probably only play downloaded (ripped) 3d movies in sbs format. Maybe thats all you want though.

    • Drew Butler
      October 17, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Nice and thorough :).

  3. ha14
    October 17, 2012 at 7:34 am

    if your laptop is not 3D ready then you cannot do what you wish, another option is to try a 3d driver like trideff (shareware)
    there is a trial period so you can see if it will work for you

    3D projector which includes HDMI1.4 will be better, or to have in between 3D projector adapter like Optoma 3D-XL
    [Broken Link Removed]

    Vivitek 3D-Ready projector
    [Broken Link Removed]

  4. Adrian Rea
    October 17, 2012 at 1:16 am

    It will only show the type of 3d from the 60s with the red and green glases probably, but what make and model is it then we will have a better idea :)

  5. Drew Butler
    October 17, 2012 at 12:51 am

    very very doubtful. vga doesn't support hi-resolutions... Does your laptop have an hdmi or dvi out? If so you should use those. If not reply with your projector manufacturer and model number and I will look into it for you, but once again it is very likely it won't support 3D playback using that input.

    • Drew Butler
      October 17, 2012 at 1:19 am

      I have been reading further and found this response to someone trying to watch movies on a 3d tv(the process should be similar) by using vga out from their computer. "If your laptop doesn't have an hdmi out (you have to use VGA) then you can't use the automatic hdmi framepacking setup. You'll have to configure your TV set in 3D mode manually.
      Each TV is different but in most cases you have to go through the TV menus and tell the TV to 1) activate the 3D mode 2) tell the TV the content is side by side.
      Then just play your side by side video full-screen in any video player, or if your content is in an other format (top/bottom, or wrong aspect ratio) you can use stereoscopic player to do the conversion on the fly. Most TVs work well this way but I have read users saying their TV refused to access the 3D mode with VGA input (only hdmi allowed). In some very rare cases, the TV doesn't have a 3D menu at all and then you're stuck (i think it was a 1st gen sony 3DTV)." - Credit for this goes to a member of avsforum named BlackShark. Here is the link to the page this discussion is on:

      The point there makes sense and should be applicable to your situation but I am not very experienced with 3D products. I hope this helps and if not I would be happy to check through the information about your specific projector co I can provide a better answer for you.

    • James Bruce
      October 17, 2012 at 7:34 am

      VGA is more than capable of outputting 1080p resolution.

      • Drew Butler
        October 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

        Yes I was wrong. Sorry everyone for any bad info.

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