DepthQ projector (a brief) evaluation

Written by Paul Bourke
January 2008

The following is a very brief test/evaluation of the DepthQ projector as a means of presenting stereoscopic content. The DepthQ projector been around for a few years and is interesting in so far as it is a relatively low cost projector (DLP) that can support 120Hz frame sequential stereoscopic projection. It has occupied a unique position in the market since its release because the next alternative/competitor is at least an order of magnitude more expensive. The main market for this projector is as a portable projection system that, unlike passive polaroid based stereoscopic projection, does not require a special screen surface nor does it require a tedious and often time consuming projector alignment/calibration.

The main reason for this test was to verify that it functioned with Mac OS-X and Linux, this was verified. In both cases, the Linux box and Mac Pro, an nVidia fx4500 was used. In terms of image quality, the projector performed as expected given that it is only 800x600 pixels. At 1600 ansi lumens peak it isn't bright but about average given its vintage and price range.


  • The Mac OS-X drivers for the fx4500 do not seem to leave the emitter on. This means that while one can run a stereoscopic application either full screen or in a window, when no stereoscopic application is running the projector looses the sync signal, the result seems to be 60Hz flicker. This is rather disappointing since the ability to jump to/from the OS to stereoscopic enabled apps is one of the benefits of active stereo over many other technologies. The particular Linux drivers used seem to leave the emitter running all the time, an engineer writing the Apple drivers probably thought they were saving the emitters life (bad choice).

  • A box large enough and with enough power for a fx4500 (probably overkill for the likely applications) hardly results in a "portable system", especially when it comes to a heavy Mac Pro. Of course for MSWindows and Linux there are smaller lighter boxes into which lower end, cheaper stereoscopic capable graphics cards can be installed.

  • The NuVision 60GX glasses were used, they (in the authors opinion) are by far the most cost effective LCD shutter glasses with a wide field of view. There are at least two IR emitters that can be used with the NuVision wireless glasses. The one above is intended to cover a wide area, there are also the smaller original emitters from NuVision that can be daisy chained to cover a wider area.