How to Play 2D Movies in 3D with Kodi Media Centre

3D televisions started to hit the mainstream market a few years back. It is difficult to say whether they have really taken off. 3D movies at the cinema are very popular but not everyone favours them in their homes. Sky recently removed their 3D channel saying that there was not enough interest in the platform. Part of the problem is that people do not have a lot of 3D movies on their media centres. They have a few but most of their movie content is 2D. With Kodi and some additional software it is possible to upscale 2D to 3D. If you love watching 3D movies then this “How to Play 2D Movies in 3D with Kodi Media Centre” post will show you how to play 2D movies in 3D and expand your 3D collections. 2D to 3D conversion can be done on the fly without re-encoding your media.

How to Play 2D Movies in 3D with Kodi Media Centre

Despite being the best media centre software around Kodi media centre does not have the ability to upscale 2D movies to 3D. The Kodi team however has left the door open for users to expand on what the application can do using external players. With additional software we can configure Kodi to launch all or a selection of our movie files in 3D. To do this we must setup an external player and for this we recommend Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra.

Please ensure that you backup your media centre prior to implementing this guide.

Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra for 2D to 3D Conversion

It has been around for a while and because of this Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra Edition is one of the best media file players on the market today. It does come with a small cost attatched but this is well worth the outlay. You will struggle to find a media file type that Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra won’t play. It will even play Blu-ray movie discs and is one of the few players that can handle 3D Blu-ray.

Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra Edition has the ability to upscale 2D to 3D. It will do your 2D to 3D conversion as your movie plays. To achieve this on our media centres we must first download and install PowerDVD and then tell Kodi to use it for converting 2D movies to 3D. So to begin you must get yourself a copy of PowerDVD installed on your media centre. If you don’t want to use Kodi you can use Cyberlink PowerDVD alone to play 2D movies in 3D. You can compare Cyberlink PowerDVD Prices below:

Compare Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra Edition Prices

ProductVersionProduct Features
Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra16 Ultra EditionTrue Theatre, Blu-ray & 3D Blu-ray Support
Cyberlink PowerDVD 15 Ultra15 Ultra EditionBlu-ray & 3D Blu-ray Support
Cyberlink Media Suite 1414 Media SuiteCollection of Cyberlink Applications

Read our full Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra Edition Review.

Configure An External Player in Kodi to Upscale 2D to 3D

Once Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra Edition is installed on your media centre alongside Kodi it is now time to link the two together and we do this using the external player feature that Kodi provides. Kodi uses a file called playercorefactory.xml for handling external media playing software. By default it does not exist so we need to create one. It must be located in the Kodi userdata area. To find this on the Windows 10 operating system enter the following command into the Cortana box located at the bottom left of your screen.

%APPDATA%\kodi\userdata

A menu item will popup and the userdata folder will be visible at the very top as shown in the image below. If you are using an older version of Windows you can find iit using the standard “Run” command.

play blu-ray with kodi

Locate the Kodi Userdata folder

If you select the folder it will open up a new window and take you into the userdata area. Choose an area in the window with free space and right click.  Choose New followed by Text Document. A new text file will be created and we must now rename it to playercorefactory.xml. Ensure that your userdata folder is set to show file extensions so that you can see the full name of the files.

Configuring the Playercorefactory.xml File

Once created open up the playercorefactory.xml file using Notepad. Within this file you can configure all external players to be used by Kodi and we will now setup Cyberlink PowerDVD for upscaling 2D to 3D movie files. Below is the code you need. Copy this into your playercorefactory.xml file and save it.

<playercorefactory>
<players>
<player name="PowerDVD" type="ExternalPlayer" audio="false" video="true">
<filename>C:\Program Files (x86)\CyberLink\PowerDVD16\Movie\PowerDVD Cinema\PowerDVDCinema.exe</filename>  
<args>"{1}" /fullscreen /close</args>  
<hidexbmc>false</hidexbmc>
<hideconsole>false</hideconsole>
<warpcursor>none</warpcursor>
</player>
</players>
<rules action="prepend">
<rule filetypes="MP4|MOV|AVI|MKV" player="PowerDVD"/>
</rules>
</playercorefactory>

A few areas to highlight here. The line shown in red tells Kodi where to find your external player. Make sure the path is correct for your Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra Edition install. The line shown in blue tells Kodi which file extensions to pass to PowerDVD. In this guide I have included MP4, MOV, AVI and MKV. You can choose whatever file extnesions you like. If there is only one file extension you want for 2D to 3D conversion then you can reduce this list.

Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra Upscale 2D to 3D Settings

Now we must configure the 2D to 3D conversion  in Cyberlink PowerDVD. To do this launch the application and on the home screen click on the 3D button on the bottom task bar of the application as shown below:

Play 2D Movies in 3D

Cyberlink PowerDVD – Convert 2D to 3D

Next click on Convert 2D Media to 3D and you will see a tick appear next to it. With this tick inplace PowerDVD will automatically upscale 2D to 3D. At this stage you are complete but you may wish to further tweak your 3D playback settings. To do this click on the 3D button again and select More 3D Preferences. The following screen will appear.

Upscale 2D to 3D

Cyberlink PowerDVD 3D Settings

Here you can control the depth of your 3D playback. If your 2D movies are not as you like when you upscale 2D to 3D you can try increasing the 3D depth by sliding the white dot to the right.

And that is it! If you now launch a 2D movie file in Kodi with a file extension we have set in the playercorefactory.xml file it will play it in 3D using PowerDVD. Enjoy! If you do not want to use Kodi you can use Cyberlink PowerDVD alone to play 2D movies in 3D. Cyberlink Power DVD can also be used to enable Blu-ray playback in Kodi media centre.

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