In this paper, an unequal error protection (UEP) scheme based on hierarchical quadrature amplitude modulation (HQAM) for three-dimensional (3-D) video transmission is proposed. The proposed scheme exploits unique characteristics of the color plus depth map stereoscopic video, where the color sequence has a more significant impact on the reconstructed video quality. The UEP scheme assigns more protection to the color sequence than the depth map so as to achieve high quality 3-D video. Different levels of protection are assigned through hierarchical 16-QAM. The color data with high priority (HP) are mapped onto the most significant bits (MSBs) of the 16- QAM constellation points and the depth map with low priority (LP) are mapped onto the less significant bits (LSBs). Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed UEP scheme outperforms the conventional equal error protection (EEP) schemes by up to 5 dB in terms of the received left and right views quality.