3D Projectors: LG CF3D Projector Review

Welcome to our in-depth projector review of the LG CF3D 1080p home theater projector. As always we are rushing this to you, because we know you are waiting! Enjoy!

A quick note: One of these CF3D projectors, was the first 3D projector to come in. LG provided me an early engineering sample back in Q1 of 2010, which I played with for a while, while trying to gather up some 3D content. LG sent me a full production CF3D projector for this review, late September.

CF3D Projector Highlights

  • Brighter than most 3D projectors currently available
  • Full 1080p resolution, and HDMI 1.4 support, for future compatibility
  • Picture tends to be cool (shift towards blue) out of the box
  • Projector calibrates very nicely with really very good color accuracy
  • 6 panel LCoS design – basically two projectors sharing a lamp and lens
  • 3D with passive glasses look anywhere from very good to so so, depending on the quality of the 3D production.
  • Very large projector
  • A bit noisy for a home theater environment
  • Excellent for serious commercial 3D applications

LG CF3D Projector Overview

At first glance I considered the LG CF3D to be an early 1080p 3D home theater projector. While it’s getting a longer review – as home theater projectors do, ultimately, the projector should be considered a commercial 3D projector. It can be, and is going to be used in home theaters and screening rooms, for its 3D abilities. As a 2D projector for home theater, though, it’s really, really expensive. It will be because of 3D use, be it business, education, entertainment or home theater usage, that this projector will be purchased. (Are there any gamers out there prepared to drop $15,000 for a projector for 3D gaming? I’ll bet there are!) This projector should find itself in the halls of higher education, and many scientific and engineering applications as well.

The CF3D might be called a passive 3D projector – in that it uses passive 3D glasses, not active ones. That also means, however, you need a screen optimized for 3D. For our review, I got to use two screens at different times. One was a Da-lite 3D screen, that really had a noticeable hot spot, which is easy to see on many of the images I took. (Quite honestly, the hot spot was “over the top” but, not as bad as the pictures would make it seem – especially the menu photos.) The second screen, though was a much brighter 3D screen from Stewart, which was drastically superior with virtually no hot spot at all. The brighter screen has less contrast, but still was a major impovement. The point, of course, is that 3D screens are going to be improving a lot over the next couple of years, as well.

Since you automatically lose more than half your brightness with 3D systems, the CF3D projector separates itself from the announced home theater 3D projectors, like the Sony and the JVCs, by offering a serious jump in brightness, claiming 2300 lumens compared to the announced Sony’s 1000 lumens and the JVCs all claiming 1300. While I don’t have any accurate measurements, I’m figuring for general discussion, at least 60% drop in lumens for 3D viewing. While that reduces the Sony to less than 400 lumens in its brightest mode, the LG would be just below 1000 lumens. That’s a huge difference.

The point is, if you want a 3D projector in a home-like environment and screen size, the LG has the muscle to do the job, and even on a decent sized screen, something the others aren’t quite up to.

The CF3D might just find itself comfortable in your home theater, but I see it far more at home in university scientific, medical or engineering applications. Years ago my old company equipped a number of command and control rooms with projectors – for oil companies like Arco, and we also did command and control for the US Navy, including the Bonhomme Richard, which was the primary command and control in the Indian Ocean, for years relating toAfghan operations. All of those applications begged for 3D displays, but no practical technology at the time. I could definitely see many of those projectors replaced with 3D models like the LG, as long as they have the necessary 3D software for their applications. Let’s face it, for architecture, molecular modeling, brain scans, teaching the solar system, and a myraid of other purposes, 3D offers tremendous advantages.

Let’s get started.

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