Comments by Projector Reviews staff:
We also have been very impressed with Epson’s brighter 3D images in our recent reviews of the Home Cinema 3010 and Home Cinema 5010 projectors. Read the full reviews here and here. In their press release, Epson explains the technology behind this innovation in 3D!
Brighter 3D Images from Epson Home Projectors
- Bright 3D Drive Technology Helps Bring Powerful Big-Screen 3D Images into the Home -
Epson has engineered its latest home projectors to achieve unprecedented levels of brightness and color for 3D images. In this article, we will take a look at the technology that makes this possible.
How 3D Images Are Formed
We will begin by explaining how 3D images work. Depth perception comes from our brain’s ability to sense the minute differences between the images seen by our right and left eyes.
Televisions and projectors use this ability to deliver 3D images. The images alternate between one for the left eye and one for the right. The viewer wears 3D glasses that block the left eye when an image is shown for the right eye and the right eye when an image is shown for the left eye. This gives the appearance of 3D.
Focusing on Brightness
However, when switching between the images for the left eye and the right eye, there is a short moment where both images are visible. The appearance of this mixed image, called “crosstalk,” interferes with the quality of the 3D image. The 3D glasses cover both eyes during crosstalk to hide the mixed image from the viewer. With the standard method of producing 3D, the time that neither eye can see the image is the same 1/240 second that either eye sees the image, so the brightness of the image is halved.
Comparison between Bright 3D Drive (top) and previous technology (bottom)
With previous 3D technology (bottom), the time that the glasses are blacked out during crosstalk is the same 1/240 second that the image is visible, reducing brightness by half. Bright 3D Drive doubles the refresh rate to achieve a crosstalk time of only 1/480 second with a visible time of 3/480 seconds, resulting in a brighter-looking image.
TFT LCD panel with Bright
Epson solved this issue by increasing the brightness of the projector and using panels equipped with its newly developed Bright 3D Drive system. Bright 3D Drive doubles the old 240 Hz refresh rate to 480 Hz, halving the crosstalk time to 1/480 second.
Meanwhile, the images for the left and right eye can be shown for three cycles, or 3/480 seconds, enabling a brighter 3D image.
If the 3D glasses are not timed properly to the projector’s image, the 3D image will not look right. The projector uses infrared light to make sure the glasses are always synchronized.
Correction of Color Shift Caused by 3D Glasses
Another issue facing 3D images is the color shift that occurs when using 3D glasses. The 3D glasses use LCDs to switch between the left eye and the right eye, but looking through an LCD causes a slight shift in the color balance that requires correction to look the same as a 2D image would without the glasses.
This correction is made to the color of the image coming from the projector. 3D glasses cause certain colors to appear stronger and other colors to appear weaker, thereby changing the color balance. By suppressing the colors that appear stronger and adjusting the other colors, the color balance can be fixed so that it is identical to that of a 2D image. Our engineers analyzed the spectral characteristics of the LCDs used in the 3D glasses and found the best color balance to achieve the same natural colors as the 2D image.
Suppressing colors that look stronger through 3D glasses can make an already-dark 3D image look even darker. This created an issue of insufficient brightness to make the required corrections, but the Epson Home Cinema 5010/5010e and 3010/3010e were bright enough to do the job properly.
Ease of Installation
Deciding where to install a projector in the living room can be a challenge. Unless you want to have cables strung across the living room floor, major construction is needed to hide the cables in the wall or floor and mount the projector on the ceiling.
In order to lower the barriers to installing a home theater, Epson introduced Wireless HD technology*1 to eliminate the need for an HDMI cable between the projector and a Blu-ray player or other video source. This means that the wireless models, with their built-in speakers, only need a power cable to provide a big-screen home theater experience.
The Home Cinema 3010/3010e includes auto vertical and sliding horizontal keystone correction, while the 5010/5010e offers four-way lens shift and vertical keystone correction to make installation easier than ever. The focal point was shortened to enable installation in small rooms and the vents were placed on the front so the back of the unit can be placed against the wall.
The Wireless HD function was designed to make installation as easy as possible. It includes CEC commands*2 for media player control and other features to ensure a reliable link.
*1: Wireless HD is supported by Home Cinema 5010e and 3010e
*2: CEC is an abbreviation for Consumer Electronic Control. This specification allows display devices and media players to control each other’s functions. For example, you could use a projector’s remote control to play and fast-forward on a media player.
Epson will grow the projector market by continuing to provide customers with projectors that produce bright and compelling 3D images on ultra-big screens.
Please refer to your local Epson site for details of these and other Epson products.
(Note that product names and availability vary by region.)