Reviews of 3LCD Projectors
The 3LCD projectors category includes the latest technology used in home theater projectors, and business projectors. See below for a list of 3LCD projector reviews and compare 3LCD projectors with DLP, three chip DLP, LCoS, and LCD systems.
3LCD is actually a copyrighted name associated with the 3LCD Group, a trade group that is comprised of manufacturers manufacturing projectors using LCD technology, and LCD panel manufacturers like Epson and Sony. Let’s say that all 3LCD projectors are LCD projectors, but not all LCD projectors are 3LCD. More below, regarding that.
3LCD projectors – According to industry experts, 3LCD projectors are the dominent species of projectors. They make up well more than half of all projectors manufactured. 3LCD dominates just about all categories of projectors except the extreme high end (3 chip DLP) and the incredibly small Pico projectors.
3LCD Projectors include a solid-state optical design with no moving parts (unlike DLP). The panels (or chips as they are also called) have been all transmissive LCD panels. That is, light passes through the panels.
Most recently, Epson has started manufacturing an “R” series, but until I read more about their design, they sound more like LCoS than LCD, so they may or may not fit into the traditional 3LCD definition.
Report: DLP vs. 3LCD vs. LCoS Technology
3LCD Projector Reviews
NEC NP-ME331W Portable Projector Review
The NEC NP-ME331W is one model in NEC’s ME-series of portable projectors intended for business or education applications. The other ME-series models >>
The Astonishing Epson Pro Cinema 4040 Home Theater Projector – Review
The Epson Pro Cinema 4040 is perhaps the most overlooked "breakthrough" home theater projector available today. I'm not saying that it is the best >>
Epson Home Cinema 3700 Projector Review
The Home Cinema 3700 is one of three projectors launched in September 2016, replacing the older 3000 series. There are significant improvements. Because >>
Epson PowerLite 2265U Projector Review
Although Epson describes the PowerLite 2265U as a portable business projector, it is somewhat larger and heavier than many portable models. However >>
Sony VPL-DW240 Projector – A Review
The Sony VPL-DW240 is a compact business or classroom projector that offers good performance combined with a reasonable set of features and it should >>
HT Projectors: Sony VPL-HW45ES vs Epson HC5040UB
The HW45ES is a great projector, the HC5040UB, costs more, but offers more. For some, considering both projectors, it will be a question of: "can >>
Sony VPL-HW45ES Home Theater Projector Review
The VPL-HW45ES offers great color and a bright picture. Ideal for media rooms, and home theaters, this 1800 lumen 1080p projector is Sony's most affordable >>
Epson Home Cinema 5040UB, Pro Cinema 6040UB Home Theater Projector Review
These all new, pixel shifting, 4K capable "Ultra Black" projectors from Epson; the Home Cinema 5040UB - aka HC5040UB - and Pro Cinema 6040UB - aka PC6040UB >>
Epson Pro G7905U Large Venue Projector Review
Epson's new G series flagship, the G7905U, accepts 4K content, uses pixel shifting to enhance 2K and 4K sharpness. It has 7000 lumens - both color and >>
Epson Powerlite Pro L1500, L1505 Laser Projector Review
The Epson Pro L1505 is a 12,000 lumen, large venue, pixel shifting, laser projector with WUXGA resolution, that can accept a full range of 4K content >>
Epson PowerLite W29 Projector Review
The Epson Powerlite W29 is a feature laden, yet very affordable projector for classroom or business, suitable for portable use or installation.
Epson PowerLite 955WH Projector Review
The Epson PowerLite 955WH is a higher-end model in Epson’s Powerlite 9xx series of classroom projectors. While Epson markets the PowerLite 955WH >>
Epson Pro Cinema 1985 W Projector Review
The Pro Cinema 1985 - A True Light Canon of a projector for enjoyable large screen viewing in "Bright Rooms." We're talking living rooms, family rooms >>
NEC UM352W Ultra Short Throw Projector Review
We have reviewed NEC ultra short throw projectors in the past and the UM352W builds on NEC's solid reputation for producing quality projectors in this >>
3LCD Projector Reviews Reviews
About 3LCD Projectors
The 3-Chip 3LCD projector contains an advanced technology that splits the light from the projector lamp, into 3 beams using mirrors. Each beam passes through a different LCD panel, one with a red, one with a green, and one with a blue filter. The three color images are combined using a prism of dichroic glass, creating a full-color image consisting of millions of colors.
These vibrant images pass through a projector lens to display a dazzling picture. Fundamentally, 3LCD projectors targeted for the home theater market, are similar to those for business and education (and government and…), but with different feature sets that make them more suitable for one application than another.
3LCD projectors are known for rich saturated colors. And that brings us to a brief
There use to be no reliable metric for determining true color output, until the 3LCD Group has started promoting CLO as a new standard for the industry. Color Light Output, or CLO, is a scientific measurement developed similar to the specification of White Light Output.
The reason many consider this important is that single chip DLP devices normally have a spinning color wheel with color filters, and a white (clear) filter. This allows a DLP system to produce a brighter level of white, then of any pure color like true red, green, yellow…
In reality, since everyone normally measures white, this gives a bigger advantage to DLP projectors that use larger and larger clear slices. But, there’s a price to pay. A pure white, might appear 50% or conceivably 100% brighter than a pure red. That would change the intended image noticeably. On a bright white background spreadsheet, “bright” pure colors like red, green… would seem muted – even overwhelmed by large bright areas.
Is this a huge thing? We don’t believe so, but a CLO standard would at least provide additional, and somewhat significant info to those choosing projectors. In our reviews, we have often mentioned that “DLP projectors need to be about 1/3 brighter when in ambient light situations, than LCD projectors, due to the colors not being as bright as the whites” (ambient light is like expanding the clear slice in that DLP projector – it does the same thing – washes out colors).
The point that needs to be made is that a 2000 lumen 3LCD projector in, say, a typical conference room with some fluorescent lights on, will hold up as well overall as a DLP projector claiming 2500 lumens. Its whites wouldn’t be as bright, but bright colors would actually be a bit brighter on the 3LCD projector. This is just one type of common trade-off. 3LCD designs don’t use a spinning filter system, so there is also no rainbow effect that affects some people.
3LCD technology was developed by Epson in the 1980s and is used in over half of the projectors manufactured today. Almost every major projector brand has adopted the 3LCD 3-chip technology, for at least part of their projector line-up.
The panels themselves continue to evolve and improve, with frequent major performance improvements. Contrast has improved dramatically, as has panel life.
The pixel structure of the panels themselves are now less noticeable, and essentially no longer of concern at any of the higher resolutions. As noted above, 3LCD designs typically produce an image 25 – 40% brighter than a DLP projector using a similar wattage lamp, making 3LCD projectors more energy efficient.
3LCD projectors are as previously mentioned the “dominant form of life” in business, education, and home projection. That’s not likely to change anytime soon, although each technology has its own advantages.