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. 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.

Here is a helpful resource to compare 3LCD technologies with LCDDLP3 Chip DLP, and LCoS projection systems:

Report: DLP vs. 3LCD vs. LCoS Technology

3LCD Projector Reviews

3LCD Projector Reviews Reviews

Image Review MRSP Technology
Epson Home Cinema 3500 Home Theater Projector Review$16993LCD
Epson Pro Cinema LS10000 Laser Home Theater Projector – Review$3LCD
Hitachi CP-TW2503 Projector Review$1999 (street price)3LCD
Epson BrightLink 595Wi Projector Review$23993LCD
Ask Proxima C3327W-A LCD Projector Review$10693LCD
Epson BrightLink 585Wi Projector Review$21993LCD
Ask Proxima E1655U LCD Projector Review$59993LCD
Epson VS335W Projector Review$529.993LCD
Epson EX5230 Portable Projector Review$5993LCD
Epson PowerLite 99W 3LCD Projector Review$7493LCD
Vivitek Qumi Q7 LED Projector – Review$999DLP
Epson Pro Cinema G6900 WU Home Theater Projector$74993LCD
NEC NP-UM330W Ultra Short Throw Projector Review$1299LCD
Epson PowerLite 1965 3LCD XGA Projector Review$18993LCD
Sony VPL-FHZ55 Laser 3LCD Projector Review$44603LCD
Epson Powerlite Pro G6900WU Business Projector Review$64993LCD
Epson Pro Cinema 6030UB Projector Quick Look Review$34993LCD
Epson Home Cinema 2000 Projector Quick Look Review$8993LCD
Epson Pro Cinema 4030 Projector – Review$24993LCD
Epson Home Cinema 5030 UB Home Theater Projector Review$25993LCD
Epson Brightlink Pro 1410Wi Interactive Projector Review$29993LCD
Epson Home Cinema 2030 Projector Review$9993LCD
Sony VPL-FH30 WUXGA 3LCD Projector Review$48103LCD
Epson Powerlite W16SK Projector Review$18993LCD
Epson BrightLink 436Wi Interactive LCD Projector Review$14903LCD
NEC NP-M311X XGA LCD Multimedia Projector Review$8293LCD
Epson Pro Cinema 6020 UB Home Theater Projector Review$35003LCD
Panasonic PT-AE8000 vs. Epson Home Cinema 5020 UB Projector Comparison$3 Chip DLP
Epson Home Cinema 3020 Home Theater Projector Review$15993LCD
Mitsubishi WL7200U WXGA LCD Projector Review$69953LCD
Panasonic PT-AE8000U Home Theater Projector Review$29993LCD
Epson Home Cinema 710 HD Home Theater Projector Review$6493LCD
Epson BrightLink 475Wi Ultra Short Throw WXGA Projector$21993LCD
Epson BrightLink 480i 3LCD Interactive Projector – A Comparison$19993LCD
Epson PowerLite 435W LCD Projector Review$11493LCD
Epson Powerlite Pro Z8450WU Commercial 3LCD Projector Review$149993LCD
Epson BrightLink 485Wi Interactive LCD Projector Review$21993LCD
Hitachi iPJ-AW250N Interactive LCD Projector Review$17993LCD
Panasonic PT-AR100U Home Theater Projector Review$19993LCD
Epson MegaPlex MG-50 LCD Home Entertainment Projector Review$6993LCD
Epson Pro Cinema 6010 Home Theater Projector Mini Review$39993LCD
Panasonic PT-AE7000 vs. Epson Home Cinema 5010 Projector Comparison$
Epson Home Cinema 5010 Home Theater Projector Review$29993LCD
Epson Megaplex MG-850HD WXGA LCD Home Entertainment Projector Review$7993LCD
Panasonic PT-AE7000 Home Theater Projector Review$34993LCD
Epson Powerlite VS350W WXGA LCD Multimedia Projector Review$9493LCD
Epson Home Cinema 3010 Home Theater Projector Review$15993LCD
Epson Home Cinema 3010e Home Theater Projector Review$15993LCD
Epson Powerlite Pro G5450WUNL 3LCD Projector Review$39993LCD
Epson PowerLite 92 3LCD Projector – A Comparison$6493LCD
Samsung SP-M255 3LCD Portable Projector – A Comparison$10993LCD
Sony VPL-EX120 LCD Projector – A Comparison$8903LCD
Sony VPL-EX145 LCD Projector – A Comparison$11003LCD
Sony VPL-EX100 LCD Projector – A Comparison$7503LCD
Epson Pro Cinema 9350 Projector – A Comparison$22993LCD
Epson Pro Cinema 9700UB Projector – A Comparison$31993LCD
Hitachi CP-AW250N Ultra Short Throw LCD Multimedia Projector Review$34953LCD
Sanyo PLC-WM5500 WXGA LCD Multimedia Projector Review$56453LCD
Sony VPL-EX175 XGA LCD Projector Review$14203LCD
Epson Powerlite 96W WXGA LCD Multimedia Projector Review$8993LCD
Epson Powerlite 1775W WXGA LCD Multimedia Projector Review$11993LCD
Epson MovieMate 85HD – A Review of An All-in-One Home Projector$8993LCD
Hitachi CP-X5021N LCD Multimedia Projector Review$27953LCD
Samsung SP-F10M LED 3-LCD Multimedia Projector Review$10993LCD

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.

News And Comments