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LCD Overview

By Art Feierman

About LCD

Today all projectors using LCD technology use 3 LCD micro-display chips with one for each of the three primary colors (i.e., red, blue and green).  These are commonly referred to as 3LCD projectors.  The LCD micro-displays are transmissive in that light must pass through from the back of the display panel.  This is similar to LCD flat panel TVs which use either a LED or fluorescent backlight located behind their transmissive display panel.   In the past LCD based projectors suffered from higher black levels and lower contrast ratios as compared to the better DLP projectors.  However, significant improvements in LCD projection technology in recent years has resulted in overall performance levels from today’s better 3LCD projectors being highly competitive with projectors within their same price range that employ the other competing projection technologies (either DLP or LCoS).  The home theater class 3LCD projectors generally offer better placement flexibility, by offering wide range zoom lenses and lens shift adjustments, as compared similar priced DLP models.  3LCD projectors frequently offer a winning combination of performance and features that make them popular for the mid-price range models of business, education or home theater projectors.

720p 3LCD

Budget 3LCD home theater-class projectors with 720p native resolution represented by models such as the Epson Home Cinema 710HD (pictured) with a list price of $649.  This model is a viable alternative to the budget 720p DLP projectors.

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1080p 3LCD

3LCD home theater projectors with native 1080p resolution are offered from Panasonic and Epson with entry level models from Epson (Home Cinema 3020) and Panasonic (PT-AR100U) starting at approximately  $1,500 street price.  Both of these companies also offer more upscale 3LCD models with list prices between $2,600 and $4,000.  This latter category of 3LCD projectors includes Epson’s Home Cinema 5020UB (pictured) and Pro Cinema 6020UB models and Panasonic’s PT-AE8000.

1080p 3LCD Home Theater Projectors

3LCD for Business and Classroom Use

There are also a wide range of 3LCD business and classroom projectors available from Epson, such as the Brightlink 436Wi (a WXGA model with a MSRP of $1,490 - pictured below).

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Sony offers business class 3LCD projectors, including a model equipped with a laser powered light engine.  The model VPL-FHZ55 was introduced in mid-2013 and carries a list price of just under $7,000.  Sony also offers an extensive range of lower priced 3LCD business projectors using more conventional lamp light sources.

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