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LG CF3D - Review Summary

Posted on November 24, 2010 by Art Feierman
LG Specs
Native Resolution
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)
Zoom Lens Ratio
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life

LG CF3D Projector - The Bottom Line

With the ability to fill, say, a 100" diagonal, 16:9 screen in a room with ambient light but reasonable lighting control, while doing 3D content, the LG CF3D is most impressive. I realize there are other very bright 3D projectors recently hitting the market, or coming soon, in the LG's price range, that will offer reasonable brightness, this is by far the brightest 3D image I've seen projected so far.

I see the LG as a very successful projector for 3D applications. It should do very well, in all those scientific, engineering, and other areas where 3D can significantly improve clarity of the information, and productivity of the viewers. As such, I do believe the LG deserves a Hot Product Award.

Click to enlarge. SO close

I'm always leery of giving out awards to a first of a kind projector (or first of a kind reviewed), where we haven't had the ability to compare to any direct competition.

That said, the LG does do rather impressive 3D. It may have some 3D noise visible, - be it some crosstalk, or the screen type noise I've discussed, but those are the kind of imperfections that likely would bother a home theater enthusiast, but barely on the radar, (if at all), of people viewing 3D in commercial applications.

I expect a year from now, that commercial 3D projectors will cost a little less for the same performance, and will do even cleaner 3D, thanks to both better content, enhanced processing, and projector refinements, but the LG CF3D does a most respectable job with 3D imagery, right now. If you have the applications to show (or are developing them), and the budget makes sense, the LG CF3D projector will definitely get the job done, with ample lumens to do it well in most rooms.

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It's really unfortunate, that there isn't a good way to demonstate 3D content on your monitor, as performed by the LG CF3D. It seems almost criminal to have to only show you some of the same 2D images we use in many reviews. You'll just have to take my word when I tell you how awesome the molecular biology and neurological pathways 3D videos really look. That the 3D content is going to be superior in demonstating the information than 2D is downright obvious. What isn't better, simply by viewing it in 3D, is also just more interesting, more attention grabbing, and probably resulting in better productivity, than the 2D equivalent.

Above, from the new Star Trek movie - Blu-ray disc

Above, from The Dark Knight, Blu-ray. This CF3D image is a good example of a night time image with enough bright lights that the difference in black levels between the LG, and some projectors with better blacks, isn't going to be very noticeable, if at all.

CF3D Brightness:

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The LG CF3D projector offers more brightness in 3D than any of the low cost 3D projectors. Although I was tempted to try to measure the brightness through one of the lenses of the passive glasses, I couldn't convince myself that it would be a valid measurement. Forgetting that, I conclude that this claimed 2500 lumen projector, first of all, gets very close to its claims. We know that 3D is going to wipe out an absolute minimum of 50% of the brightness (since you are only seeing one eye at a time), but how much more, we really don't know.

For practical purposes, I am assuming for now, that a system like the LG CF3D is going to lose about 60% of lumens. That means the CF3D, is going to output close to 1000 lumens in its brightest mode, while doing 3D!

Having owned a projector dealership for a great many years, I can report that it was less than 10 years ago, that portable projectors started reaching 1000 lumens. At the time, we all discovered, that 1000 lumens was enough to fill a typical conference room screen - 5 or 6 feet diagonal, even with a healthy dose of fluorescent lighting on.

In other words, 1000 lumens, in small, and even some medium sized rooms, has been enough to do good work, without killing the lights - essentially modern projection. As often said, you can never have too many lumens (well almost true), but the point is, the LG does have enough lumens to do nice sized projection for working groups, board rooms, and most presentations for less than 50 people. Remember, with a little more lighting control, the LG can do a respectable job on a screen in the 100" diagonal range, and still not be a pretty dark room. That's what people want, and the LG delivers!

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