Revolutionizing the way we watch movies, TV shows, and play video games, 3D projectors take traditional HD viewing experiences to a whole new level. Totally immersing the viewer in a world of color, light, and realism, the best 3D projector has come a long way and can now even take the place of a traditional TV.
Ranging a great deal in price, 3D projectors use a complex combination of technical specs to deliver an extraordinary 3D experience. Keep reading to learn more about important 3D projector tech specs to help you pick out the best 3D projector for your home.
3D Projector Tech Specs to Consider
- Lumens. Lumens measure the brightness of a 3D projector. If you’re planning on using a projector in a somewhat dark room, the best 3D projector will be one with lumens above 1,000. If you need a portable projector, 2,000 or more lumens is suitable for office and outdoor viewing.
- Lamp Life. Inside each and every projector is a lamp that emits light to create the image we see on the screen. Newer 3D projectors claim a lamp life of over 5,000 hours, but the average seems to be around 2,000 to 3,000 hours. Lamp life can vary depending on whether you use “eco-mode” or keep it in normal mode. Lamps are easily replaced with some costing more than others.
- Contrast Ratio. Contrast ratio determines how deep the black color is and how bright the white is. The best 3D projector should have a very high contract ratio, but contrast ratio is effected by screen size and lighting, so it isn’t always a true representation of how good the image will look.
- 3D Glasses. – When you buy one of the best 3D projector models, it may come packaged with one or two pairs of 3D glasses. If not, you’ll have to buy your own. With some 3D projectors, you have to buy the same brand of glasses as the projector, but there are some 3D projectors that have the ability to synch active 3D glasses of any brand.
- DLP, LCD, LCoS. – To project the image and color onto the projector screen, a projector uses either DLP, LCD, or LCoS. Each one has advantages and disadvantages. For example, DLP projectors typically have the best motion blur, while the black level of an LCoS projector is superior. DLP projectors have a tendency to produce a rainbow effect, meaning bright images on a dark background can have a rainbow-like aura. LCD projectors often fall in between the DLP and LCoS in terms of cost and image quality.Depending on what you will be using your 3D projector for, you’ll want one with at least 1 HDMI port, a VGA or DVI port (for connecting a computer), and maybe a USB ports for loading video from an external hard drive.
Best 3D Projector Top 8 Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated 3D Projectors
Comparing the Sony VPLVW365ES 3D projector to the others on this list is a bit unfair, because it’s amazingly advanced and a technological beast. Considered to be one of the best 3D projector models on the market, the Sony VPLVW365ES boasts a lot of impressive features.
- Full 4K resolution (4x better than 1080p)
- 2D to 3D conversion
- 1080p to 4k upscaling
- 1,500 lumens
- 6,000 hour lamp life
Simply put, the Sony VPLVW365ES 3D projector looks amazing, and it’s the only LCoS projector on our list. Sony has been leading the way in 4K projector entertainment, but sadly, there is only a small pool of 4K content available. Despite that, with 2D to 3D conversion and 1080p to 4k upscaling, almost anything you watch will be instantly transformed into an incredible display of color and realism. Sony recommends the VPLVW365ES 3D projector be used with screens from 60” to 150”.
The second best 3D projector on our list is the Epson Home Cinema 3600e. Costing significantly less than the Sony VPLVW365ES, the Epson Home Cinema 3600e has enough impressive features that even the most scrutinizing entertainment buff will enjoy it.
- 3 LCD technology delivers 2,500 lumens and 70,000 : 1 contrast
- 2D to 3D conversion
- Two built-in 10w speakers
- Wireless connectivity to other HD projector device (no more cables!)
- Includes two pairs of 3D glasses
- Automatic iris to adjust for optimal lighting conditions
With images produced by its 3 LCDs in full 1080p projector HD, the Epson Home Cinema 3600e could easily replace your HDTV. The 2D to 3D conversion is quite convincing, especially when you turn a typical sporting event into an immersive experience. Thankfully, the Epson Home Cinema 3600e comes with several ports including 2 HDMI, RCA, component, VGA, and USB. With this many connections, there’s nothing holding you back from gaming, streaming, and the ultimate movie experience.
While we haven’t encountered any problems with the Epson Home Cinema 3600e, some users have reported that the wireless function wasn’t working efficiently for them. Also, a few early users have had problems with the automatic iris. Thanks to Epson’s two year warranty, these issues are usually resolved without concern.
Don’t want to spend thousands on a 3D projector? The Epson Home Cinema 2040 has features that you’ll find on the best 3D projector but for significantly less money.
- Full 1080p HD resolution using 3 LCD chips
- 2D to 3D conversion
- 2,200 lumens
- Vivid 35,000 : 1 contrast
- Frame Interpolation for enhanced motion stability
- Noise reduction and detail enhancement capability
With Epson’s noise reduction and detail enhancement features, the image quality of the Epson 2040 is quite amazing. Until now, these features were found only on high end projectors.
A few draw backs of the Epson Home Cinema 2040 are its somewhat loud fan noise. Other users have noticed that the black color depth could be better, but this is only a problem in a completely dark room (like a dedicated home theater without ambient light).
When compared to some of the best 3D projector models on our list, you may wonder why we consider the ViewSonic PJD5255 a contender for best 3D projector. Coming in with the smallest price tag, the ViewSonic PJD5255 wins in the affordability game, making it a great choice for outdoor use, in the office, or for a casual movie night at home. For the hardcore gamer or movie buff who demands top notch image quality, you’re probably better off with something else.
- 3,200 lumens
- 15,000 : 1 contrast
- 1024 x 768 HD Resolution
- User friendly menus for optimal settings
As an entry level DLP projector, many users noted the ViewSonic PJD5255 tendency to produce the dreaded rainbow effect. Also, with only 1 HDMI and 2 VGA inputs, there are some significant limitations as to what you can connect to this projector.
The Optoma HD142X is one of the best selling 3D projectors ever made, and has become a staple in the industry for affordability. Whether you’re looking to replace your existing TV or just want to create an entertainment powerhouse, the Optoma HD142X 3D projector could be just right for you.
- Great 3D clarity with 1080p resolution
- 23,000 : 1 contrast
- Two HDMI ports, VESA 3D Sync, and 1 USB
- Integrated 10w mono speaker
For its price, the Optoma HD142X delivers great specs that can keep most casual gamers and movie/TV lovers happy. The 3D is great for 3D Blu-Ray and gaming, but the Optoma HD142X doesn’t feature 2D to 3D conversion like some of its competitors do.
Because the Optoma HD142X is a 3D DLP projector, some users reported seeing rainbow artifacts. Also, the lack of VGA connectivity might be a breaking point for those that want to use the Optoma HD142X in an office.
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