There’s a reason you left your jaw on the theater floor after watching Avatar last December (and excused the dismal plot for the amazing visuals), but left Best Buy a little underwhelmed by some of the newest 3D TVs on display: 3D content looks best on a screen you can practically walk into. And no technology works better for creating super-sized screens than projectors. Fortunately for deep-pocketed 3D enthusiasts, last week’s CEDIA 2010 convention brought with it a bombardment of 3D projector introductions that truly can replicate the theater experience in your home. If you have the cash.
Looking to set up a 100-inch portal to another world in your basement? Here are your options.
Price: “around $10,000”
Key specs: 1,000 ANSI lumen output, 150,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio
Selling points: True 240Hz refresh rates and ultra-quick active-shutter glasses should help minimize motion blur and “cross talk,” the image ghosting that sometimes occurs when 3D glasses allow images intended for one eye to reach the other eye.
Check out our CEDIA coverage of the Sony VPL-VW90ES.
Key specs: 1,300 ANSI lumen output, 100,000:1 native contrast
Selling points: Above-average brightness, native contrast (not the inflated “dynamic” number) and proven projection technology should make JVC’s top-tier 3D projector a winner. A seven-axis color calibration system with and added axis for orange should also make it easier to set it up for natural skin tones.
Check out our CEDIA coverage of JVC’s new 3D projectors.
Key specs: 1,250 ANSI lumen output (in 3D mode), 7,000:1 native contrast
Selling points: Like the 3D projectors used in theaters, the 3F3D uses passive glasses, which cost only a few dollars per pair and eliminate the 3D crosstalk sometimes found with active-shutter models. Unfortunately, it also requires an expensive silver screen to maintain the light polarization that enables the use of passive 3D glasses.
Check out our CEDIA coverage of the LG CF3D.
Price: “under $5,000”
Available: First quarter of 2011
Key specs: 1,600 ANSI lumen output, 30,000:1 contrast
Selling points: Surprisingly, one of the cheapest projectors available is also one of the brightest – an important concern considering how much 3D glasses dim the screen. Sharp’s 3D glasses also allow users to turn off the 3D effect if it becomes overwhelming, which can be useful when not everyone in a large group wants to partake in 3D.
Mitsubishi Diamond 3D 1080p
Key specs: 1,,000 ANSI lumen output, 120,000:1 dynamic contrast
Selling points: Mitsubishi claims its Diamond 3D is both extremely quiet, and with 4,000-hour lamp life, affordable to maintain (that’s 1,481 screenings of Avatar). It’s also built on the same SXRD technology Sony uses in the VW90ES.
Runco 3Dimensions D-73d
Available: Fourth quarter of 2010
Key specs: 1,400 ANSI lumens, 20,000:1 contrast ratio
Selling points: Similar to LG’s CF3D, the D-73d uses passive 3D glasses, but in a proprietary formulation that’s unique to Runco. You’ll need a silver screen for this model too, but at $49,995, the screen will be the least of your financial woes. Fortunately, you can forget about buying bulbs after purchase: the D-73d uses an LED light source that will never need replacement.