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best 3d projectors

The Best 3D Projectors in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

3D projectors promise easy handling, excellent workmanship and sharp images. After reading countless tests and comparative reports on the Internet, our team has compiled a list of the best, which also includes ratings for resolution, brightness, connections and much more.

Optoma GT770 Short Throw Projector | HD Ready 720p + 1080p Support

Optoma GT770 Short Throw Projector | HD Ready 720p + 1080p Support
6 Reviews
Optoma GT770 Short Throw Projector | HD Ready 720p + 1080p Support
  • HD READY: Experience a large, vibrant 720p resolution (with…
  • SHORT THROW LENS: Experience a large 120″ image projected…
  • LIGHTS-ON VIEWING: Enjoy an incredible 3,600 lumens of…
  • VERSATILE PROJECTION APPLICATIONS: Ideal for both outdoor or…
  • 10,000-HR LAMP LIFE: Enjoy up to 10,000 hours of lamp life…

BenQ MW632ST WXGA Short Throw Projector | 3200 Lumens | 3D

BenQ MW632ST WXGA Short Throw Projector | 3200 Lumens | 3D
263 Reviews
BenQ MW632ST WXGA Short Throw Projector | 3200 Lumens | 3D
  • EXECUTIVE QUALITY PROJECTOR – WXGA resolution (1280×800)…
  • DESIGNED FOR ANY ENVIRONMENT – With it’s 3, 200 lumens…
  • EXTENDED LAMP LIFE – Up to an impressive 10, 000 hour lamp…
  • BIG PICTURE IN SMALL SPACES – 0. 9 Short throw lens design…
  • STANDARD CONNECTIVITY – 2 HDMI ports provide exceptional…

BenQ TK850 True 4K HDR-PRO Projector

 Our Pick
BenQ TK850 True 4K HDR-PRO Projector
693 Reviews
BenQ TK850 True 4K HDR-PRO Projector
  • TRUE 4K UHD RESOLUTION: 3840 × 2160 or 8.3 million…
  • PROJECTOR-OPTIMIZED HDR-PRO(HDR10/HLG): HDR-PRO supercharged…
  • CINEMATIC COLOR TECHNOLOGY: Our out-of-the-box factory…
  • IMMERSIVE GAMING/SPORTS EXPERIENCE: Dedicated Sport modes…
  • EASY UPDRAGE FROM BENQ 1080P PROJECTORS: 1.3X big zoom and…

ViewSonic 1080p Projector with 3500 Lumens DLP 3D Dual HDMI PX700HD

 Our Pick
ViewSonic 1080p Projector with 3500 Lumens DLP 3D Dual HDMI PX700HD
706 Reviews
ViewSonic 1080p Projector with 3500 Lumens DLP 3D Dual HDMI PX700HD
  • SUPERSIZED MOVIES AND GAMES: Immersive theater-like colors…
  • CINEMATIC COLORS: Exclusive SuperColor technology offers a…
  • REDUCED INPUT LATENCY: Ideal for intense action-packed…
  • LONG LAMP LIFE: SuperEco mode allows the lamp to shine…
  • INDUSTRY-LEADING WARRANTY: 3-year limited parts and labor…

Acer H5382BD 720P 3D DLP Home Theater Projector

Acer H5382BD 720P 3D DLP Home Theater Projector
  • Projection Sytem: DLP
  • Resolution: Native 720p (1280 x 720)
  • Brightness: 3300 ANSI Lumens (Standard)
  • HDMI/MHL Connectivity

Frequently Asked Questions: 3D Projectors

What is a 3D Projector?

At first glance, most 3D projectors are hardly distinguishable from other video projectors, which are used to project the content of Blu-rays or DVDs onto a screen.

However, the common 3D projectors can not only play classic 2D content in high-resolution image formats.

They can also be used to play 3D movies.

Over the past few years, numerous manufacturers have expanded their product range by adding 3D projectors to their production line.

As a result, there is now a wide range of 3D projectors for consumers to choose from.

While earlier models often required technical detours to get three-dimensional content onto the screen, today’s models are mostly state of the art.

They use “Full 3D” technology so that three-dimensional content can be played directly without having to add an additional transmitter.

For this reason, current models can often be put into operation by non-professionals who want to enjoy 3D movies in the future.

Compared to conventional projectors that can only play back two-dimensional content, the 3D models in the test are hardly more expensive. The small surcharge can be worth it, because the special flair of 3D movies can henceforth be experienced at home.

Common 3D projectors that can be used well often use DLP or LCD technology to throw the content onto the screen. So far, only a few models exist that work with LED technology.

However, experts agree that all three ways of reproduction are suitable for creating a professional home theater system. While the models hardly differ at first glance, serious differences reveal themselves in a test at second glance.

Therefore, you should inform yourself very carefully before making a purchase. You should also pay attention to the functionality of the projectors, which results in different usage options. Therefore, we will explain how the current devices create three-dimensional images in the following section.

How does a 3D Projector work?

Today’s 3D projectors for home use work similarly to the projectors used in large movie theaters to bring current blockbusters to the screen.

They use so-called shutter technology, in which two images are projected onto the white wall one after the other, creating the three-dimensional effect that can be experienced with many films of recent years.

In the past, projectors were barely capable of projecting the many images onto the screen.

Today’s models, however, usually have no problem projecting the 48 individual images that must reach the screen in a film with 24 frames per second to create the 3D effect.

In order to be able to experience the three-dimensional content, viewers need an aid that is also used in a similar form in 3D cinemas. What is needed are shutter glasses, which serve as an optical aid.

The use of the glasses, which is required for many 3D projectors for home use, creates many advantages.

For example, viewers who use the glasses benefit from high color fidelity, which cineastes in particular appreciate.

Regardless of the viewer’s head tilt, three-dimensional picture splendor can be experienced when a shutter system is used. There are other projectors that can be used without such glasses.

These models, which are much more expensive, use a special polarization method. Therefore, these projectors work only with further accessories that can cost a lot of money.

After all, the special process requires another projector, a polarizing filter and a metallized screen. The complex synchronization required for initial setup takes a lot of time. Therefore, especially for home use, a shutter system is recommended, which costs less money and time.

Shutter projectors are either DLP or LCD projectors that can accept and play signals via an HDMI input. Often, the latest projectors are equipped with one or more HDMI 1.4a ports, which make it possible to connect 3D Blu-ray players, game consoles or TV receivers.

Older models often only have a 1.3 HDMI port, which can only handle signals from a PC graphics card and does not work with other devices.

However, in our test list created by experts, you can find numerous models from a test that are equipped with one or more HDMI ports of the latest generation.

Advantages of 3D Projectors

If diverse connection options are available, the users of 3D systems benefit from the many advantages that current projectors offer. Ultimately, the device can even replace the TV.

Users benefit from an excellent picture quality that brings cinema into the living room. However, there are also some disadvantages to using it. After all, a large projection surface and a little space are necessary.

The huge screen requires more space than many modern smart TVs. In addition, glasses are required for three-dimensional content to be enjoyable. If several people want to watch, these viewing aids have to be purchased additionally, which results in further costs.

Some users also report unsightly rainbow and fly screen effects that affect the picture quality. However, with the right settings and a suitable screen, the effects quickly become a thing of the past, which was shown in a practical test.

There are no other disadvantages if a powerful 3D projector is used. These can not only reproduce three-dimensional content, but also videos in Full HD. Then the numerous advantages of the devices become particularly noticeable.

The large display of content not only excites movie fans, but also sports fans. After all, the 3D device can also be used to watch sporting events. Thanks to numerous connection options, there is basically a wide range of possible uses.

Advantages at a glance:

  • Huge projection surface
  • Wide range of possible uses
  • Transmission of different video signals
  • Connection of receivers and consoles possible
  • Often suitable for playback of HD content

Types of 3D Projectors

Basically, a distinction is made between three different types of construction that are currently capable of projecting three-dimensional content onto the screen. Besides DLP projectors, there are also LCD and even LED models.

Especially the DLP and LCD variants are suitable for reproducing 3D content. However, the construction method leads to different results in the reproduction. For this reason, you should inform yourself about the model types in detail before buying a 3D projector. Therefore, in this section, we will clarify the types that you can currently purchase.

The DLP projectors are mainly known for a high-resolution image. Experts also point out that the saturated color image that reaches the screen looks very balanced. In this process, DLP projectors use tiny mirrors that move around 5,000 times in a second while transmitting the image to the lens.

This lens is used as an amplifier that throws the image onto the screen. This often uses what is known as “digital light processing” technology, which produces a sharp image that is bright enough to meet cinematic standards.

About three percent of all people who use a DLP projector see an unsightly rainbow effect when using it, which can be particularly annoying when consuming 3D content.
When the viewer’s eyes are not focused on the screen, flashing primary colors can be seen.

However, the effect can be minimized with the right settings. Especially when the brightness is increased, the image distortions are hardly noticeable for the three percent of people affected.

Basically, a high lumen number, by which the brightness is quantified, is recommended for DLP projectors. Then the 3D projectors can also be used well in daylight.

Another advantage of the DLP devices: the lamps last longer than with other projectors. This results in lower costs for permanent use, because the necessary lamps of the 3D device usually have to be replaced less often.

Advantages at a glance:

  • Sharp image with high resolution
  • Can also be used in daylight
  • Lamps last longer than with other projectors

The functioning of an LCD projector is reminiscent of the work of a diet device. However, inside the LCD projectors work special liquid crystals, through which the image to be projected is created and transferred to the lens.

The tiny crystals are switched separately in the better projectors. Thus, the liquid elements are responsible for the reproduction of blue, yellow or red colors. In cheaper models of the 3D projector, the LCD elements are used for all colors, which makes the color representation blurrier. Then the picture quality suffers, which is especially noticeable with high-resolution content.

However, if the LCD crystals are switched separately, there is no risk of the picture quality suffering, which would become apparent in a practical test. Such models, of which we have reviewed a few versions, are already available at reasonable prices. In terms of acquisition costs, these variants of the 3D projector are usually a bit cheaper than DLP versions. With these LCD models, image distortions such as the fly screen effect are rarely experienced.

In comparison with DLP projectors, however, almost all LCD versions have to admit defeat in terms of brightness. Thus, many LCD projectors can almost not be used at all in blazing sunlight. On the other hand, the contrast of 3D LCD projectors is usually a bit better. This is noticeable when cineastes enjoy a classic movie in black and white.

After all, the black tones and grayscales are reproduced excellently when a high-quality LCD projector is used. In this point, the projectors with liquid crystals are often superior to the DLP variants.

Basically, the colors are rendered vividly. The realistic reproduction is one of the advantages of modern LCD projectors. However, the dyes of the LEDs wear out over time. Through many years of use, the picture quality can suffer, making it unavoidable to replace the device in the long run.

As with DLP devices, the lamp has to be replaced at regular intervals. However, 3D LCD projectors require the lamp element to be replaced more frequently than DLP projectors.

Advantages at a glance:

  • Mostly lower acquisition costs
  • Higher contrast is beneficial for classic movies

Another type that consumers can currently purchase are the LED projectors, but they are mainly needed in offices and other places of work. There, users benefit from the exceptional lifespan of the lamp located in the projector.

On average, the light element of the LED devices lasted for about 20,000 hours in a test, without the image quality suffering. However, there are only a few 3D models, because the devices have a significant drawback.

The brightness of the LED projectors is – in contrast to the DLP and LCD projectors – much weaker. Therefore, 3D LED projectors can only be used in very dark places. The LEDs are mainly found in compact short-distance projectors and mini-projectors, which are located in schools or offices.

This is the reason why hardly any 3D variants of the LED projector exist. These models are also more expensive than the other types. We therefore advise DLP or LCD variants of the 3D projector.

What should I look for when buying a 3D projector?

It is not always easy to discover the projector that will be used to enjoy three-dimensional content in the future. After all, manufacturers offer numerous models that differ significantly.

However, certain values that you need to know make it easy to classify the 3D projectors. Thus, you can immediately recognize whether the respective device is suitable for your needs. We reveal what you need to pay attention to when you want to purchase a 3D projector.

Before buying the 3D projector, you need to decide on a model. Manufacturers offer three different types of construction. In addition to the active 3D projectors, passive devices are also offered.

The active systems, which are offered as LCD and DLP variants, are cheaper.

Both require so-called shutter glasses, which serve as visual aids to visualize the different image planes generated by the projector. The glasses can also be used by many people with optical limitations.

After all, common shutter systems fit over conventional glasses. Often, only one pair of shutter glasses is supplied with the projector. It is advisable to purchase the appropriate visual aids at the same time so that several people can enjoy the screen.

Much more expensive are passive 3D projectors. These work with a special polarization technology in which two projectors generate the image. Viewers need what are called polarized glasses to guide the light.

These glasses do not require power, which eliminates the need for cabling that is required with many active projectors. However, this is clearly noticeable in the price of the passive projectors. These are mostly much more expensive than the active variants.

Therefore, experts mostly recommend the 3D projectors that work with active shutter glasses. However, both designs can be used well, which would be shown in a practical test. All systems can be watched in 2D mode without any problems. In that case, no glasses are required.

An important factor to consider when making a purchase decision is the resolution that the projector can produce. A minimum resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, known as Full HD, is now the current state of the art.

Your future 3D projector should at least offer this resolution, because otherwise the device would no longer be up to date. Other projectors can do even more. They offer a resolution of 4,096 by 2,160 pixels, which corresponds to Ultra HD mode. However, these devices are still very expensive.

The image that appears on the screen is projected with the help of one or even several lamps. Therefore, also pay attention to the value by which the brightness is quantified. After all, you can use the projector better if the brightness value is higher.

Basically, a higher light or lumen value will expand the usage possibilities of the 3D projector. If it only has a low lumen value, you will need to darken the rooms for the projector to work. 3D projectors with a high lumen value can also be used in daylight.

Contrast is another factor that should be taken into account when making a purchase decision. This value quantifies the maximum difference in brightness between black and white colors. The rule here is that a higher contrast leads to a sharper image and richer colors.

The projector for the 3D home theater should therefore have a high contrast value, because otherwise the black and white tones do not come into their own. This is especially noticeable with classic movies, whose picture quality suffers noticeably if the 3D projector only has a low contrast value.

Therefore, your future projector should at least have a contrast value of 10,000 to 1. This means that the brightest point is a thousand times brighter than the darkest pixel that the projector can produce.

Be sure to look at the minimum and maximum diagonal of the image before purchasing the projector. Here, the image diagonal is quantified in inches, just as with televisions, monitors or laptops. Depending on the size of the available wall is, on which is to be projected, a suitable 3D-projector can be selected.

If in doubt, measure. With this diagonal value you can easily determine the maximum possible image size of the projector. This significantly reduces the risk of making a wrong purchase.

Current 3D projectors can be equipped with different end devices. The common projectors not only harmonize with 3D Blu-ray players, but also with different game consoles, TV boxes and receivers.

Some models can even be combined with a data stick so that photos and videos can be shown on the screen. This requires the appropriate connections, which manufacturers like to skimp on. So make sure that the favored model has enough inputs. The best models are those that have several HDMI inputs of the 1.4.a standard.

One or more USB inputs, to which portable hard drives and USB sticks can be connected, are also advantageous. An SD input that can accommodate memory cards is also practical. Finally, your projector could then even replace the TV because it can take over all functions.

If you want to combine a smartphone or tablet with the 3D projector, you should make sure that the desired model has an MHL port or can be integrated into the home network via WLAN. Then the phone or tablet can be easily connected to the projector.

This way, different content can easily be brought onto the big screen, even though it is actually on the small tablets or smartphones.

Basically, it is advisable to inform yourself quite precisely about the projectors on offer. We help with our best list, which was created after extensive device tests that experts conducted. In the following section, we therefore clarify the test conditions that were applied to test the 3D projectors.

How are 3D Projectors tested?

The experts have analyzed a wide range of 3D projectors produced by different manufacturers as part of a detailed review.

In the process, they tested certain values that allowed them to classify the projectors. They also took a tape measure to check the maximum and minimum screen diagonal. As part of the tests, experts also examined the connection options.

After all, only the 3D projectors that can be combined with different end devices, so that the flat-screen TV can be replaced, were to pass in the test series.

In the past, projectors could only be used for simple presentations because the resolution of the devices was still very low. Times have changed. Today’s 3D projectors offer much sharper resolutions, which turn the movie, TV series or console game into a graphic delight.

For this reason, the maximum resolution of the projectors was also examined. It had to be at least 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, which corresponds to Full HD resolution. In the test series, only the projectors that work in HD mode could pass. Even better results were achieved by 3D projectors, which even work with 4,096 by 2,160 pixels. However, these models are still very expensive.

Another important value that played a role in the tests quantifies the performance of the lamp, which is located in the projector. We examined not only the service life of the replaceable component, but also its power. Thus, we analyzed the lumen or light value.

In our series of tests, only the 3D projectors that had a high lumen value could pass. After all, these projectors can be used well in brighter conditions. However, if the projectors only had a low lumen value, they could not pass in the test series. If the projector could not be used in daylight, it did not stand a chance in tests and examinations.

The contrast, which can have a significant impact on the picture, was also determined. After all, the 3D projector should have as high a contrast value as possible, so that a sharp and high-resolution image is created, which is characterized by rich colors.

Otherwise, there is a risk that black and white tones do not come out well, which has a significant impact on the picture quality. In the test series, therefore, only the projectors that were characterized by a high contrast value were able to achieve good results. In doing so, they basically assessed the picture quality, which affects cinematic and gaming enjoyment.

They also took a tape measure to determine the maximum diameter of the projected image. Thus, they analyzed the screen diagonal. Other important factors, such as build quality and a clear menu, were also included in the verdict.

Of course, the number of ports was also examined. In analyses, only those devices equipped with at least one 1.4a HDMI input were able to prevail. The models that only had an outdated VGA or 1.3 HDMI input didn’t stand a chance.

Due to the important USB port, the 3D projectors could collect further plus points. After all, USB data carriers can be connected directly to the projector in this case. Basically, we also checked whether the devices work with common TV boxes, receivers and consoles.

This allowed them to check in detail whether the projectors are suitable for playing different 3D and 2D content. They were particularly pleased with the WLAN function in one test, which makes it very easy to get content to the projector, which is integrated into the network.

Through the detailed tests, the experts discovered high-quality projectors that replace the TV. However, they also came across weaker models that they cannot recommend. Excellent 3D projectors discovered during the analysis and testing can be found in the best list, which is now published on this website.

There you can surely discover a projector that will be used for relaxing movie nights in the future, when blockbusters will appear on the screen in vivid 3D.

Last product update on 2021-04-10 | Source: Amazon Affiliate