3D Projector vs 3D Television
The biggest benefit is the size. Unlike a 3D television even a large one like a 50inch TV is still not going to offer the immersion of a projected image. A standard home theatre will feature a 2 or even 3 metre wide screen size filling your field of vision and making for a true 3D experience.
3D Projector vs 3D Cinema
A 3D cinema projects two images at once and uses cheap passive 3D glasses which filter out two images that are projected sending one to one eye and the other to the other eye. This process creates a 3D picture but it end up being blurry.
A 3D projector on the other hand uses active shutter glasses which while more expensive to buy provide a sharp crisp image. The projector still shoots two images but it interchanges between them extremely quickly. The glasses then communicate with the projector wirelessly and select which image will go to which eye. The viewer just sees a sharp clear 3D image.
3D Projector vs 2D Projector
A 3D projector will still work with all your 3D movies. You do not loose anything with a projector having 3D capability it is simply an extra feature.
50inch 3D TV:
150inch 3D Projection:
How does 3D Projection work?
When it comes to 3D projection technology, the latest advances that achieve the most compelling experience utilise active glasses, which interact with the projector to create an immersive 3D image on the screen.
Whether it is one of the new 3D LCD monitors, LED TV's or a 3D Ready Projector they will work around the same principal. To the viewer, it is seamless and the picture is amazing. Essentially you project two images on the screen at one time to create the 3D image viewed through the active glasses.
The image is in fact a lot better than you will find at the cinema watching a 3D movie as they only use passive 3D polarised glasses which though chaeper are less sharp.
3D with a digital projector at home will involve active shutter glasses. These cost around $100 but give a much better quality result. The active shutter glasses will block vision on one eye while one image is displayed on screen, then they will block the other eye. This happens incredibly fast in fact the projector will show you 200plus images per second giving a 3d image. Below is an illustration of this process with ' DLP Link', where the transmitter is inbuilt into the projector:
Are there different types of 3D? [top]
There are three different types:
Home Theatre 3D projectors can be connected directly to a 3D bluray player (via HDMI1.4 cables) then wth the addition of some 3D glasses your all set. These projectors can also connect to 3D games consoles like the Playstation 3.
At the moment "3D Ready" projectors are primarily aimed at interfacing with a computer using:
nVidia 3D Vision
An nVidia 3D ready graphics card is required to be installed in your computer. You will also need the nVidia 3D vision kit which includes active shutter glasses and the emiter to tell the glasses which eye each signal is intended for. This will allow certain projectors to play 3D games, view photo's taken by a 3D digital camera, and, with the right hardware and software in the computer, playback 3D Bluray movies as well.
DLP Link is the third way of achieving a 3D image on certain projectors. This is an emerging technology which also uses active shutter glasses but the glasses communicate with the projector directly. The projector encodes a signal in the on screen image which tells the glasses which eye that image is intended for. DLP Link is intended to be primarily used for presentations but all software and presentations would have to be purchased with special 3D formatting.
Are there any drawbacks?[top] 3D is a fun new technology but does have some requirements:
Every user will need the 3D active shutter glasses (approx $100).
It will only appear in 3D with content/movies/presentations recorded or designed in 3D. they will still show standard movies but these will not show in 3D as they were not recorded that way.
Your Computer will need a few hardware and software upgrades to show a 3D image.
What do i need?[top]
At the moment there are only a couple projectors which can connect directly to a Bluray payer to provide a 3D image ($3 to $10k). The two 3D systems available on cheaper projectors projectors are "DLP Link" and "Nvidia 3D Vision" which can provide a 3D image with the right hardware and content.
Unfortunately your average Powerpoint or Excel spreadsheet will not come up in 3D, the numbers can't just leap off the page. You can however purchase content which is 3D e.g. maps of the solar system etc. The content is primarily focused on education providers but with increased popularity the range will improve, and with time software will be available to make 3D presentations.
There are now some 3D cameras coming out which will allow you to take photo's. These use two lenses to essentially take two pictures and overlap them.
What projectors do you recommend for 3D?[top]
Home Theatre Projectors that will work with a 3D bluray player or 3D gaming console like the PS3:
Epson EH-TW6100 Full Definition LCD 3D Home Theatre Projector
After the massive success of the EH-TW6000, Epson has released the EH-TW6100 Full Definition projector. This projector will give you one of the sharpest native widescreen pictures available with an exceptional
WUXGA 1920 x 1080
resolution. That is a massive amount of detail quite a bit ahead of the current media. Most DVD's and even digital TV are encoded in standard definition but the newer Bluray discs are coming out now and offering the full definition resolution which the Epson TW6100 takes advantage of. The Epson EH-TW6100 is equipped with whopping 40,000:1 contrast ratio for the blackest of blacks and well defined colours. The TW6100 is also incredibly quiet with a barely audible 24dB noise rating, way under the average rating of approximately 30-35dB.
Traditionally the LCD projectors have been excellent for colour reproduction but have fallen short with a lower contrast than the DLP alternative. As mentioned above, this Epson unit offers a massive contrast ratio exceeding that of 98% of all others on the market. Epson has managed to do this using a new filter (or Iris), that increases the contrast substantially while still maintaining the benefits of excellent colour reproduction.
The EH-TW6100 offers Automatic Vertical keystone correction so if it is tilted up from a table or down from a ceiling mount it will automatically correct the image. As a bonus the EH-TW6100 also offers a manual horizontal keystone correction which allows the unit to be off centre to the side of the room. The Epson TW6100 also offers a 1.6x optical zoom, allowing the projector to be positioned either very close or far back from the screen without changing the image size. A great feature for those with limited mounting positions.
We found the image excellent with standard definition images as well as HD content. But when a Full definition Bluray disc was played it really came into it's own. The detail in the recording takes full advantage of the 1080p full definition resolution and though the contrast and colour are just as good as on a standard def DVD the detail made a remarkable difference. 3D movies take it to the next level again giving you the large size of a projector with a crystal clear 3D picture. Being the new 480hz 3D technology it is also brighter than older 120 or 240hz models. This is truly the technology of the future.
Additionally Epson have equipped the TW6100 with dual HDMI inputs making it easier to wire it up. An extra long lamp life of 5000 hours and a cheap lamp ($299rrp) for low running costs and the Genuine Australian model also comes with an 2 year warranty on the projector and 12 months on the lamp.
Epson EH-TW6100W Full Definition LCD 3D Home Theatre Projector
The EH-TW6100W is exaclty the same projector as the TW6100 above but with one major difference. It features the new WiHD technology allowing you to wirelessly connect up to 10 metres away from the projector to transmitter. This is fantastic in a two storey house or where cabling can be difficult to run.
Unlike Wifi that is available on some business data projector WiHD has been made specifically for Full High Definitions video transmission. This means it is 20 times faster than traditional Wifi allowing you to get a proper free flowing video image.
Just connect a HDMI cable from your Bluray or DVD player to the transmitter and off you go.
Epson EH-TW8100 Full Definition LCD 3D Home Theatre Projector
As a high end home theatre projector we've found the Epson EH-TW8100 is one of the best. It offers a massive set of features starting with the full high definition resolution with a very sharp picture. The extremely high "Ultra Black" contrast of 320,000:1 makes for inky blacks and excellent shading, while the new D9 12 bit LCD panels offer excellent vibrant colours.
The major advantage of the high end model is the fine frame system that artaficially ads extra frames into the video signal providing better performance with fast motion great for action movies, sport, and games. The TW8100 also has the new 3D projection feature with 2 sets of active shutter 3D glasses included and the ability to convert 2D signals to 3D.
It's fairly bright at 2400 lumens so doesn't need a pitch black room to operate. This also is a massive advantage with 3D movies which decrease the brightness substancially.
The EH-TW8100 also provides the advantage of horizontal and vertical optical lens shift allowing for off centre installation without any resolution loss as you would see with digital keystone correction. As an added bonus the 2.1x optical zoom lens allows the projector to be positioned either very close or far back from the screen without changing the image size. A great feature for those with limited mounting positions.
Though bright the TW8100 offers a quiet noise level of just 24db ensuring it isn't a distraction is a quiet scene of a movie. The feature list continues with a motorised lens cover to ensure the lens is protected from dust or scratches. Epson have also backed it up with a 2 year warranty and a 12 month warranty on the lamp. The EH-TW8100 is definitely a winner if you're after a high end home theatre projector.