3LCD Projector Technology
What is 3LCD Technology?
3LCD is the world’s leading projection technology that delivers unbelievably bright and natural colour, amazing detail and proven reliability.
3LCD was pioneered by Epson in the 1980s and is marketed by an affiliated organisation known by the same name: "3LCD ". The technology has been licensed for use by other manufacturers worldwide for the ultimate viewing experience in projectors.
How a 3LCD Projector Works
A 3-chip Liquid Crystal Display (3LCD) projector works by first splitting the white light from the lamp into its three primary colours of red, green and blue by passing it through special dichroic filter / mirror assemblies called “dichroic mirrors.” Each dichroic mirror only allows specific coloured wavelengths of light to pass through while reflecting the rest away. In this way, the white light is split into its three primary colour beams and each is directed toward its own LCD panel.
3LCD Technology Advantages
- 3LCD projectors are able to produce brighter colours and smoother tonal gradations compared to those using single-chip DLP technology. This is because 3LCD projectors mix and project the light beams from all three colours to form each individual pixel's color
- The brightness rating of projectors in lumens typically measures only white light output Colour Light Output (CLO). 3LCD projectors are able to produce a CLO that is equivalent to the brightness of their white light output, resulting in better color balance and more faithful image reproduction.
- The way a single-chip DLP projector works sometimes causes viewers to see a "rainbow" or "colour breakup" effect where false colours are briefly perceived when either the image or the observer's eye is in motion. As all three primary colors are displayed all the time by 3LCD projectors, they do not suffer from this effect.
- All the lamp light in a 3LCD projector is used to create the image while the colour wheel in a single-chip DLP system reflects all but the light wavelengths of one colour away, wasting the lamp energy. A test by projector review media ProjectorCentral.com of about 800 projectors found that on average, 3LCD projectors use 25% less power than single-chip DLP projectors. This also translates to lower operating heat that in turn, allows the lamp in a 3LCD projector to last longer.
- All 3LCD projectors have no moving parts in the image generation engine, eliminating the risk of mechanical failure. This compares to single-chip DLP projectors that need a rapidly spinning colour wheel to create colour. All 3LCD projectors are also protected by serviceable filters that effectively clean the air that is being drawn in by the fan to cool the lamp.
3LCD Technology Disadvantages
- 3LCD projectors are typically more costly than single-chip DLP ones of similar specifications.
- Single-chip DLP projectors typically have higher contrast ratios compared to older 3LCD models of similar price or brightness rating.
- The LCD panels and dichroic mirrors in 3LCD projectors may degrade with time, causing color shifts, unevenness of illumination, and reduction of contrast. The single DMD chip in single-chip DLP projectors tend to have a longer life span.
- The smallest single-chip DLP projectors are smaller than the smallest 3LCD projector models.
- Current LCOS projector models typically deliver sharper images at higher resolutions than 3LCD projectors.