What is the Best 3D Projector for Home Theater?

A 3D projector will give you a more realistic viewing experience whether watching movies or playing games. Many of the Projectors on the market today are ready for 3D even 4K models. There are different kinds of 3D glasses LCD active and passive, some projectors come with glasses and some do not. If you need additional pairs of glasses or your projector did not come with glasses you can search 3D glasses for sale online. Projectors require active 3D glasses and different brands can require different glasses. The active 3D glasses will run from $25.00 to $150.00 a pair. Some new passive 3D projectors are coming on the market with the polarizing lens built in, these will enable the use of passive glasses.

My Experience With and Ideas About 3D Projectors

The DLP TV that I spoke about in an earlier post was also 3D ready, it was a projector inside a console. I had to purchase active 3D glasses, a 3D DVD player, and some sort of emitter that turned my 3D ready TV into a 3D TV. We certainly enjoyed the 3D experience at first and bought many 3D DVD’s. Our children were young and we bought mostly (3D) Disney movies. BECAUSE OF MY EXPERIENCE WITH 3D I WILL ONLY BUY A PROJECTOR THAT USES PASSIVE 3D GLASSES.

After a while I began to notice as I watched the 3D movies my eyes grew VERY UNCOMFPRTABLE and it became unbearable to watch 3D movies. I have read that some people get headaches watching 3D movies using the active glasses. The active shutter LCD glasses flicker 120 times per second as does the TV or projector screen allowing one eye to be transparent and the other opaque in coordination with the screen thus creating the viewable 3D image. In my eyes this eye fatigue made it hard to enjoy the 3D movies. In a short amount of time we quit watching 3D movies because of the eye fatigue.

Passive glasses are made of polarizing lenses that are very similar to those they use in amusement parks and movie theaters. The images are polarized to match the glasses and each eye views the polarized image simultaneously. The passive glasses do not require batteries and are way less costly than active glasses. I absolutely enjoy with no eye fatigue or other problems the 3D movies at the theater and at our favorite amusement park in Orlando.

A good quality 3d projector especially 4K can be very expensive and 3D may add additional expenses. A 3D projector will require active shutter glasses for $50 to $150 for a pair for good ones. I do not know how you could try active glasses long enough to see if you would have problems similar to what I experienced or not. 3D TV’s also have fallen out of favor in recent years. They look like a small box with 3D inside them, whereas a 3D projector will blow away smaller displays and if you can tolerate the glasses will be very enjoyable. With the advent of passive projectors this will not be a problem, however currently the passive projectors are very expensive.

There are many off brand 3D projectors that are inexpensive, however the glasses will cost more than the projectors. I would certainly try one of these before I spent the amount of money a high quality 4K or 1080p 3D projector costs to see if you experience the eye fatigue. Also, If you buy a 1080P or 4K projector with 3D they are also viewable in regular 2D. Be aware that the active shutter glasses you use with one projector may not work with another brand.

LCD 3D, the Lowest Cost Projectors

What is the best 3D Projector for home theater? That depends on your budget, the size of your room, any ambient light, is 1080P adequate for you or do you want 4K Ultra UHD or true 4K. What screen size or area on the wall do want to project you image too. Some 3D projectors require special screens, should I wait for improvements in passive 3D projectors, will the active glasses give me eye fatigue or headaches? There is no one fits all answer to this question. I hope I have given you enough information to be able to make a good decision on what is the best 3d projector for your need and requirements.

You learned in my previous post that LCD projectors provide a bright, high quality image for the lowest price. Among the top quality 3D Projectors there is the Epson Home Cinema 3800 with 3,000 ANSI Lumens and 4K UHD for $1699. Epson Pro EX7280 is a much less expensive 3D LCD projector with 1600 ANSI Lumens and 800p resolution for around $650. The Vankyo – Leisure E30TBS Native 1080P uses an LED light but is an LCD display technology that has 220 lumens and sells for about $200. I have looked at 181 reviews and this projector scores 4.5 out of 5 and appears to be a good value for the money. Vankyo claims 30,000 hours on the bulb and this would be a case where the bulb probably will outlast the projector. I have a Vankyo projector and my only complaint with the one I have is it could be a little brighter with better sound quality. I could also write this up as a low cost LED projector.

LED 3D, one of the Longest Lasting Projectors

Again the advantages of an LED projector over an LCD or DLP is bulb life, maintenance and lower cost of operation. Initial cost will be higher than an LCD or DLP projector. XGIMI HORIZON Pro 4K is an LED 3D projector costing around $1360 and has built in Harman Kardon speakers. Rexing PK2 Smart DLP Projector uses a LED light source with DLP display technology so it has moving parts that will need some maintenance, it can be had for $400. The lumens are also low at 350 which means it will need to be in a dark room. BenQ offers the TH690ST 4LED short throw projector with 2300 lumens, that would translate into about 1,000 ANSI Lumens. This is a full 1080p resolution projector with 20,000 hour bulb, 30,000 in economy mode. Also, see the Vankyo above.

DLP Projectors, A Personal Favorite

*1 lumen = about 417 ANSI lumens.

As I noted before I really liked the DLP TV we had for many years even though there was maintenance required with the TV as there will be with the projectors. Initial cost of the DLP is often lower than an LED or Laser and they have the highest ANSI Lumens with good color and are full HD 1080p and ultra HD 4K. It is as excellent gaming as it is for viewing Hollywood blockbusters.

BenQ almost produces DLP projectors including bulb, led and laser. A very nice lower cost BenQ is the TH690ST with this projector you get a full 1080P HD, 3800 ANSI Lumens, 3D, Dual HDMI and Low Input Lag for gaming and home theater.at 1080p with 3800 ANSI Lumens for $1100. The Optoma UHD 35 Is a 4K UHD projector for the price of many 1080p projectors, featuring 3600 ANSI Lumens a 4000-hour lamp, 10,000 in economy mode. You can find this well rated budget 4K projector online for $999. The JVC LX-NZ3B is a DLP technology projector which uses a Laser light. It projects a 3,000 ANSI lumens image for use in an area with a lot of ambient light. The price reflects the 20,000 hour laser bulb and all the bells and whistles that makes this a bestseller at $3,500.

Laser 3D Projectors, the Best Quality at the Highest Price

You already learned that Laser Projectors produce an image of supreme quality even beyond what their spec sheet would imply. The biggest disadvantage of a laser projector is its initial cost. . Most 3D true 3 Laser projectors are going to be around $3,000.00 and up. They will all have a low operating cost and a minimum of 20,000 hours of bulb life. The laser projects a more transparent and extra detailed image and their wider color gamut allows them to produce colors that are truer to life.


I am not one who is going to write a lot of technical jargon or specifications on each and every projector. I want to give you enough information so that when you go shopping for the best 3D projector for you a somewhat informed decision can be made by you. Good luck with your new projector and please add your comments, question or suggestion below. Your enthusiasm for audio and video adventures is contagious, and I’m excited to have you as part of the community! I look forward to bringing you more exciting content in the future. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions or comments.  Here at Audio Video Adventures is where you can get all the latest in Projectors, Receivers, Speakers, and accessories as well as everything else you need for the ideal home theater experience. You can purchase any of the items in this blog post by clicking on the blue highlighted text.


2 thoughts on “What is the Best 3D Projector for Home Theater?”

  1. I really enjoyed your article Gene about what is the best three dimensional projectors for a home theater, I agree with your analysis and look forward to implementing the Optoma UHD 35 as I have been looking for just the right 4K projector and this one fits right into my budget.

    I don’t do any gaming and really just need it to binge the television that we like to watch on a regular schedule and occasionally a movie or two. Would you suggest the Optoma UHD 35 for these purposes?

    • Although discontinued by Optim the UHD35 is advertised as a true 4K projector and srill available on some sites.  I would ask myself will I be able to tolerate the active 3d glasses?  I would also ask do I have a library of DVD’s that are not 4K?  True 4K does not play non 4K videos.  Othewise this is a good choice at a good price especially for true 4K.



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