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Best LCD Video Projectors

Top Picks For 3LCD, LCOS, D-ILA, and SXRD Home Theater Video Projectors

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The two main types of video projectors available to consumers are either LCD or DLP-based. For a sampling of LCD-based video projectors, which also includes LCD variants LCOS, D-ILA, and SXRD projectors, check out some of my current suggestions. For more video projector suggestions, also check my current list of DLP Video Projectors.

1. Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020e 3LCD Video Projector

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020E video projector - Front View
Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020e is a 3LCD video projeection that provides some great features and good performance. The 3020e has a native 1920x1080 (1080p) display resolution, very bright maximum 2,300 Lumens output capability, and both 2D and 3D viewing options (two pairs of rechargable active shutter 3D glasses are included).

Other great features include a large center mounted lens, Split Screen display (which allows two sources to be projected on a screen simultaneously), very fast cool down time, and the incorporation of a WirelessHD connection option for up to five HDMI sources.

Read Review - Product Photos - Video Performance Tests - Compare Prices for the Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 3020e.

Also available without the WirelessHD connection option. Compare Prices for the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020

2. Panasonic PT-AE7000U 3D Video Projector

Panasonic PT-AE7000U 3D Video Projector
Photo (c) Panasonic
The PT-AE7000U (PT-AT5000E in Europe), is the first 3D capable home theater video projector from Panasonic. The PT-AE7000U utilizes 3LCD technology and features full HD 3D and 2D video projection capability, which requires active shutter glasses. With its native 1920x1080 (1080p) native pixel resolution, 2,000 lumen output, and impressive 480Hz refresh rate, the PT-AE7000U is designed to project bright and natural looking 3D and 2D images. In addition, the PT-AE7000U also provides excellent built-in setup and adjustment tools that are normally not found in its price range.
Product Profile - Compare Prices

3. Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030 3LCD Video Projector

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030 video projector - Photo of Front View
Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The PowerLite Home Cinema 2030 is Epson's first projector priced below $1,000 that features full 1080p display resolution and both 2D/3D display capability.

The 2030 employs 3LCD technology, supported by a 5,000 hour 200 watt lamp that can produce up to 2,000 lumens of both white and color light output. Epson additionally rates the contrast ratio of the 2030 at 15,000:1. The 2030 can project viewable images up to about 300-inches (16x9 aspect ratio) in size.

Also, the 2030's bright light output, and 3D mode, optimize color, brightness, and contrast for the best viewing experience. However, for 3D viewing, glasses must be purchased separately. Epson offers convenient USB rechargeable Active Shutter RF glasses.

The 2030 provides two HDMI inputs, one of which is MHL compatible. This allows content access from compatible portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets, as well as direct connection for a Roku Streaming Stick. A USB port is also provided for playback of photos and slide shows from flash drives.

The Epson 2030 even has a built-in 2 watt mono speaker system, which chan work for business meetings or smaller venues where there is no external audio system available. On other hand the 2030 also features an analog audio output for connection to an external audio system. For the best experience, connection to an external audio system is definitely preferred.
Review - Product Photos - Video Performance Tests - Compare Prices

4. Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e 3LCD Video Projector

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e Video Projector - Photo of Front View
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

If you are looking for a new video projector that has a lot of features, but still delivers great performance, check out the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e. The 5010e utilizes 3LCD technology, supported by 1920x1080 (1080p) native pixel resolution and a very bright maximum 2,400 Lumens output capability.

The 5010e has several great features: A large center mounted lens with a retractable lens cover (opens and closes automatically when the projector is powered on or off), 3D (inlcuding 2D-to-3D conversion) viewing mode, Split Screen display (which allows two sources to be projected on a screen simultaneously), and the incorporation of a WirelessHD connection option for one HDMI source. Also, to make setup easier, the 5010e also provides both horizontal and vertical lens shift, in addition to keystone correction.

However, a couple of downsides are that 3D glasses must be purchased separately and the WirelessHD function is a little slow.

Read Review - Product Photos - Video Performance Tests - Compare Prices for the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5010e

5. DreamVision Starlight1 1080p LCOS Video Projector

DreamVision Starlight1 1080p 3-Chip LCOS Video Projector - Front View
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
At an MSRP of $6,995 the DreamVision Starlight1 1080p LCOS Video Projector (utilizing JVC's D-ILA platform) bucks the trend towards inexpensive 1080p video projectors, but is definitely worth the extra cash, if you have the budget. Its 3 LCOS chips, native 1080p resolution, and acceptable light output provide excellent image quality right out of the box.The Starlight1 provides two HDMI ver 1.3a inputs, 120Hz Clear Motion Drive, and video upscaling for standard resolution input sources, such as DVDs.
Review - Photo Profile - Video Performance Test Results - Official Product Page

6. Viewsonic Precision Pro8100 1080p LCD Video Projector

Viewsonic Precision Pro8100 1080p LCD Video Projector - Front View
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
At an MSRP of $4,995.00, the Viewsonic Precision Pro8100 1080p LCD Video Projector bucks the trend towards sub-$3,000 1080p video projectors, but is worth the extra cash. Its 3LCD chips, native 1080p resolution, and acceptable light output provide excellent image quality, providing a very natural looking image, with none of the usual LCD artifacts, such as the screen door effect. Also, the Pro8100 comes equipped with two HDMI ver 1.3a inputs, and provides video upscaling for standard DVDs via its built-in Silicon Optix Reon-VX HQV video processor. However, the Precision Pro8100 could use a higher lumens output and easier onscreen menu navigation.
Short Review - Full Review - Supplementary Photo Gallery - Official Spec Sheet

7. DreamVision Dream'E 1080p LCOS Video Projector

DreamVision Dream’E 1080p 3-Chip LCOS Video Projector - Front View
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
At an MSRP of $5,300.00, the DreamVision Dream'E 1080p LCOS Video Projector bucks the trend towards sub-$3,000 1080p video projectors, but is worth the extra cash. Its 3 LCOS chips, native 1080p resolution, and acceptable light output provide excellent image quality, providing a very natural looking image, with no screen door effects or other unwanted artifacts. Also, the Dream'E comes equipped with two HDMI ver 1.3a inputs, and provides video upscaling for standard DVDs via its built-in Silicon Optix Reon-VX HQV video processor.
Short Review - Full Review - Supplementary Photo Gallery - Video Performance Test Results - Official Product Page

8. Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 3LCD Projector

Video projectors have certainly come along way in a few short years, and the PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 from Epson is an excellent example. This projector offers native 1080p resolution as welll as 1080p video upscaling of standard resolution source signal. In addition, the 8350 utilizes 3-Chip LCD technology (3LCD), has a contrast ratio of 50,000:1, and a light output of 2000 lumens. With this combination, the 8350 produces excellent, accurate, color and can project an 80-inch widescreen image from a distance of only 8 feet or a 120-inch image from 12 feet away. The Home Cinema 8350 also has all the inputs you need, including 2 HDMI, Component, and VGA, and can accept just about any input signal, including NTSC, PAL, SECAM, and HD resolutions up to 1080p. Definitely check out the Epson Home Cinema 8350.
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9. Epson MegaPlex MG-850HD 3LCD Video Projector

Epson MegaPlex MG-850HD 3LCD Video Projector - Photo 0f Front View with Accessories
Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The Epson MegaPlex MG-850HD is a video projector that has a variety of uses. It can be used for home entertainment, business, or in the classroom. The MG-850HD utilizes 3LCD technology with 1280x800 (approx 720p) native resolution, supported by a strong 2,800 lumens light output and up to a 5,000 hour lamp life. In addition to the HDMI and Component video connections, the MG-850HD also features a microphone input, USB input for digital media playback from flash drives, and has built-in speakers. However, to take it up a notch, the MG-850HD also has a built-in iPod/iPhone/iPad docking station for direct playback of music, photo, and video from those devices.
Review - Photo Profile - Video Performance Tests - Compare Prices

10. Panasonic PT-AR100U 3LCD Projector

Panasonic PT-AR100U 3LCD Projector
Photo (c) Panasonic
The Panasonic PT-AR100U is the newest entry level unit in its home theater projector category, and offers sleek design, with the lens mounted located near one side. Inside, the PT-AR100U utilizes a 3LCD chip assembly, combined with (1920x1080) 1080p native pixel resolution 2,800 lumens of light output, and a stated contrast ratio of 50,000:1. Also, make setup easy, the PT-AR100U also includes a split-screen "before and after" display, as well as a built-in waveform monitor.
Product Profile - Compare Prices
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