Electronics manufacturers have been wooing home theater enthusiasts with the latest 3D TVs, offering them cinema-like viewing experiences from the comfort of their own home, but with the arrival of a new class of powerful 3D projectors hard-core movie lovers with money to burn are now able to take their home cinema to the next level.
"3D has recently become a major box office draw. Now, with 3D broadcast channels emerging, and a growing number of 3D Blu-ray titles available, consumers want the immersive 3D experience in their homes," said Gary Klasmeier, product engineering manager, D-ILA Systems, JVC Professional Products.
The 3D-enabled projector market is still in its infancy but a recent study by Pacific Media Associates suggests it will sky-rocket from the current 1 million units being sold worldwide per year in 2010 to almost 5.4 million units in 2014.
The report also suggests the larger screen sizes and lower prices of 3D-enabled projectors may help convince consumers to purchase a projector instead of a 3D-enabled flat screen TV.
On September 23 Sony introduced its first 3D front projector. The full HD (1920 x 1080) VPL-VW90ES SXRD 3D home cinema projector comes with Sony's 34p True Cinema technology, 240Hz high frame rate technology, a dynamic contrast ratio of 150,000:1, and uses a single Ultra High Performance 1,000 ANSI lumen lamp.
Two pairs of Sony active shutter 3D glasses and a built-in 3D transmitter are included in the package.
JVC is upping its commitment to the 3D projector market too with six new 3D-enabled projectors.
The company's flagship DLA-RS60 and DLA-X9 projectors provide a 100,000:1 contrast ratio, two HDMI 1.4a ports, and a PK-EM1 3D Signal Emitter.
The DLA-RS50 and DLA-X7 models support a 70,000:1 native contrast ratio, and the two lower-end projectors (the DLA-RS40 and DLA-X3) have a 50,000:1 native contrast ratio.
With prices of close to $10,000 for mid-to-high range models, top-end 3D projectors are not an obvious choice for most consumers but there are other low-cost options for those interested in weighing up whether to purchase a flat screen TV or a projector.
JVC announced an entry level projector for home theater enthusiast on September 23. The DLA-HD250 delivers 25,000:1 native contrast ratio and 1,000 ANSI lumens brightness for $2,995.
Acer's H5360 3D home theater projector is also an inexpensive option for consumers looking to set up a 3D-enabled home theater. The 2,500 ANSI-lumen, 720p projector is priced at $699.
Sony's VPL-VW90ES SXRD 3D front projector will hit stores in November for around $10,000.
JVC's 3D projectors will also become available in November. The flagship DLA-RS60 and DLA-X9 3D projectors are priced at $11,995, the DLA-RS50 and DLA-X7 projectors at $7,995, and the DLA-RS40 and DLA-X3 models at $4,495.