When it comes to showing the best high quality movies and images on the wall, ceiling or any surface, the Optoma HD26 1080p 3D DLP Home Theater Projector is our recommendation as the best 3D projector. With its various features and adjustable options, it is worth its budget-friendly price and not as expensive as other 3D projectors.
The Optoma HD26 1080p has 2 HDMI inputs plus 1.4a 3D support. It also includes MHL connection and the trigger is 12 volts. You will marvel at the size range of screen which is 71 in from 8 ft and 107 in from 12 ft. With 3200 ANSI Lumens of brightness, it is indeed in the higher range of bright 3D projectors that is perfect for bigger venues with a fair amount of sunlight. It also includes keystone correction and has 3D sync option.
Being USB enabled, this projector also has a 3.5 mm audio out. The Optoma HD26 1080p 3D DLP Home Theater Projector is under 1 year warranty for labor and parts and a 90 day warranty on the lamp.
Our step-up pick is the pricier Epson Home Cinema 5030UB 1080p 3D 3LCD Home Theater Projector which is feature-packed, has bigger projection range and other neat stuff worth its price. The step-up pick, the Epson Home Cinema 5030UB 1080p 3D 3LCD Home Theater Projector, has a size range of screen is 82 in from 8 ft and 122 in from 12 feet so it is significantly larger. It packs 2400 Lumens of brightness for both color and white so it’s good for almost any home theater use. The 4,000 hrs of lamp life makes it a fair 3D projector and you can also use ECO mode to have up to 5,000 hrs of lamp life. It includes 2 HDMI, 1 composite RCA, 3 components RCA as well as a 1 D-sub 15 VGA pin and 1 RS-232c. Despite its weakness for Lumens and lamp life, it has a whopping contrast ratio of 600,000:1, which is suitable for ultra clear images and vivid colors and contrasts. It also has both keystone correction and lens shift. It might be quite pricey but for the contrast ratio, it might be worth the money.
Meanwhile, the ViewSonic PJD5155 SVGA DLP Projector, 3200 Lumens, HDMI, Black is our budget pick for those who’d like a cheaper but functional 3D projector for their homes.
Available in either SVGA or XGA format, the ViewSonic PJD5155 SVGA DLP Projector, 3200 Lumens, HDMI, Black is our budget pick. You can choose from either black or white color finish. It has 3,300 ANSI Lumen brightness so it’s also quite bright and perfect for bigger venues. Having a contrast ratio of 20,000:1, the HDMI input is 3D and Blu-ray ready. The 3D projector has a throw distance of 3.3 ft to 32.8 ft (1 to 8 m) and the throw ratio is 1.86-2.04:1 so it complements well with the brightness.
There is also a large speaker and amplifier for better stereo surround. It also has a keypad for better accessibility. The top lamp door makes it easier to access the lamp. The ViewSonic PJD5155 SVGA DLP Projector, 3200 Lumens, HDMI, Black comes with an optional cable management system and you can choose up to 5 view settings. It is under a 3 years labor and parts warranty, 1 year lamp warranty and also comes with 1 year Express Exchange.
A Little Background
3D projectors had been a thing ever since Blu-ray DVDs, home theater systems and visual learning in schools. 3D projectors allow a person to fully experience a movie or interactive show or game with the use of specialized 3D glasses, which is another form of augmented reality. Many video projectors out there are available, but only a few of them are 3D ready and 3D capable – and they mostly come with a hefty price.
Nonetheless, many people still want to buy and experience 3D projectors for a variety of uses – for home theater, gaming, interactive learning, and many others. These projectors are often connectible with other inputs such as HDMI inputs, USB enabled devices, gaming consoles, mobile phones (MHL) and many others.
How We Picked
We picked the best 3D projector based on the following criteria:
Is the projector fairly bright enough for big venues? Most 2,000 to 2,700 lumens are okay for home theater use in small to medium spaces, but for big venues such as conference rooms or gymnasiums, you might want to have a 3D projector with 2,800 lumens and above.
How about the lamp life? Most lamps range from 2,000 to 20,000 hours or more but these can be further saved and increased if the projector has an eco or economy mode so that it turns off when not in use or uses minimal power when on standby.
What is the size range of the screen? You might want to compare between models and you should also plan where you want to project using the projector so that you will know which size range is perfect for your display.
How many inputs, outputs and cables are included? Most 3D projectors are Blu-ray ready and have inputs for HDMI, MHL, USB ports and many others. They can be easily connected to mobile phones, PCs, laptops, TVs, gaming consoles and a ton of other devices.
Is it a power-saving projector? As mentioned above, having an eco mode is important for the 3D projector, as well as a very low-consuming standby mode. A noise-free projector is also a big plus.
Does the contrast ratio make the images stunning and vivid? Contrast ratio and color technology makes a 3D projector produce clear, crisp and high contrast images to get better viewing even when it’s beamed to a wall with some external light source on the background.
Is the price worth it? Get to know if the features you see such as lamp life, contrast ratio and brightness in lumens all play an important value for its price.
Are the reviews talking more about pros than cons? Know what to expect from the 3D projector. If you are buying cheaper ones, do know that it might have a few cons since you wanted to save up, after all.
Having 2 HDMI inputs plus 1.4a 3D support, the Optoma HD26 1080p 3D DLP Home Theater Projector is hailed as our best 3D projector. It includes MHL connectivity for mobile phones and the trigger is 12 volts. The size range of screen is 71 in from 8 ft and 107 in from 12 ft and you can have more high quality viewing with up to 3200 ANSI Lumens of brightness. This projector also includes keystone correction and also has 3D sync option.
The full 3D images supports 144Hz refresh rate for smooth viewing so it is absolutely great for uninterrupted gaming purposes. It also has a DynamicBlack technology to enhance contrast of every scene. Being USB enabled, this 3D projector is also capable of sounds as it has a 3.5 mm audio out.
It uses BrilliantColor technology for more vibrant colors and text and it is also ergonomic and environmental-friendly due to being lead-free, which is important if you’re in an office that is going green. Having an automatic shut down to save energy, it is equipped with an infrared remote control that is backlit for better visibility. There is absolutely no input lag – great for video games. In addition, the replacement for the bulb is quite cheap. Added to that, ECO mode is noise-free! You also have the ability to save presets in the settings.
The Optoma HD26 1080p 3D DLP Home Theater Projector is coated in white finish, has dimensions of 8.8 in x 12.4 in x 4 in, weighs 5.5 lbs making it lightweight and is under 1 year warranty for labor and parts as well as a 90 day warranty on the lamp.
Who Else Likes It?
The well-renowned site PC Mag reviewed the Optoma HD26 1080p 3D DLP Home Theater Projector. According to the review, it is the perfect choice for gaming and connectivity due to its 2 HDMI connectors, Mobile High-Definition Link or MHL and full 1080p resolution. Though the review criticized the rainbow artifacts on some black and white instances, the whole 3D projector gives high quality images as a whole with other modes and colors.
Another helpful review from Projector Central talks about the Optoma HD26. It specifically says that the projector isn’t cut out for super bright situations but most likely for darker places due to its slight faults on the image quality, but nonetheless bearable if you use the other modes. Overall, it is a very budget-friendly 3D projector.
You get an awesome value for your money with this projector when it comes to picture quality and settings. Still, the only concern is the rainbow effect as well as the limited optical zoom.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The only known flaws to the 3D projector is that it has a slight rainbow effect but this is only seen on full brightness mode only and not in other modes. The optical zoom is limited for some who are a bit too meticulous about zooming. There is also no conversion from 2D to 3D but this is not really a necessity especially if you are dealing with an economical brand. There is only one color available, but not a problem if you like white.
With a size range of screen is 82 in from 8 ft and 122 in from 12 feet making it is significantly larger, our step-up pick is the Epson Home Cinema 5030UB 1080p 3D 3LCD Home Theater Projector Having up to 2400 Lumens of brightness for both color and white, this projector has up to 4,000 hrs of lamp life but if you use ECO mode, you will have up to 5,000 hrs of lamp life. When it comes to connectivity, it includes 2 HDMI, 1 composite RCA, 3 components RCA, 1 D-sub 15 VGA pin and 1 RS-232c.
The display is THX certified and the easy connectivity to Blu-Ray players, Apple products and various gaming consoles. You can view images up to 300 inches diagonal across and it also comes with 2 pairs of RF 3D glasses which are also rechargeable. It has a contrast ratio of 600,000:1 and it also has both keystone correction and lens shift, having both horizontal and vertical lens shift. Using a high quality Fujinon lens with cinema filter, the lens includes a 2.1x zoom ratio.
With an easy setup due to its image correction settings and tools, the Epson Home Cinema 5030UB 1080p 3D 3LCD Home Theater Projector has dimensions of 23 in x 20.1 in x 13.6 in. It weighs 26.5 lbs and is under a 2 year limited warranty. The projector comes with 2 HDMI cable clamps, power cord, 2 RF 3D glasses with charging cable, CD-ROM with user’s guide, quick setup guide and AA battery powered remote control.
Budget savers will love the ViewSonic PJD5155 SVGA DLP Projector, 3200 Lumens, HDMI, Black, which is available in either SVGA or XGA format. Ithas a throw distance of 3.3 ft to 32.8 ft (1 to 8 m) with a throw ratio from 1.86-2.04:1. Having a large speaker and amplifier for better stereo surround, you can choose from either black or white color body. Significantly bright, it has 3,300 ANSI Lumen brightness and a contrast ratio of 20,000:1 and its HDMI input is 3D and Blu-ray ready.
With its easy to control dynamic lamp settings, it comes with 5 preset settings for brightness and color and there is easy connectivity to any HDMI device. Having a keypad for better accessibility, the projector’s top lamp door makes it easier to access the lamp. It has a native SVGA resolution of 800 x 600 but compatible with other resolutions. The Dynamic Eco feature reduces up to 70% power consumption, having Super Color technology for better vibrancy. In addition to that, the SonicExpert technology enhances speakers and amplifier for 20Hz to 20Khz sound range. With its 6 segment color wheel design to give full color, it has over 10,000 hours on lamp life. This projector is great for outdoor movies and those who don’t really need a 1080p resolution and want a cheaper home theater system.
The ViewSonic PJD5155 SVGA DLP Projector, 3200 Lumens comes with an optional cable management system and comes with 1 year Express Exchange. It has 9 in x 12.4 in x 4.1 in dimensions and is under 3 years labor and parts warranty as well as a 1 year lamp warranty.
Best Native 270p Resolution Projector
Acer H5380BD 720p Home Theater Projector
With a 720p native widescreen resolution, the Acer H5380BD 720p Home Theater Projector makes use of a Dust Shield Solution technology to prevent sand and dust from getting inside the projector. Color vibrancy is not a problem because it uses ColorSafe II technology to keep color vibrant even with the projector being used for long hours.
Enjoy up to 5,000 hrs of lamp life, extended by ECO (6,000 hrs) and ExtremeECO (10,000 hrs). The lens specifications: F = 2.5 – 2.67, 1:1.1, f = 21.86 mm to 24.00 mm. It also has manual focus and manual zoom for the lens, with up to 40 degrees keystone correction. When you order the package, it includes 2 D-Sub analog component, 1 composite RCA, 1 S-video, 2 PC audio mini jack (stereo), 1 HDMI / MHL connector and 1 USB mini-B.
Having a contrast ratio of 17,000:1, this 3D projector also supports UXGA and WUXGA resolutions. It has an aspect ratio can either 16:9 or 4:3. With a brightness of up to 3,000 ANSI lumens (2,400 in ECO mode), it includes power management and energy saving tools and settings.
Better enhancement on its contrast is powered by eColor Boost II+ which enhances color and vibrancy on the wall. The Acer H5380BD 720p Home Theater Projector weighs 5.5 lbs, has dimensions of 12.4 in x 8.8 in x 3.7 in and is coated in white finish.
Comes with a 4 GB Memory Expansion
Vivitek Qumi Q5 500 Lumen WXGA HD 720p HDMI 3D-Ready Pocket DLP Projector with 4GB Memory
If you want up to 4 GB of internal memory, the Vivitek Qumi Q5 500 Lumen WXGA HD 720p HDMI 3D-Ready Pocket DLP Projector is definitely for you. It has up to 30,000 hrs life, includes a full HDMI input and it also has onboard Linux OS. Equipped with a 2W internal speaker, this projector has a 720p native resolution and is also, of course, 3D ready projector that includes DLP link. You can also have an optional USB WiFi dongle.
With only 2.5 lbs of weight, this projector is extremely portable and can be fit into small bags. Unfortunately, only 500 lumens of light make it only ideal and suitable for small rooms. It has dimensions of 9.2 in x 6.2 in x 3.4 in and is under a 90 day warranty.
Digital and Analog Connectivity Support
Optoma W312 Full 3D WXGA 3200 Lumen DLP Data Projector with Full Digital and Analog Connectivity
The Optoma W312 Full 3D WXGA 3200 Lumen DLP Data Projector has full digital and analog connectivity and you can choose between XGA and WXGA. It has a 20,000:1 contrast ratio with a lamp life that is up to 10,000 hours. Equipped with full 3D compatibility you can connect with either digital or analog. With its 3200 lumens making it fairly bright, it has a 1.1x zoom lens and also includes an RS232 control.
Equipped with 2W audio speakers, it also has an Eco AV mute to save power consumption. A quick resume button allows it to easily switch back when accidentally turned off. Having completely lead-free circuit boards, the BrilliantColor technology enhances color vibrancy on the wall. The projector also supports rapid refresh rate of 144Hz for smooth images. The HDMI connector is at v 1.4am and it has a VGA-in, Audio-out, Audio-in and Mini USB type B. It weighs 4.8 lbs and has dimensions of 8.8 in x 12.4 in x 4 in. The remote batteries are included and come with quick start card; user’s manual, warranty card and multilingual CD-ROM and includes a carrying case.
LED Video Projector
iRULU Portable Multimedia LED Video Projector 2600 Lumens with VGA USB SD AV HDMI for Home Cinema Theater
With its portable size, the iRULU Portable Multimedia LED Video Projector 2600 Lumens with VGA USB SD AV HDMI for Home Cinema Theater supports various inputs such as HDMI, SD, VGA, TV and USB. With up to 32 – 200 inch image enlargement, you can aim a reversible image up to 360 degrees. It greatly supports wireless HDMI connections and is fairly bright at 2600 lumens.
Having 2 built-in speakers and 3W audio input, the aspect ratio is either 4:3 or 16:9 and has a native resolution of 800 x 480 and can take up to 1080p. A manual correction up to 15 degrees is supported. Its LED bulb can save up to 70% energy consumption and its average life is up to 20,000 hours. The projection distance is from 1.2 m to 6 m
With a convenient vertical keystone (back type), this projector weighs 4.8 lbs, has dimensions of 10.2 in x 3.9 in x 8.7 in and you can choose between black and white model. It is relatively cheap.
Ultra Bright Projector with 4700 Lumens
Optoma EH500 1080p 4700 Lumen Full 3D DLP Network Projector with HDMI
Optoma EH500 1080p 4700 Lumen Full 3D DLP Network Projector with HDMI has full 3D compatibility and is very bright at 4700 lumens which is good for big rooms and installations. With a 1080p native display, it has over 2,500 hours of lamp life (3,500 hours in ECO mode). With up to 15 degrees vertical keystone correction, there is also up to 15% offset.
Including a 3W speaker, the noise level is 26 dB and its rapid shutdown feature saves power consumption. Having a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, its standby mode use only less than 1 W, making it power saving. The projection distance is from 1 to 10 meters and the diagonal image size is from 0.6 to 7.62 m (up to 300 inches).
Displaying up to 1.07 billion colors, this projector supports 1.4a HDMI 3D format, 4:3 and 16:9 resolutions and optional accessories include RF 3D glasses and emitter, ceiling mount and Optoma screens. It is under a 3 year service warranty, 1 year lamp warranty. With lead-free printed boards, it includes various cables and connectors and also comes with a carrying case as well as user manuals.
Comes with Recording Feature
BenQ HT3050 1080p 3D DLP Home Theater Projector with Recording
With a coverage up to 100 feet, the BenQ HT3050 1080p 3D DLP Home Theater Projector with Recording has DFS or Dynamic Frequency Selection and also easy 3D setup even for wireless. Armed with 20 W speakers and enhanced audio, it has 3 HDMI connections and 2 MHL. With brightness up to 2,000 lumens, it has a contrast ratio of 15,000:1 and is also compatible for optional wireless HDMI.
The projector includes lens shift and keystone correction and has over 3,500 hours of lamp life (5,000 in ECO mode). The vertical lens shift is flexible, the screen size range of 60 in from 5.77 ft and 180 in from 17.33 ft and you get up to 8.4 feet throwing for a 100 inch image. Weighing 8.1 lbs, it has dimensions of 10.9 in x 13.8 in x 14.8 in, has a gray and white finish and is under 1 year warranty.
A Very Portable and Convenient 3D Projector
iRULU Portable Multimedia LED Video Projector 2600 Lumens with VGA USB SD AV HDMI for Home Cinema Theater
Allowing for a variety of multimedia functions such as HDMI, TV, SD, USB and VGA, the iRULU Portable Multimedia LED Video Projector 2600 Lumens with VGA USB SD AV HDMI for Home Cinema Theater also supports wireless HDMI, supports a 360 degree image flip, is small and portable but shows a lot and has a native resolution of 800 x 480 and supports 1080p resolution.
You can save up to 70% of energy consumption due to its LED bulb and it has up to 32 to 200 in of image enlargement. Available in either black or white color, it has up to 15 degrees manual correction. Having up to 20,000 hours of lamp life, it has a 3W audio input, accepts 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios and has up to 1.2 m to 6 m of projection distance. You can easily switch from either manual or remote control. The projector weighs 4.8 lbs and has 10.2 in x 3.9 in x 8.7 in dimensions.
Most 3D projectors that didn’t make it to our list are mostly too expensive and don’t have enough image quality as well as brightness to keep up. Keystone and other adjustments are also very important when it comes to picking the best 3D projector. Most of them also don’t have a lot of positive reviews so their quality and durability is quite questionable indeed.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is a 3D projector starting to become a necessity nowadays?
A: According to this article from Projector Central , children learn more on the visual style and for that to be enhanced, they need to have 3D animated models to improve their learning and the strategy of the teacher. While we often see 3D projectors as a means for a better home entertainment system and as an alternative to traditional cinemas, 3D projectors work best for students who rely mostly on visual learning.
Q: Which 3D projector should I buy?
A: It depends on what you want to use it for. According to this guide from Best Buy , you have to choose according to what you want to do with it. Do you want to mainly use it for home theather and movie nights? Are you a sports fanatic and want to get up close and personal on your favorite games? Are you a hardcore gamer who wants uninterrupted and full resolution display for your games? Are you a big fan of 3D movies? Will you use the projector for office, school or other places for slideshows and lectures? Will you need a portable projector to be able to take with you even on travel? It all depends on what you need.
Q: How do you take care of your projector?
A: This comprehensive guide from Projector People should help you out. It has guides with replacing the filter, proper storage of the projector, relying on the user’s manual, adjusting, cleaning, and many others. It is important that you keep your projector clean and dust-free so that the image quality will be unprecedented.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, the Optoma HD26 1080p 3D DLP Home Theater Projector is our best 3D projector. It might not be perfect in all aspects, but with the great price value, it’s a sure-fire winner if you absolutely need an awesome 3D projector for any purpose whatsoever.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.