3D Projectors and 3D Glasses: The Definitive Guide For 2024

It is 2024. What are you waiting for? Go and grab the best 3D projector and 3D glasses. Oops, you don’t know about them. Don’t worry; this guide is for you, giving you in-depth knowledge of 3D Projectors and 3D Glasses.

James K. Brownlee
3D Projectors and 3D Glasses

The world is not relenting about getting the best out of everything. There are progressive steps in every concept of technology, from audio to visuals. The turn of these new decades saw a giant upgrade in the regular visuals we used to know. 

3D is an effector system of visuals that offers three dimensions; length, breadth, and width. 

3D images and projectors have different and higher standards compared to the regular 2D images and projectors. 

No doubt, the concept of 3D in cinemas and movies has raised the bar and standard to a certain height. 

3D projectors are not just making waves; they give us the quality of visuals that beat our imagination. 

What is a 3D Projector? A Brief History

Every new turn of centuries and decades experiences progressive developments. The aspects of visual technologies are not excluded from this development. 

Although 3D projectors work like other regular projectors, it gives a better quality image than the rest. 

3D projectors use a light source to project images on a blank surface to create a three-dimensional image. 

The innovations about 3D projectors are not a sudden development. They are results of consistent improvement in the existing visuals. 

Although 3D movies have been around since the 1930s, 3D ready projectors didn’t make it to the general market until the 2000s. 

The early models 3D projectors have limited features. They were just 720p and can only receive contents from PC via DVI or VGA cable, which reduces the images’ quality. 

Similarly, they lack HDMI input, which limits their versatility and their extent of application. However, everything started changing in the early 2000s and eventually made a mark in 2010. 

Since 2011, there has been steady progress with 3D projectors. There are now varieties of HD 3D projectors, including those that can convert 2D to 3D. 

The year 2020 witnessed the LG CF3D, which is the pioneer 1080p 3D projector for home theaters. It includes features like HDMI input and the ability to handle multiple 3D formats. 

How Does 3D Projectors Work? 

Although the basic elements of all projectors are similar, they project images in different manners. The primary difference comes from the mode of transmission and alternation of images. 

3D projectors primarily rely on frame-sequential 3D or page flipping to recreate the experience of stereoscopic vision. In this case, each eye catches a different image. 

This technique ensures that the images or videos on the 3D projector alternate between the viewing frames, from left to the right eye, and vice versa. 

Almost all 3D projectors currently available in residential and commercial markets utilize active shutter glasses to deliver the third dimension. 

This setup ensures that the image projected on the screen alternates rapidly between scenes designated for each eye. The responsive glasses at the other end follow up with the fast opening and shutting of the corresponding lens. 

The glasses shut the right eye’s lens when the left-eye image is on the screen, and vice versa. And this sequence happens so fast that the human brain will not process the alternation.

An active 3D projector uses at least 2,000 lumens or more to get the desired result. Likewise, most 3D DLP projectors sync the screen and the glasses, using the DLP link protocol. 

What makes 3D Projectors Three-Dimensional? 

3D stands for three dimensions, which are length, breadth, and width. Before you can call any projector 3D, you must view all the screen images in these three dimensions. 

A 3D projector can help you get three-dimension details of an image on regular screens. The 3D projector will allow you access to in-depth information on the image that traditional projectors wouldn’t allow. 

However, viewers will have to wear special 3D glasses to catch these details. The glasses allow you to catch different images on each eye to produce a stereoscopic effect. 

Nevertheless, if you are using specialized screens and projectors like all 3D DLP projectors, there is no need to wear these glasses. This exclusion is because the glasses are already synced with the screen using the 3D link protocol to give a full 3D projection. 

What You Need To Know About 3D Glasses

It is almost impossible to talk about 3D projectors without making a notable mention of 3D glasses. 

The concept of 3D glasses started as far back as the 1950s when the 3D glasses of yore were used in movies. These glasses help to blue and red rays of movies on each eye to produce similar stereoscopic effects as modern 3D glasses. 

The modern 3D glasses are special glasses that filter polarity to allow you to see all colors. Instead of the old glasses of yore glasses that only have blue and red color on each eye, the modern 3D glasses allow you to see images in each eye; thus, producing a stereoscopic effect. 

You will have to separately wear these 3D glasses if you view 3D projection on a regular 2D screen. Alternatively, the glasses can be synced with the 3D screen, and you don’t have to wear them separately. 

There are two basic types of 3D glasses, which are passive 3D glasses and Active 3D glasses

Passive 3D Glasses

Passive 3D glasses use a polarized lens to filter light rays emitted from projector screens. This filter ensures only specific portions of images are shown to each eye at a time. 

3D glasses are relatively inexpensive, But the major limitation is that it gives a poorer image than active 3D glasses. 

Likewise, it requires the purchase of an additional module for optical conversion because it utilizes different optical principles than the frame-sequential 3D system explored by most modern projectors. 

Active 3D Glasses

The active 3D glasses are flexible and alternate depending on the project’s frame projected by the 3D projector. 

The lenses of active 3D glasses rapidly turn opaque or transparent, depending on the projection frame. 

Active 3D glasses have IR sensors that help them discern the frame intended for each eye. The IR sensor can signal either the external IR emitter or the projector to allocate the right frame for each eye correctly.

This right allocation means if a frame is for the right eyes, active 3D glasses will turn the right lens transparent while the left will turn opaque and vice versa. 

Active 3D glasses are relatively more expensive than passive 3D glasses due to its enormous outstanding features. 

Factors to Consider While Deciding the Right Lens for 3D projectors

Aside from ensuring that your projector and 3D glasses are from the same manufacturer, there are other factors that you must consider while choosing the lens for your 3D projectors. 

Most glasses are optimized to work with a specific brand for optimal delivery. This optimization will ensure that the lens readily syncs with the screen of the 3D screen. 

These factors to consider while choosing the best 3D glasses for you include:

  • Viewing angle 
  • Weight
  • Contrast
  • Lower power consumption 
  • Lens Response Time (LRT)
  • Ergonomics 
  • Water resistance 

The Diversity of 3D Transmission Formats For 3D Projectors 

A 3D projector’s design is optimized to display all forms of visuals, including picturesgames, and videos. The diversity of the formats for these 3D projectors is one of the most significant innovations of the 3D display. 

Aside from the various interface technologies such as DLP (Digital Light Processing), LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), and LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon), 3D projectors also use different types of data streams. 

3D projectors receive these data and project them in various formats. Take a look at below.

Frame Packing:

The frame packing 3D formats work by sending the images of both left and right eye simultaneously. It usually stacks these images one atop another with only little spaces between them. 

This format implies that you will not get the regular two smaller frames alternating between one another. Instead, you will only get a single double-height, giant-sized image. 

Projectors working with this frame usually take the responsibility of separating the images and displaying them sequentially. The signal is mostly sent at 24Hz to 60Hz. 

Frame Sequential:

Frame Sequential 3D format is similar to the frame packing, but they are not entirely the same. This format is otherwise called page flip, and it allows for a full-resolution signal. 

The signal of this format is usually sent at 120 frames per second. It continuously alternates between the left and right eyes in a regulated sequence. 

Once it can get the 120Hz signal, it is good to go. It doesn’t have to decode the source of the signal. 


Checkerboard is widely acceptable by most 3D-ready televisions of the DLP screens. 

This format ensures that the television or screen interleaves the two images for the right and left eye. In this case, the images and pixels use the checkerboard white-and-black alternating squares simulation.  

You will have each pixel going for the opposite eye, and the display comes in a sequence of two half-resolution images to provide the illusion of depth. 


This 3D format uses the compression principle. This format involves dual frames that are compressed to give half of their initial resolution horizontally. 

The signal of both images is sent simultaneously so that the 3D projector projects the image in a way your left and right eye gets different images stereotypically. 

Comparing 3D-Ready Projectors with Full 3D-Projectors 

Projectors support different types of projector formats, and these formats we use as a yardstick of differentiating between 3D projectors. 

This yardstick helps to classify projectors into two categories; 

3D-Ready Projectors: 

The design of a 3D-ready projector is optimized to handle a sequential frame format for producing 3D images. A projector that is tagged 3D-ready means that it will support at least one of the 3D formats. 

It is one of the most simplified forms of 3D formats available. It is also relatively inexpensive than a full 3D projector. 

The transmission type of 3D-ready projectors is limited, unlike the full 3D projectors that use different formats. 

Full 3D Projectors: 

The biggest win with a full 3D projector type is its ability to handle four different types of formats. It uses all of the checkerboardside-by-sideframe sequential, and frame packing formats. 

Although a full 3D projector is relatively more expensive than the 3D-ready projectors, it has several features to justify this cost. It offers a full 1080p 3D projection, and it is compatible with Blu-Ray 3D and HDMI 1.4

Is Video Games Compatible with 3D projectors?

Video Games on 3D projectors are one of the best visuals you can enjoy. It gives you a near-perfect experience of reality and offers in-depth graphics through the stereotypical optical illusion. 

Video Games will give you an impressive experience on 3D projectors because;

  • It gives a realistic simulation 
  • Significantly increases immersion and engagement 
  • It gives more details of images and graphics
  • It is safer and gives more fun

Can I Watch Movies on 3D Projectors? 

The simple answer to this is yes. Watching movies on 3D projectors will give you a unique and impressive feeling. It gives you a hyper-realistic experience and a detailed display of every image. 

Movies and cinemas are parts of the major inspirations for developing 3D images in the first place. Therefore, several features of 3D projectors put movies and other motion graphics into consideration. 


The world is progressively improving on becoming a digital village. There are lots of improvements in various technological aspects, including visuals with every tick on the clock. 

One of the significant progress with visuals is the transition from 2D to 3D projectors. This transmission offers a remarkable upgrade to the quality of imagespictures, and graphics

Many people can’t wait to have the amazing experience of 3D images, and those that have experienced it cannot just get enough. 

The demand and desire for many people to enjoy this visual impression have seen the progressive availability of 3D projectors in various commercial and residential markets. 

2 thoughts on “3D Projectors and 3D Glasses: The Definitive Guide For 2024”

  1. This is not covered but here goes – I have a fully working Sanyo stereo 800 standard and super eight cine film projector plus the two speakers fold out box accessory. I have no glass reflective screen so hoping a white wall in the dark will suffice. I recall have those cheap paper cardbord red and green glasses ( gave headaches sometimes) but fell apart and celotape used. Are these anaglypth glasses. Id like to do an old fashioned show- But my main problem is now as there are so many types modern glasses id like more rugged actual plastic pairs for the old cine film reels and if so does it matter if they are green red or blue etc. I have a lot of silent films and few sound that include some 3D FILMS such as “It came from outer space”, ” creasture from the black lagoon” The bubble steve mcqueen etc. What type are these glasses ? Anaglyph. is green red better or the cyan red etc What brand and type is best if they exist. I dont think they are the polarised type for this type of viewing. Thanks in advance Roy

    1. Hi, Roy!

      Anaglyph 3D glasses are often sold in different color combinations, such as red/cyan, red/green, red/blue, etc. Most viewers prefer the red and cyan combination. On the other hand, the green and red combination are not that popular and generally considered less effective than red and cyan.

      It’s hard to recommend a particular color combination since it depends on personal preference and the specific film you are watching.

      Moreover, Anaglyph 3D glasses are not as popular as other forms of 3D, such as polarized or active shutter glasses, as the quality of the 3D effect is not as good. However, they are still used for viewing older 3D films, such as silent films, as you mentioned, and some newer 3D content specifically designed for them.

      If you still have any doubts, you’re most welcome.

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