Seiko Epson has announced the world’s first HTPS TFT liquid crystal panels for 3D 3LCD projectors. The panels employ a new Epson technology called Bright 3D Drive, which claims to brighten 3D images by doubling the refresh rate from 240 Hz to 480 Hz. The technology addresses issues with frame-sequential 3D images appearing less bright than comparable 2D projected images due to the “blackout period” viewers experience with active shutter 3D glasses. By doubling the refresh rate to 480 Hz, Epson says the 3D images will be 1.5 times brighter than that of a display refreshed at the current industry standard of 240 Hz.
Two panels are already in volume production. The L3CO7U-95GOO and the L3CO6U A5GOO are both Transmissive HTPS panels and are 1920 x 1080 resolution. The L3CO7U 95GOO panel is 0.74 inches (diagonal), has a pixel pitch of 8.5 microns and an aperture ratio of 65%. The L3CO6U-A5GOO is 0.61 inches (diagonal), has a pixel pitch of 7.0 microns and an aperture ratio of 61%.
This week at IFA, Epson is showing five new 3D Projector models built with these new panels. The EH-TW5900, EH-TW6000, and EH-6000W will ship in October 2011 and the flagship EH-TW9000 and EH-TW9000W models will ship in November 2011. In addition, Panasonic recently announced their first Full HD 3D model, the PT-AE7000U which is also built on this 480 Hz 3LCD panel platform.
With 3LCD 3D projectors starting to hit the market, Pacific Media Associates anticipates the competition between DLP based models and 3D 3LCD models might be just what the industry needs to move widespread use of 3D forward. According to Pacific Media Associates research, DLP-based 3D projectors have had the lion’s share of the 3D market to date. It will be interesting to watch this new twist in the 3D projector segment unfold.