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Does a 3LCD projector really have 3X the color gamut compared to DLP projectors?

  • 2023-09-05

If you start researching projectors on sites like and, you will see banner ads claiming that 3LCD projectors deliver “up to 3x wider color gamut2” than other projectors. If true, this would be a compelling reason to limit your projector choice to projectors using this technology. But in reality – 3LCD projectors have fallen way behind on color performance compared to the latest BenQ 4LED projectors available in 2023. Here are the key questions we will address:


  • What are the industry standard measurements of color gamut?
  • Why is 4LED projector technology dramatically better than 3LCD?
  • Does that mean Epson's 3X gamut wider color gamut claim isn't true? 

What are the industry standard measurements of color gamut?

In 2023, there are over 60 models of new televisions and hundreds of new monitors and projectors that use standard color gamut models to enable consumers to compare performance. When a manufacturer specifies a common color gamut measurement, it confirms how it can be measured and verified by third-party review sites in their reviews.  If there is no color accuracy or gamut specification it may indicate that the actual measurement is lower than they want to share publicly, or that they believe that the color performance isn’t relevant to the end customer. The three most common standard color gamut specifications are:


sRGB / Rec. 709 – These are the common color gamut standards used for computer monitors and HD televisions.


DCI-P3 – Formally known as Digital Cinema Initiatives – Protocol 3, this is a larger color gamut used in digital cinema projectors to ensure color accuracy in movies.


Rec 2020 / BT.2020 – A larger color gamut used for advanced displays such as OLED and new RGB laser projectors.



Each of these color gamut standards enables producers to create content that can be accurately reproduced on different types of displays. For example, a movie studio film editor can create a color effect using specific DCI-P3 colors with complete assurance that any commercial cinema or high-quality home cinema projector can replicate them.

Why is 4LED projector technology dramatically better than 3LCD?

In 2023, the most exciting projector technology in the last ten years has made its debut for both home theater and meeting room projectors. The latest 4LED light engines deliver up to 30,000-hour life, enable maintenance-free projectors and deliver breakthrough color performance at far lower prices than ever before. Instead of creating colors by passing light through a series of polarizers and panels that can wear out over time, 4LED projectors create the color directly from the LED itself – improving efficiency -and enabling brighter, more color accurate projectors – with wider color gamut than similar Epson projectors. Let’s look at some examples of how these two technologies compare in popular home theater and mainstream business projectors.

Premium Home Theater Projector

In 2023, the two most popular home theater projectors are the BenQ HT4550i and the Epson LS12000. Both models have won major awards from reviewers for performance and value. But according to the website reviews of these two projectors, the less expensive 4LED powered BenQ had a wider color gamut than the more expensive 3LCD Epson LS12000.

Performance / Model 

BenQ HT4550i

Epson LS12000

Projector Technology 



Light Source


Blue Laser w/ Phosphor wheel


3,200 ANSI Lumens

2,700 ANSI Lumens

Measured Color Gamut

100% DCI-P3

93% DCI-P3

Street Price 




Mainstream Business Projector

According to Futuresource, the fastest growing projector market segment in 2023 is business projectors. Does 3LCD technology offer 3X wider color gamut than a BenQ 4LED DLP powered projector with similar specifications and price points for companies looking to present color accurate videos and photos? Let’s look at the reviews from PC Magazine and compare the new 4LED powered BenQ LH730 with the 3LCD Epson EX11000.

Performance / Model 

BenQ LH730

Epson E11000

Projector Technology



Light Source


Blue Laser w/ Phosphor wheel


4000 ANSI Lumens

4600 ISO Lumens

Specified Color Gamut

98% Rec. 709

No Rec. 709 Specification

HDR Video Support



PC Mag Video Color Performance

“handled our SDR movie test clips unusually well for a business projector, delivering good color accuracy and good contrast”

“The image quality for film and video isn't a match for even a low-end home theater projector in any mode”

Here the BenQ 4LED technology has a higher rated color gamut, offers HDR10 video support, and delivers excellent video quality compared to the similar model from Epson using 3LCD technology.

Does that mean that Epson’s 3X gamut wider color2 gamut isn’t true?

While the claim that that 3LCD technology delivers wider color gamut is boldly proclaimed on many websites – it comes with a funny little “2” attached to it. This is because the claim is based on a very old – and flawed test. According to the 3LCD website, they tested a few models sold at retailers sold as far back as 2017, and only in one mode – the brightest mode – not the typical “presentation” or “cinema mode” that balances color performance and brightness. Furthermore, the test didn’t use any industry standard color gamut such as Rec. 709 or DCI-P3 – instead calling these standards “outdated.”  Bottom line – to try and make a claim in 2023 that a 3LCD projector has 3X wider gamut based using projectors that have been discontinued for years is questionable – especially when some of their most popular 3LCD projectors today show smaller color gamut than BenQ 4LED projectors in head-to-head tests by third party reviewers.

What does this mean for me when choosing a projector?

At BenQ, we believe in using industry standard specifications to enable a consumer to easily compare our products to our competitors. For example, we don’t use proprietary terms for resolution like “4K PRO-UHD1” that has only 4 million pixels – but use industry standard resolutions like 4K UHD that deliver 8.3 million pixels on the screen. And for projector color performance, we use the same color gamut standards that are used in TV’s, monitors and other displays – so you can trust that your projector will perform as you expect. Today, BenQ has over 50 different models with Rec. 709 color gamut specifications to choose from using lamps, lasers, and the latest new projector technology -4LED.

Want to talk to a projector expert?

If you’re looking for a top-notch projector from a worldwide market leading brand, reach out to us directly and we’ll be able to help you. Over the last two decades, we have helped millions of people put top projectors in their home theaters, classrooms, and meeting rooms in nearly every country on the planet. With over 120 models to choose from – we can help you find the right one for your space.