Abstract In this paper we calculated reflectance and transmittance of different optical birefringent networks sandwiched between two isotropic media. To model optical phenomena in the considered systems, we applied the 4×4 matrix method. Some interesting reflectance and transmittance spectra and polar plots for different system parameters and arbitrary incident monochromatic light were reported. The illustrated and discussed results can be useful for understanding optical phenomena in numerous birefringent media. Especially, the reflectance and transmittance spectra computed in this article can be suitable for analysis of more advanced contemporary optical systems, i.e. photonic band gap materials based on cholesteric liquid crystals.