If you are choosing the new projector. Then you have seen the LCD and DLP specifications many times. It’s very confusing for those people. Who is buying the projector for the first time?

Both are imaging technology. In the LCD projector, there are three LCD panels. Which reflects the three primary colours (RGB) to the HTPS panel. To create the image

While in the DLP projector there is a colour wheel. To turn the white light into RGB light. And a DMD chip to create the image. DMD chip is here as imaging technology. In DLP projector.

These are some little intro of both projectors. And about both the imaging technology. In this article, we talk in detail. How they work. 

And their pros and cons. And compare both the technologies in various aspects. To which is best for you.

Also, I have answered some confusing questions at the end of this article.

What is a DLP projector?

A DLP projector can be defined as. Those projectors use the DMD chip as their imaging technology to create the image. Known as the DLP projector. 

Other than the DMD chip or DLP chip. In the DLP projector. There is also a color wheel. Its color geometry could be RGB or RGBRGB. 

This color wheel’s purpose is to constantly move. To change the white color into the three primary colors. So the DMD chip can process the light and create the image.

There is also a 3 DLP chip projector available. In which primary color is separated to project the image. This type of technology you will only see in the higher model of the DLP projector.

What is an LCD projector? 

LCD projector can be defined as. Those projectors separate the white light into the three primary colors. And reflect them towards the HTPS panel prism. 

To separate the white light in the LCD projector. Dichroic mirror use in the LCD projector (Which is coated with the different thin flim). With this open optical setup. This is the reason why the LCD projector gets dusty soon. And they need regular maintenance.

How does a DLP projector work?

How DLP projector work?

If you have not skipped this article. And directly came to this part of the article. Then you already know some basics of how a dlp projector works.

But here we will talk in detail. Everything in detail how the DLP projector works. Let’s start with the light source. Because everything starts from the light source in every projector.

The light source could be anything in the DLP projector like a lamp, laser, and LED. When this type of light source white light emits.

That is completely useless. Until we change this white light into the three primary colors. To change the white light into the primary color. In the DLP projector color wheel is available. Which could be RGB and RGBRGB. 

It’s spin very fast to project the full-color image on the screen. And at once there is only one color light that passes through the color wheel. The reason why DLP projector has less bright color than its a competitor. 

When white light converts into any of the primary colors. Then it’s reflected on the DMD or DLP chip. This is the heart of any DLP projector. 

In the DMD chip, there are millions of micromirrors, almost 8 million. And these micromirrors. Work on the electrical input and optical output system (micro-electrical-mechanical system). 

And these micromirrors move constantly. To process the primary color reflected by the color wheel. As I have said, DMD chips work on electrical and optical systems.

DMD response through the binary number. Like when “1” signal is sent to the micromirrors it reflects light. In this situation, the micromirror is working and it’s on.

And when “0” signal is sent to the micromirror. The mirror doesn’t reflect the light. And at this point, micromirrors are not working. 

These things happen with the 8 million micro-mirrors to project the image on the screen. All these things happen in sequential motion. Imagine this thing is happening with the 8 million micromirrors. The prototype of this work on a small scale you can see below.

How DMD chip micro mirrors work together?

And from the mirror, all this light reflects the projector lens than at the final destination. Where you see the image.

So all these things happen continuously in the DLP projector. When you power up the projector and plug with any vidoe source. Reasons why DLP projector also makes lots of noise.

Because of using the color wheel. You will also face the rainbow effect in the image sometime. You can check the video below. What It looks like.

How does an LCD projector work? 

Like the DLP projector, let’s start from the light source. And here the light source could be Laser, Lamp, and LED. And when a light source emits the white light. 

The white light is separated into three primary colors. With the help of the dichroic mirrors. Dichroic mirrors have the main role in separating the primary color. 

Because a dichroic mirror is coated with a specific thin film layer. Which only let’s pass some specific light through the mirror and reflect others color. And all these processes happen seamlessly without any loss of color.

And all these three primary colors are reflected towards the prism. Which is made of the transmissive HTPS panel. And parallelly in this prism dichroic mirror is also installed.

And here in the prism last time all light was collected and finally got ready for the projection. 

Because all light in the LCD projector is treated once. The reason why you get the beautiful and bright color image on the screen. You can see all this in action. Check out the below video.

Light Output and Color Output

These days when you are choosing the new projector for your home theater, school, and offices. Then you will notice most projector manufacturer projector descriptions.

They all will claim the projector brightness in various ways. Like the LUX, Lumens and ANSI Lumens. This parameter will only tell you about the white light output.

There are two types of light output. White light and color light output. Color light output is a new international standard. Which let the projector buyer know. More about the projector brightness and color accuracy on the screen.

In the term of providing or showing the color light output. There is only LCD projector is successful. That’s why LCD projector images are bright and color full. Then the DLP projector.

While the DLP projector is only capable of providing you the white light output. That’s why the DLP projector is not capable of providing bright colors in images. In the comparison of LCD projector.

Because LCD projector has both white and color light/lumens output. LCD projector performs well in the presence of ambient light. This is also important when you are comparing DLP vs LCD projector.

Some example:

For example, you can check out these projector descriptions. Epson PowerLite 1770W X15 (3LCD) and BenQ MX660 (1-Chip DLP).

If you are confused with the LUX, Lumens, and ANSI Lumens terms. You can check our article Lux vs Lumens projector: Which is best for your projector brightness?

DLP vs LCD projector: pros and cons

Let’s see what are the pros and cons of both imaging technology DLP and LCD. So it can be easy for you to choose which one you have to choose for yourself.

Advantage of DLP projector 

  1. Sealed optics: In the DLP projector. You will get all optics projector parts like DMD chip, Color wheel, and light source in one sealed box. 
  2. No filter: As we know that DLP projector has all its optical parts in the sealed box. There is no need for any filter. And also you do not need to take care of the DLP projector maintence. In comparison to the LCD projector. DLP projector is virtually maintence free.
  3. No, converge problems: When you first buy the projector. All its optical parts are like three LCD panels of the projector at its proper place properly. But with time these optical parts of the projector. Get out of their place and because of that you will notice the artifacts on the screen. But you won’t get such a problem with the DLP projector.
  4. No degraded image quality: With the long time use of LCD projector. Your image quality will degrade. And you might notice the yellow color on the screen. But this type of image degradation did not happen with the DLP projector projected image.
  5. Less Pixelation: One of the historical legacies you will get is the DLP projector. That is, you will get a sharper image on the DLP projector. In front of the LCD projector. You will see less pixelation in the DLP projector.
  6. DLP leads in miniature: DLP projectors are very compact. In comparison to the LCD projector. LCD home theaters projector are very bulky. And during the projector installation. You have to face some difficulty while isntalling the projector. 
  7. Contrast benefits: On the DLP projector. You will get a higher sharper image.

The disadvantage of DLP projector 

  1. Rainbow effect: Because the color wheel is used in the DLP projector. It becomes a headache for those people. Those who are sensitive to the rainbow effect. We all know that images are combinations of the RGB color. And when that color is exposed during the projection that is called the rainbow effect.
  2. Restricted compatibility lens: Because of the DLP projector mechanical engine. DLP projectors are unable to provide flexible zoom and lens shift features. This thing won’t affect the mobile DLP projector. 
  3. Color brightness: Some higher-end DLP projectors have good color saturation. But most of the others are not that great. Because there is a lack of color brightness in the DLP projector. 
  4. Dithering Artifacts: DMD chip of DLP projector. Micromirror continuously and rapidly on and off to produce the black levels. But the DLP projector can’t show you the great grey color on the screen.

Advantage of LCD projector

  1. Flexibility Installation in Home theater: No matter. Where you place your LCD home theater projector in the media room. You can easily adjust the angle vertically and horizantally of your image on the screen. 
  2. Power Economical: LCD projector optical parts are very low power consumption. And they consume less power.
  3. Great home theater projector: The LCD home theater projector. Is better than the DLP projector. In terms of the price. Because a DLP projector can provide you with features like the LCD projector. For the same price.
  4. Sharper Image and Data display: Since LCD projector. The pixel structure is more sharply defined than the LDP projector. As a result, you will get a sharp image on the LCD projector.
  5. Great contrast in the HT projector: Because of the auto-iris in the LCD projector. Give the LCD projector an extra edge in terms of the contrast in the comparison of the DLP projector.
  6. Fewer artifacts: As we know that in the DLP projector. You get the rainbow effect on the DLP projector because of the color wheel. And dithering artifacts, because of the way DMD chip micro mirrors move. All these things are not available in the LCD projector.

The disadvantage of LCD projector 

  1. LCD panels uncertain life: After using the LCD panels. In the presence of high UV intensity light and heat. LCD panels’ organic compounds degrade. And that’s become the reason for the discoloration and degradation in the image quality.
  2. Low contrast business projector: Most of the LCD projectors. Are used in education and office. They have inexpensive organic LCD panels. The reason why you will get less contrast than the DLP projector in the same price range. 
  3. Dust: Like the DLP projector LCD projector doesn’t have sealed optical parts. So there is a chance even if you have the filter in your projector. Some dust will affect the optical parts of the projector.

DLP vs LCD projector: Difference and comparison

Let’s see which projector is better for different purposes.

Home theater or cinema

In every home theater, contrast and bright image and color are important. And both things can be fulfilled by the LCD projector beautifully. You have to pay attention to the maintenance of the projector regular basis. It will help you to use the projector for a long time.

Gaming

In the gaming projector. Low latency rate for a smooth gaming experience. And you will get sharp image quality on the DLP projector. DLP projector is superior for gaming. If you are moving from the TV to Projector. Check out the video below.

Lamp Life 

When you are choosing the projector and want to know the expected life of your projector. Then I will suggest you look at the type of light source of your projector. So you can guess better. What will be the expected life of the projector?

Outdoors & Ambient light

If you are going to use the projector here is ambient light. Or going to project the movie outdoors. Or going to use the projector outdoor any other purpose. You should go with the LCD projector.

Reliability

If you want a reliable projector. And its mechanical parts are not that complicated. Then I will suggest you go with the DLP projector. It’s important when your projector part is damaged somehow. It will be easy to repair.

DLP vs LCD projector: Which is better?

It’s tough to go with one device. Because both have their pros and cons. But if you want the maintenance-free, no convergence. No image degradation with the time. Less pixelation and compact size, and sealed optics. Then go with the DLP projector

If you want the perfect home theater projector at less price. And you don’t want to face adjusting the image on the screen. And a sharper, beautiful, bright, and colorful image. Which consumes less power. An LCD projector is the best option for you.

DLP vs LED projector 

DLP denotes imaging technology. LEDs are light sources. Both are different things. If you are concerned about the image quality go with the DLP projector. And if your concern is the lifespan of the projector then go with the LED projector. LED projector average life expectancy is 20,000.

Which projector is best: DLP or LCD or LED?

What do you want from your projector? If you want a low-cost home theater projector the LCD is best. If you expect that your projector should run for a long time then LED projector. Or you want a projector that is maintenance-free than the DLP projector. I will suggest that you check out the pros and cons section of this article.

Are cinema projectors LCD or DLP?

Your cinema projector should be LCD. Because the best LCD home theater projector projects the best image and color. And consume less power. And you will get more angles to adjust the image on the screen. In the comparison of the DLP projector.

Is a laser projector better than a DLP?

Laser DLP projector has a high price but in comparison to the lamp DLP projector. Laser projector project sharp image.

Reputable projector brands & Projector brands list

If you are searching for which projector brand is best to choose the DLP and LCD projector. There are some best projector brands. Don’t choose the Chinese projector brand.

  1. Epson
  2. .BenQ
  3. ViewSonic
  4. Sony
  5. Optoma

Conclusion: DLP vs LCD projector.

So both the technology is made to provide you with good image quality on the screen. Check where you are going to use the projector. And what are your requirements?

Otherwise, there is a long war between both imaging technologies. It will be hard to choose between them. When you don’t know which type of image production you want on the projector screen.

That’s all I have to say in DLP vs LCD projector.

See you next time…

Reference.

  1. The Technology War: LCD vs. DLP
  2. DLP vs LCD Projector – Difference and Comparison | Diffen
  3. DLP Getting Started | DLP Products | TI.com
  4. Display and Projection – DLP Advantages | DLP Products | TI.com
  5. Examining Color Performance Between 3-Chip LCD and 1-Chip DLP Projection Technologies
  6. 3LCD Projection Technology – Projector Technologies – Technology – Epson
  7. 3LCD vs DLP: projectors
  8. EPSON 3LCD vs 1 chip DLP
  9. Epson Projector Guide Episode 1: What is 3LCD Technology?
  10. DLP vs LCD
  11. How To Display Video & Control Light Using TI DLP® Technology 
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