What Is DLP Projector? Features, Uses & Advantages

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: January 31, 2023

silver colored dlp projector
A silver colored DLP Projector

DLP projectors or Digital Light Processing are a type of projection technology that uses a digital micro-mirror device (DMD) to project images onto a screen. They are commonly used in a variety of settings, including classrooms, conference rooms, and home theaters. DLP projectors are known for their high contrast ratio, which allows for deep blacks and bright whites, and their ability to display fast-moving images without blurring. They also tend to be more compact and lightweight than other types of projectors, making them easy to transport and set up. Additionally, DLP projectors are considered a cost-effective solution for large-screen displays. DLP projectors can be used for many applications like education, business, and home entertainment and it’s a popular choice among many people.

1 How do DLP and LCD Projectors differ from each other?

How do DLP projectors tend to work?

working of a dlp projector
Working of a DLP Projector

The images projected onto the screen from most DLP-digital light processing projectors are formed from the projection source using reflective technology called digital light processing or DLP technology. The DLP processing board uses a digital micromirror device or DMD which acts as a light switch inside each DMD chip are million tiny mirrors coordinated with each other which correspond to one pixel of light in the projected image. These tiny mirrors tilt towards or away from the light source thousands of times a second to produce up to 1024 shades of gray. With the single-chip DLP projectors, a spinning color wheel is added to convert the monochrome picture into color. When the color wheel spins, it causes red green, and blue light to fall sequentially onto the DMD chip. When the on-and-off states of these tiny mirrors are coordinated with these flashes of light, over a billion colors can be created in a 3-chip DLP system white light source is passed through a prism that divides the light into a red light, green light, and blue light. Each DLP chip is dedicated to a primary color the red, green, and blue reflections from the three chips are combined and passed through the lens to project digital imagery made up of more than 35 trillion colors.

How do LCD projectors work?

As opposed to DLP technology, where the ambient light is reflected from digital micromirror devices DMDs, or a DLP chip, LCD technology passes the colored light through the polysilicon LCD panel and are therefore known as a light transmissive device. A liquid crystal display basically comprises two transparent sheets of polarizing material with liquid-containing rod-shaped crystals sandwiched between them. The LCD panels themselves do not emit light but are backlit with red, green, and blue light. The light is lost when polarized light hits the edges of the transistors. The colored light does not pass through and a grid-type shadow is created. Due to this reason, many liquid crystal displays are equipped with a micro-lens array enabling a greater concentration of light onto the panel and reducing light lost after it passes through the panel.

While the DLP chip is made up of millions of tiny mirrors the LCD chip is made up of millions of tiny cells each cells opacity can be controlled by sending an electrical signal that controls the light transmission properties of the LCD panel light is polarized before it passes through the LCD an electrical charge is applied to the crystals in the layer causing them to rotate the plane of polarized light these on and off states can produce up to 256 shades of gray or 8-bit processing in a three LCD panels system. White light is passed through a series of dichroic mirrors that divide the light into red, green, and blue each chip is dedicated to a primary color the red green and blue images from the chips are combined and passed through the lens to project the image. Although, transmissive technology does not replicate the picture quality of the reflective surface such as DLP systems.

2 Features of DLP Projectors

Image quality

DLP technology creates colorful, sharp images, and has a clear contrast compared to those produced with traditional projector lamps. The space between pixels is greatly restricted since the micromirrors are separated by less than 1 micron. This improves the clarity of the final image. You get a sharper image with a resolution of 1080p which is smooth with no jitter. There is excellent grayscale linearity and you can achieve perfect geometry with the projection display.

Optical Zoom

The lens on DLP projectors can be extended through optical zoom lenses to enlarge projected images. This allows users to magnify the displaying static images without having to move the projector. When using optical zoom, the image quality is not compromised despite placing the camera further from the screen. An optical zoom with a wider field of view provides greater mounting flexibility.

Contrast Ratios

In a projector, the contrast ratio refers to the range between the darkest and the lightest values. Pictures with a higher contrast ratio are of higher quality. The contrast ratios for DLP projectors vary from 500:1 to 100,000:1. Projectors used in home theater systems and high-end applications must have a good contrast ratio. A contrast ratio ranging from 10,000:1 to 100,000:1 is recommended for home theater projector types. You can go as high as 100,000:1 when it comes to the projection screen for large venues, such as auditoriums.

3 Advantages of DLP projectors

The advantages of DLP projectors are grounded in their construction and in the way they generate images.

  • Due to their filter-free design and sealed chip, DLP projectors are easy to maintain.
  • With their vivid colors, high contrast levels, and brilliant images, DLP projectors provide brilliant and better picture quality.
  • As a result of the limited space between a dark or light pixel, the final image is much sharper.
  • Most DLP Projectors have a high level of accuracy and do not create shadows on the direct-view displays.
  • A DLP projector can produce the same image as LCD Projector but, with a better screen resolution.
  • Due to the fact that DLP projectors only require one panel instead of three, they are typically smaller and lighter than LCD projectors.
  • In places like clubs where there is a lot of dust and smoke, DLP projectors are a great choice because of their sealed optics.

4 Disadvantages of DLP projectors

  • With most DLP home theatre projectors, you can experience the screen door effect and brief flashes of color across the screen that can create the rainbow effect.
  • You do not get to experience much brightness with DLP as you can with LCD projectors.
  • Due to the mirrored chip in the DLP projectors, the number of pixels is limited with imaging technology.
  • Considering the time lag of amplification, video games can have a slower response time when played with DLP projectors.

5 Wrapping Up

Compared to LCD projectors, DLP projectors offer many advantages. If you plan on installing a digital projector permanently, you have to take some time to understand which technology is best for your personal needs and requirements. We generally recommend choosing an LCD projector if color reproduction is important for your application or if you need a sharp image. The DLP projector may be your best choice if you are planning to use it mainly for video or if you need a more portable model. Check out our blog on various advantages and disadvantages of a projector to get a better understanding before buying a new projector for your home.

FAQ's about DLP Projectors

What is the cost of DLP?

A DLP Projector can range between 7,000/- to 2,00,000/- depending upon the model you choose. The higher the price, the more features and sharper image quality you get.

In most cases, DLP Projectors can last up to 2500-6000 hours. However, after long usage, you may experience a screen door effect or brief flashes of color across the screen that can create the rainbow effect.

As compared to other projectors, LED projectors use light-emitting diodes, which are more energy-efficient and last much longer. Whereas a DLP projector projects images from a monitor onto large screens using micromirrors. LED projectors are built to last more than 20,000 hours, deliver better colors, and require less maintenance. A DLP projector is a lighter, more portable, and more reliable alternative to an LED projector.

The LCD projector’s blue values are twice as bright as the DLP projector. Its yellows are 50% brighter as well. The DLP’s lower color brightness causes the colors to appear darker, making them appear richer and more vibrant. You can project higher-resolution images and videos with DLP projectors because they have more mirrors and pixels. While comparing the price, DLP Projectors are more expensive.

  • With most DLP home theatre projectors, you can experience the screen door effect and brief flashes of color across the screen that can create the rainbow effect.
  • You do not get to experience much brightness with DLP as you can with LCD projectors.
  • Due to the mirrored chip in the DLP projectors, the number of pixels is limited with imaging technology.
  • Considering the time lag of amplification, video games can have a slower response time when played with DLP projectors.

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Kaushik Jethva
Written by: Kaushik Jethva author

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Updated: January 31, 2023
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