If you’ve shopped for a projector you’ve probably heard the terms LCD and DLP, but what do they mean, and which one is right for you?
LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. LCD projectors create an image using 3 liquid crystal panels, a lamp, a prism, and filters. The light goes through a process of being polarized, separated, and reflected to display images, while DLP stands for Digital Light Processing. This technology uses a single chip with micro-mirrors and a color wheel to reflect and display images.
Advantages of DLP
–Portability: DLP projectors are light, small, and portable thanks to their modern technology that features less parts. This is an important advantage to consider for anyone who travels often or plans to use it in multiple rooms.
–High Contrast: This is one of the reasons DLP projectors are great for home theaters. You’ll be able to see dark black and bright white colors which really makes a difference in the quality of movies and videos.
–Low Pixelation: They feature a muted pixel structure, meaning that pictures look smoother because the pixels have less space between them.
The Viewsonic PJ658D is a great DLP projector that features high contrast, brightness, and portability. The replacement lamp for this projector can be found here.
Disadvantages of DLP
-“Rainbow Effect”: DLP projectors display images by flipping the micro-mirrors rapidly in synchronization with the color wheel (which only has red, yellow, and blue), in order to make all the other colors needed for the images. So, when this technology is used to display videos, some people are able to see flashes of color across the screen as the mirrors are flipping to reflect the moving images, and some have reported that it caused a headache. However, this will not be the case the majority of the time.
Advantages of LCD
–Sharp Images: Their high-quality resolution allows for a sharp display
–Rich colors: LCD projectors have great color saturation and are very bright, even in rooms with larger amounts of ambient light from windows.
–Energy-Efficient: LCD projectors tend to last a while since they use less power and wattage when compared to other technologies.
The NEC M271W projector is an example of a good LCD projector. It has a long lamp life, great audio system and high color saturation. The replacement lamp for this LCD projector can be found here.
Disadvantages of LCD
–Low Contrast: Although LCD projectors have great color saturation, they tend to have a low contrast ratio, which causes its blacks to look more grayish and washed out than with DLP projectors.
–Bulky: Since LCD projectors use an older technology with more parts, they’re larger, heavier, and harder to move around than DLP projectors. However, in many circumstances people don’t need to move their projectors around too much, in which case the reduced portability wouldn’t be an issue.
As far as affordability, DLP projectors were said to be slightly higher in price when compared to LCD projectors, however, their portability, high contrast, and high-quality display tend to make up for it. Since both types of display technology have matured, the prices between LCD and DLP are more in line than they used to be.
As you can see, both DLP and LCD projectors have their pros and cons depending on your specific needs. Hopefully you’re now one step closer to figuring out which one is right for you!