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Difference between DLP and LCD Projector

A projector is a type of visual display unit that projects images and videos onto a screen. There are various types of projectors available depending on the technology utilized, such as LCD projectors, LED projectors, DLP projectors, 4K projectors, Laser projectors, etc. DLP and LCD are DVP (Digital Video Projection) technologies that are utilized to display the computer screen over a big wall and LCD screen. The main distinction between these projectors is that DLP projectors utilize a series of mirrors mounted on a microprocessor to serve as pixels. In contrast, LCD projectors utilize liquid crystals that are placed between two polarizing filters and two transparent electrodes.

In this article, you will learn about the difference between DLP and LCD projectors. But before discussing the differences, you must know about DLP and LCD projectors with their advantages and disadvantages.

What is DLP Projector?

DLP is an abbreviation for "Digital Light Processing". It is a reflective projection technology that utilizes a Digital Micrometer Device (DMD) microchip to combine a microelectrochemical system (MEMS) and a projection display. The unusual microchip is comprised of a MEMS array of semiconductor-based digital light switches that precisely regulate a light source.

The initial DLP projector was designed and introduced by Texas Instruments in 1987. The main component of a DLP projector is a DLP microchip with microscopic mirrors, a light source, a projection lens, a color filter, and a digital video graphic stream. The small mirrors are either pointed at or away from the light source to form an image on the screen. A pixel is produced on the screen by quickly tilting mirrors, and colors are included using a color wheel. DLP projectors are most commonly utilized in digital video projection. DLP projectors have a narrow viewing angle but are less expensive than LCD projectors.

Image Projection

The DLP projector comprises digital light switches employed in the DMD chip and is as small as 16×16 μm mirrors (one mirror for each pixel). Each mirror is movable and may be flipped between two angles. The first angle reflects the light in the projection aperture, resulting in a brilliant pixel. The other angle reflects light away from the projection aperture and creates a dark pixel over the screen. The greyscale is shown by rapidly flipping the mirror between the two angles millions of times in a second.

Difference between DLP and LCD Projector

The typical DLP includes black and white chips, but if the user desires to create color images, one of the two approaches may be used single-chip or three-chip. These single-chip and three-chip approaches require distinct components. The single chip employs a single DLP and places a rapidly spinning color wheel between the DMD chip and the lamp. However, with the three-chip technique, three different DMD chips are inserted for each main color, which forms an image by converging it.

How do DLP Projectors Work?

DLP projectors with a single matrix semiconductor chip may generate over 16 million colors. On the other hand, 3-chip models may generate 35 trillion colors. The mirrors may be moved swiftly to reflect light through the lens or right into a heat sink or a "light dump". However, the near proximity of each mirror within a chip makes it difficult to see any gaps between the pixels. When compared to the technology utilized in LCD projectors, this results in a more crisp and fluid image.

Advantages and Disadvantages of DLP Projectors

There are various advantages and disadvantages of DLP Projectors. Some advantages and disadvantages of DLP projectors are as follows:


  1. The modern DLP projector is smaller and lighter because it works with microchip technology and micro-mirrors.
  2. DLP projectors offer more light options than LCD projectors. It can be utilized with LED (Light-Emitting Diode) or regular bulbs.
  3. It costs $300 to $1,000 or more because of its superior color quality.
  4. DLP projectors address a significant issue of LCD projectors by making the pixels less visible, resulting in a smoother and more photographic image. It is because each pixel in a DLP setup has less space between them.
  5. When compared to LCD projectors' greyer blacks, DLP projectors offer brighter whites, stronger blacks, and clearer lettering and details. It is because DLP projectors have higher contrast than LCD projectors.


  1. The DLP image includes flashes and splashes of rainbow hues as if it was processed through an Instagram rainbow filter.
  2. It is a very costly product because it ranges from $300 to $1000.
  3. When using DLP at full power, the quality of the red and yellow color suffers. It has color saturation and lowered color intensity.
  4. When you use a DLP projector, there is an audible whine.
  5. It has stronger contrast and more colorful visuals, but its image sharpness is lower than that of LCD units.

What is LCD Projector?

LCD is an abbreviation for a "Liquid Crystal Display". LCD projectors are built with tiny liquid-crystal displays that transmit light rather than reflect it. Three panels represent each color. However, a fourth panel can be employed to improve color generation. The optical filters' principal function is to split the white light from the lamp into three colors (RGB) and direct them via their appropriate panels.

The liquid crystals in an LCD projector are placed between two polarizing filters and two clear electrodes. The liquid crystals function as pixels when an electric source is attached to electrodes. These liquid crystals either enable the light to travel through or be blocked. It should be noted that liquid crystals don't emit their own light. As a result, in the case of LCD projectors, an external light source is necessary.

Image Formation

The LCD projector creates an image by rapidly transmitting different electrical signals to every pixel. It may generate the two most probable outcomes. In the first case, the light is passed via the LCD panel, resulting in a bright pixel on the screen.

Difference between DLP and LCD Projector

In the second case, the light is absorbed by the panel, resulting in a dark pixel on the screen. The projected image should be positioned in the same location across the screen, which is ensured by enclosing a prism in red, green, and blue (RGB) panels.

How does an LCD Projector work?

The polarized mirrors on the LCD projector block certain hues of light while allowing other colors to pass to reproduce whatever image it desires to display digitally. It works on the same principles as a cathode-ray tube to produce images on its glass screen. Each channel of red, green, and blue (RGB) is divided and converged by a prism after passing via the namesake LCD panel, which controls the saturation and intensity of every color for each video frame or video game displayed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of LCD Projectors

There are various advantages and disadvantages of LCD Projectors. Some advantages and disadvantages of LCD projectors are as follows:


  1. The LCD projector is quieter than the most silent DLP projector. As a result, it generates less heat and lasts longer, according to typical bulb life constraints.
  2. An LCD projector is a better option if you want to save energy while watching movies in your home theatre.
  3. The LCD projector offers sharper, higher image quality than DLPs despite its washed-out blacks and fewer color changes. It is evident when watching HD movies.
  4. There is no rainbow effect.
  5. LCD projectors lack a color wheel.
  6. LCD projectors are less expensive, with prices ranging from $250 to $1000.


  1. Some resolution games and videos would produce a screen door effect when viewed via an LCD projector lens. If your small-resolution video lacks the millions of pixels of 4K, it will appear to be viewed through a screen door.
  2. It provides less contrast than DLP. While it lacks color saturation and offers clearer images, but its blacks appear greyer than DLP, making text and darker details less distinct and washed out.
  3. When using an LCD projector instead of a micro-mirrored DLP projector, pixilation is more likely because the LCD's pixel spacing is broader than that of the smaller DLP.
  4. Sometimes, a bigger size isn't always better. Having a large projector the size of a little tumbler or icebox makes it somewhat inconvenient for portability or mobile usage in the age of smartphones and tablets.
  5. It only functions with a typical lamp. It doesn't utilize the LED lamp. It is another reason why people argue over whether LCD or LED projectors are superior.
  6. Several pixels alternately turn permanently on and off. Clusters of impacted pixels interfere with the experience and image quality.

Key differences between DLP and LCD Projector

Difference between DLP and LCD Projector

There are various key differences between DLP and LCD Projector. Some of the key differences between the DLP and LCD Projector are as follows:

  1. The DLP projector projects the object onto the screen by reflecting light. On the other hand, the LCD projector transmits light to produce the item on the screen.
  2. Misconvergence is the color-fringing phenomenon caused by horizontal and vertical lines, which are commonly visible in LCDs. The misalignment of the various panel images causes it. On the other hand, a DLP projector does not contain this feature.
  3. LCD produces a wide range of colors suitable for video playback. On the other hand, the DLP generates a sufficient number of colors that can be adjusted.
  4. It offers good picture quality. However, it is not as good as LCD projectors. It has a sharper image and higher picture quality than DLP projectors.
  5. DLP projectors do not experience a burn-in effect. In contrast, LCD projectors suffer from the burn-in effect.
  6. DLP projectors are utilized as standalone projectors or on television screens. On the other hand, LCD projectors are utilized in TV screens, cell phone screens, monitor screens, laptop screens, and so on.
  7. DLP projectors utilize less energy. It is because there is no need for additional power to power mirrors. In contrast, LCD projectors utilize more power.
  8. DLP projectors have a greater thickness. On the other hand, LCD projectors are thinner.
  9. A DLP projector has an average lifespan of 80,000 hours. On the other hand, LCD projector has an average lifespan of around 60,000 hours.
  10. DLP projectors have a low operating temperature. On the other hand, CD projectors have a high operating temperature.

Head-to-head comparison between DLP and LCD Projector

Here, you will learn the head-to-head comparisons between the DLP and LCD Projectors. The main differences between the DLP and LCD Projector are as follows:

Features DLP Projector LCD Projector
Full Form DLP is an abbreviation for Digital Light Processing. LCD is an abbreviation for a Liquid Crystal Display.
Basic It is a reflective technology that is utilized to project images. It is a transmissive technology that is utilized to project images.
Viewing Angle It has a viewing angle of fewer than 40 degrees. It contains a viewing angle of up to 165 degrees.
Color Production It utilizes immaculate colors that are appropriate for their brightness. It utilizes adequate colors and accuracy settings.
Power Consumption It consumes less energy. It is because there is no requirement for additional power to power mirrors. It consumes more power.
Operating Temperature Its operating temperature is low than LCD projector. Its operating temperature is high than the DLP projector.
Misconvergence There is no misconvergence. It has misconvergence.
Lifespan It contains an average lifespan of above 80000 hours. It contains an average lifespan of above 60000 hours.
Pixel Visibility It has poor pixel visibility. It has high pixel visibility.
Burn-In Effect It doesn't experience a burn-in effect. It suffers from a burn-in effect.
Thickness Its thickness is more than LCD projector. Its thickness is less than a DLP projector.
Price Its price ranges from $300 to $1000. Its price ranges from $250 to $1000.
Invented It was developed in 1987. It was developed in 1968.
Contrast Its contrast is higher than LCD projector. Its contrast is lesser than DLP projector.
Rainbow Effect It contains a rainbow effect. It doesn't contain a rainbow effect.
Examples These are utilized as standalone projectors or on television screens. These are utilized in TV screens, cell phone screens, monitor screens, laptop screens, etc.


Both LCD and DLP projectors have advantages and disadvantages, with the DLP projector being more appropriate when the user's goal is to show data with a low-cost investment. In contrast, the LCD projector is more suited for exhibiting flawless color reproduction during video playback.

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