Projector faceoff: LCD vs DLP


Which is best? LCD vs DLP in our projector faceoff

Have you been looking at projectors and wondering what the differences are between LCD and DLP projectors? Read about our projector faceoff. Compare the differences and decide which one will work for you.

LCD Technology

LCD (liquid crystal display) projectors contain three minature panels, one for red, green, and blue components. As light passes through the LCD panels individual picture elements open to either allow light to pass or to be blocked to produce an image. The liquid crystals don’t emit light directly.

LCD advantages

  • Sharper images for printed word and spreadsheets in business presentations.
  • Higher ANSI lumen outputs
  • Greater brightness and sharper color in bright rooms
  • Uses less electricity and produce less heat

LCD disadvantages

  • Filters needs constant maintenance
  • Larger and heavier than DLP projectors therefore not as portable
  • Pixel separation can create a screen door grid on certain images
  • Physically larger and heavier than comparably featured DLP projectors
  • Blacks may be more “washed out” than with DLP
  • Lower overall contrast

DLP Projectors

DLP projectors use a chip containing thousands of mirrors that reflect light. Each mirror represents a single pixel.  The projector’s lamp shines onto the DLP chip and the mirrors move back and forth directing light into the colour wheel or away from it to create an image.

DLP advantages

  • Handles DVD, Blu-ray and HDTV images much better
  • Richer and truer blacks
  • Higher contrast
  • Pixels create a seamless, smoother picture
  • Compact and lightweight so very portable

DLP disadvantages

  • More noise due to the color filter wheel spinning
  • Uses more energy to run than LCD so runs hotter
  • Prone to the rainbow effect where shadows of red, green and blue light are cast in high contrast areas. This can be distracting for some viewers.
  • Runs hotter
  • Red and yellow have less saturation when in full lights
  • Needs more lumens to achieve rich color when projecting in high ambient light
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