LCD vs DLP vs LCoS

January 21, 2010 by

LCD, DLP and LCoS each have their advantages and disadvantages.  As technology advance, the design of these technologies get better, competing each other in terms of efficiency, color accuracy, size and price.

LCD Pros
LCD is the oldest type of micro display technology used in front projections.  As it employs the metal halide light, it can be very bright even for projectors used in home theater applications. However, there is great color saturation in these projectors, and being the oldest has the advantage of cost for models supporting 720p.

LCD Cons
Even though it is bright, its shadow detail and absolute black levels are not as good as DLP projectors. Dead pixels are common, and the contrast ratios are lower than those of the DLP projectors. There is also a problem where a noticeable halo can be seen if the three LCD panels are not aligned properly, and it is unfortunately, a common problem.  Also, color uniformity across the image is lower than those produced by DLP projectors.  The panels are organic and image quality will be lost over time. Also, life cycle is short especially if the projector is used very often.

DLP Pros
The best feature of DLP projectors are the perfect color accuracy. It has excellent contrast ratios and users can be assured of shadow details. In fact, the DLP technology is by far the best micro display technology available, and it is also less costly than other technology.  Performance can be consistent through time with proper routine maintenance of the machine. The three-chip DLP is also a pure digital technology, and it is the same technology as projectors installed in digital theaters.  Meanwhile, the single chip DLP boasts of the best color uniformity. It rarely experience engine failures.

DLP Cons
DLP projectors do not come cheap. Technology-wise, the three chip DLP is generally larger and noisier than single chip versions.  The most common problem is a color breakup effect called the “rainbow” effect, often affecting single-chip DLP systems for business, but rarely on home theater DLPs.  Although single chip DLP projectors for business use generates lesser noise than home theaters, the color saturation is not as good even if it is compared to an LCD projector. Business-use DLPs are only available in 4:3 aspect ratios and yet to offer true 720p resolution.

LCoS Pros
LCoS usually support resolutions from SXGA onwards, enabling native 720p high definition projection.  The machines can be very bright, and it offers a very smooth, flim-like image due to its pixel structure.  It has great color saturation and accuracy.

LCoS Cons
However, this technology is seldom used as it is expensive. The price may not differ from DLP projectors, however, dead pixels problems are more rampant than DLP projectors, and as common as LCDs.

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