LED vs LCD vs DLP Projectors

Understanding The Differences Between LED, LCD and DLP Projectors

LED vs LCD vs DLP Projectors

Projectors can be classified by the technology used to project the content. Projectors can be used in colleges, at home as a home theatre as well as to play games. An impressive big screen can be used to entertain your guests as well as to make the visual more appealing. Large screens at sanctuaries and church projectors with more Lumens are used to show content to a large gathering. There are also gaming projectors available specifically for gaming purposes.

This article is going to talk about the different kinds of projectors and the pros and cons of each.

DLP Projectors

What does DLP mean? DLP means Digital Light Processing.

A DLP Projector uses the technology of Digital Light Processing. In layman’s terms, there is a chip called the DMD or the digital micro-mirror device which consists of more than two million tinier mirrors. These tiny mirrors can move towards or away from the light source, to direct the light towards an image. It also consists of a spinning color wheel that delivers color and projects it on the screen. The light source used is LED or lamp. DLP projectors with LED technology are easier to handle because the lamp need not be replaced, saving both time and money.

This kind of projector is mainly used in classrooms and schools and colleges. They are less expensive compared to the other technologies and are often used as home theater projectors.

Advantages and Disadvantages of DLP Projectors

  • DLP projectors are easy to maintain since they have a filter-free and sealed chip design.
  • DLP projectors offer brilliant, colorful, clear images with good contrast and high contrast ratio
  • The final image is much sharper because of the limited space between the pixels.
  • Light loss is greatly reduced, and the light output is high because of the usage of mirrors.
  • DLP technology offers a deeper black color compared to other projectors.
  • DLP produces a smoother image which is as good as a 35 mm or a 70 mm film.
  • DLP is highly accurate with no shadows.
  • The DLP has a limited number of pixels due to the mirrored chip
  • The DLP is not as bright as the LCD technology
  • It can produce the rainbow effect with brief flashes of color across the screen

Rainbow effect: The chromatic wheel or the transparent colored disk which turns in front of the lamp is divided into several primary colors, and at the end, it reconstitutes all colors to give the final color. These primary colors are positioned like the slices of pie, and there are several segments – 3 segments, four segments, six segments, or even eight segments. The lesser the number of segments, the disk turns less rapidly, and the human eye can perceive the colors better by breaking them down. Thus, sometimes what you see is like a rainbow, especially the portion of the image which is lighter in color.

Check out the discussion. It may help you.

LCD Projectors

A technical difference, a projector is called an LCD projector if it used the technology of liquid crystal display.

There are two types of LCD projectors. A 3-chip LCD projector as well as a single chip LCD projector.

The LCD contains three separate glass panels – one for red, green, and blue components of the image that is being sent to the projector. As the light passes through the panel, individual pixels open and close to allow light to pass or close to block the light depending on the image.

There is another type of LCD, called 3LCD.

What is 3LCD? This modulating action by three separate glass panels is called 3 LCD.

LCD Projectors have the following features:

  • LCD Projectors are less expensive
  • LCD Projectors have no moving parts
  • LCD Projectors with a single chip work well with customers on a budget
  • LCD Projectors with 3-chip have better color saturation and lower noise levels
  • LCD Projectors are good for watching movies
  • LCD Projectors require constant filter maintenance and produce less contrast output
  • The LCD projector is more light efficient.
  • The LCD projector has a good color saturation.
  • LCD projectors produce a brighter image with the same wattage and have high brightness capabilities.
  • LCD projectors produce a sharper image that is more precisely focused.
  • LCD projectors score higher when it comes to brightness, an essential projector feature
  • 3LCD projectors will provide beautiful color in clearly defined images even in a bright room.
  • It is bulky since it consists of too many internal components and is difficult to carry around.
  • LCD projectors often develop ‘dead ‘ These pixels can either be on or off. A permanently off-dead pixel may not cause a much noticeable difference, but if there are too many dead pixels, then it will cause a hindrance to the projector.
  • The LCD can fail fast, and the parts are expensive to replace.
  • LCD projectors cause the image to look heavy with pixels.
  • LCD projectors lose image quality over time.
  • Color uniformity is lower than DLP

LED Projectors

What is LED technology?

An LED is nothing but a light-emitting diode. It is two lead semiconductor sources of light. LED’s are solid-state devices that convert electric energy directly into the light of a single color.

An LED projector has the following features:

  • The LED’s in the projector have a lifespan of over 20000 hours
  • LED projectors have negligible maintenance cost
  • LED projectors have lower power consumption
  • LED projectors have better colors
  • No color or image degradation: LED technology, processes high-quality images and there is no deterioration in the quality of the image and color
  • There are no maintenance costs on LED projectors, and there are no dust filters to replace
  • Instant on/off – The LED projectors can be turned on or off instantly since there is no waiting time for a bulb to cool down or no need to pay extra attention to increase the shelf life of the bulb.
  • Environment-friendly – there is no mercury inside the LED projectors, so it is not difficult to dispose of.
  • Cool Light: LEDs radiate very little heat that can cause damage to sensitive objects.
  • Small size: LEDs are small in size and are very compact.
  • Voltage sensitivity: LEDs must be applied to the voltage above the threshold and a current below the rating for the projector to work perfectly.
  • High initial price: LED’s are currently more expensive, and the initial investment is greater than other technologies.
  • Blue light pollution: Cool white LEDs emit proportionally more blue light than conventional light sources such as incandescent lamps or sodium Thus, it can cause more light pollution than other sources.
  • LED lights do not approximate a point source of light. So LED’s are difficult to use in applications requiring a spherical light field because LED’s are not capable of providing divergence below a few degrees.

DLP vs LCD Projector for Gaming


Convergence is when colors come together to form the images you see on screen. DLP Projectors use either one or three chips to reflect the colors through mirrors. LCD Projectors use the Crystal Panels to converge colors. You’ll know when there’s a convergence problem because the images you see will be blurry and full of inaccuracy’s like you were looking through a dirty window. For Gaming, this can be catastrophic because you won’t be able to make out where your character is and what is around him. Single-chip DLP’s win the day here because since they only use one-chip, there’s nothing to converge. So no chance of a convergence problem. LCD and 3-Chip DLP’s in some cases may after some time playing have convergence issues because if one chip or one panel is a little out of the sink, then the whole picture could be affected. You’d need to get this fixed.

Lag Time

Nobody likes waiting to kill the enemy. You want to kill him as soon as you’ve pressed the button. Lag time is when something you’ve instructed, is delayed. The time of delay can vary. DLP Projectors tend to produce more Lag than LCD models. What you need to look out for is speed. 120hz is what you’re after. If you had a 120hz LCD model and a 120hz DLP model I’d go with the LCD. More reliable speed, less lag time, because the colors are produced directly from the crystals instead of from a chip going through mirrors. But if you were looking at a 120hz DLP and a 60hz LCD then you should go with the DLP because that’s significantly more speed and it’ll cover the indirect color processing.

Contrast Ratio

This determines how you’ll see blacks and whites on screen. The higher the Contrast Ratio the more detailed they’ll be. Games these days are having increasing numbers of dark scenes in them. In shooters, this is especially the case, but all games right now require a good production level of clear darks and lights,.While Contrast Ratios on DLP Projectors have hit a glass ceiling over the past few years, this is not the case with LCD. So you’re more likely to find a high Contrast Ratio on an LCD than you are on a DLP. Plus there’s just something about the way Liquid Crystals produce blacks and whites that is more detailed than chips and mirrors.

Motion Blur

Ever played a fast-paced racing game or a first-person shooter and it just goes a little out of sync during the action? This is a motion blur. It’s caused by your Projector not being able to process colors quickly enough to keep up with your game. It’s more common on LCDs, and DLP’s will generally produce a sharper more crisp image in the fast-paced gaming scene. Not all LCDs have this problem and it only happens from time to time but with DLP’s it’s no problem.

Resolution and Brightness

This bout is ruled a draw. You can get 1080p resolution projectors using both the LCD and the DLP method. 1080p is the only resolution I’d recommend for gaming because it’s the best. You can also get both LCD vs DLP Projector with Lumen counts totaling over 3000. So, 1080p and 3000 Lumens is what you need and there are no significant differences in quality level between DLP vs LCD projector.

How big is your space?

DLP Projectors are generally more suited to small or moderately-sized rooms because they’re not compatible with zoom lenses and have worse Lens shifts than LCDs. LCDs are better suited to large rooms because they do have great Lens Shift and Zoom.


The ideal projector choice is dependent on a few factors. Depending on your budget, whether you intend to use it as a home theater or office presentation, or will be used while traveling. Each of the technologies has strengths and weaknesses in different fields. You’d want to look into the projector that has the least disadvantages in the field you want to implement it in and opt for that one that both fits into your budget and outperforms the other in the specific area.

Getting conversant with the strengths and weaknesses is hence crucial to choose the right type for your use. We hope that you will make the right choice when presented with a DLP vs 3LCD scenario.

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