When it comes to the field of consumer electronics, terms like liquid crystal display (LCD), digital light processing (DLP), or Plasma need no introduction. Though all of us are familiar with these terms, not many people out there will be comfortable explaining the difference between them ... between LCD and DLP technologies in particular.
How LCD and DLP Work?
A liquid crystal display (LCD) is an electronic visual display, which works on the basis of light modulating properties of liquid crystals to project an image. In these displays, a liquid controls each pixel and changes its color. LCDs are typically characterized by their thin, flat appearance.
In contrast, in the digital light processing (DLP) technology, a small computer chip with thousands of mirrors, i.e., the Digital Micromirror Device (DMD), is used to project the image. A source of light is aimed at the mirrors on this chip, which is eventually reflected onto the screen. In course of this process, the light is guided through a color wheel, which causes pixels to change colors by altering the amount of light that falls on each of these pixels.
LCD Vs. DLP Televisions
Both have taken giant strides in terms of progress over the last few years, making the comparison between them a daunting task. However, there do exist some areas in which each of these have a definite advantage over the other. The foremost advantage that DLP TVs have over their LCD counterparts is the fact that they reproduce black color more efficiently. In LCD TVs, the screen size will determine how rich the color black will be―the rule of the thumb being: smaller the screen, better the picture. LCD TVs though, boast of a better picture among the two when it comes to bright and vibrant colors.
While LCD TV picture seems to be consistent from all viewing angles, the slight tint that you are likely to come across in the DLP TV can be a nuisance. Both are flat screen TVs, but LCD TVs are sleeker compared to DLP TVs. In terms of pricing, DLP TVs are at definite advantage as they are comparatively less expensive of the two. However, LCD TVs do have two advantages to their credit: first, they consume less power, and second, they have a longer lifespan as compared to their DLP counterparts.
LCD Vs. DLP Projectors
The rich 'black levels' advantage that the DLP technology boasts of, continues in the case of home theater projectors as well. However, in these projectors, the stray light around the picture can cause a halo effect, and that can be quite disturbing at times. Like LCD TVs, even LCD projectors score in terms of brightness and power consumption. Also, these projectors produce sharper image than that of a DLP projector. Coincidentally, it's this sharpness factor which serves as its undoing, as sharp images make pixelation annoyingly obvious.
DLP projectors are easy to handle owing to their size, and their sealed optics make sure that they are not affected in dusty environment. While the older DLP projectors were affected by the rainbow effect, the problem has been resolved in the new models. At the end of the day, LCD projectors have an edge in terms of color reproduction, which is by far the most important attribute of a projector.
The fact that both have undergone tremendous progress makes it difficult to choose between the two. While the bright picture that LCD TVs and projectors boast of, may make these products quite tempting, the price factor gives DLP products a slight edge. At the end of the day, what matters is personal preference, and therefore, the onus is on you to decide whether you are ready to shell out some extra money to get that perfection or not.