DLP vs LCD vs LCoS: Projector Display Technology Pros and Cons

DLP vs LCD vs LCoS: Projector Display Technology Pros and Cons

There are many types of projector displays available in the market. Companies and brands boosting the benefit of having their technology of projectors often become confused. There are basically three types of projector displays available in the market, which are DLP, LCD, and LCoS.

If you are looking for a projector for your home or office and are confused about which one you gonna pick, then this article is for you. Here in this article, you will find how these three projector displays work and what are the advantages and disadvantages of them. And also, you will have the guidance to decide which one gonna suit you the most.

DLP Projector Display:

DLP stands for digital light processing projectors. It uses a digital micromirror device to process images. A DMD chip consists of a series of micromirrors that are arranged in a row. The number of rows and number of micromirrors in each row determine the pixel resolution of the projector. For instance, a full HD projector that is of 1080p resolution (1920×1080 p) will have 1080 rows, and each row consisting of 1920 micromirrors within it, which means 2.1 million micromirrors in total.

Each micromirror is considered to be a single pixel on the screen. Micromirrors gather light from the light source and projects light on the screen through the projector lens according to the image code process in the DMD chip. Varying its position, micromirrors can produce dark areas and transparent areas on a white output screen. When it produces dark areas, its position is called an ‘off position’, and when transparent, it is called an ’on position’.

So, a DMD chip can produce black and white shades of an image on the screen; it can be called a monochrome or greyscale image processor. in order to add color to this greyscale image, a high-speed rotating RGB color wheel is used just before the light spot onto DMDs. RGB color wheel is synchronized with DMD chip and supplies color as the demand of DMD. The wheel splits the white light of the light source into red, green, and blue.

By mixing these three basic colors, it can produce up to 16.7 million colors. For example, when to produce yellow color on a pixel, red and green color simultaneously reflected through the pixel. It is done at a very fast rate that our visual sensors can not detect the red and green differently, rather they detect it as yellow together. Newer DLP display projectors nowadays using three different DMD chips, one for red, one for green another for blue.

Advantages of DLP Projector Display:

  1. DLP display projectors are comparatively cheaper than other competitors in the market. Its parts and accessories are also affordable. For lots of us, price is the first matter of consideration.
  2. Micromirrors are so tiny that the pixels are hardly visible, which produces a contrasty and punchy brighter on-screen output.
  3. Smaller box, lightweight, and easily portable.
  4. No pixel burning issues, smooth video output.

Disadvantages of DLP Projector Display:

  1. Rainbow artifact is the most commonly experienced issue of these projectors, as color produced by a wheel that is such a close concept of newtons rainbow disc. But this issue varies from person to person. Some detect it so annoying, whereas some can’t even detect it.
  2. Less saturated color gradient, especially red and yellow color, is much less saturated.
  3. Lots of moving parts produce annoying whimpers, usually in an older one.

LCD Projector Displays:

LCD stands for liquid crystal display. These are made of liquid crystal panels other than DMD chips. In liquid crystal panels, pixels are formed into rows and columns. Total pixel calculation is as same as the DLPs; you need to multiply the number of rows and columns. LCD display maybe of HD, HD plus or FHD, FHD plus or QHD,2k, and 4k resolutions. Each of the pixels of liquid crystal panels can produce different colors depending on the degree of electric current. So, in LCD display projectors, there is no room for spinning RGB wheels.

However, the basic principles are the same in all the projectors. All gather light from the light source, split it into basic three colors, process light through the controller pane, admixture the primary 3 colors to produce a single color, and project the final image out through the projector lens on a white canvass.

Each LCD display projector has three different LCD systems similar to the LCDs used in TVs, monitors, and other smart devices. These three LCD systems are used for three basic color production; like newer 3DMD systems, they individually produce a red, green, and blue image. All 3 LCD systems collect light from the primary light source, produce the image of three different colors, one red, one green, and a blue one. These three RGB images are projected through a prism to reunite and produce a final image for output.

Advantages of LCD Display Projectors:

  1. Power efficiency and environment friendly: these are very low power consumers. It reserves power for us and also helps prevent environmental pollution.
  2. Good color reproduction and better saturation.
  3. No rainbow artifacts.
  4. No mechanical movable or spinning component, no extra notable sound.

Disadvantages of LCD Display Projectors:

  1. Less brightness, not appropriate for outdoor usage.
  2. Worst color contrast among all the three categories
  3. Light pathways are not dust-sealed; dust may easily enter inside and reduce its lifespan.
  4. Pixel burnout problems are very obvious in extensive or long term usage

LCoS Display Projectors

LCoS stands for Liquid Crystal on silicon. This is a newer and improvised edition projector technology, that is intended to minimalism the disadvantages of both the DLP and LCD projectors. In fact, it is the combination of DLP and LCD that maximizes the quantity of the output image.

The only difference is, LCoS has a reflective panel, whereas the LCD has a transmissive panel. It outplays 3DLP and 3 LCD panels in every aspect. LCoS panels also have pixels on their liquid layer, and like the LCD, it is also controlled by the electrical current.

Beneath the liquid crystal layer, there is a silicon layer that reflex light like DLP micro-mirrors of DND chips.

This hybrid technology makes it outperform both LCD and DLP projectors. Here are also 3 LCoS panels used for three basic color regeneration. Each basic RGB color is then guided through the silicon layer and then through the prism to finalize an image. Finally, the image comes out through the projector lens onto the screen.

Advantages of LCoS Display Projectors

  1. Superior image quality
  2. Best contrast ratio, brightness, and saturation
  3. Eligible for both indoor and outdoor condition

Disadvantages of LCoS Display Projectors

  1. Heavyweight and less portable
  2. Price is relatively higher than other display


Choosing a perfect projector depends on your priority. If your priority is overall picture quality and you are determined not to compromise the quality, then you can go for LCoS.

Light user or Indoor movie lovers can go for LCDs as It is power efficient and provides good quality output in an indoor environment. If you need a high contrastive brighter projector for your office or business purpose at a cheaper expense then you can pick the DLP projector.


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