The DLP projectors category covers the latest projector technology used in home theater projectors, portable projectors, and video projectors. See below for a list of DLP projector reviews and information pages.
Millions of tiny mirrors create “Hollywood Cinema” picture quality offering a true 1080p experience. The DLP chip minimizes gaps between pixels creating a seamless picture. Yes, the DLP chip works very differently from LCoS and 3LCD technologies.
A DLP chip works by having two states – essentially on and off – thus digital. Basically it’s million or more mirrors (roughly 2 mirrors at 1080p which is 1920×1080), one where light is reflected off any given mirror, and ultimately out the lens, or the mirror is at a different angle, and no light. Regardless of the workings of the chip itself, DLP projectors have several tendencies due to the chip. Pixel structure is noticeably less visible than LCD projectors.
The latest rage in DLP projectors are those sporting one of TI’s two newest chips – both claiming 4K UHD resolution. It’s not “true” 4K with 3840×2160 non-overlapping pixels, rather either 2716×1528 x 2 or 1920×1080 x 4. The last number is the number of times each pixel fires partially overlapping adjacent pixels, so that in both cases, a total of 8 million pixels hit the screen. Still the lower native resolution, the larger the pixels, the less able to approach the sharpness of any equally well done true 4K projector. That’s fair, because, as of early 2018, commercial true 4K projectors really start around $15K, while 4K UHD projectors can be as low as $1499.
Almost all under $10,000 DLP projectors use a single chip design. More expensive ones use a 3 chip design (more like 3LCD and LCoS). With a single chip DLP, a spinning color filter wheel is used.
DLP technology generally provides extremely high native contrast (for great black level performance in home theater projectors), DLP chips also operate faster than LCD or LCoS can, which is advantageous. For many users, though, a key advantage of DLP projectors is that in general, they are smaller and lighter than their 3LCD counterparts (there are few portable LCoS projectors). DLP technology can be found in high-end home theater systems,office projectors, large auditorium, and digital movie theaters as well as, of course, portable projectors.
An advancement in DLP technology is the DLP three chip system which is used for large venues, stage productions, awards ceremonies, and even on Broadway. 3 chip DLP is the industry standard for super high-performance large screen projection. The additional reflective surface area from this 3 chip system tremendously increases brightness output and stunning picture quality.
A few DLP projector brands: InFocus, Optoma, BenQ, Viewsonic, and Dell
Helpful Resource discussing DLP vs LCD projectors
What is a DLP projector? Let’s start with DLP itself. It stands for Digital Light Processor, and that’s the type of “chip” used in almost half of the world’s projectors. DLP, as in DLP projectors is the marketing term. The actual technical term for the “DLP” chips themselves is DMD, which Texas Instruments (creator of the technology, and manufacturer of the chips) called DMD, or digital micro device.
You’ve probably already heard about those million or so tiny mirrors. Probably you heard about them on those DLP commercials TI likes to run on major TV events. I’ve seen their ads on the Oscars, key sporting events, and other programming. (You know, the cute little curly headed girl the box, the elephant and the beam of light!)
DLP projectors have often been the ones pushing the industry forward. Due to their design strengths, they led the charge to smaller, lighter projectors. Even today, (let’s forget those tiny pico projectors for a moment – which are mostly DLP), the smallest regular projectors are definitely DLPs. Their single chip design makes it easier to build a smaller, lighter projector than one using three chips, such as LCD projectors, LCoS projectors, and even the big expensive 3 chip DLP projectors (which are in a whole other world in terms of price).
DLP projectors were the first under 10 pound projectors, then later, the first under 7, under 4, under 3 and under 2 pound projectors. Today, there are many lightweight DLP projectors found under 4 pounds although they are almost all at least 2.5 pounds. By comparison, there are few LCD projectors under 4 pounds, and overall they get neither as small or light.
More recently, DLP projectors have been the first to hit the market 3D ready. Oh, it’s early, the first models aren’t 3D compatible with, for example, 3D Blu-ray players. The point though, is that the DLP folks are pushing the technologies. DLP projectors were also the first fixed panel projectors to sport really good black levels for home theater, although other technologies and new enhancements like dynamic irises have leveled that playing filed to a large degree.
Today, the bulk of the lowest cost entry-level home theater projectors, as well as the most expensive ones, are DLP technology, with LCD and LCoS projectors (ie. SXRD), starting for a few hundred more. On the business side, DLP projectors start from less than $500.
For your consideration, some very popular business/education suitable DLP projectors and some home theater DLP projectors. In both cases, I’ve listed popular models that vary in price and performance to provide some idea of the variety.
Vivitek H1080FD – Least expensive 1080p projector at $899, and brightest under $1000
Mitsubishi HC4000 – Outstanding home theater projector for under $1500
InFocus SP8602 – With an MSRP under $5K, one of the best under $10K projectors
Optoma TX542 – A low cost, small, mountable, feature laden DLP projector
Dell S300W – An ultra short throw projector that impresses, can wall mount
Sharp XG-P560W projector – Bright, 3 chip DLP with awesome color – $15,000