TI DLP® Technology Meets LED, Gets Brighter, and Together, Take On Traditional Lamp Projectors!

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TI DLP® Technology has ruled in Digital Cinemas for two decades. Now, DLP® chipsets are being combined with the newest, highly efficient LED light engines to challenge lamp technology in the mainstream projector world.

The new breed of these DLP® projectors using LED light sources will rapidly replace lamp powered projectors in the under $2,000 price points.

No brainer! LED brings the same type of advantages to the most affordable types of projectors that laser projectors have brought to the $2,000 – $200,000 priced commercial projector segments.

Our Sponsored Article this month features Texas Instruments, also known as TI, the inventors of DLP® Technology.

Our feature will touch on the many advantages of combining DLP® with solid-state light sources, from the technology side, and the practical side.

Since the focus is “solid-state,” I couldn’t resist another peek at 4K capable Laser TVs, too. Let’s get started! -art

The Rise of LED

Once again, the world of projectors is rapidly changing! For the last few years, the big shift everyone talks about has been from lamps to laser projectors. LED projectors have been of interest, but they started on the low end – basically small “toy projectors” – with 10 to 25 lumens, so were mostly “cute,” not “serious.”

Now that LED projectors are pushing up to 2,500+ lumens (but seem even brighter), it’s a game-changer. So far, the vast majority of these LED projectors use DLP® Technology.

Below, I’ll keep the tech discourse light, but there’s a link to a white paper at the bottom, for those of you so inclined.  As the white paper puts it:

“Because of all of the advantages that LED illumination sources provide, an LED projector manufacturer who couples an LED illumination source with a highly reliable spatial light modulator, like DLP® Technology, can produce a projector with high performance and a long lifetime.” The paper explains why!

ViewSonic’s X10-4KE a very impressive LED/DLP projector with 2,400 lumens, that Nikki recently reviewed. There’s a link to the review at the bottom of the page along with links to other resources as well.
ViewSonic’s X10-4KE a very impressive LED/DLP projector with 2,400 lumens, that Nikki recently reviewed. There’s a link to the review at the bottom of the page along with links to other resources as well.

Hollywood’s famous (TCL) Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, equipped with DLP Cinema Projection.
Hollywood’s famous (TCL) Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, equipped with DLP Cinema Projection.

Image of a Barco DLP Cinema Projector from the projection room of a Kineopolis movie theater.
Image of a Barco DLP Cinema Projector from the projection room of a Kineopolis movie theater.

Around 25 years ago, I attended an Infocomm Shoot-out showing a number of first-generation DLP® projectors, none yet shipping (1995 I think).

Most were from brand names that are no longer around. “Mainstream” projectors back then (the very early days) were just starting to push past 250 lumens – up to 500 – and mostly, the 200-350 lumen projectors of the day would weigh in between 15 and 40 pounds. Figure $5K to $10K+  price tags. DLP® projectors were basically brand new at the time, and their potential was immediately obvious!

Today, we’ll be looking at how the technology has improved and how that translates into benefits to users. Let’s start with the thought that today’s new LED projectors combined with DLP® Technology are now offering up to about 2,500 lumens, and will continue to get brighter.

It really wasn’t that long ago that we were celebrating the first 1,000 lumen LED projectors. It won’t be long, it seems, before LED projectors will be slugging it out with the lower end of laser projectors.

Early nView DLP projector, circa 1996: 410 lumens, 22 lbs, SVGA resolution. Its fan noise was a distracting 49 db, louder than today’s 20,000 lumen DLP projectors!
Early nView DLP projector, circa 1996: 410 lumens, 22 lbs, SVGA resolution. Its fan noise was a distracting 49 db, louder than today’s 20,000 lumen DLP projectors!

LED Projectors with DLP® Technology Come in All Shapes and Sizes

LED Projectors with DLP® Technology come in all sizes and many interesting configurations.

The world sure has changed in the quarter-century since that nView projector, with its 500-hour lamp when it first launched. That projector, by the way, would have faded to 205 lumens (half), at the end of that 500 hours (as lamps do).

In our world of projectors – whether using projectors to communicate in business, education, signage, cinema and other commercial uses, or for consumer use of projectors for all types of entertainment – DLP® Technology and the folks behind it have been one of the greatest and most innovative forces in expanding performance, value and functionality.

The images below show a modern LED projector light engine with DLP® chip (DMD):

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Texas Instruments, aka TI, is the creator and manufacturer of DLP® chips for the world’s DLP® projectors. TI supplies DLP® chips to the vast majority of projector manufacturers in the world.

True, there are companies that use more than just DLP® Technology in their projector line-up, yet there are many dozens of DLP® projector manufacturers competing vs relatively few companies that manufacture using 3LCD or LCoS panels.

The goal of this feature is to bring you folks up to speed on DLP® Technology today, and how the technologies are implemented into newer products that are changing the landscape.

Continued on the next page!

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