Demystifying Projectors (part 3- the newer tech)

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Now that you know what LCD and DLP projectors are, Part 3 of this series focuses on  newer tech: LED & Laser projectors

LED projectors are defined not by the display technology used, but the lighting. In fact, some DLP projectors with “solid-state illumination” technology are actually LED projectors. Another type of projector, the pico projector, commonly uses LED technology as well. Pico projectors are essentially handheld devices that use LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon, which is similar to an LCD panel but reflective rather than transmissive) or DLP technology. In these cases, the projector replaces the traditional lamp with longer-lasting and more efficient LEDs, colored in red, green, and blue. In DLP projectors, this also replaces the color wheel technology, instead letting the red, blue, and green LEDs shine directly on the DMD chip.


The biggest advantage of LED is that the Light emitting Diodes in an LED projector have a much longer life than traditional projector lamps, rated at 10,000 or even 20,000 hours as opposed to 1,000 hours to 5,000 hours. As such, the LED light source is meant to last the entire life of the projector without ever needing to be replaced. This is a big advantage because replacing traditional lamps can be a major expense in projector maintenance. There is no warm-up or cool-down time needed because the LEDs are much more energy efficient than traditional light sources, and they are also much quieter. This reduces maintenance and operating costs.

There is One key drawback, however, they have the same problem as LED light bulbs – LEDs are expensive. While LED projectors are available at roughly similar costs to projectors with traditional lamps, they usually have much lower light output ratings.

Laser Projectors
A laser projector is a device that projects changing laser beams on a screen to create a moving image for entertainment or professional use. It consists of a housing that contains lasers, mirrors, galvanometer scanners, and other optical components. A laser projector can contain one laser light source for single-color projection or three sources for RGB (red, green, and blue) full color projection.

So, between LCD and DLP, which should i choose?
The various advantages and disadvantages of LCD and DLP projectors mean that each is suited to different applications. Lighter, less bulky DLP projectors are favored by presenters on the road. DLP projectors are also very popular with home theatre enthusiasts due to the higher colour saturation, better contrast and image stability. Entry level DLP home theater projectors are also very affordable.
LCD projectors are often more affordable, making them attractive for education organizations. Their higher light output make them well suited for classrooms and larger conference facilities, as does their increased image sharpness which makes them good for displaying data-rich presentations such as spreadsheets and graphs.