Projector Technology – What type of projector to choose?

There are several types of projectors, using different projection and lamp techniques. Each of these technologies has its advantages and disadvantages.


Projector technology refers to the technique used to display the image. Some reflect light while others transmit it (reflective or transmissive process). There are three leading technologies: DLPLCD (or tri-LCD), and LCOS (also called SXRD or D-ILA).

In the case of LED or LASER projectors, the acronym designates the lamp technology.

Projection technology and lamp type
A projector necessarily includes a lamp to operate. It is thus characterized by the projector technology used but also by the technology of the light source. LCD, DLP, and LCOS are projection techniques, while LED and LASER denote a type of lamp (used in DLP or LCD projectors).

Types of projectors: DLP, LCD, LCOS

Each of the technologies has its weaknesses and strengths. However, the technical improvements made by the manufacturers gradually reduce the drawbacks of yesterday. The difference today is more on the design quality of the device and the projection technology.

The characteristics indicated below are general. There are indeed models of all qualities (prices ranging from 200$ to over 2000$).


Developed by Texas Instruments, DLP (Digital Light Processing) is the oldest and most widespread projection technology (Benq, Optoma, Acer). DLP has proven itself and allows a very qualitative image at affordable prices.

  • Image quality: sharpness, natural colors, good contrast, and deep blacks.
  • Quality/price ratio.
  • Rainbow effect potential: rainbow effect, see below.
  • Noise: some models are slightly noisy.

In most cases, LED projectors also use DLP technology.


We should rather speak of tri-LCD because it is this type of model you will find with the purchase. Mainly Sony or Epson brand, home theater 3LCD projectors are less standard than DLP projectors.

  • Image quality for high-end Epson models
  • No rainbow effect
  • Lower contrast, except high-end models
  • Price: Qualitative home theater models are relatively expensive.

With the advent of HD resolution, the grid or screen door effect (grid visible on the screen, due to the space between the pixels, a typical defect of LCDs) is no longer a disadvantage to be taken.


LCOS (Liquid Crystal On Silicon) technology combines the best of DLP and LCD. Depending on the manufacturer, the name used may be different: SXRD at Sony or D-ILA at JVC. LCOS provides the best image to date for consumer home theater use, but the price is accordingly (from 2000 $).

  • Exceptional image quality: contrast, color, depth of blacks.
  • No rainbow effect.
  • Price: no models below 2000 $.

Note that the brightness is never very high (some models at 5000$ have a luminance lower than 2000 lumens). They are more projectors designed for watching movies, ideally with a dedicated projection room.

Lamp technology: UHP, LED, Laser.


UHP (Ultra High Performance) mercury lamps are the most widely used today for home theater projectors. They are bright, and their lifespan is generally between 3000 h (maximum brightness) and 6000 h (eco mode), but some models indicate maximum longevity of the order of 10,000 hours. As a general rule, if the product sheet does not display any information about the lamp, it is a lamp of this type.


LED projectors are mainly DLP projectors with an LED lamp. Very efficient on many points. However, today they have a brightness below conventional projectors (although significant progress has been made) and are still unsuitable for dedicated home theater use. However, there is no doubt that the next models will always gain in performance to compete with their competitors.

  • Long lamp life: 5 to 10x greater than conventional mercury lamps (10 to 30,000 hours depending on the lamp).
  • Very compact and light, ideal for mobile use.
  • Brightness: lower than on traditional projectors.

Due to their compactness and the lamp’s longevity, LED projectors are widely used in the professional world (especially pico projectors ).


The latest in “lamp” technologies for consumer projectors, the laser has many advantages, but the devices remain expensive. However, this technology will likely develop rapidly in the coming years.

  • Very bright projectors: you will find models of 4000 lumens or more.
  • Lamp life: 20 to 30,000 hours on average (5 to 10 times more than standard lamps).
  • High-speed start/stop, no heating or cooling time.
  • Relatively expensive: compared to conventional projectors.
  • Few models available

What to choose?

Projection technology is not the first thing to consider when choosing your projector. The resolution, brightness, or colorimetry, for example, are far more important criteria. Moreover, the DLP vs. LCD differences, in particular, are much less marked than in the past.

The orientation towards one to the other of the technologies will depend mainly on your needs and budget. You will find general indications below.

By scope:

  • Professional use: DLP or 3LCD (LED lamp if used on the move).
  • home theater use: DLP, 3LCD, or ideally LCOS (SXRD, D-ILA).

By budget, for home theater projector use:

  • Less than 1000 $: DLP projectors offer excellent value for money.
  • Between 1000 and 2000 $: the choice will be between DLP and tri-LCD (especially if you are subject to the rainbow effect).
  • Over 2000 $: LCOS models (SXRD, D-ILA) will give you incomparable image quality.

how do i choose a projector?

You have to consider whether you want an IMAX projector, a DLP projector, or a Plasma projector. Then you have to decide which technology you need. There is a big difference between every one of them. That is why it is essential for you to research and study how to choose a projector before making the final decision.
Before you decide on the technology, you must know how to choose a projector. It is an effortless task. It is just a matter of getting some necessary information about all three technologies before making a final decision.
You can easily choose the technology by merely looking at the name of the technology. This is because the word “DLP” stands for “Digital Light Processing, ” which means that these types of projectors can use digital technology and still maintain the image quality needed for viewing movies.
The technology is commonly known as LCD. Most of the IMAX projectors use the technology called LCD. The technology allows for a high-resolution screen while maintaining the quality of the images. The best part about this is that this technology is also suitable for movies.
While LCD projectors do not use digital technology, DLP does. Therefore, the difference between these two is that DLP allows for a higher quality picture and sound.
When it comes to choosing between the three, there is a lot of information that you need to look into when you are making your final decision. You have to make sure that you know which of the three technology you want to use in your projector. This is important because other factors will affect the choice of the right projector for you.
If you have other people you want to work within your home, you need to consider their preferences when making your final decision. This way, you will be able to find the perfect projector for them.
Getting the right projector is very important. If you take the time to look at all of the different technologies, you will make the right choice.
Once you have chosen which one you want, you can start looking at the different types of technology. There are many types of projectors available on the market today, and knowing which ones you should choose is very important.
The most popular technology for projectors used in theaters is DLP. Other available types of technology are LCD and LED.
Laser projectors are great when you want high-quality images, but they are not as portable. The other option is called a WUXGA.
Plasma projectors are great if you want to get the highest quality image and want the ability to watch movies in a lot of different places. For instance, if you were using these projectors in a theater, you would move them from place to place as needed. Some people use plasma projectors in the family room because they can be moved from room to room.
Once you have all of this information in mind, it is time to start searching. With so many different choices today, it is a good idea to take your time to make the right decision.
You will need to decide where you want to put the projector. You will also want to take the size of your family and how many members you want to be able to watch the movie in.
Once you know all of this information, it is time to search for the right projector. If you look around online, you will find a lot of information on different types of projectors and how they work.
With the help of the Internet, you will find the perfect projector for your needs. This will make the entire process easier for you.

In the early and middle parts of the 20th century, low-cost opaque projectors were produced and marketed as a toy for children. The light source in early opaque projectors was often limelight, with incandescent light bulbs and halogen lamps taking over later. Episcopes are still marketed as artists’ enlargement tools to allow images to be traced on surfaces such as prepared canvas.