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Product Focus on interactive projectors: 3LCD vs. DLP

3LCD and DLP vary in the chips that use the projector’s light source to reflect and display an image or video

There’s a lot going on inside a projector that can make a big difference in the quality of the images. 3LCD (liquid crystal display) and DLP (digital light processing) are technologies that power many of today’s popular models. 3LCD and DLP vary in the chips that use the projector’s light source, often a lamp, to reflect and display an image or video.

A strength of 3LCD is energy efficiency, says Tim Anderson, senior product marketing manager for 3LCD. Instead of quickly showing each light color (red, green and blue) that is needed for projection on a color wheel, 3LCD uses three chips to show the colors at the same time. Because of this, 3LCD uses 25 percent less electricity per lumen of brightness than other technologies, including DLP, says Anderson.

A recent study found that 3LCD is three times brighter than other projectors, Anderson says. “With all the technology exposure students get today, they have high expectations,” he says. “Having brighter images keeps students focused and engaged on what’s being displayed, resulting in a better learning experience.”

On the other hand, DLP, which was developed by Texas Instruments, has a high, 2,000:1 color contrast ratio, which creates deeper blacks and brighter whites for greater readability, says John Reder, worldwide education manager of DLP Products. The latest DLP SmartSource 3D Projectors can transmit 3D images and video from computer, game console, Blu-ray player or smartphone, Reder says.

“The education community has conducted studies that show students are able to better grasp learning concepts with 3D projections,” Reder says. “DLP’s fast switching speed between 2D to 3D allows teachers to use this technology more efficiently in the classroom.”