0 comments | Sunday, September 16, 2007

The past few years have seen a stiff competition among TV screen producers for superiority with the main players being plasma and liquid crystal display (LCD). Plasma television sets have won in the number of sets sold and either is a fine selection for the average family.

As newer technologies continue to develop, we are seeing a shift away from plasma and LCD to a new technology called DLP or digital light processing. Digital light processing creates imagery similar to LCD when viewed side by side but they use different ways to create images. DLP uses technology that employs optical semiconductors to digitally manipulate light. The display chip delivers the best pictures on any type of product – large-screen digital TVs or projectors for homes, businesses, professionals, or digital cinema. Used worldwide, DLP technology is used in more than 10 million systems by more than 75 manufacturers.

Visual excellence is created by DLP with its ability to operate small projectors or light up large movie screens from up to 75 feet. The clarity of the images is superb with brilliance and depth that must be seen to be appreciated. The DLP chip is a digital micro-mirror device that uses an array of up to 2 million hinge-mounted microscopic mirrors with each mirror measuring less than one-fifth the width of a human hair. When it is connected to a light source and a projection lens, the mirrors reflect an all-digital image onto a screen or other device by tilting toward the light source. When the source is disconnected, the mirrors tilt away creating dark pixels.

Speed is key in DLP technology. A bit-streamed image code directs each mirror to switch on and off several thousand times per second reflecting pixels in up to 1,024 shades of gray to convert signals into detailed gray images. A white light passes through a 3-color wheel (red, green, and blue) giving it the capability of producing up to 16.7 million colors. Home television systems use single-chip configurations while Cinema projectors use three-chip configurations. It is interesting and amazing to know that a three-chip DLP Cinema projector can produce more than 35 trillion colors using a prism. These color hues are all produced from three basic colors combined with the on and off states (flashes) of each micro-mirror. A DLP screen has a higher refresh rate and enables high-action movies and sports events to appear smoother. Avid sports fans appreciate the intricate detailing of imagery viewed on a DLP screen.

Competition and demand work together to decrease prices, and there is very little difference between the price of DLP and LCD. To make a wise choice between the two, it would be good to view both side by side at your local electronics retailer. Then make a buying decision based on your comparison and needs.

A leader in technology reporting, Larry Dixon has published articles about the latest digital devices and gadgets for over ten years. If you enjoy staying on the cutting edge of technology, whether for business or pleasure, but find yourself occasionally confused by the overwhelming information out there let Larry be your guide.


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