Whether you are watching your favorite sporting event, or a blu ray movie, if your home theater plan calls for the largest screen available, it may be time to look at home theater projectors. This option known as DLP looks very similar on the outside to LCD projectors, but use an entirely different technology.
What is DLP you ask? DLP stands for Digital Light Processing, a technology developed by Texas Instruments in 1987, becoming commercially available in 1996.
At the center of this technology is an optical semi-conductor called the Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). It contains a rectangular array of up to 1.3 million hinge-mounted microscopic mirrors; each of these micro mirrors measures less than one-fifth the width of a human hair, and corresponds to one pixel in a projected image.
These mirrors are capable of switching on and off thousands of times per second and are used to direct light towards or away from a dedicated pixel space (one space for each mirror). The amount of light or darkness of the pixel is determined by the length of time a pixel is turned on or off. This part of the DLP technology will only produce various shades of grey from white to black.
To add color, a color wheel is places in the light path. Depending on the expense of the DLP projector purchased, this wheel will contain from 4 to 7 segments of red, blue, and green. It spins from 150 to over 250 times per second. As light passes through a point on the color wheel, the mirrors switch in accordance with the light.When a DMD chip is coordinated with a digital video or graphic signal, a light source, and a projection lens, its mirrors can reflect an all-digital image onto a screen or other surface.
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