Features_and_Benefits_of_DLP_TVs by MonikaKam


Features and Benefits of DLP TVs

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The world of television technology certainly has its share of acronyms,
from CRT to LCD and beyond, but one acronym many TV shoppers are becoming
familiar with is DLP DLP is an acronym for digital light processing, a
technology that has long been used in video projectors and similar items.
This digital light processing technology was first developed at Texas
Instruments back in 1987.


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Even today, Texas Instruments remains the primary manufacturer of this
technology. Many different manufacturers license the technology from
Texas Instruments, and build their products around the TI chipset. In
addition to its use in televisions and projectors, DLP technology is used
in a number of specialized applications such as lithography and imaging.

DLP technology differs from other video technology in that it utilizes a
small digital micromirror device (DMD) to tilt more than 1.3 million of
these tiny mirrors, each of them smaller than the width of a human hair
either toward or away from the light source contained within the DLP
device. This process creates the dark and light pixels which appear on
the projection screen.

The light is then filtered through a color wheel rotating at 120 times
per second, to produce a technology that is capable of producing some
1024 different shades of gray. It is this gradation of color that really
makes DLP technology stand out, and these gradations of color are
achieved using color filters which are backlit using just the right
intensity of pure white light.

There are four major components to the DLP system:

The DMD chip, which controls the mirrors
The color wheel
The light source and
The optics
In order to produce the picture, the light from the lamp passes through
the color wheel filter and into the DMD chip, which then switches its
mirrors on or off according to the color which is reflecting off of them.

This digital light processing, or DLP, technology is rapidly becoming a
major player in the world of the rear projection TV, and more than two
million of these TVs have been sold. More than 50 manufacturers sell at
least one model of DLP based television, and as of 2004 the DLP TV had
achieved a 10% market share. In addition, small standalone units, known
in the business as front projectors, have become popular items both in
the world of business presentations and in the world of home theater.

Advantages of DLP Technology

There are a number of important advantages to television sets that use
DLP technology to produce their displays. Some of these advantages

Images that are smooth and free of jitter
No possibility of screen burn in
Good contrast
Good depth of color
In addition, DLP rear projection televisions are generally smaller,
thinner and lighter in weight than traditional CRT televisions of similar
size. Another potential advantage of the new DLP technology is that the
light source is replaceable, which may be able to provide a longer
lifespan than either traditional CRT or new plasma screen displays. The
light source of the DLP unit is much easier to replace than that in an
LCD model, and many models of DLP television feature light sources that
are easily changed by the end user. Of course no one wants to replace the
light source before its time, and the newest LED light sources on the
market, introduced in April of 2006, have been shown to last 20,000 hours
before needing to be replaced.

Disadvantages of DLP Technology

Of course there are some disadvantages to DLP television technology as
well, and it is important for those in the market for a new TV to be
aware of these potential pitfalls. For instance, in some single chip DLP
designs, viewers may be bothered by the so called “rainbow effect”, which
affects how colors are displayed on the TV and perceived by the viewer.

In addition to this rainbow effect, some possible disadvantages of DLP
technology include:

Not as thin or as sleek as LCD or plasma displays, even though the weight
is comparable
Some models have noisy fans
The replacement bulbs can be quite expensive, ranging from $200 to as
much as $500
Competing Technologies

The main competitor to DLP in the market for rear projection televisions
is known as LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon). This technology creates its
images by using a stationary mirror which is mounted on the surface of a
chip, and then uses a liquid crystal matrix to control how much light is
reflected to create the image. These competing standards are still being
worked out, so it is important to shop carefully and to read lots of
reviews before making a final purchase.
When shopping for a DLP television, it is important of course to learn as
much as you can about the new technology, and it is just as important to
shop around for the best possible price. When shopping for a new DLP TV,
it is important to look carefully at the kind of tuner the unit uses.
Many modern television sets are designed to be multisystem devices,
meaning that not only are they capable of reading the NTSC signal used in
North America and Japan, but they will also be able to deal with
competing standards such as PAL and SECAM. This can be an important
consideration, so it is important to make sure you understand these
various formats and how they affect you as an end user.

It is important as well to look at the type of components that can be
connected to the new DLP television. Most modern TVs are built to accept
signals not only from cable TV and satellite TV boxes but from DVD
players, VCRs, and even computers. The presence of a VGA or DVI
connection will allow the unit to function as a computer monitor as well
as a television, but it is important to use caution when using any kind
of rear projection TV for this purpose. While plasma TVs can often make
excellent computer monitors, technologies like DLP may struggle to
provide the depth and resolution that computer users are used to.

Even though the prices of televisions in general, and DLP televisions in
particular, have become a lot more affordable in recent years, these TVs
are still major purchases, and it makes sense to give that purchase the
consideration it deserves. As with any purchase, shopping around
carefully will help you get not only the lowest price but the best
overall value as well.

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