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LCD vs DLP Front Projector

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20 replies to this topic

#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Graham_D



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Posted March 14 2005 - 07:11 AM

Having visited a number of retailers, I am left with varying salesman opinions on DLP vs LCD for FP. Can I get an unbiased opinion from the members of this hallowed forum? I have light controlled HT that I am constructing, Graham_D

#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Leo Kerr

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Posted March 14 2005 - 08:18 AM

No. You can get lots of biased opinions, though.. but in our case, at least, we're not trying to sell you a specific product for commission. Close enough? Modern DLP projectors look fabulous - unless you see DLP rainbows. LCDs keep getting better and better, and don't have rainbows. DLP makes it easy to get "bright." To eliminate the DLP rainbows, however, you need to go to a three-chipper, which starts in the $20,000 range. Some people, not me, report that whilst they don't see the rainbows, sometimes develop powerful headaches watching single-chip DLP projectors. The only thing I have against my LCD projector is that in very short order, I could have gotten a better projector for 66% of what I paid for mine! Leo

#3 of 21 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted March 14 2005 - 02:40 PM

Graham, one is not better than the other. You need to see both types in person, and decide which look you like better. They both have pros and cons.

#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Michael TLV

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Posted March 14 2005 - 06:26 PM

Greetings Rainbows versus vertical banding ... pick your poison. LCDs tend to have better colour palettes than DLP's ... but they also have uneven colour distribution across the image ... where as DLP's are more homogenious. Pick your poison. REgards
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#5 of 21 OFFLINE   Paul_Medenwaldt


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Posted March 15 2005 - 10:32 AM

The best thing to do is try and find a place that will have side by side comparisons of LCD and DLP When I was shopping for one last fall I was lucky and found a place that specializes in FP's. They had a side by side and I noticed right away the rainbow effect on the DLP FP. I decided then to go with the LCD. My reason was, because if I can see the rainbow effect and being annoyed by this issue, maybe people who come over to view my FP would have the same problem. I'm very happy with my LCD FP. Paul
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#6 of 21 OFFLINE   TheLongshot



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Posted March 16 2005 - 03:10 AM

As I posted before:


All the information you will need.


#7 of 21 OFFLINE   Thomas_A


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Posted March 16 2005 - 03:29 AM

local hi fi guy...had a sharp DLP and a Sony LCD on the same screen hooked up. The sharp DLP was 100% better image and picture...and was $400 more (retail) then the sony. I was quite impressed. he is putting together some projectors for me and my wife to come in and look at. starting cheap and going up. So we can compare each one and see what is worth the Xtra expenditure.... A lot comes down to opinons on what is better. Let your Eyes be that judgement.

#8 of 21 OFFLINE   SidBrown



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Posted March 16 2005 - 08:09 AM

If I could add to the debate with specific units ..... I am considering a Optoma H31 (DLP) versus a Mitsubishi HC3 (LCD)- I've read projectorcentral's review but they don't do much comparison between untis within a particular price range and their review of the HC3 was a ringing endorsement. I would like to know what others here think of these two units. Thanks

#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted March 16 2005 - 11:09 AM

Well the first thing to do is not obsess about the details. Both technologies have their plusses and minuses and both are really great. With either you'll probably be completely happy.
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#10 of 21 OFFLINE   Kevin T

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Posted March 17 2005 - 07:02 AM

i chose a sony lcd due to cost / financing incentives. i looked at some dlp fp and did not notice any rainbow. however, i watch movies with my girlfriend, her children, and mixed company occasionally. i did not want to run the risk of somebody else seeing rainbows and asking "what's wrong with your setup?!" Posted Image good luck in your search.

kevin t
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#11 of 21 OFFLINE   Ron-P



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Posted March 17 2005 - 10:22 AM


I first brought home a DLP and the rainbows killed me, headaches within 20 minutes. My wife could see them but was unaffected, my daughter, didn't even see'em.

I was pretty much forced into LCD due to the DLP rainbows but after bringing one home and comparing, they were nearly identical in PQ.

Check this thread out. It details my experiences with the LCD and DLPs.
You have all the weapons you need...Now fight!

#12 of 21 OFFLINE   Travis_R


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Posted March 20 2005 - 08:35 AM

Like everyone said they have there pros and cons, but once the 3 chip DLP is reasonable there will be no competition

#13 of 21 OFFLINE   SidBrown



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Posted March 23 2005 - 02:06 PM

Finally did it - compared both Mitsubish HC3 and a Optoma H31 - The Optoma is better if you want detail. The Mitsubishi is there if you want a brighter picture with richer colors.

#14 of 21 OFFLINE   Chris Stock

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Posted March 23 2005 - 07:34 PM

Both are good, just be wary of the DLP rainbows!

#15 of 21 OFFLINE   SidBrown



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Posted March 24 2005 - 03:33 AM

I'd thought I'd see them but didn't notice at all. It was just so, so clear. LOL. I was just floored. Both are equally good, it's just that I was really struck by the detail. However, the LCD doesn't need as much distance to throw a large image. I assume this has to do with the lens.

#16 of 21 OFFLINE   Massimo N

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Posted March 25 2005 - 02:57 AM

I've had both technologies in a front projection setup, the Panasonic AE300 and now the BENQ8700+. I think LCD has come a long way over the last couple of years, but my preference now is DLP. The differences between the technologies is very dependent on the products you are comparing. In my opinion, a low level DLP is unbearable, as rainbows and dithering are too bothersome for me. Once you start getting into the faster colour wheels and a good implementation of the technology, DLPs looks outstanding. Again, depending on the projector, there are a few issues to be aware of with LCD technology. Vertical Banding (I did not have this issue with my Panasonic), Screen Door, Black Level/Shadow Detail and panel allignment. DLPs have traditionally had a higher contrast ratio (not full on/off but ANSI). With either technology, projectors made for business use, usually make a poor choice for a HT environment (there are some exceptions). Now is a great time to get into front projectors as the prices have come down significantly and you can get very good performance for your dollar. The throw distance of the projector is a function of the actual projector, not the technolgy. This is solely based on the optics. I think you should decide on a price range for your projector and then compile a list of some of the top projectors in that range and try to see them in action. I wouldn't rule out one technology or another until you've seen the best representation of each technology in your price range.

#17 of 21 OFFLINE   SidBrown



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Posted March 25 2005 - 06:04 AM

Today I had the chance to increase the number of source tests between the Mitsubish HC3 and the Optoma H31 (similarly priced entry-level projection units). Xbox - Knights of Old Republic II, Star Wars Battlefields H31 had the advantage with detail and nuances in shading. Smoke, haze and other subtle elements came through without a hitch. However, the "screen-door" effect was a little more noticeable on the H31 than the HC3. The HC3 had superior colors, but lacked the detail in the backgrounds. Also the brightness of the picture was something that couldn't be overlooked. As I adjusted the H31 for "Vivid" it closely matched the lumen output of the HC3. What struck me was that the colors and images were more refined on the H31 vs HC3. The HC3 was vivid, but the images were a little "hard". H31 screen-door effect was more noticeable with menus and screens that just required player input. Source Winner: H31, but not by much. Movies (DVD) - 5th Element, Dune, Van Helsing Here's where the Optoma took the contest. When it comes to films, the Optoma is just the better unit. For example, the opening scene of the 5th Element, there's debris passing and the background is encompassed by stars. You can see hundreds/thousands of stars on the Optoma at different levels of light whereas on the HC3 you see tens of stars. In Dune, everyone essentially wears a lot of black. However, on the H31, I can see the slight red color of dust on the black uniforms - on the HC3, it's all black. Van Helsing told a similar story. Items like steaks, pikes, even the color and consistency of water is cleaner on the H31. The HC3 however was brighter and had more vivid colors - whites are WHITE and reds are RED. However, nuanced colors are forced into general categories. Source winner: H31, by a head and a shoulder Anime - Ninja Scroll, Gundam Endless Waltz, Akira In terms of anime both were very strong and there wasn't much difference. In fact I thought the HC3 did a better job here, especially during bright action scenes. You get more of a screen door effect during bright action-scenes, but I tested this from different distances; from 4 feet away - the HC3 didn't have any "pixilization" issues while the H31 did have a few. From 6 > it was dead even. This is where the H31 pulls a slight lead because again, it's able to deal much better with nuanced colors, haze, misting, or smoke. Let's say a person was being displayed on a CRT screen in the anime, the slight greenish tint needed to simulate the effect jumped out at you. You couldn't really see this with the HC3. Source winner: H31 but by a hair One thing I noticed - the farther back you sit away from the projection, the H31 clearly becomes the superior projector. Even if you would like to view closer, the H31 is dead even to just slightly better, depending on the source watched. DLP technology really has come a long way. I really looked for the rainbow effects and I just couldn't find any on this unit. I had heard rave reviews at about the H30, so figured I'd give the H31 a try. Again, what's shocking is that I conducted these tests in a room that wasn't impervious to ambient light. For those of us who can't spend thousands on a controlled environment but you want a picture quality that you see in most stores, I would at least consider the H31. I'm no pro and haven't been doing this for a long time (6 months) - I'm just a regular guy like many who was interested in finding out about projectors and a possible alternative to a big-screen DLP TV. -- On another note, Xbox has commissioned Boxlight to build a projector for their unit - the Raven it has twice as many lumens as the H31 but the contrast ratio is 2000:1 whereas the H31 is 3000:1 - both are manufacturer's specs.

#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Lewis Besze

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Posted March 25 2005 - 11:50 AM

I was under the impression that DLP doesn't exhibit screen door effects, only LCD does. Am I wrong?

#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Michael TLV

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Posted March 25 2005 - 01:32 PM

Greetings SDE these days is only an issue if you stand 2 feet from the screen. At normal viewing distance, it is a nonissue. (Just like you cannot see dimples on DLP mirrors from normal viewing distances.) Regards
Michael @ The Laser Video Experience
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#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Evan M.

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Posted March 26 2005 - 12:49 AM

Both DLP and LCD will exhibit SDE....but like Michael said, when watched from the right distance it is a non-issue. The reason why you hear more about SDE on LCD machines than on DLP machines is because DLP machines "fill" the the pixels in a bit more than a comparabe LCD machine...........I think.....someone correct me if I am wrong Posted Image.

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