What Is a DLP TV?

DLP stands for Digital Light Processing. It is based on a chip developed by Texas Instruments, which contains millions of tiny mirrors.

These microscopic mirrors are activated when they receive a digital video or graphic signal to reflect the image onto a screen. This technology is used in televisions and projectors. The lamp in a DLP projection system generates white light that passes through a color wheel filter of red, yellow and green, which can create millions of vibrant colors. DLP technology enables transfer of an exact mirror image from the source at the highest resolution available.


The pixels in DLP technology switch speeds quickly, so the picture images have better contrast, sharpness and clarity. The precise digital images make DLP technology ideal for high-definition television (HDTV). The DLP chip is faster than any other digital imaging technology, good for watching any fast-moving sports or fast-action scenes on TV. DLP televisions have large screens that are slim and lightweight.



How Long Do DLP Lamps Last?

A DLP lamp is the main source of light in a rear screen projection television set. DLP lamps do tend to age after a few years, with the length of time depending on the brand used and how many hours you have your TV set on. The more the lamp is used, the more the mercury vapor arc tube's electrodes wear out. What you'll notice is that your picture is dimmer or that you don't get any picture at all. The good news is that you only have to replace the DLP lamp, not the whole television, and it's something you can do in about 5-15 minutes.

Regarding how long DLP lamps last, as mentioned, it depends on the brand of the lamp. Philips and Osram are two of the most dependable brands, and you don't want to buy a remanufactured lamp. While the older DLP lamps last between 1,000 and 2,000 hours, the newer ones can give you 6,000 to 7,000 hours worth of TV viewing. How many years this actually translates into depends on how many hours a day you sit in from of your TV set.


What's the Difference Between an LCD TV and a DLP TV?

LCD and DLP are two new and different imaging technologies for flat screen TVs. LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display and DLP stands for Digital Light Processing. Both produce accurate and sharp images. The differences are in display, price and performance. The DLP system was developed by Texas Instruments, and it uses a DMD (digital micromirror device) chip, which is composed of over a million microscopic mirrors, or pixels. These mirrors are activated when they receive a digital signal, and they either tilt toward or away from the light source. This controls the light and dark reflection. The colors are produced when the light goes through a spinning color wheel of red, green and blue, which produces many shades of vibrant colors that generate clear, sharp and vivid images. Both DLP and LCD television screens are slim and lightweight.

LCD screens are made of three polarized glass panels, one red, one blue and one green. Liquid crystal molecules run between the panels. The molecules change their angle from open to closed and partly closed as an electric current passes through them, enabling different levels of light to pass through. The colored light passes through the glass panels and the liquid crystals control the level of color necessary for the image projected on the screen.


Both DLP and LCD systems have excellent image quality, and one is not necessarily better than the other. There are advantages and limitations to each. The DLP system is especially good for watching fast-paced TV, like sports or action scenes, because of the fast pixel switching of the mirrors. The LCD screens may have better color contrast, but to view with the best colors you have to watch LCD TVs while looking straight-on at the screen. They also have a slightly shorter life span.