Christie Digital Christie Digital

DLP projector technology

Christie is a pioneering manufacturer of high-performance 1DLP and 3DLP projectors.

DLP projector technology

DLP projector technology

Digital Light Processing (DLP®) technology works by reflecting light off microscopic mirrored panels called Digital Micro-Mirror Devices (DMD). Each DMD consists of millions of tiny mirrors, each acting as a single reflective pixel in the resolution of the projected image.

A native HD resolution image is made up of 1080 horizontal lines each containing 1920 pixels. By the same measure, a DLP projector with HD resolution would use either 1 or 3 DMD chips (higher-quality projectors use three chips, one each for the Red, Green and Blue color signals) made up of 1080 rows of mirrors, with each row containing 1920 microscopic mirrors.

The DLP advantage

The advantage of this all-digital system is that it consistently offers better light efficiency and color control in comparison to any other projection technology. This is because each individual pixel is controlled for a smoother, cleaner image since the space between the mirrors on a DMD is so small. Because all the light is reflected out of the projector, DLP projectors also offer higher brightness from smaller units and consequently use less power.

Christie offers DLP projectors for:

Wondering if a DLP projector is right for you?

Check out our projection technology chart for at-a-glance information comparing our broad range of 1DLP and 3DLP projection solutions. Based on your priorities, you'll be able to identify which category of projection technology will be the right fit for your application.

Frequently asked questions

Which is better - 3LCD vs. DLP projectors?

Although recent advancements in 3LCD technology mean considerably improved image quality, DLP projectors typically produce deeper blacks than 3LCD projectors. They also offer superior color uniformity and produce sharper imagery with their higher pixel fill-factor.

3LCD projection technology is still an extremely cost-effective option for customers looking for a reliable, long-life projector that produces bright visuals and accurate colors.

How long does a DLP projector last?

An RGB pure laser 3DLP projector can run at maximum brightness for 25,000 hours before reaching 50% brightness. Laser phosphor DLP projectors can run for 20,000 hours before reaching 50% brightness. Running a DLP projector in eco-mode will increase the lifespan of the projector’s light source.

Are DLP projectors brighter than other projectors?

3DLP projectors achieve the highest brightness levels possible in projection.

How does a DLP projector work?

A DLP® (Digital Light Processing) projector uses DLP chips called DMDs (Digital Micromirror Devices) with millions of microscopic reflection mirrors, one for each pixel in an image.

A laser projector uses one DLP chip (1DLP) or three DLP chips for each primary color of light — red, green, and blue (3DLP), with a rapidly spinning color wheel between the chip(s) and a light source to produce an image. This can also be achieved electronically with LEDs or RGB pure laser as the light source.

A DLP projector with Full HD resolution (1920 pixels wide x 1080 pixels high) would use either one or three DMD chips (1DLP or 3DLP) made up of 1,080 rows of mirrors, with each row containing 1,920 microscopic mirrors. At the other end of the spectrum, a native 4K DLP projector (4096 x 2160 pixels) uses 4,096 rows of mirrors with 2,160 microscopic mirrors.

What is the difference between 3-chip DLP and 1-chip DLP?

A 1DLP® laser projector uses one DLP chip (or DMD) and places a rapidly spinning color wheel between the chip and a light source to produce an image. This can also be achieved electronically with LEDs or RGB pure laser as the light source. 3DLP® projectors use one DMD for each primary color of light — red, green, and blue — which are optically converged to produce a single, full-color image.

Newer 1DLP projectors are edging closer to 3DLP performance as their brightness capabilities increase, 4K UHD resolution becomes more common, and contrast levels and color reproduction improve.

When you see massive projections on the side of a building, or large-scale immersive experiences and live events, this is most likely 3DLP projection in action. With 3DLP, you also typically have higher frame rate options than 1DLP for superior dynamic image quality. When it comes to brightness, hue, and saturation, 3DLP projectors are the best in the industry.

Need assistance?