3LCD vs DLP Projector Technology Compared

You will likely have two major choices when looking for the finest projector for home theatre or business presentations, thus either the DLP or. 3LCD projectors. Both were introduced before 2000, yet they are still well-liked because of their accessibility and usefulness. The majority of would-be purchasers of projectors struggle to distinguish between the two.

Projectors that use 3LCD technology offer more brightness for the same wattage and are less expensive than those that use DLP technology, which provides superior image quality and color reproduction. DLP delivers greater image quality in all other cases, but 3LCD is definitely the best option if you have a home theatre where you can’t adjust the light too much.

One of the two technologies is often employed by commercial projectors. In digital light processing projectors, tiny mirrors reflect or deflect light to create a picture. Light is directed via a small flat-screen TV using projectors with three liquid crystal display panels, which color the light and create a picture. Both technologies have benefits and shortcomings, and we will look at them in detail and know their differences.

3lcd vs dlp projector

What is a 3LCD Projector?

The Liquid Crystal Display or LCD projector color picture creation technology, also known as 3LCD, is used in modern digital projectors. The 3LCD kind of LCD projector is most likely being utilized when discussing digital projectors in the twenty-first for home theatres or corporate presentations. In the 1980s, a Japanese image business named Epson invented the technology.

After perfecting 3LCD technology, Epson obtained a license to use it in projectors in 1988. The Epson VPJ-700 was the first 3LCD projector, and it was introduced in January 1989. These LCD digital projectors may have been the ones that directly competed with their DLP equivalents. It is especially useful for making economic Full HD or Ultra HD resolution projections.

Even while Epson still owns the 3LCD technology, a related company with the same name is in charge of selling it. The 3LCD organization is a group of projector manufacturers that obtained a license to use the invention across all of their products. As a result, everyone who is a member of the 3LCD consortium produces 3LCD projectors, not just Epson.

A 3LCD projector makes use of a prism in place of small mirrors and a color wheel to produce the image. It divides the bulb or LED’s light into red, green, and blue (RGB). The RGB light flows through the LCD screens, displaying the picture in each color as a result.

The projector blends various colors to produce a single, full-color image that is projected through the lens. No color wheel is needed, and no chance of a rainbow effect.


  • It produces excellent color saturation.
  • The projected image is clearer and sharper focused.
  • Using the same amount of electricity, LCD projectors can produce brighter images thanks to their better brightness capacity.
  • Even in a bright environment, 3LCD projectors will generate vivid colors and clearly defined images.
  • Unlike DLP, there is no rainbow effect with 3LCD projectors.


  • There are frequently “dead” pixels in LCD projectors. Although a dead pixel that is permanently off may not be noticeable, a projector will suffer if there are too many dead pixels.
  • They weigh a lot because of the numerous internal components, making transporting them from room to room challenging.
  • The picture produced by LCD projectors is very pixelated.
  • As it is not a closed system, dust, and grime can harm the internal components when paired with the extra heat that they create over time, which causes the picture to fade.

How Does 3LCD Technology Work?

Three clear liquid crystal display (LCD) screens with one primary color each make up a 3LCD projector. As the projector’s light enters the lens of these screens, it combines with the picture it creates for each primary color. The projection screen’s picture is produced using this approach. By doing this, the projector produces the picture all at once rather than in three steps for each frame. The early black levels and color accuracy of 3LCD projectors are superior. The pictures may have a tinge to them as the colors deteriorate with time.

What is a DLP Projector?

DLP technology, which utilizes mirrors and the processors that control them, is used by a digital light processing projector. Two million micromirrors make up the digital micro-mirror device (DMD) chip. To reflect or deflect light towards the black-and-white picture, they may be moved away from or towards the light source (a lamp, LED, or laser). Then, either a 3-chip RGB system or a color wheel for single-chip systems determines the color of the image.

Although LCDs are technically less expensive to use for HD technology, DLPs are less expensive when compared to other technologies. Its color wheel is split into primary colors, which combine to create every color needed to create a specific digital image.

The monochromatic or black & white image is given color using a rapidly rotating color wheel and the persistence of vision effect. To give each area of the black and white image its color, the colors flash successively but quickly. A bulb, LED, or laser are all possible light sources. The rainbow effect on DLP pictures is also a result of this spinning wheel. It changes so fast between the red, blue, green, black, and white pictures that you only notice one.


  • DLP projectors deliver images that are bright, vibrant, clear, and have a high contrast ratio.
  • Light output is great, and light loss is significantly reduced because of the usage of mirrors.
  • A smoother image, similar to that of 35 mm or 70 mm film, is produced by DLP.
  • DLP projectors are easy to maintain because of their sealed chip design and lack of filters.
  • The finished image is crisper because there is less space between the pixels.
  • The deeper black tone offered by DLP technology is superior to that of conventional projectors.
  • DLP is very precise and casts no shadows.


  • With the same wattage, LCD technology is brighter than DLP technology.
  • The mirrored chip limits the number of pixels the DLP may have.
  • Because of the brief color bursts that it uses to cover the screen, it could provide a rainbow effect.
  • As the color wheel is a moving component, it may eventually break down.

How does DLP Technology Work?

In a DLP display, each small pixel is bounced off a specific chip with tiny mirrors using light from a bulb, LED, or laser. This chip’s reflected picture then passes through the rotating color wheel, giving it an RGB tint. The ability to distinguish one color picture among the thousands of red, green, and blue monochrome images that merge to make a single-color image occurs quickly and depends on the persistence of vision.

Also Read:

Epson 5050ub vs 6050ub Pro 4k Projector


What is the Difference Between 3LCD and DLP Technology?

You could come across the words 3LCD and DLP or DLP versus LED when looking for projectors online. Although the two projector types’ color performances vary, both deliver high-quality and crisp images. To learn more about how the two differ from one another, continue reading.

Image Quality

There aren’t any glaring differences in quality between DLP and LCD projectors as long as you select one with a resolution of at least 1080p and a brightness of 3000 ANSI Lumens. While they are produced in significantly greater quantities for a 4K resolution, DLP projectors are the preferred standard if you compare 3LCD and 4K projectors.

Rainbow Effect

The existence of the rainbow effect in one-chip DLP projectors is by far the most significant distinction between them and 3LCD projectors. This is brought on by the rotating colour wheel, which can create a rainbow halo around items on-screen, especially if they move quickly or if you move your head quickly while staring at the screen.

This is due to the color wheel, which causes the DLP projector to overlay each red, green, and blue layer of the image thousands of times per second. In general, it happens too quickly for the eye to perceive, though it does vary from person to person. This can be a significant drawback for DLP projectors. Therefore it is best to test one out in-store before making a decision.

Input Lag

Lag time is crucial, especially when playing video games, but it’s also crucial when just displaying movies. DLP projectors generally have a longer lag time than LCD projectors. However, the duration of the delay may vary.

A greater refresh rate is beneficial; therefore, look for one that is measured in Hertz, especially at a frequency of 120hz.

This is because the colors in a 3LCD projector are created directly from the crystals rather than via a chip going through mirrors; hence, there is less lag time. However, if you have to choose between a 120hz DLP and a 60hz LCD, you should go with the DLP because it is far faster and can handle indirect color processing.


Convergence is the process through which colors combine to create the images you see on a screen. Mirrors in DLP projectors with one chip or three chips in more expensive projectors reflect colors.

Colors are concentrated in LCD projectors using crystal panels. The sights you view when there is a convergence problem will be blurry and inaccurate as if you are looking through a grimy glass.

Because they only employ one chip, single-chip DLPs triumph because there is nothing to converge. Hence, there is no chance of a convergence problem. As one chip or panel that is slightly out of sink may affect the entire picture, 3-chip DLPs, and LCDs may eventually face convergence issues.

Between 3LCD and DLP, Which is Better?

Both 3LCD and DLP projectors can deliver excellent pictures for the majority of corporate applications. Either technology will work unless you have a particular need that makes one of the two technologies ineffective, such as requiring a high level of color accuracy or using the projector for eight to ten hours daily. As a result, you may select a projector based on its pricing or on its other features.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Qualities Should You Consider While Selecting a Projector?

A high-resolution projector with true colors and effective upscaling to a wider screen size is what you should seek out. You should also think about how much ambient light the place you wish to use will have and how bright the projector has to be to compensate for it.

Are Laser Projectors Superior to DLP?

No, not always. Bright, durable projectors are available with laser projectors. DLP projectors, on the other hand, provide dependable, continuous use. The model that is applied affects the results of both types.

Final Thoughts

For spaces with ambient light that you cannot regulate or turn off, the 3LCD projector is the best entry-level display device. Comparing DLP to any LCD projector, it offers greater advantages for more adjustable ambient light.

The 3LCD projector is better than the similarly cost single-chip DLP or the significantly more expensive three-chip DLP if the light output is more important to you than contrast. The best entry-level projector for more specialized home theatres or theatre rooms is still DLP. Although neither projector can deliver OLED-level black levels, DLP generally offers superior black levels than LCDs.


Leave a Comment