Sunday April 4, 2004


Semantic Compositions is lusting after a new DLP video projector. I've seen DLP mentioned before, but I never learned the details of how it works. Google time!

I found this informative animation. Go ahead and watch it, I'll wait—but don't be drinking anything when the narrator mentions how many different colors the theater projection system can display, I almost snarfed my Dr Pepper. 15 bits each of red, green, and blue, if the back of this envelope is working correctly.

DLP is a big departure from the sorts of video display technologies that have been available up to now. CRT, LCD, and plasma screens are all purely electronic devices, with no moving parts. DLP has thousands of moving microscopic mirrors, plus a spinning wheel for good measure. It reminds me in some ways of the adaptive optics systems in some telescopes, and also of the very early mechanical television systems. Like them, and unlike the other mechanical display technology that's survived until the present (film), DLP displays an encoded electrical signal, so it can be used everywhere a TV or computer monitor is used now.

DLP sounds improbable, but apparently the picture quality is really good. Now I want one, but I'm holding off on buying any new home theater equipment until the various high-definition standards have definitely settled down (especially HD-DVD). When putting together a nice high-def system doesn't require ten thousand dollars, a PhD in electrical engineering, and a soldering iron, I'm in!

[Now playing: "Seen and Not Seen" by Talking Heads]

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Good call on avoiding HD-DVD...

Posted by: Simon Blake at Jan 19, 2009 6:06:37 AM

Considering the age of this post, this comment may be a bit late, but here goes:

Blu-Ray won the HD war for home video. Earlier model LCD and DLP projectors both had their own problems. With LCD projectors there was a "screen door" effect due to the distance between the pixels. DLP projectors occasionally had a rainbow blur that happened. For the most part these problems have been cleared away.

Posted by: DLP Home Projector at Apr 28, 2009 11:06:06 AM