Last week, we took a look at the LCD and plasma display technologies and weighed the pros and cons of each. This week we’re going to take a quick look at some other display technologies that are available today: DLP, OLED, and projectors.
The abbreviation DLP, stands for “Digital Light Processing” and was invented by Texas Instruments. Images shown on DLP devices are created by microscopically small mirrors that are laid out in a matrix. Each mirror represents 1 or more pixels in the projected image. So in this case, the number of mirrors corresponds to the resolution of the image being projected.
Most DLP televisions do what is commonly referred to as rear-projection. This is why these televisions are generally much thicker than their LCD or plasma brothers. However currently you can purchase 1080p DLP televisions that are larger than 70-inches for the same price as some 52-inch LCDs. So you can get a really large screen but it’s going to come in a bulkier package. Also, DLP televisions can lose some of their brightness if you aren’t looking directly at the TV.
If you have the space and you want the true “home theater” experience, nothing will work better than a projector. But be prepared to drop a nice amount of coin to go this route. The 1080p projectors cost just as much (in most cases more) as a 1080p LCD/plasma. The advantage here is picture size. You can really get a true theater experience using a projector. The downside to owning a projector (besides price) is the bulbs, they have to be replaced eventually and they can cost upwards of multiple hundreds of dollars. Some can even cost as much as 1/3rd the price of the projector itself. Also, it is recommended (though not required) that you buy an actual screen to display the projector’s image onto. It will greatly improve the quality of your viewing experience if you buy a screen. Again though, if you want the true theater experience in your home, nothing is going to beat a projector.
The Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) televisions are something that was just recently introduced (in the last year or so). And currently there is only a single TV available for purchase via Amazon (Sony’s XEL-1 11” OLED Digital TV). Since OLED is so new, the TVs are going to be expensive. That Sony television I just lined to is $2500 for 11 inches of screen. The big deal about OLED is that you can get really slim displays. That 11 inch television is only 3mm thick, that’s really thin. The other big deal about OLED is that it will supposedly fix all the flaws in LCD with regards to motion blur. If this in fact the case, then OLED could beat out both LCD and plasma TVs once the sizes get bigger and the price comes down (but that’s probably not for a while). Unfortunately there are not enough OLED televisions available to the general consumer yet to really be able to weigh the pros and cons of the technology. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Now that we’ve covered the different display technologies, we’ll next move is to help you understand what high definition content is available to view on your new television.