Just two or three years ago, a 800-1000 lumen, 720p native resolution, 2000:1 contrast ratio DLP™ projector would have cost you around $10,000. We can now offer you one for just $2,999 with a three-year warranty to boot. If you have been biding your time for the prices to drop, it’s time to start paying attention again.
Lower Prices on DLP™ Home Theater Projectors
Low price, high-resolution, LCD home theater projectors have been selling like hotcakes for the past year, as their prices have approached the $1,000 mark (see Sanyo Z2). But high-resolution DLP™ projectors are among the most significant price reductions to date.
More about DLP™ Projection Technology
DLP™ front projectors come in two varieties: single-chip and three-chip. Projector People carries primarily the single-chip variety, which compile the majority of DLP™ projectors sold. Three-chip DLP™ projectors cost significantly more, pricing them out of the average consumer’s pocket book.
Inside the single-chip DLP™ projector is a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) which has up to 1.3 million tiny mirrors (depending on resolution) each representing a single pixel. These mirrors tilt back and forth, deflecting light as indicated by the source and create an image by reflecting the light of the lamp. Color is produced by a fast-spinning color wheel that alternates the light hitting the mirrors in red, green, and blue.
|Specification||Optoma H77 (DLP™ – HD2 plus)||Optoma H78 (DLP™ – DC3)||Panasonic PT-AE700U (LCD)|
|Resolution||WXGA-H (1280 x 720)||WXGA-H (1280 x 720)||WXGA-H (1280 x 720)|
|Brightness||900 lumens||800 lumens||1000 lumens|
|Warranty||3 years||2 years||1 year|
Comparing DLP™ Projectors
When comparing DLP™ projectors, you will want to understand the two critical components: the type of DMD chip and the style of color wheel used.
Texas Instruments is the sole manufacturer of DLP™ chips, and is the brain-trust behind DLP™ technology. You will most likely find one of three different kinds of chips in a new DLP™ home theater projector. The brand new DarkChip 3, HD2 plus or the original HD2. The newer chips will have the highest contrast ratios, at approximately 4000:1 (Optoma H78). The HD2 produced contrast ratios around 2500:1, and the HD2 plus as high as 3500:1 (Optoma H77).
Color wheels are broken into segments. Early DLP™’s had 4-segment wheels with red, green, blue, and white (RGB-W) while newer projectors (like the Optoma H78) can have as many as 8 segments with 2 windows of red, green, blue, and dark green. The newer color wheels allow for brighter images while maintaining DLP™ color saturation.
Our most popular Optoma projectors are among the best DLP™ values on the market. Consider some of the following features in our two most popular Optoma projectors.
- Eight-segment Color Wheels (Red, Blue, Green, Dark Green x2)
- 3500-4000:1 contrast ratios (DarkChip 3 and HD2 plus)
- 3,000 hour lamp life
- 3-year warranty on H77 (third year offer exclusive to Projector People)
- High-altitude sensor for improved lamp life in high altitudes
- Advanced cooling systems for quieter operation and cooler chassis