Everything you ever wanted to know about LCD projectors

First introduced in the 1980s, LCD projectors are among the most popular on the market. How do LCD projectors work? And are they the right choice for you?

Read on to learn more

How do LCD projectors work?

Inside an LCD (liquid crystal display) projector are three glass panels: one red, one green, and one blue. Each of these panels contain thousands of shifting pixels.

To create the image, a bright beam of white light is shone through the panels. The panels’ pixels open and close, allowing or preventing the light to pass through. This creates a red, green and blue version of the final image.

The three images are combined into one by a prism inside the projector. The result: a crisp and colorful picture on your screen.

Pros and cons of LCD projectors


At lower resolution levels (WXGA and XGA), LCD projectors generally provide sharper images, especially with data images. This is much less noticeable with higher resolution projectors.

In general, LCD projectors for home theater include zoom lenses and lens shift, giving you greater installation flexibility.


Unlike DLP projectors, LCD’s light engines are not sealed. It’s theoretically possible for dust particles to enter the projector. This can be prevented by following the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the air filter.

Early LCD projectors suffered from the “screen door effect”. Light couldn’t shine through the spaces between the panels, creating a grid-like image when viewed up close. Today’s LCD projectors have advanced technology that prevents this from happening. Since resolutions are higher, the pixels are also much smaller. This further prevents any screen door-like issues.

Most popular with …

LCD projectors are great for churches, trade shows, auditoriums and large boardrooms. Basically any room with high ambient light.