The projector might be considered the heart of a home theatre system, beaming your new favourite TV show, movie, or footy team onto the screen in glorious vibrant colour, and helping you relax after the day’s slog.
But how does a projector work, exactly? What technological wizardry is being achieved to entertain you? In this article, we’ll provide a basic overview of the technology of a projector, and how it’s able to beam your favourite entertainment onto the big screen.
There’s two common types of projector used in home theatres—the laser projector, and LCD projector.
How laser projectors work
A laser projector uses laser beams to create images. Depending on the projector, a single laser beam can be used to create every colour that you see on your screen, or three primary colour beams can be used (red, green, and blue). The lasers are generated in the projector’s laser diode module, which uses a combination of laser beams and mirrors to create a multitude of colours.
The projector uses a number of different computer chips to create the final image. This control circuitry helps to control the temperature, monitors the power going through the system, and most importantly, interprets the signal from the lighting console or computer into something that the laser diodes and scanner can use to create imagery (the digital light processing chip, or DLP). These computer chips are just as important as the lasers themselves.
Laser projectors have been commercially available for around 5 years, and the technology has come a long way since then. They’re considered to be a superior home theatre projector that can create a huge array of rich colour, be turned on and off instantly, and are highly durable.1 You can expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $6000+ for a laser projector.
How do LCD projectors work?
LCD (liquid crystal display) projectors work by sending lamp-generated light through a prism or series of dichroic filters, which creates red, green, and blue light. These primary colours are separated into three polysilicon panels, and by shining polarised light through them, can create individual pixels of colour to construct the images that you see on your projector screen. This technology is almost four decades old, and is still going strong.
These types of projector tend to use metal-halide lamps, as they’re capable of producing a large amount of light without overheating, as well as producing a broad spectrum of colour.
LCD projectors have been on the market for about 40 years, and remain a popular choice today. While they can’t provide the same richness of colour as laser projectors, they’re still a great choice for a home theatre. You can expect to pay
Laser projectors have been commercially available for around 5 years, and the technology has come a long way since then. They’re considered to be a superior home theatre projector that can create a huge array of rich colour, be turned on and off instantly, and are highly durable1. You can expect to pay between $300 to $8000 for an LCD projector, depending on the quality of the brand. It’s always best to do thorough research before investing in an expensive piece of technology.
- Laser projector, Wikipedia