Pixel Shifting Projectors

Pixel shifting, sure sounds techie, and it is. Perhaps five-six years ago, we saw the first pixel shifting projectors.

They are used in both home theater projectors and commercial ones, as a technique to produce a seemingly higher resolution image, than the native resolution of the DLP, 3LCD or LCoS panels that are in those projectors. The most common application is to use pixel shifting technology to allow projectors to display content from 4K sources, with a perceived sharpness that is higher than the same panels/chips could do without shifting.

Most pixel shifting projectors use 1080p (1920×1080) or the similar WUXGA panels (1920×1200 – the usual resolutions below 4K). Because the actual chip or panel fires more than one time. When it fires the second time, that pixel is physically shifted Open to the right by half of pixel, creating overlaps. Combining that with fancy image processing, the end result is the ability to show more detail, than the same projector not using pixel shifting. Most pixel shifters have the option of turning off the pixel shifting. On DLP projectors that’s often referred to as the Silence mode, but a fancy name isn’t needed. Pixel shifting works, and you don’t need a higher resolution content to use it. Many commercial projectors use pixel shifting even when not using 4K content because the data can be interpolated to emulate higher resolution, so the projector can improve the perceived sharpness of the picture, even if it’s 1080p content.

There are a great many DLP projectors using pixel shifting, they’re all referred to as 4K UHD projectors capable of putting 8 million pixels on the screen, because 8 million pixels is that you HD standard. Do not mistake 4K capable pixel shifters whether they are referred to as UHD or UHD Pro, or other names, for native for 4K projectors. Native is still better, and a good bit more expensive, for example the least expensive need a fork a projector on the home side is a $5000 Sony at this time, where is 4K capable pixel shifters start at about $1000. Image processing though is the key. For example, a non-UHD projector like an Epson pixel shifter may seem sharper than a UHD model, because of the image processing. You could say it even seems sharper than a native 4K projector. But there are always trade-offs. A pixel shifting image, for example, may seem a little hard looking compared to a native resolution one. The bottom line, pixel shifting provides a much lower cost method primarily for handling 4K content and delivering sharpness approaching that of a native 4K projector.

Pixel Shifting Projector Reviews

JMGO U2 Laser TV Review
November 13, 2021

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