The technology behind LCD (Transmissive Liquid Crystal Display) starts off with a single light source, just like with DLP. But, with LCD and 3LCD, the single light source is split into 3 beams — one each for red, green, and blue – the primary colors. Once the light is split, mirrors send the beams to different locations inside the projector box. At that point, the light passes through one of the LCD panels (or three panels if it is a 3LCD projector). These panels are not colored, but grayscale, and each has a different color filter. The end result, when light passes through them, is the red, green, and blue beams that then pass through a dichroic prism, which recombines the three beams into a single full color beam.
How LCD works is a laser-phosphor light engine a blue laser emits blue light, some of which excites a yellow phosphor. That yellow light is split into red and green, and each color passes through its own LCD imaging panel. The light from the three panels is then combined and sent through the lens to the screen.
While early LCD projectors contrast performance was behind its DLP competition, the last six years has seen remarkable leaps forward for LCD.
A projector is more than the sum of its parts. It has been said that the actual projector is only one half of the equation, with the screen being the other factor that impacts perceived picture quality. The truth is you have to look at the projector systemically. When you do you will find, among other improvements, the dynamic iris contributes to LCD projector’s improved contrast.