DLP Lighting Up the HT Market

Digital Light Projectors (DLPs) are clearly coming into their own this year, based on what we saw at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. Joining Sharp and its groundbreaking XV-Z9000 ($10,000)—and also based on Texas Instrument's 1280 x 720 DLP chip—are the new Sim2 HT300 ($14,995), the DWIN TransVision 2 ($12,999), and the Marantz VP12S1 ($12,499).

Other manufacturers embracing DLP include Sony, Mitsubishi, and Runco which last month announced its new 1289 x 780 DLP projector, the Reflection VX-1000c ($16,995). The VX-1000c is expected to be one of the brightest of the bunch, with 1500 ANSI lumens light output, and will also feature an external video processor called the PFP (Pixel for Pixel) Controller. But even with all of the new products, will DLP become a mainstream product?

Findings from the Home Theater Research Group would indicate that DLP may in fact begin to dominate the projector market starting this year. The group's Alessandra Almgren says, "Our research shows that more than 55% of all projectors sold in 2002 will be based on the DLP technology."

Confirming what we saw last month in Las Vegas, Almgren adds, "At CES, it was clear that the DLP technology has achieved image quality levels that are very close to the much-celebrated CRT technology. The marginal improvement in contrast ratio attained by CRT projectors over DLP-based ones is hardly worth the price difference any more."

Texas Instruments, developer of the DLP chips used in the consumer projectors, says, "Obviously, we're delighted to have such positive feedback about what we're doing." The company's Bharath Rajagopalan adds, "We fully expect it to become the technology of choice for home entertainment manufacturers and consumers alike."