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  InFocus ScreenPlay 7210, home theater bliss 
  Apr 12, 2005, 10:00am EDT 

Digital Light Processing

By: Sander Sassen

The ScreenPlay 7210 projector uses Texas Instruments DLP, Digital Light Processing, technology in its latest incarnation dubbed Dark Chip 3, DC3, which has a native 1280x720 resolution. A DLP chip is in essence a digital mirror, composed of millions of small moveable mirrors, which project the image. Each mirror can either be switched on, and projects a ray of light through the lens, or off, which will not result in any light entering the lens. The actual image is formed on the mirror and reflected off of it through the projection lens onto the screen. Color is added in a DLP projector by using a rotating color wheel with the three primary colors, red, blue and green, in front of the mirror and then combining the images for these three colors faster than the human eye can see. Obviously with these three primary colors every possible color can be displayed, simply by switching the mirrors on and off at a higher or lower frequency in synchronization with the color wheel.

DLP mirror detail DLP mirror and pencil tip

A close up of a DLP mirror with one mirror removed and for comparison of size, the tip of a pencil.

One of the advantages of using a rotating colorwheel is that a transparent segment of the wheel is used to project white light, greatly enhancing contrast. A downside of using the colorwheel obviously is the fact that not all colors can be displayed simultaneously; only one color can be displayed at any given time. That also is a disadvantage of a DLP projector as the rapid switching between colors cause for some people to see "rainbows" across white text or white objects in movies. This is simply caused by the rotation of the colorwheel and may, or may not, be noticeable. High-end projectors use a high-speed color wheel, such as the 5-speed, 7-segment color wheel used on the ScreenPlay 7210 to minimize this effect.

1. Introduction
2. Lumen output and contrast
3. Resolution and noise
4. Digital Light Processing
5. InFocus ScreenPlay 7210
6. Results, lumen output and contrast
7. Results, impressions
8. Conclusion
9. Pricing information

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