What is a DLP TV?

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Updated January 25, 2023

DLP TVs began appearing on the consumer market in 2006, leaving many asking, “what is a DLP TV?” These TVs offer several advantages, such as smooth images, excellent geometry, and grayscale linearity, and have an easily replaceable light source. Unfortunately, these TVs are no longer in production for the consumer market, but you may find one available for resale. However, some of the best TVs today still offer smooth images and other attractive features. Additionally, some smart TVs include features that other TVs don’t, like a microphone and camera for video calls. If you want to know more about these TVs, check out where the camera is on my smart TV.


  • Digital light processing (DLP) TVs utilize digital micromirror devices alongside LED or lasers to create the image on the screen.
  • Samsung first introduced LED DLP TVs in 2006.
  • Brands have discontinued the manufacturing of DLP TVs, though you may still find one for sale second-hand.

The Birth of DLP Technology

Texas Instruments created digital light processing (DLP) in 1987. It includes chipsets based on optical micro-electro-mechanical technology using a digital micromirror device, a semiconductor chip with microscopic mirrors arranged in a matrix. These tiny mirrors represent at least one pixel within the projected image. They were first used in single-chip projectors.

For example, DLP projectors sometimes used a color wheel that spun around, but it created a rainbow effect, causing flashes of colored shadows in high-contrast areas of the screen. Though it’s no longer used in televisions, DLP is still considered a viable technology. About 85% of modern digital cinema projectors use it, and it’s also employed as a light source in some 3D printers. Unless you need to repair a TV screen that is DLP, you should look for a TV with newer technology if you are in the market for a new TV. NanoCell is one of the newest technologies available, and they offer great image quality with wide viewing angles. However, keep reading to learn more about DLP TVs. Additionally, if you are curious about other types of screens we have page on what are TV screens made of, you may want to check out.

Insider Tip

If your TV fails to power on, or any other issues occur as the OPC light blinks, it is essential to diagnose whether the problem is software or hardware related. The first line of action would be to feel the TV unit for excessive heat.


The Use of DLP Technology in TVs

Television brands began using DLP as part of their light-emitting diode (LED) screens in 2006. For a long time, Samsung was the lone producer of these televisions, though, at the time, several brands joined them in using this technology for pocket projectors. DLP also made it possible to produce larger screen TVs because the image size could easily be increased.

Prior to the introduction of LEDs, DLPs required occasional lamp replacements. By combining the two, Samsung not only eliminated the use of the color wheel but also the need to replace the lamp. This resulted in the development of two different types of DLP TVs: LED- and laser-based.

What Are LED-based DLPs?

LED-based DLPs combine LED and DLP to create TVs that turn on instantly. LED DLP TVs have a longer life than either DLP only or LED only lighting because there are fewer lamps to replace, and they are easier to replace than LEDs. LED-based DLP TVs do not feature a color wheel. Instead, the light passes through different color filters to create the colors. In addition, DLP LED TVs offer improved color, color saturation, and color gamut. And while DLP TVs aren’t produced anymore, LED TVs are widely available. If you are curious, you can see how LED stacks up against another newer technology with our LED and QLED comparison.

What Are Laser-based DLPs?

In 2008, Mitsubishi TVs were the first to feature lasers instead of LEDs in a DLP TV, referred to as the LaserVue. Like the LED-based DLPs, the laser-based units did not house a color wheel. Instead, the colors are produced using three separate lasers that illuminate the digital micromirror device. This change resulted in an even richer, more vibrant color palette.


If the TV OPC light is still blinking, perform a factory reset to return the TV to factory settings. Please note that you will lose any stored apps, passwords, and settings after conducting a factory rest on your TV.


What’s the difference between an LCD TV and a DLP TV?

Liquid crystal display (LCD) and digital light processing (DLP) TVs differ in the way they produce the image on the screen.

How long do DLP TVs last?

DLP and LCD light bulbs typically last about 8,000 hours, which is about 2 years using it for 10 hours a day every day. Purchasing a DLP TV with LED or laser technology may further expand your TV’s life.

What is a DLP TV?

A DLP TV is a device that uses micromirrors on a semiconductor chip arranged in matrices. This technology was eventually replaced by larger LCDs and plasma televisions.

STAT: It is also used in about 85 % of digital cinema projection and in additive manufacturing as a light source in some printers to cure resins into solid 3D objects. (source)

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