Looking at LCoS Projection Systems

The LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) projection system is another recent “projector-on-a-chip” system (in addition to DLP and LCD). The most prominent LCoS systems to date have been JVC's D-ILA and Sony's SXRD projection TVs.

Here are some factors to consider when evaluating an LCoS projection system:

  • LCoS systems are basically a new variant of LCDs. LCoS systems still use liquid crystals, but instead of transmitting light through the liquid crystal like an LCD does, LCoS reflects the light like a DLP, resulting in a significantly brighter image.

    There are only a few manufacturers of LCoS-projection systems, but those that are available — JVC’s D-ILA models, Sony’s SXRD models, and a few others — have perhaps the finest picture quality of any projection displays available.

  • LCoS systems offer true 1080p resolution and an incredibly smooth, film-like image. LCoS beats out LCD-projection systems in the brightness game, while avoiding the rainbow visual effects found in DLPs.

  • LCoS is also known for exceptional black reproduction that rivals, if not quite matches, the blacks displayed by the super-expensive CRT projection systems that used to be the high end of the market.

  • LCoS projectors are more expensive than LCD or DLP projectors. There simply isn’t the kind of volume production of the LCoS microdisplay components to bring the prices down to those levels yet. You can expect to pay about 25 percent more for a 1080p LCoS display than you would for an identically-sized DLP display.

The good news is that the prices are coming down rapidly. For example, Sony’s first generation of SXRD RPTVs cost about twice what similar-sized DLP projectors cost at the time. So keep your eye on LCoS, because it may very well give DLP a run for its (and your) money!

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