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How LCD Projectors Work

LCD projectors have been around since the 1980s, and use the same liquid crystal displays that create the images in watches and other electronic devices. Specifically, most LCD projectors use 3 LCD technology, a patented system that combines three liquid crystal displays. An image is created in a multistep process, which begins with the light source providing a beam of white light. The white light is passed to three mirrors (called dichroic mirrors) that are specially shaped to reflect only a certain wavelength of light. In this case, the mirrors reflect red, blue, and green wavelengths. Each beam of colored light is then fed to an LCD panel, which receives an electrical signal that tells it how to arrange the pixels in the display to create the image. All three LCD panels create the same image, but they have different hues because of the colored light passing through the panel. The images then combine in a prism, creating a single image with up to 16.7 million colors that is passed through the lens and projected onto the screen.

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