Digital projectors are the modern replacements for the rather traditional transparency projectors. Transparency projectors worked by shining light through a semi-transparent material. Digital projectors, by contrast, project a digital image directly from a computer through a lens on to a screen.
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) digital projectors are much lighter and more portable than their CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) versions, making them widely popular. With the advent of new LCD technologies, digital projectors have been developed which have very clear and crisp fidelity even at large projection sizes. The LCDs used in digital projectors are approximately the size of a small color slide, and in fact the projectors operate very much like a traditional slide projector. The main difference is that the slide is constantly changing.
A Digital LCD projector has its light source contained within its base. It projects light upwards through the transparent image (which sits on a glass "stage") to a lens on the top ("head") of the unit and out onto the projection screen. In other words, the light shines through the image to project it. These projectors work well with printed film transparencies or an LCD panel computer display and provide bright, sharp images.
Slightly higher end Digital LCD Projectors can be used for Cinema/exhibition, Post-production, On-screen advertising, Digital film mastering, Multi-media theatrical productions or other large entertainment venues. Most of the recent Digital LCD projectors can be installed with existing film projectors and also provide an interface for theatre automation equipment.
The future of digital projectors is exciting, with new technologies constantly being developed. As more and more theatres switch to digital projection, consumers cannot help but reap the benefits. As these technologies become more affordable they will inevitably find their way into home systems and allow each of us to experience the joy of a full theatre projection in our own home.