LCD projectors project light onto mirrors which split it up into its 3 primary colours: red, green and blue. The colours then pass through three separate glass panels (actually prisms), which is why this technology is referred to as 3LCD. When light is projected through the LCD panels, individual pixels are opened or closed to allow light through or block it. The separate colours are then converged using another prism and projected on to the screen.
Digital Light Processing is a proprietary system developed by Texas Instruments, and works differently to LCD projection. Most DLP projectors have a single chip instead of glass panels through which light is passed, and this chip has a reflective surface composed of thousands of tiny mirrors which correspond to individual pixels. These mirrors can move back and forth when light is beamed onto the chip to direct the light from individual pixels either towards the projector lens or away from it. In order to define colours, DLP projectors have a colour wheel that consists of red, green and blue filters. This wheel spins between the light source and the DLP chip and alternates the colour of the light hitting the chip between red, green and blue. The mirrors tilt away from or into the lens path depending on how much of each color is required for each pixel at any given moment.
DLP projectors often have a clear section in their colour wheel which boosts brightness but reduces colour saturation. LCD projectors do not have a colour wheel
LCD projectors have a slightly sharper image than DLP projectors at equal resolutions. This can actually be a drawback which we will come to below.
This means that the same wattage lamp in an LCD and DLP would produce a brighter image in the LCD.