Forum Topic

DIY: Build your own LCD projector for dvd playback and gaming

  • Step by Step guide in buidling your own cheap lcd projector-For movies,gaming,karaoke and outdoor use

    Materials Needed.
    A> Lenses
    1. Projection lens- Magnifies the image of the lcd
    2. Fresnel lens
    a. Field fresnel - Converged the lighted image of the lcd to the projection lens
    b. Collimator fresnel- Focuses on the lamp. Collects the light from the lamp and transmit parallel light rays to the lcd.
    3.Front surface mirror-optional
    4. 12v dc power supply for fans and lcd-use pc power supply

    B>Light Engine
    1. Metal halide bulb- 150w -250w: high lumens/ color temperature bulb
    2. Ballast- Controls the power delivered to the lamp
    3. Capacitor- Power factor corrector. power saver
    4. Ignitor- Start up the lamp creating 3.4kv sparks to fire the chemical inside the lamp
    5. Reflector- Recovers wasted light from the lamp
    6. Condenser lens - Increase light collecting efficiency and divert more light to collimator fresnel
    7. IR/UV filter- reduce temperature of lcd created by heat /infrared radiation generated by the lamp. Reduce UV rays to prevent discoloration of lcd.

    1. Front surface mirror- bend the light to make the box smaller
    2. 2-units blower fans - cool down all the parts inside the projector
    3. Fan grill- use for mounting parts of the light engine
    4. bolts and nuts of diff sizes

    Step 1- Choosing your lcd.

    Consideration choosing the right LCD for your need.

    A> LCD size

    DIY projector normally is bigger , or alot of times, alot bigger than commercial projector. Size normally is the first issue.

    1. If size is not an issue, then there are alot of cheap used LCD out there with digonal size of 15 inches with xga resolution, very good enough to project high definition images.

    2. If size is a problem, then its gonna take alot of effort to get compatible LCD. But if you have the money to spend, you can easily buy on line. Smaller LCD like 8.4 inch diagonal normally has SVGA resolution, few are xga resolution which are very expensive say around $250 on line.

    B> LCD resolution

    1. XGA Resolution (1024x768 pixel) A bigger LCD say 15 inches and above has xga resoluiton which are capable enough to display high definition images. Smaller LCD with XGA resolution are expensive.

    2. SVGA resolution (800x600 pixels) - DVD disk has a resolution of 720x480 pixels so if you have an lcd with svga resolution, it can display the full resolution of dvd players which can display very good images (xga of course is alot better)

    3. VGA resolution (640x480) - If you are really low on budget, some small lcd has vga resolution. this can still project good images though your projected image size will be limited otherwise you will see screendoor effect(pixelated) and washout images.

    It is not recommended anymore to use lcd with resolution lower than vga resolution.

    C> LCD inputs

    1. VGA input - Never buy the lcd without vga input (computer video cable) . VGA input can display progressive output from your sources like pc and component output ( need transcoder to convert to vga) of dvd player .

    2. HDMI/DVI (digital input) - Some lcd models have DVI input which is very good because some dvd players have dvi output. Very few lcd have HDMI input. DVI/HDMI peforms better than vga interface because it will bypass the A/D converter from dvd players, pc, and lcd monitor. The lesser electronics used, the better is the image quality.

    Composite input/ s-video of dvd players only displays 720x240 pixels so avoid using this as much as possible. Remember VGA interface is the minimum requirements.

    D> LCD aspect ratio

    1. 4:3 aspect ratio- It has the same aspect ratio of regular TV. In the old days, most of the movies are 4:3 so no problem in displaying the correct image size. But nowadays, most movies are widescreen (1.77:1)or letterbox format ( 2.35:1). So you will see black bars in top and bottom of your image. You will lose up to 60% of lcd resolution when you use widescreen and letterbox movies so image quality will go down.

    2. 16:9 aspect ratio- When you play 4:3 aspect ratio movie, you will see black bars at the two sides. But nowadays, widescreen are prevalent and you will use full resolution of your lcd and image quality will be better than when using 4:3 aspect ratio lcd.

    E> Contrast Ratio - This is other lcd specification that can make lcd cheap or expensive ( the other one is resolution). Higher contrast say more than 1000 can produce beautiful images than with lcd with lower resoltuion. Contrast is the difference in intensity of white and black.

    F> Response time- Lower lcd response time means lcd can display moving images smoothly. try to get lcd with response time not higher than 25ms . The lower, the better

    G> Number of colors- Look for lcd with 16.7million colors to give accurate color rendition. colors with 200k is also good but will not be displaying the real color.

    E> Compatibility- After learning all of the above, you must be sure that lcd is compatible. Compatibkle lcd has only one circuit board attached to the lcd panel.

    Step 2- LCd strippinng and mounting the lcd in the panel

    Strippping of lcd differs from on another. Each lcd is unique in construction. Others are very easy to strip and others will give you hard time. To be sure, just follow the lead of other builders.

    Mounting the lcd in the frame: Before stripping the lcd monitor, make sure the frame is ready. You need to know the effective display area of the lcd so that you can make the frame. Use 1/4 to 1/2 marine or ordinary plywood for the frame. Aluminum and steel plate is also very good.

    \"Mounting of the lcd in the frame is the most critical part of the project\". Make sure that the lcd is fully secured and hanging wires should be clamp to the back board. Lcd is the most expensive part of the project so dont take a shortcut. This is a very strong warning to all builders. The flat ( orange cable) ribbon cable connecting the lcd to the A/D board is very fragile. If you break this, then your lcd is dead. totally.

    Be accurate in making the frame. The frame open area should be about 0.5mm bigger than the lcd effective display area in all sides. Again be accurate or you will regret this later.

    In the pics, you will see the finished frame and the lcd with still the backlight. No need for the backlighht in this project. You will need to remove the backlight and just make this as something useful say desktop lighting.

    In the pics, you will see the lcd in the frame and the controller board installed in the backboard of the frame. The backboard is so much bigger so in your project just make this big enough to fit the controller baord.

    Step 3: Building the Light engine

    Additional Materials needed:
    Base plate: 1 pc
    Fan Grills: size of the ordianry case fan
    Assorted bolts and nuts.
    4 springs

    see pics.
    a> mount the 4 -6inches long bolt in the base plate. The position of the bolt coincide with holes of the fan grills.
    b> mount the reflector and put the fan grill on top. the fan grill was cut to accomodate the reflectro opening
    c>put a spring on top of the 4 nuts to allow expansion of the reflector when heated
    d>mount bulb base in the fan grill
    e> add another fan grill to accomodate the opening of the condenser lens
    f> mount the condenser lens
    g> mount another fan grill to hold the condenser lens
    h> put the housing or cover
    e> install the IR/UV filter

    All the light engine parts must be placed very close to each other except the IR/UV filter which is one inch from condenser lens.

    Step 4 Buiding your box

    The box size depends on your design. The focal length of projection lens and collimator fresenel dictates the length of the box. the width of the box is dictated by the width of your lcd panel

    Sample design:\\

    projection lens focal length: 345mm
    Collimator fresnel: 220m
    collimator fresnel to lcd: 2 inches for air circulation
    Bulb to base plate: 2 inches

    Most likely length of the box: 14in(345mm)+8.7(220mm)+2+2
    ;approx 27 inches

    This is for the straight thru design. No mirror is used and the projector is in horizontal position. To save spave. a mirror is added on top and the projector will be in vertical position. This saves space.

    Pictures of completed projector and all parts mounted. A power supply for fans and lcd using pc power supply is intalled near the projection lens.

    Fans are installed at the sides one blowing between lcd and collimator fresenl and the other sucking out the hot air inside the box located down below.

    Image quality of this projector is very nice
    10.2 inch lcd widescreen
    800x480 resolution
    response time: 25 ms

    Sample image

    New Technology - Diy Projector using LED as Light source

    The same set-up applies as using metal halide bulb except that the reflector is eliminated in the set-up.

    Advanatges of LED over metal halide bulb
    1. 100w only. Lower electricty cost
    2. Much lower temperature. Projector is cool, No noeed for intake fan.
    3. instant on/off on restart
    4. Projector is much lighter. No heavy ballast
    5, Better brightness evenness in the projected image . Minimized hotspot.
    6.Longer LCD life and fresnel life as heat is low.
    7. Higher color temperature. Color saturation is better
    8. Safer to operate as no bulb that can accidentally explode
    9. No UV light, prolongs LCD color.
    10. No reflector needed. Its one difficult part to align.
    11. Overall, much easier to build. Easier to align the light engine.

    Sample image using LED 83 inches diagonal image size


    -- edited by hertzblaster on Aug 17 2010, 04:08 PM

    -- edited by hertzblaster on Aug 17 2010, 04:11 PM

    -- edited by hertzblaster on Aug 17 2010, 04:12 PM

    -- edited by hertzblaster on Aug 17 2010, 04:13 PM

    -- edited by hertzblaster on Aug 27 2010, 02:38 PM
  • very impressive!!!

    mgkano naman damage mo dyan lahat lahat
  • 100 inch??? WOW. Galing mo pre. More power to you!

    You are someone to be proud of!!!

    Ang galing ng pinoy!

    ***** edited by earl_jann on May 19 2004 05:24 PM
  • You are something to be proud of!!!

    someone pre... hehehe
  • sana pm mo na lang yung tao :p
  • ay uu nga nu..suri pre earl_jann hehhee
  • Hehe, narealize ko pero naunahan mo. Sobrang bilib lang alaga ako!!!
  • hehehhe..magkano naman daw lahat ng to?
  • mukhang mahal eh. tingin nyo?
  • Sobrang bilib lang alaga ako!!!

    anu alaga mo? (jok) :)
  • diy projector budget will range from 10,000-30,000 depending on the quality that you want. I suggest you play around building a light engine and lenses land earn the basics. Use transparencies with image or text to project your image. Its like buiding an overhead projector. if you want shortcut buy a second hand overhead projector at HMR at around 3500 pesos and all you need to do is add an lcd. You will be amaze of what you will see! believe me guy! there is no trick here.
  • hehehehe
  • If you can build a 25000 personal pc then you can afford a diy pj.
  • magkano magagastos sa ganitong setup pre..
  • try reading all my post. there are 8 pages. Read other threads and you can learn a lot from then on. Good luck guys!!! Sana makatulog kayo mamaya and di mapuyat ng kaka browse.
  • nararamdaman ko mahal ang setup na yan
  • ambangis mo hertzblaster ! naubos ko yung 8pages ng thread mo s kabila... ala napapanganga ako.... pati yung mga nasa lupain ng mga puti inggit !

    repapips paano gagawin kapag ordinary OHP ang gagamitin?
    san isasalpak lcd ? ano klaseng lcd nga pala?

    galeng mo talaga repapips!

    down p kasi eh!
  • hertzblaster, rought estimate nga dude para may idea ako, kami. Thanks.
  • I spend 25,000 pero dapat 20,000 kasi mali yung unang bili ko ng lens and bulb. If you want to build your own, please read yung mga basics. Its very expensive kung magkamali ka. All you need are the following basic materials. please ask email me personally if you need my support. [email protected]

    1. projection lens
    2. fresnel lens
    3. lcd
    4. metal halide lamp and ballast ignitor
    5. reflector
    6. condenser lens
    7. cabinet

    I am building 4 units for my friends. may extra parts ako if you are interested.
  • hmmmm... hertzblaster, email kita end of this month. Mag bubuo ako ng bare bone pero isipin ko muna yang pj mo mas maganda kasi eh.
  • Please go to Allan staples who owns the site is a very kind and nice guy. I learned alot from him. i hope I can buid a website here in the Philippines just like what he have in a few weeks and hopefully serve the diyers here in the Philippines.
  • wow ang galing

    sige baka ito ang next project ko.

    patulong sir hertz a???

    eh san nga pala nakakabili ng mga parts ?

    ***** edited by nelsonhomer on May 19 2004 06:06 PM
  • Parts that can be bought locally
    1. metal halide light engine
    2. lcd

    parts that are imported
    fresnel lens
    projection lens
    condenser lens

    I just got those imported parts from second hand ohp sa HMR.

    But i will have those imported parts by june.
  • lcd cannot be repaired here in the Philippines. You will have to send it in US.
  • fresnel lens

    same concept ba to like yung sa bidshot na 1500 na big screen projector? :)
  • yes bro.. same concept lang yan ng nasa bidshot.. pero instead of 14\" tv ang gagamitin mo, LCD panel ang gagamitin mo para maikabit mo PC mo..

    there are better lens than fresnel lens.. meron plano convex and positive meniscus lens.. pero wala kong makita na locally available, though nagpurchase ako internationally and makes me say that iba talaga quality ng ibang lens compared sa fresnel lens..

    this is not a new breakthough guys.. if you can search maxtheater in this forum, ganito rin principle nya.. for more info, punta na lang kyo dito sa site na to:

    <click here for link>

    for queries, feel free to contact me.. dame akong alam na tips..
  • viper_chad i hope you won\'t take it personally about my experiences with maxitheater vs the true lcd projector because i had built the maxitheater also before. i had spent considerable time and effort to build a projector at a cost of 1000 pesos trying to duplicate the image as shown in their site. The following are my observation.

    1. the image as shown in their site is not as what you can expect in reality
    2. its true the image is large but its totally dim. You will probably turn blind in just a few weeks watching this projector
    3. If you can see some sample mage in their site that has beautiful colors and very bright, i believe it comes from a real lcd projector. Because even dlp projectors cannot project image as colorful as the one they had shown which cost more than a thousand dollars. why i know this, because i worked in a sales office and we are doing a lot of presentation to our customers and alot of times i took home our projectors to watch movies. and we have both lcd and dlp projector( dlp425,dlp530,dlp490,epson720c). You can see my comparison in my thread at diyaudio. Our lcd projector in our office is now dead so i was not able to compare it and show it. the experts at will help you be informed of differences between lcd and dlp.
    4. colors are totally crappy and images are not sharp and washed out. I have 4 tvs at home which i have tried foolishly believing i can spend 1000pesos to project a 150 inch and beautiful and colorful image just like as shown in their site.
    5. I had been to the site you had in your post, to tell you the truth i had spend so many nights trying to get the best tips that i can get from the web
    and had blindly followed their recommendations but only to see frustrating results.

    But everthing is not bad at all because it is also a good way to learn about optics for starters.

    To give u an idea, this is how I compare it.If you want to build pentium I pc , go to maxitheater because its very cheap so is the performance which you will watch in a totally dark light.

    If you want to build Pentium IV and If you want the joy of experiencing building your own beautiful projector that you can watch with ambient light at night, go to

    But if you have money to spend and really not a diyer\'s , and want to watch during daytime or lights on during night, buy a commercial projector.

    Seriously am very interested in your tips. I hope you can share it with us here.

    And again I hope you won\'t take it personally. Tipidpc has served me lot when i first build my first pc. I Hope this is really a forum for learning
  • Hey guys, if you want a safer way to build a projector,you can buy a projection panel which cost around $50-100 at ebay if you are lucky. Be sure to browse diyaudio for the best panel
  • nize, but can we see some demo using games pls...
  • camera was barrowed. will post games pics by wed.