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I recently looked into getting a projector, and found myself looking at the Optoma HD series.
There were a bewildering array of models to chose form but I was told that all of the 720p optoma projectors are very similar, and not to look too closely at the manufacturers specs as you'll want to tweak the settings to get the best picture anyway, so 13000 lumens becomes more like 500 lumens when you set it up for watching movies in a darkened room.
The build quality on the projector is a little cheap, the case is black plastic (the optoma hd65 is white, but otherwise they are identical projectors, it even comes up on my computer as an optoma hd65). It shows up scratches and fingerprints quite readily. The lens is zoomed in using a wheel on the top, the focus is made by rotating the lens- this feels a little cheap and the lens wobbles a bit during turning. Also adjusting the zoom throws the image out of focus- this is quite annoying as it means you constantly have to adjust the 2, and adjusting the focus alters the zoom slightly (I know this is down to the incredibly basic optical design), but other projectors I have seen do not do this. There is vertical and horizontal shift but all it does it shift the picture and crop off some of the image, so not really very useful
The projector is absolutely tiny, a lot smaller than I expected it to be, and it weighs nothing- so no problems finding somewhere to put it.
Picture quality is fantastic, over HDMI the image is contrasty and sharp, with plenty of shadow detail- I may play with the settings but the picture of of the box is fantastic. Make sure you have it on 'cool' white balance, the other settings are far too warm.
I will update the review with my preferred settings when I discover them.
I haven't noticed any rainbow effects and i've been trying my best to induce them.
it's also a lot quieter than I expected, on high bulb mode it's noisier but it's still acceptable- on eco mode it's whisper quiet
An amazing buy, for less than £400 for big screen gaming, movie watching or TV- incredible
Once upon a time setting up a home cinema was only thought to be for the mega rich, but things have changed over the last 8 yeasr in a big way. We currently have Kef speakers paired up to a Denon amp, all we needed was a half decent projector to complete our home theater experience. We play our DVDs and Blu Rays through our Playstation.
When we received it we placed it on our ceiling approx. 2.5 meters from our HD glass beaded viewing screen and the screeen was about 62 inches. Although light reflective pain it just as good if you can't stretch to a good screen I was always told to pop the bulb setting onto 'economy' which makes your bulb last longer as they are very expensive to replace at £60 per hit. But the spec says that the life of the battery is 3000 hours. We then connected it to the PS3 with an HDMI cable which we purchased witht he projector for a stupid price. Please get your cables from the net folks - they're cheaper.
It's a 720p picture although you can also set it to 1080i. The 1.3000 lumen is very bright & ideally suited to most medium sized living rooms (mine is 6m x 4m)
It's essential that you get the room as dark as you possible can, don't allow any light to seep in. The picture was very bright, sharp and contrast was better than what I'd expected, colours vivid too. We first tested out The Pirates of the Carribean. Past reviews stated that it created a rainbow effect but I have yet to see this. You do get an instruction booklet with the projector but it's dead easy to set up and they aren't needed. We also tried out my husbands Formula One game on it, it was awesome as he put it.
It's a quite little runner and you can hardly hear the fans which pleases me, mind you the speakers are always cranked upto the hilt!
Purchased from Dixons for £399
A HD projector for £440? Surely it can't be that great, right? That's what I thought when I first started looking at this projector. It seemed mad to think that I could have a HD screen anything up to around 100" for that amount of money. Although I read a lot of positive reviews I wasn't prepared for how great this projector actually is. For £440 Optoma have created something amazing. A HD picture, bigger than any TV you can buy and just as good quality.
I've had the projector set up for about a week now and, to be honest, didn't really have the money to buy it at the time, so I was very hesitant about what the quality would be like. I set the projector about 3 meters back from a screen just over 60 inches and away we go. From that distance it projects an image 60 inches approx (although this is adjustable) in full 1080p high definition. I've also bought a Sony BDP-S350 Blu-ray player to accompany the projector. So... what does it look like?
The Positives -
I can't tell you how amazing the picture is from the Sony Blu-ray player. The image is sharp, bright and ... well amazing. It's like watching a movie in the cinema, it's incredible. I've already watched quite a few films on there, but so far the most impressive seem to be Wall-E, Batman: The Dark Knight and I Am Legend. It's hard to believe how an image so crisp and clear can be projected by a projector that cost me less than £500.
There are so many options available between both the Blu-ray player and projector, as to the picture settings, that anyone can set it up as to be just right for them. The projector also displays very well in lighter conditions. I've turned the light on my ceiling (between the projector and screen) right up and the image is still clear. This projector just proves how far technology has come in the past few years.
The Negatives -
As I have a large DVD collection, I'll obviously want to view some of them (up-scaled) on my projector. However, there is a considerable difference between viewing a Blu-ray on this projector and an up-scaled DVD. While the quality is still very good, it doesn't compare in any way with the image thrown out from a Blu-ray. This may be an issue worth considering. Also, the projector fan (when the lamp is turned onto the 'bright' setting) can be a little noisy. Although, I have the projector above my head and the fan hasn't been a problem for me.
This projector proves there are alternatives to buying a very expensive 50" HD TV. In my opinion, this projector makes the viewing experience more pleasurable than watching a film on TV. For me, this is now the only way t watch a movie. For the price and quality of picture, you just can't go wrong.
As PC world are usually out of stock due to demand, I'd recommend projectorpoint.co.uk. The projector costs 457.70 and the people there are very helpful with any queries you have. They also sell projector screens for very reasonable prices. Their cheapest are the Sapphire range - I have one of these and the quality of screen is excellent. Bear in mind though, these screens are heavy. I bought mine from projector point and, with the screen, it cost me just over 500. Note: they do try to price match. Although they told me they couldn't price match PC World, they did give me free delivery!