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Imaging Devices

Projectors Test - 300in Picture! Full HD! 3D And All For Under A Grand! (Part 3) : Optoma HD25, Optoma HD25 specs

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7/17/2013 11:36:16 AM

Optoma HD25

Price: $1,200

Rating: 4/5

Unveiled earlier in the year, the Optoma HD25 certainly impresses on paper. Adding to the firm’s range of DLP projectors, the new HD25 boasts Full HD resolution, 3D, a built-in 10W speaker, two HDMI inputs, a pair of 3D glasses and a backlit remote.

But does it deliver on performance? It certainly does: starting off with 2D picture, the HD25 is confident and comfortable, displaying a well-balanced picture that’s pleasant to watch. There’s great clarity, with no noticeable noise across the screen remarkable for a $1,200 projector.

There’s enough detail on offer to convey different textures confidently: the dirt and grime is tangible

Easy to use and capable of vivid, detailed pictures, the HD25 is good value

Easy to use and capable of vivid, detailed pictures, the HD25 is good value

The HD25 reproduces color with an eager touch, just short of being too enthusiastic or overblown. Delve into the ‘Image’ settings in the HD25’s menu and make sure you set the Color Temperature to ‘Medium’ rather than ‘Warm’ – it delivers a more natural palette.

Ignore 2012’s terribly uninspiring reboot of Total Recall remake, and focus instead on the stunning visuals: the grimy dystopian underworld with glowing neon lights juxtaposed with the white, clean lines of the upper-city buildings makes for a great Blu-ray test and the HD25 holds its own. There’s enough detail on offer to convey different textures confidently; the dirt and grime is as tangible as the glass and metal. In absolute terms it could do with a splash of subtlety to give it more depth – the Epson digs deeper and is a more immersive viewing experience thanks to superior detail levels.

Black levels in the Optoma aren’t as deftly handled as by the Epson while the contrast of the grey buildings and blinking yellow lights looks great, some darker patches can get muddled up, with edges not being as sharply defined or detailed enough to be differentiated. In comparison, the HD25 may not go as deep into the blacks as the BenQ, but it does perform favorably when it comes to shadow definition. It is a subtler performance than the W1070.

The HD25’s built-in 10W speaker’s sound punchier than the BenQ’s too, though not as expansive as the Epson’s.

Optima HD25: Smart, compact and well-featured, the HD25 also has keen pricing on its side

Optima HD25: Smart, compact and well-featured, the HD25 also has keen pricing on its side

Smooth, if not perfect

When it comes to motion, the HD25 is a smooth experience. While not perfect, there’s nothing obvious to distract us from enjoying the movie, whether Blu-ray, DVD or 3D. And speaking of 3D, Optoma includes a pair of active 3D glasses and an RF emitter with Knight Rider-like lights. Motion in 3D is still a bit shaky, with hints of judder and layering, and it will prove wearisome to watch over a long period of time.

Setting up the HD25 is user-friendly: the on-screen menus are logical, with plenty of scope to make finer adjustments to the picture – the small remote with a piercing blue backlight is handy to use in a dark room.

Optoma includes a pair of active 3D glasses and an RF emitter with Knight Rider-like lights

Optoma includes a pair of active 3D glasses and an RF emitter with Knight Rider-like lights

There’s plenty to love about the HD25: it’s an easygoing and pleasant watch with plenty of features for its affordable $1,200. Yes, it could do with a touch more insight, but it’s an enjoyable projector.

Rating: 4/5

For: Bright, clean image; good level of detail with a vivid color balance; smooth motion

Against: Not the last word in subtlety; the slightly hard edge to the sound can be tiring

Verdict: Eager to please and equally pleasing to watch, the HD25 is a great budget option.

Optoma HD25 specs

·         Resolution: 1920 x 1080

·         Type: DLP

·         3D: Yes – active

·         Rated fan noise: 26dB

·         Throw ratio: 1.5-1.8

·         Max image size: 300in

·         Rated brightness: 2000 lumens

·         HMDI in: 2

·         PC in: 2

·         Audio in: 2

·         Dimensions (H x W x D): 10 x 32 x 23cm

The winner

Epson EH-TW5910 – Rating: 5/5

Standards are creeping up in the projector market as prices slip down, but nothing fits the budget bill like the Epson EH-TW5910

Just a handful of years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to find a projector that performed decently for less than a couple of thousand pounds. But that’s all changed. Our sub-$1,545 quartet all have Full HD resolution, twin HDMI inputs, built-in speakers, decent build and – in the case of three of them – 3D playback.

BenQ’s usually a sure bet when it comes to budget projectors, but the W1070 faltered the most in terms of absolute picture quality and 3D viewing – motion issues in particular were the poorest on show.

In comparison, the Optoma HD25 had plenty to flaunt, with subtler detail in black levels, and a gentler, more comfortable viewing experience. We preferred the Optoma over the BenQ because of its smoother motion, and 3D that was easy on the eyes.

The surprise of the lot was the InFocus IN3118HD, touted as a business projector but delivering home cinema standard picture performance. We’d be hard-pressed to choose between the InFocus and Optoma, as both offer fuss-free and enjoyable picture quality that’s just nice to watch. In the end, we didn’t have to: both achieved four stars and we’d recommend either heartily.

The winner is Epson EH-TW5910

The winner is Epson EH-TW5910

But there was only one winner, and a clear one: the Epson impressed us straight away with its quality build and finish. And when it came to playing high-def. films, its picture quality blew the competition away. There’s a great sense of depth to its pictures helped by layers of subtlety, and it’s also the most watchable. If you’re looking to set up a dedicated cinema theatre on a budget, this is the one we’d encourage you to take home – it’s simply brilliant.

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