Optoma H30 DLP Projector About The Comparisons
For love of a big picture, people will do strange things. They'll invite colossal containers into their homes, to tire eyes and scare cats. They'll endure the wrath of spouses and creditors. They'll cover windows in a Morlockian fear of the sun and hang heavy, glass-laden objects above their fireplaces. Why? Because they want a movie theater in their home.
You may wonder, "Why get a 480p projector and not an HD model?" Well, they're cheap. The projectors in this Face Off range in price from $1,300 to $1,600. For the best picture quality, you'll want to buy a screen to accompany the projector; a fixed model starts at around $1,000. That means, for $2,300, you could own a video system with a 100-inch (or larger) screen. Now that's a big screen.
Of course, 480p does put limits on screen size. If your screen is too big or you're sitting too close, you'll start to see pixels. Even so, if you want to watch DVDs and even the occasional HD feed on a big screen, little else will get you such bang for so few bucks. The question is, are these projectors worth those bucks?
To find out, I found four folks fervently fascinated to participate on our panel. Video technical editor Scott Wilkinson brought his beguiling, bearded self, while executive editor Adrienne Maxwell and copy editor Amy Carter afforded their acutely accurate animadversions. Rounding out our raucous range of reviewers was contributor Glenn Fields. I'll aim to arrest all annoying alliterations anon.
I set up the three projectors to look their best using the available controls and Video Essentials. I matched light output and hid the identity of each projector from our panelists. Only two of the projectors can be calibrated. At the end of our testing day, I calibrated them and showed the same video material again so that the panelists could note any differences.
Most of our video demos were DVDs: "Montage of Images" from Video Essentials; chapters 1 and 5 from the Fifth Element Superbit disc; chapter 1 from Master and Commander; and the latter half of chapter 12 from Gladiator. We then watched the opening montage of Digital Video Essentials (1080i) from a D-VHS deck.
Interestingly, this was the first Face Off I've conducted in which all of the reviewers ranked the products in the same order.