Acer H6510BD Home Theater Projector Review
Acer H6510BD Projector - Appearance
The H6510 BD projector is pretty clean looking – off-white, a box with rounded corners and shiny top surfaces. Acer has refreshed the look from last year’s 6500 projector. The most noticeable difference is that Acer has recessed the H6510 BD projector’s lens.
One thing that caught me by surprise. Acer has improved their game by replacing the 1.2:1 zoom found in last year’s projector with a 1.3:1 zoom lens for a 50% increase in placement flexibility. A 1.3:1 zoom offers hardly what we’d call a lot of range, but when you are setting up “tabletop”, it usually can’t hurt to have more flexibility.
The rest seems to be mostly facelift. The grills (exhausts, intakes) are basically in the same places but again with some redesign. Ultimately the Acer H6510 projector looks a good deal like last year’s Acer,both very box like, and has essentially the same functionality.
The 1.3:1 manual zoom lens is on your right when facing the projector. Focus and Zoom are accomplished by two rings recessed on the top, just behind the lens. The control panel is found further back on the top of the H6510 BD projector.
The H6510 projector (like last year’s) has 3 feet, for table usage. That gives you a 3 point stance. the front center leg (more of a bar) is adjustable by a recessed button on the front of the projector. One of the two back feet are also adjustable. Life would be easier for many folks, however, if Acer went to the trouble of making both rear feet adjustable.
I had to slide a CD “jewel case” under the fixed rear leg to get the positioning I needed in my room because I set the projector almost even with the screen bottom, so with all the built in lens offset, the image was too high. This otherwise minor thing – not having one leg adjustable, is going to be a real inconvenience for many owners. Acer, do your self a favor next series of projectors: Give us 3 adjustable feet, it can’t cost but a few cents more, and you will make a lot of owners very happy, by simplifying a quick setup.
All the inputs and connectors are located on the back of the projector, and are discussed below.
H6510 Control Panel
The H6510′s control panel is fairly basic except for the “e” button. It appears mostly square, with four outer bars in silver, and inside, the four arrow keys in square configuration. In the dead center is the Menu button which opens the menu system, or once in it, takes you back up a level.
Looking from the rear of the projector, the lower left button on the control panel is the power. Once for on, twice for off. Across from it -(back right) is the “e” button which per Acer “empowers” you. Basically you can program which function (of those allowed) that button will execute. Not a big deal, but they gave it a name, rather than “a programmable button”. Continuing counter-clockwise, in the front right, is the Source button, and the front left has a Resync button primarily for working with an analog computer signal.
There are two indicator lights labeled Lamp, and Temp. The manual describes what different functions different lights, and flashing patterns indicate. A third light is on the power button (yes the lower left).
H6510 Projector – Input/Output
The H6510 projector has a typical selection of inputs and other connectors. In this case, it starts off on the left, with a serial RS232, then USB for computer control.
Next comes the pair of HDMI 1.4 inputs. Next comes the classic S-video (DIN connector) and Composite (RCA jack) video.
Stacked on top of each other are the Computer Input (top) and the Monitor output below. Almost to the right are three more RCA jacks, this time color coded for component video. Lastly are a stereo audio input and a stereo audio output.
Additionally the rear of the H6510 has the power receptacle and a Kensington security lock slot.
Acer H6510BD Menus
Acer H6510BD Remote Control
I insist on complaining when I get in any home projector that comes with a remote control that isn’t back lit. I don’t care if it’s a family room projector, or a very bright projector, when you are watching movies, the room is usually rather dark and it’s often impossible to read anything on a remote that is not back lit.
The Acer H6510BD projector’s white faced remote is a fairly small one with relatively small buttons.
Acer has enough variation on button size and placement that this remote’s not goint to be too hard to memorize over time, but a backlight would be better.
From the top: There’s a nice red power button (once for on, twice for off). To its right is a nice blue button for 3D. (The projector does not have an auto detect for 3D). On the right is the Hide button, which I guess isn’t a bad place for one. The second row provides Aspect Ratio, PC sync (middle), and Source on the right. A button for digital zoom is below the Aspect Ratio, then comes Mute, and the “e” button (programmable). As noted, you can choose a function from those offered in the menus.
Below comes the usual navigation area, with 4 arrow keys in a square formation, and a center Menu. That’s it for the top half.
The bottom section consists of 12 buttons The first row of four buttons allow you to work with the image: RGB, Brightness, Color and Contrast. After that, buttons include some computer control (page up/down, which is a basic remote mousing function – connected through the USB port). Then there are individual source buttons, including 1 HDMI and 1 DVI (rather than the two HDMI jacks). Chalk that up to there being “business” versions where DVI jacks are widely used.
Note that the top row have DVR control symbols as well. (Play, Rewind, Stop…) The projector doesn’t claim HDMI-link so we’ll suppose those markings are there because this remote is also used by some Acer business or education projectors.
Despite the lack of a backlight, the remote was a nice size, and it’s easy to “feel” and learn all the necessary buttons, which basically means the power and the menu controls, the Source button, and whatever you decide to make the E button. Range is 20 feet plus.
Acer H6510BD Lens Throw
Acer has upped it’s game with the H6510BD, replacing the H6500′s 1.2:1 zoom with a 1.3:1 zoom lens. This provides a still modest, but better amount of front to back placement flexibility for most sized screens (images) figure about a 3 foot front to back range. Specifically, if pointing at a 100″ diagonal screen. The closest the front of the projector can be to that 100″ screen is 8 feet 2 inches (2.5m), and the furthest is 12 feet 6 inches (3.3m) (data is rounded, taken from the chart in the manual. It suggests that it is only accurate within a couple of inches… So, should you be mounting this H6510BD projector, planning on mounting at exactly the inside or outside end of the lenses range might not work out. Try it first.
Acer H6510BD Lens Shift
Gotcha! No, your first impression was correct, The H6510BD projector does not have adjustable lens shfit. But we list the “category” of “lens shift” so you know, one way or another if a projector has it.. Due to lacking adjustable lens shift, the Acer H6510 projector needs to be placed at the correct height relative to the screen, whether ceiling mounted or on a table, to get the proper rectangular image. Lens shift provides more flexibility but is generally an expensive feature to implement, so rarely found on projectors under $1500.
If you can not place the projector at the right “height” you do have the option of using keystone correction to regain a rectangular image. Keystone correction does detract from an images sharpness, as you lose 1:1 pixel mapping. That is, to keep things square (rectangular), the Acer has to crompress each line a little more than the one before. End result, a slight bit of softness.
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