Acer H9500BD Home Theater Projector Review

Shadow Detail Performance

Immediately below is our favorite image for looking at dark shadow detail. It’s also a good test of black level performance. As you can see in the shrubs on the right and behind the tracks, and also in the darkest portion of the woods, that there’s plenty of dark shadow detail. Several of the projectors’ images below crush the darkest detail. Not only does it have good black level performance, but very good dark shadow detail, rivaling the Epson, which is also very good.

Acer H9500BD
Epson Home Cinema 3010
Optoma HD33
BenQ W1200
Viewsonic Pro8200
Mitsubishi HC4000
BenQ W6000 (ultra high contrast, 2D, $2000+)
Sony VPL-HW30ES
Acer H9500BD
+Epson Home Cinema 3010

Black Level and Shadow Detail Performance: H9500BD Projector - Bottom Line

Let’s start with 3D, since I didn’t discuss that yet, at least not here. The blacks are very good considering price. In 3D the blacks are really dark, the combination of the general performance of the H9500 Acer in terms of contrast and blacks, combine with 3D, as usual eating up about 75% of available brightness. I even ran the H9500DB, in 3D along with the almost twice the price, higher end Epson Home Cinema 5010. Now that projector lacks dynamic iris functionality when in 3D, but is superb at blacks, beating all but a handful of more, and of far more, expensive projectors.

Unfortunately for the Epson, their dynamic iris stays off. Fortunately, the inherent black level abilities of the Epson, even when not using the iris, are truly impressve.

So, the bottom line – Acer really performs with the top of its class when it comes to blacks and shadow detail. These are key strengths of the Acer H9500!

Acer H9500BD - Overall Color & Picture Quality

Blacks and shadow detail are the strengths. Color, while fine for my wife and daughter, and friends passing by, won’t please the more critical folks shopping in this price range. Still there’s lots to like. The picture has a lot of image punch to go along with its home entertainment accuracy, in terms of color.

The Acer projector will perform fine for most of us. The question of whether it’s the right one, though, comes down to many things and a couple of those things are the trade-offs between color accuracy, and black level performance.

A mix of additional images to show off the Acer H9500BD:

Acer H9500BD Projector: Performance, HDTV and Sports, including 3D

The H9500BD has a nice clear image.

The H9500BD’s CFI – smooth motion – works well enough. I don’t pay close attention, but I did use their implementation on High, and Medium and Low settings. High was fine for sports while low was fine for normal HDTV content. There’s more than a little “live digital video look” when applied to movies. I wouldn’t recommend using CFI for that, but fine for HDTV.

The lightly cool color of the Acer isn’t an issue for sports. That modest 500K shift in color balance towards blue, just isn’t something anyone’s really going to care about while watching the NFL playoffs, or boxing.

Speaking of boxing, the Acer H9500 projector tacking 3D boxing was exhilarating. Boxing is one of the most phenomenal sports for 3D. Impressive.

A few hundred more lumens in 3D would have been nice, but this projector is reasonable in 3D on a 100″ screen.

Acer H9500BD Projector: Bottom Line on HDTV Sports, and also 3D HDTV content

A definite competitor, better in 2D than 3D, since the Acer isn’t really bright in 3D. Overall the 3D worked fine, but as is oft the case, my eyes are seeing quaterback bombs almost becoming invisible at times. I see this in other 3D projectors, but this isn’t as good as the few others I’ve encountered.

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