Acer PH530 Home Theater Projector Review

PH530 Lens Throw and Lens Shift

The PH530 has a 1.2:1 zoom lens, which is typical for most DLP projectors. This provides very limited placement flexibility, and means you’ll probably be putting your Acer on a table, or ceiling mounting it.

To fill a 100″ diagonal 16:9 screen, the front of the home theater projector needs to be between 11 foot 5 inches and 13 foot 8 inches.

The Acer has no variable lens shift, and the image has moderate built-in fixed lens shift, so that the projector will be either above the top of the screen, if ceiling mounting, or below the bottom on a table, etc. The shift isn’t as great as most DLP projectors (a good thing), which is typically about 16 inches, but, sorry, I didn’t measure, and no longer have the manual to consult for the exact offset.

Acer PH530 SDE and Rainbow Effect, Pixel Visibility

The PH530 seems to be a 4X color wheel. I am only slightly susceptible to the “rainbow effect” (RBE). But, with the PH530, I saw more rainbows than I’m used to. Most home cinema DLP projectors these days are 5X and there are a couple of 6X speed color wheels out there as well. If, therefore you, or your family, can spot the rainbow effect (most noticeable when fast moving, bright objects move across a dark backgound) on other DLP projectors, this projector is probably best avoided, since it’s a bit worse than most.

Acer PH530 Projector Brightness

In best mode – Theater – out of the box, the PH530 put out a low to average 382 lumens. After grayscale adjustment, that dropped insignificantly to 375 lumens.

In low power (lamp in eco-mode), the Acer drops to 297 lumens.

In Bright mode, the Acer was basically right on its 1000 lumen claim, with a measurement of 997 lumens. In Video mode, it dropped to 808 lumens, and when grayscale balanced for best TV viewing, it was slightly lower at 782 lumens.

Simply stated, the PH530 is one of the least bright home theater projectors out there, not as bright as the other DLP competition (the Mitsubishi HC1500 in best mode, and brightest modes was 1218 lumens and 1824 lumens, respectively). Basically the HC1500 completely crushes the Acer, no contest. The Mitsubishi HC1500 would be more comfortable on a 130″ screen, than the Acer on a 100″.

The Optoma HD70 (price wise the closest competitor) beat out the Acer by about 100 lumens in best mode, and the two were about tied in brightest. (HD70: 454 lumens/991 lumens, however, Optoma has never really optimized a bright mode, and with playing, I was able to get up to about 1400 lumens out of the HD70.)

Brightness was more in line with the Sanyo PLV-Z5, an excellent, but not particularly bright LCD projector competitor.

So, bottom line, the Acer is not particularly bright. For one or two hundred more dollars, you can find much brighter DLP projectors.

PH530 Projector - Light Leakage

Nothing serious here. Some light out the front vent but it misses the screen. Some very dim leakage through the lens. Not an issue for an entry level projector.

Acer PH530 Audible Noise Levels

Not bad at all. DLP’s are traditionally noisier than LCD projectors, and the Acer is no exception. I would, however guess that it is 1-2, and maybe 3 db quieter than either the Optoma HD70 or Mitsubishi HC1500.

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