Acer H6500 Projector - Physical Tour
6/25/2012 - Art Feierman
Acer H6500 Projector - Appearance
The H6500 projector is pretty clean looking - off-white, a box with rounded corners and top surfaces, and a two tone finish.
The 1.2:1 manual zoom lens is on your right when facing the projector. Focus is accomplished by turning the trim ring on the lens, while the zoom in and out are handled by a recessed ring on the top, just back from the lens. A control panel is also on the top, centered, toward the back.
The H6500 projector 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 some, however if Acer went to the trouble of making both rear feet adjustable. I had to slide things 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. It's a minor complaint, in the grand scheme of things, but, noteworthy I think.
All the inputs and connectors are located on the back of the projector, and are discussed below.
To Filter, or Not To Filter: That seems to be the question: Interestingly, the H6500 manual says it has a pair of dust filters - one on each side. This is very unusual for a DLP projector, as the light path is mostly sealed, so dust really doesn't get inside. On the other hand, if you've ever seen the accumulation of dust inside a desktop computer after a couple of years (ugly), all that dust can't be good for heat buildup. As these filters only call for cleaning - not replacing, every 1000 hours, I like that this Acer has them. And, should you be mounting this projector, the good news is no problem changing the filters while mounted!
Here's the issue. Now that I've discussed the potential advantage of having one, the only problem is I'm staring at this H6500 projector and I cannot find any filter door or for that matter any side filters. I can see through the grates they show, but I see no filter, nor access. I'm not concerned. My best guess is that some business version of the H6500 does have the filters and a slightly different case, or one may have to remove one half of the top of the projector, which you have to do to change out the lamp.
H6500 Control Panel
The H6500'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).
H6500 Projector - Input/Output
The H6500 projector has a typical selection of inputs and other connectors. In this case, it starts off on the left, with a USB for computer command, then the usual analog computer input. Further to the right are three color coded RCA jacks for the component video input, and the standard yellow RCA jack for composite video.
Next comes the pair of HDMI inputs. As is usual - two inputs - but just one circuit, and that means that, as mentioned on the first page, you cannot use two different HDMI inputs for the two pictures when PIP (picture in picture) is engaged. (That's almost always true of PIP even on far more expensive projectors - you can use 1 HDMI, but must have a different type of input for the other).
Other than the obligatory power receptacle and Kensington lock, also on the back, there is also one 12 volt screen trigger jack, to control a properly equipped motorized screen or other device.
Some of the more important menus:
Acer H6500 Remote Control
As always, I must complain when I see a 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 watch movies, the room is usually rather dark and it's often impossible to read anything on a remote that is not back lit. Type is a bit small (as are the buttons - this is a small white remote control).
The Acer H6500 apparently has siblings that are business portable projectors, and this remote obviously works for those as well. This projector doesn't use every button, for example one button is for wireless, but the H6500 has no wireless abilities.
From the top. There's a nice red power button (once for on, twice for off). To its right is a rocker bar. Rock left for Freeze (image) or right for video mute (Hide). There's another rocker bar right below, with Source and Resync functions. To the left, a button for changing aspect ratio. Right below it, is a button for engaging the digital zoom (discussed on the first page).
Then, over to the right again, is a green button for "e". As noted, this is a programmable button where you can choose a function from those offered in the menu.
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.
Below the Nav, are 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, which again goes back to "crossover projector" aspects).
It's a functional remote control. At least it's white (black remotes can be so hard to find in dark rooms), since it doesn't have a backlight. This remote serves its purpose. On the other hand, nothing particularly wonderful about it either. The "e" feature button is a nice touch, but a bigger remote could have more discreet buttons, making it unneccessary.
Acer H6500 Lens Throw
Acer offers a very basic 1.2:1 zoom ratio. This provides a modest amount of front to back placement flexibility - less than two feet, if pointing at a 100" diagonal screen. The closest the front of the projector can be to that 100" screen is 10 feet, 11 inches , and the furthest is 13 feet 2 inches (numbers are rounded, based on the chart provided in the Acer manual).
H6500 Lens Shift
As is typical of entry level DLP projectors for the home, there is no lens shift. The 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 $1000. If you can place it at the right "height" you do have the option of using keystone correction. This detracts a touch, from the quality of the image, but otherwise gets the job done.