The Art of Gaming

Acer H9500BD Home Theater Projector Review

Greetings,

I have put in a good amount of time gaming on this projector, mainly in 3D.  I have to say when I saw the sample 3D Nvidia stills I was pretty damn impressed…then I starting gaming.

I already knew I would have to lose resolution in order to game in 3D, since 720p is the only available option.  Whenever I would try to switch to a 1080p resolution the Acer would spit out an error message that the current resolution was not compatible in the 3D mode.  You are pretty much limited to gaming in 720p 60hz which is not very pretty.  Not only do you lose resolution, but you lose a lot of that color “pop”.  I tried messing with the color settings, but nothing I changed could get the colors where they needed to be.  The colors just seem a bit more dull and the loss of resolution on a 100″+ screen is pretty depressing.

Does the 3D work, yes.  Is it worth losing great color and resolution over, I don’t think so.  These are the games I played in 3D:

 

Mafia II

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Bioshock 2

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

 

A game like Mafia II was not very impressive in 3D, only the maps, reminders and other overlay text really popped in 3D.  Whereas a game like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 looked a lot better in 3D, but it was not mind blowing in any way.   If I had to make a comparison of what 3D gaming on this projector reminded me of, it reminded me of gaming on my Epson 8700UB with the FI (Frame Interpolation) feature turned on high, only the Acer had faded colors and less resolution.

I was very impressed when I saw 3D sports on ESPN 3D at Art’s house on the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3010, but I don’t think the 3D gaming aspect is anywhere near that good.  I am not a fan of 3D to begin with, but sports (especially boxing) looked VERY good in 3D.  After seeing the sports it really got my hopes up for 3D gaming.

You also lose a lot of brightness when you enter 3D mode, which can be a huge disappointment if you have a large screen.  I had to keep the screen size at about 80 inches to actually make it bearable.  Keep in mind my usual screen size is 120 inches.  The lag tests produced an average of 30ms lag time with the AcuMotion feature turned off.  I would definitely advise you to leave this feature off when gaming, as I experienced lag from 100ms to 150ms when I tested with it on.

I really like this projector for movies, HDTV and 2D gaming, but I would not recommend this one for gaming in 3D.  I really hope it was just this projector, and not the image all 3D projectors are going to produce for 3D PC gaming.  It’s the first projector that I have reviewed which actually worked with Nvidia 3D Vision, so I have to give it props for that.

One other major thing that annoyed me was the time it took for the projector to switch resolutions.  When switching from 720p 3D gaming to 1080p 2D gaming the whole cycle took about 30-45 seconds.  I know Art brought this up in his review, and it is a MAJOR annoyance.

I was not impressed with this one from a 3D aspect, so I am going straight to the meat of things:

 

The Good:

It actually worked with Nvidia 3D Vision

Build quality seems very respectable, nice and heavy

Black level

Horizontal and vertical lens shift

Great black level performance and shadow detail (very important for gaming)

 

The Bad:

The remote is on the cheap side

Lag test produced average results for a DLP projector.  Not as good as some of the zero lag projectors tested previously.

 

The Ugly:

Switching resolutions takes way too long

3D PC gaming only an option in 720p resolution

Brightness dramatically reduced in 3D mode, in gaming this is a huge negative

Colors appear dull in 3D mode for gaming

 

Conclusion:

This is a great projector for movies, 3D movies, HDTV, gaming in 2D, and 3D photo viewing.  I would NOT recommend it for gaming on a PC in 3D.  My main objective is to review these projectors for gaming, after retesting the lag issue I would recommend this projector for 2D gaming online and off.  As far as 3D gaming, I was not impressed at all.  Until I get another 3D unit in I won’t know if it was just this projector, or that 3D gaming altogether isn’t all it is cracked up to be.  I really hope to get another 3D gaming projector soon!

If you are looking to watch movies in 2D/3D, game in 2D this is a great great projector to consider.  If your main goal is to game 3D then I would suggest skipping this one altogether.  Here’s a link to Art’s review on the Acer:

http://www.projectorreviews.com/acer/h9500bd/index.php

Thanks for reading.

-Ebenezer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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