The Art of Gaming

Review – Acer H6500

Hey All!

It’s been quite a while since my last review, but I was able to get my hands on the Acer H6500.  It’s a portable, bright, entry level projector that supports native 1080p resolution, and the price makes it an appealing option for those wanting a 1080p proejctor on a budget.   There are many strengths to this projector, but there are some weaknesses that should be considered before purchasing.  Read on to find out how the Acer H6500 holds up in the game room and how it compares to the GT750.  And be sure to read the conclusion!

First, I want to point out that the Acer H6500, physically, is an extremely portable projector.  The only other projector that I have reviewed (excluding pico projectors) that matches the H6500′s portability is the Optoma GT750.  It’s not quite a backpack, but the Acer H6500 includes a carrying case of sorts so you can easily pack it up and bring it anywhere.

Like most projectors in this price range, the Acer H6500 does not have any lens shift.  This means the projector needs to be pretty much centered in respect to the screen.  The H6500 does have keystone correction, but in my opinion, it’s is a feature that should be used to tweak a slightly offset image, and not relied upon as a substitute for lens shift. 

The Optoma GT750 had an extremely short throw distance which helped make up for it having no lens shift.  The Acer H6500 does not have this luxury.   I was forced to table mount the H6500 in the center of my theater room simply because I could not get H6500 to fill my screen in the same position as my Epson 6500UB.   Just to give you an idea of the space constraints, I was almost able to fill my 100″ screen with the Acer at full zoom (~10ft throw).

Once I had placement of the H6500 figured out, I immediately noticed the brightness of the H6500.  Even in its best mode, it is a light cannon!

I also noticed the image was very sharp, noticeably sharper than my 6500UB.  The combination of the brightness and sharpness of this projector in brighter scenes was impressive.  It definitely had a “wow” factor.

In mixed/darker scenes, the projector did struggle a bit.  As you would expect, because the H6500 projector is so bright, the black levels suffer as a result.  It’s been a while since I’ve had the GT750 in my possession, but if my memory serves, I would say the GT750 has marginally darker overall blacks.  However, I was very impressed with the shadow detail on the H6500.  I don’t recall the GT750 having as much shadow detail.

I usually find that overall black levels and shadow detail go hand in hand, but the H6500 seemed to have very good shadow detail compared to its absolute black level.   The darker scenes in Resident Evil 5 are my overall black/shadow detail reference and though the over black reference was a dark gray (not an inky black), I didn’t seem lose detail in the shadows as much as many other projectors in this price range.

There aren’t too many calibration options for the H6500.  The color accuracy seemed pretty acceptable in its best mode but the brightest mode didn’t seem to increase lumens enough to justify its awful colors.

This projector is DLP, so Rainbows may be an issue for some.  I was able to see them, barely and rarely, but only if I was looking for them.

I’m pleased to say the Acer H6500 did great with input lag.   I wasn’t able to detect any lag while playing and I captured 0-30ms (with an average around 15ms) with my camera.  It’s not zero, but it’s definitely one of the faster projectors I’ve taken a look at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

Overall, I consider the Acer H6500 to be a strong competitor in the entry level projector market.  It gives an extremely sharp, full 1080p image with little input lag and great shadow detail.  But there are a couple basic features missing on the H6500 that prevent it from being spectacular.

In this price range, I can overlook lack of 3D support and limited placement flexibility.  I can also deal with the mediocre black levels, especially since the projector is extremely bright.   However, I don’t understand why Acer did not include built in speakers, or more importantly, an “audio out” connection.

I can understand skipping the built-in speakers (I’ve never been a fan), but this projector comes with a travel bag…it’s meant to be portable!   Why doesn’t it have an audio output!?   In the end, you can rig something up, but it’s something small that just makes things more simple when you are moving the projector around.

Acer H6500 OR Optoma GT750?

It’s a tough call…  The Acer H6500 gives you full 1080p. The Optoma GT750 sports 720p with 3D support.   Personally, I think 2D 1080p trumps 3D 720p, abut that’s just my opinion.  The Optoma gives both built in speakers as well as an audio out connection, while the Acer has neither…which could prove to be a pain depending on where you are using the projector.     In the end, I think it’s a simple question of lifestyle.   If you think your projector is going to stay at home most of the time, I think the H6500 will consistently throw a better image -  primarily because it is full 1080p resolution.  If you are going to be moving your projector around fairly often, and want something you can setup anywhere – the GT750 wins.

That’s all for now…

-Pete

News And Comments

  • Sam Langdon

    So, I just got one of these a few days ago and have been using this with a PS3/PC for gaming. It seems pretty decent for those applications.

    Oddly, I’ve noticed the “soap opera effect” while trying to watch blu-rays at least. I find this odd considering I can find no mention of any kind of motion interpolation/frame insertion on review sties/manual. Any have any clue as to how I can clear this up? Or know where I might find an answer?

    Thanks

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

      Hey Sam,

      I can assure you that there is no frame interpolation on the H6500. It is not listed in the specs, and the input lag times I saw were way too low for any frame interpolation to be engaged. I don’t have the projector in my possession anymore, so I can’t directly look into it for you. I can tell you that I didn’t notice anything when I was writing my review. I also ran a BluRay or two. Maybe some others who own this projector can comment?

      What Blurays were you watching?

      -Pete

  • Robert

    Hey Pete,

    What projector would you currently recommend purchasing for a $1200 or less budget? I would primarily use the projector for FPS gaming on an Xbox 360. Also, do you know of any projectors being released in the near future that might be worth waiting for until release?

    Thanks

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

      Robert,

      With that kind of budget you have a couple options.

      1) You could get the H6500, pocket the extra cash or put it towards a nice pair of speakers to compliment the big screen. Theres not much worse than an enormous projection system with crappy speakers… and with your budget I would definitely go STEREO. Don’t not try to push your budget for surround sound. You can always add to a nice setup…but crap just ends up being crap, and crap is what youll get with $400 for a full surround sound setup.

      OR

      2) Get something like an Epson 8350 if you are trying to get the best FPS projector for ~$1200.

      Either of the two projectors will be great. The Epson will give you a bit better picture quality (better blacks) from what I’ve seen.

      Best of luck! Hope this helps

      • Robert

        Thanks Pete

  • Robert

    Pete,

    Have you had any experience with the Optoma HD33? Would the HD33 outperform the 8350?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

      Robert,

      I dont have any direct experience with the HD33, but from what I’ve read/heard, the 8350 will give you a better overall 2D picture. The Epson does not have 3D support, but again (unless 3D is something you are head over heels for), I would strive for a better 2D picture than a projector with 3D capabilities. Especially in this price range.

      Hope this helps

      -Pete

  • Fabien B

    hello !!

    I just bought Optoma HD33, the image is VERY beautiful !

    … but I don’t recommend it for games !!! even with all “pure engine” off, there still some lag, I mesured 60 ms in 2D …and in 3D, it’s completely unplayable !!! I would say between 100 & 200 ms !!!!
    …same thing with Epson Tw6000
    I used to play with an Espon tw3500 and I never had this kind of problem !! it has ultra low input lag !!

    I quite shared emotionally between very happy of the home theater 2D & 3D experience and completely angry and frustrated not being able to play games with it …

    what do you suggest has a projector full HD 3D with with ultra low lag made for games ???

  • Kevin w.

    Pete,
    My budget allows me up to 3000.00 on a projector. It will serve in a darkened theater room and will be used for movies, and Xbox gaming. What in your opinion is the best projector to serve those purposes with little to no lag and no rainbow effects? My screen is going to be 120″. I already have a surround system. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
    Kevin

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

      Kevin,

      Sorry for the late reply. I would personally go for something like the Epson 8500UB. Yes, it is a bit older. But I think it has one of the best images I have seen in the price range while still keeping the lag numbers in check.

      Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of experience with some of the higher end projectors. Art tends to send me projectors that are a bit lower in price and may fit into the budget of most gamers. But let him know there is interest in gaming performance on some of these higher end models. :) I’d be glad to take a look!

      Also, the new Epson projectors are released and I think Art is sending one my way. If you wait a couple weeks we will know if the new revision Epson models take care of the input lag problem. The Epson 5020 may be an option if it tests well.

      -Pete

  • http://http://xbox360carryingcase.com Aaron Gould

    Great review on the Acer H6500 project , playing on a projection screen like this takes gaming to another level.

  • Patrick

    I am new to the projector world. I have purchased the Acer H6500 for our basement rec room, but will be installing it post Christmas. The screen will be Elite Sable 106″. It will be used primarily by my teenage boys for gaming and TV watching. I will be mounting the projector on the ceiling. The mount will be located where the ceiling is recessed, resulting in a 15″ difference between the ceiling and the top of the screen. Given the limited placement flexibility, would you recommend that I use an extension to lower the projector by the 15″ to bring the lens parallel with the top of the screen OR can I mount the projector close to the ceiling, tilt the projector down a bit, and use the keystone to make an adequate adjustment? Thanks -

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/pete/ pete

      Patrick,

      Either solution would be acceptable, it’s really a matter of how much trouble it would be for you to extend it down. Personally, if I was ceiling mounting anyways (traditionally requires a bit more planning), I would probably just extend it down and not have to worry about the keystone correction. If it’s a hassle to extend it down, don’t worry about it…

      Regards,

      Peter