Optoma DV20a Pico Projector - Image Quality - Neo-i
More neo-i images coming shortly, including HDTV Oscars, and HDTV sports images. Please note, that these photos of the Neo-i projecting, are not going to be accurately represented on your display after losses, by the digital camera, the browser, the monitor, etc. That said, the neo-i should look better on your screen than these images would indicate. And that's a good thing - for the neo-i, and you.
2/27/2011 - Art Feierman
Optoma Neo-i iPhone Projector - Picture Quality
I should have known. I certainly played with the neo-i iPhone projector's smaller sibling, the PK301.
The color's actually pretty darn good for a pico projector! I mean photos look pretty good, as do video clips. More impressive still is that it could look down right reasonably good reproducing movies.
As you can see in the image below, from Ferris Bueller's day off, the neo-i is doing skin tones reasonably well. And that's looking at them with a critical eye. Let me put it another way: In the portable business projector arena, I can think of plenty of lower cost (under $1500), (most of them also DLP, like the neo-i), that cannot do natural color as well as the neo-i! Oh there are plenty that can do better as well, but to think that it can do color better than a; number of $1000 projectors... One does start to get impressed.
The Neo-i iPhone and iPod projector has no controls for adjusting color. What you see is really what you get with the Optoma Neo-i, but then, as I've stated repeatedly, that's not such a bad thing. As with the smaller PK301, the neo-i delivers a respectably accurate colors. I'm not speaking in the sense of a calibrated home theater projector, but in the sense that if you put up a a movie, skin tones can look pretty good, and your photos of colored balloons, or your favorite pie chart, or your girlfriends face, also will look reasonably good.
The Optoma Neo-i accepts an HDMI signal with a standard HDMI cable (not provided). It comes with a standard A/V cable to accept RCA video and stereo audio. We used the HDMI to connect to a standard DVD player, to view Ferris Bueller. In addition, the neo-i had no problem working with my satellite box (DirecTV), at 720p and 1080i. I did not try 1080p from either the satellite box, nor my PS3 Blu-ray player, since the neo-i documentation says it doesn't support it. I did, however "detune" my PS3 from 1080p to 1080i and it too worked! Although I didn't take photos, I also used the HDMI port to successfully interface with my Macbook.
Now to the video picture. Colors as said before, are pretty good, but I found on the HDMI feed from my satellite box, that overall, the image was a bit oversaturated. There is no adjustment for saturation, but I was able to lessen the affect with judicious playing with the brightness and contrast. The colors from the standard DVD player and DVD movie (Ferris), were less saturated, and looked a bit better.
There were no issues with the content itself. The neo-i has no problem with the amounts of data and frame rates from any of the sources tested, including 1080i HD. I did watch the whole movie.
It's still really funny! And it was fine on the neo-i. I say that despite the knowledge that I could go upstairs to the theater and watch it on the $20K+ Runco, from my Blu-ray version (and in a more comfortable seat.)
Below, a photo of my Miata! You can see the iPhone which is sitting on the Neo hiding there in the lower right corner.. The neo-i does a really nice job, actually, this was taken in the projector's Cinema mode, and looked a touch better in Photo mode.
If video is your thing, and you aren't greedy - that is, don't want to project an image so large that it starves for brightness, and you have reasonable lighting control, then it's definitely respectable. As I've said before I'm most comfortable with projecting a 30 to 40 inch diagonal image.if there's low, but noticeable ambient light.
If you really can darken the room, 60 inches is doable. Though I'll only recommend up to 50 inches. Too dim is fatiguing, whether in life or with projectors. You'll pick the optimum size for whatever you are doing, once you've experimented a bit.
Handling HD content through the HDMI port worked out fine, if a bit oversaturated. I did take photos of the DV20A - the neo-i- doing the Oscars, and some recorded Superbowl from HDTV. They will be posted shortly.