Optoma GT720 Projector Review

This is a family room, or family projector. Sure, if you had the perfect theater room you could use it there too, but it really is designed for more normal rooms. Its impressive 2500 lumen brightness claim means it’s about twice as bright as most of the – get this – brightest of the home theater projectors under $15,000. Few home theater projectors get above about 1200 – 1500 lumens, of those, almost all are, like the GT720, relatively low cost home entertainment projectors, as opposed to home theater projectors. Of course the terminology is very flexible. Most folks refer to, even the most low cost, family room projectors, as home theater projectors. So, let’s not quibble over the terms.

The GT720 is a very short throw projector. It doesn’t sit inches from the screen or wall, like those ultra short throw projectors, nor does it sit 10 feet away to do a 100″ screen (more like half that distance). As such, it sits relatively close to the screen, and typically out of the way, for active gamers, such as Wii Sports gamers. The projector has lots of fixed lens offset. That means it sits low, well below the bottom of the screen. In the practical world of bedrooms, family rooms and bonus rooms, that means it can sit on a low table or the floor, or raised perhaps a foot from the floor, depending on how far off the floor your screen area is.

Mind you, you can make the Optoma GT720 a permanent part of your room. Like virtually all other home projectors, it can be ceiling mounted. Because of the large lens offset, that will be a problem if you have a low ceiling, such as a basement might offer, and want to combine that with a fairly large screen. Of course this same lens offset issue applies to most low cost DLP projectors for the home, be they Cinema, Home Theater, Gaming, or Home Entertainment projectors by definition.

The Optoma GT720, might best be described as a low cost 720p projector designed for the home, with gaming in mind as its primary use. And, as such, it is particularly bright, very short throw, and has built in sound.

I am not a gamer (in any real sense of the term). My occasional game of Risk, and a few Carbon Canyon auto races a year, and maybe a round of solitaire or bridge when bored, do not a gamer make.

For that reason, Pete, our recently added gaming, and game projector blogger, has already worked with the GT720 and posted his impressions as a very serious gamer. In addition, the GT720, now, as I’m writing this, is in the hands of Scott S.

Scott S is another serious gamer and projector owner. While Pete used to be big on games like World of Warcraft, he does a lot of console gaming. Scott S, is a hard core PC gamer, and though he owns consoles, PC gaming is his big thing.

Scott will also write up his impressions of the GT720.

Back to the Optoma GT720. My part in all this, is to look at the GT720 as a home projector. I’ll deal here, with color, brightness, how good it looks on movies and sports – all the usual stuff. Pete, and Scott S.’s contributions will be critical though, for the gamers. These guys are getting into things such as lag, and whether the image gamma is suitable for being able to see a lot of the important shadow details found in so many games, especially a lot of those First Person Shooters. There! I’ve dropped in a gamer term (FPS), I’m feeling more comfortable with the GT720 already. In reality though, I spent a lot of time watching movies and some time on sports. I’ll be reporting on how the GT720 compares with low cost home entertainment projectors that aren’t claiming to be game projectors.

Let’s get started!

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