Optoma GT750 3D Game Projector Review

Optoma GT750 Black Levels & Shadow Detail

Rich, dark, inky blacks are the dream of home theater enthusiasts. To fully appreciate them, and to see them, you need a nicely darkened theater with dark surfaces.

Really impressive black level performance starts around $2000, and you won’t get it with a projector capable of 3D, for another $1000 more.

And that’s one reason why we tend to speak of some projectors as home theater, and some as home, or home entertainment projectors.

The GT750 is a great little home theater projector, but black levels have nothing to do with any greatnesses it exhibits.

 

In reality, the black levels are about as entry level as you can get. Blacks are dark grays, but not extremely dark.

The black level performance is typical of entry level DLP projectors. Even the most entry level DLP projectors have decent black level performance. By comparison, the few entry level 720p LCD projectors out there, can’t do as well in this regard, at least not without a dynamic iris. Dynamic irises are rather rare on today’s low cost 720p projectors.

Click Image to Enlarge

In the image above, of Mordor, from Lord of the Rings, you have plenty of detail, but the image is lacking in the contrast in the darkest areas, that a projector with better black performance would provide.

Below is an image we like for looking at black levels. It’s the starship image from The Fifth Element. All the images are a good bit overexposed. This allows you to get a better handle on the black levels. If the starship’s brightness is about the same, from image to image, then the projector with the blackest blacks in the letterbox and stars background, is the one with the blacker black performance. (A lot of bright stars in its own right may just reflect gamma differences. It’s the blacks you want to be watching).

As you compare the GT750 images to others, you can see that the starfield and the letterbox areas just aren’t as black as other projectors (when the starships are of similar brightness).

Optoma GT750

GT720
GT720
BenQ W1200
Viewsonic Pro8200 projector
Mitsubishi HC4000
Sony VPL-HW15 (LCoS projector under $3K)
Vivitek H1080FD ($899)
BenQ W6000, BenQ's next step up, with better black levels.
Optoma HD20
GT720
+GT720

Shadow Detail Performance

Our comparison, once again turns to the night train scene from Bond’s Casino Royale.

Mentioned in many reviews previously, it seems that projectors with relatively poor black level performance tend to do extremely well at shadow detail. This is, if for no other reason, because the blacks and near blacks are so bright – due to the weak black level abilities. Thus, with everything “lightened” based on the the only slightly darker than medium gray blacks, shadow detail is everywhere.

And, as already noted, the black levels of the GT750 are extremely entry level.

For your curiosity, and for general demonstration of blacks and shadow details, here’s the GT750 taking on the usual other projectors, in the night train scene:

For whatever reasons, the GT750 did provide a bit better blacks than the GT720 did.

As I had mentioned elsewhere, if movies are your thing, and gaming is second, this image above is a good indicator of why the GT720 probably isn’t the best projector for you. On the other hand, if you are playing World of Warcraft, and find the dark areas too dark on many projectors, they’re probably just dandy, if a little lacking in dynamics, with the GT720 game projector.

Optoma GT750
BenQ W1200
Viewsonic Pro8200
Mitsubishi HC4000
BenQ W6000
Sony VPL-HW15
Optoma HD20:
Optoma GT750
+BenQ W1200

Black Level and Shadow Detail Performance: GT750 Projector – Bottom Line

The GT750 is typical of sub-$1000 projectors, in both areas. Its real weakness is the black levels, so this isn’t for the movie enthusiast. Dark shadow detail, by comparison is really very good, better than many more expensive projectors (that have far better blacks).

Both are very secondary in terms of what’s important in the overall performance of a gaming projector, or one for the family, in a family room, on a garage door (inside or out), or a spare bedroom.

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