Optoma HD25-LV Home Theater Projector Review

Optoma HD25-LV Competitors

From a practical standpoint, the W1070 is the direct competition so there’s $300 difference to deal with, and that’s a chunk of change around this price point.  Neither include 3D glasses.   The BenQ runs DLP-link while the Optoma can run DLP-link 3D glasses or the VESA type, a plus (VESA) but one that further increases the pricing spread.

Here’s a dilemma, that your room might just help with.  Each projector has one significant image advantage over the other: The BenQ W1070 simply has the more accurate calibrated color, and also the better color “right out of the box”.  But, the Optoma wins at black level performance.

Obviously if your thing is sports, and maybe typical HDTV, you won’t worry about the difference in blacks, but a movie fanatic just might.  But only if the room itself is pretty good.  In a typical family room environment with modest ambient light, much of the Optoma’s black level advantage will disappear.  Not so the BenQ’s better color.   But if the room is right, the black levels make a real difference on darker scenes.  As you all know, I’m a black level performance fanatic, but I’m torn between these two from a value standpoint.

It’s going to be a tough call between these two. Although if the BenQ would not have the aggravating lack of savable settings, that the HD25-LV suffers from as well (which would drive someone who likes to regularly tweak settings a bit crazy), it would be an easier decision.  Despite my preference for better black performance, I do believe I lean toward the BenQ, also because of the more accurate color and skin tones, and because it doesn’t have near as much image noise.

Optoma HD25-LV vs. Epson HC8350

The Home Cinema 8350 is Epson’s lowest cost 1080p projector.  It’s also over 3 years old at this time.  Now slightly less expensive than the HD25-LV, (the HC8350 used to sell for about $2000), Epson provides the Home Cinema 8350 with the longer, much better warranty and replacement program.   Like the Panasonic discussed above, it is 2D only, and has drastically better placement flexibility (2.1:1 zoom vs. 1.2:1) plus lots of lens shift vs. none.

Brightness wise, no match calibrated – it’s all Optoma, but slugging it out for maximum lumens, the Epson does better, but we “only” measured 1378 lumens at mid zoom, but thanks to the greater zoom range, the Epson HC8350 musters up almost 1700 lumens at wide angle, very close indeed to the HD25-LV.

Black level performance is interesting.  We thought the Epson excellent for the price, “well above entry level” when reviewed, but considering improvements, they are probably about a tie, with perhaps the Epson having a minor advantage.

These are two very different projectors.  2D only vs. 2D and 3D.  Consider the Epson, like the Panasonic to be a safe, more friendly alternative.  Although not as bright at “brightest” (which it doesn’t really need since it’s not 3D), the Epson does offer the best calibrated color of the three.  The Epson’s easy to enjoy, user friendly.  The Optoma has perhaps higher performance, but definitely a bit limited and rough around the edges by comparison, especially the limitations due to the lack of any savable modes.

The Optoma will have the slightly sharper image, but far, far, more image noise.

Optoma HD25-LV vs. Acer H9500BD

OK, got them both in the same place.  These are our two over $1000 projectors that I am using to define:  “Rough around the Edges,” for they share the same annoying issue.  I’m talking about lack of user savable settings.  Pick your mode that you like best, because with either of these, if you change to a different mode, and then adjust something, your favorite settings are, well….gone!

Officially $400 is the price difference, with the Acer at $1699 officially.  For that extra you first get one pair of 3D glasses, which is 1 pair more than comes standard with the Optoma HD25-LV.  The Acer feels a bit more clunky in terms of build - lens controls including lens shift, as I recall were not smooth.  That said, you get a number of extras with the Acer:  CFI for smooth motion, and of course, really good placement flexibility, thanks to a 1.5:1 zoom and both vertical and horizontal lens shift.

And you get superior black level performance.  The Acer uses a dynamic iris, rather than the lamp dimming that Optoma relies on.

But the Optoma easily wins the brightness contest which will definitely help on the 3D side of things.  1106 calibrated lumens for the Acer sure isn’t bad, but it’s also not 1497 lumens.  In brightest modes again, about a 300+ lumen difference.

The Acer H9500BD probably has the best blacks of any projector its price or less, although a projector like the BenQ W7000 (around $2000) can beat it, and not that much higher end projectors like the Epson HC5020UB are far superior.

The Acer is definitely the performance oriented enthusiasts choice of the two, I would think, but then it’s priced a lot closer to projectors that can beat it out.   Placement flexibility and black level performance vs. birghtness may be your deciding differences.  Note, both have one year warranties.

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