Optoma HD25-LV Home Theater Projector Review

Here we’ll consider several of the HD25-LV projector’s most likely competitors, and how the HD25-LV stacks up against them.

Optoma HD25-LV vs. Epson Home Cinema 3020

This is the battle of the 3D light canons.  True, the Epson Home Cinema 3020 is a tad brighter, especially when you need all the lumens, but is also a “tad” less bright calibrated.   The Epson comes with a two year warranty with a replacement program for both years. That really wups the HD25-LV’s basic one year parts and labor.

Black levels though, favor the Optoma, and by more than a minimal amount. Dark shadow detail also slightly favors the the Optoma.

Where the Epson comes back is in terms of overall color.  The Optoma’s usually very good at skin tones, but the Epson’s calibration seems overall better, with skin tones and other colors consistently looking really good. So, score image quality slightly favoring the Epson.

Since they are similar in brightness as well, and neither have lens shift, then in treating with your room, Epson’s 1.6:1 zoom definitely gives it more placement flexibility than the Optoma HD25-LV with a minimal 1.2:1 zoom lens.

The Optoma is cleaner handling 3D at least when using the optional VESA 3D glasses and emitter, that’s in part because DLP projectors tend to not have their own crosstalk.  But the Epson easily outmuscles the Optoma in terms of 3D brightness.  Even turning down the glasses settings on the Epson to low, it’s still slightly brighter, and a lot brighter in Normal or High, although High definitely shows visible crosstalk artifacts.

Overall, the Epson offers a more forgiving image, and doesn’t suffer the sometimes sunburned look of the Optoma in terms of skin tones on darker scenes.

Of the two, certainly the Epson is the safer choice.  But it is officially $300 more.  When considering the pricing though, the Epson comes with 2 pair of 3D glasses, while you’ll need to buy 3D glasses, or 3D glasses and emitter, if you go HD25-LV.  That can wipe out anywhere from $40 to $200 of the difference.

When I say safer, it’s more user friendly, overall  more forgiving, and has that better warranty.   On the other hand, the HD25-LV gives you that DLP look and feel, and will definitely save you some money, especially if you go 3D with DLP-link glasses, or no 3D at all.

Optoma HD25-LV vs. Optoma HD33

Technically the HD33 is the higher end projector – based on the model series, but the HD33 was Optoma’s first 3D capable 1080p projector.  I don’t consider it competition.  It produces only about 1150 calibrated lumens and not much more at maximum.  That compares with almost 1500 lumens on the HD25-LV, and almost 2000 at brightest.

But the HD33 comes with a perk.  Unlike the HD25-LV, it has CFI – creative frame  interpolation, which is oft called “smooth motion” and enjoyed by many sports fans.   It’s hardly a critical feature, but that might entice a few folks.

Both support multiple 3D formats including Blu-ray 3D.

This is old dog vs. new dog.   For the most part, new dog wins. I’d say the biggest difference between these two is the handling of black levels.  The HD33 is certainly mediocre at best, about what you expect today in projectors selling for under $1000.  The HD25-LV has a very real advantage here.  Image noise, though favors the HD33.  Enough said.

HD25-LV vs. Panasonic PT-AR100U

2D light canon, vs. 2D, 3D not as bright a light canon.  And it’s Optoma’s DLP engine vs. Panasonic’s 3LCD one.

The HD25-LV definitely can’t match the Panasonic’s massive horsepower.  Measuring a bright mode at 2377 lumens (full wide angle on the zoom), that definitely outmuscles the Optoma’s 1915 lumens, but they are still in the same ball game.  Calibrated, the Optoma manages 1497 lumens, but Panasonic inserts a color filter in the line for its best performance which includes our calibrated “best” mode.  Only 647 lumens escape.  That said, the Panasonic can do some very good color while still outputting 1500 or so lumens.

Placement is all Panasonic.  Consider you get a 2:1 zoom vs. a 1.2:1.  And on top of that, the Panasonic comes with lots of lens shift, vs none at all.   Panasonic’s warranty is still 1 year, like Optoma’s but they are usually running a free 2nd year if you register your projector.  That can always change.

The Panasonic is a classic – a brute 2D only projector.  But it’s color is very good.  After adjustment I’ll give it the advantage over the Optoma, but not a great one.  The Panasonic though is more forgiving of less than great quality content..  Black levels for this Panasonic are just up from entry level, but the advantage should go to the Optoma by a visible but not huge amount.

Tough call between these two.  If you like user friendly, no muss, no fuss, good picture, go Panasonic.  If you like 3D, or insist on the slightly better black level performance, the Optoma’s got the advantage.

Optoma HD25-LV vs. BenQ W1070, BenQ W1080ST

Although there are plenty of competitors, this has to be the really most important one and maybe the most challenging.  Let’s start with price because that is a factor.  The Optoma HD25-LV is officially $1299 street price vs. $999 and $1099 respectively.

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