Optoma HD25-LV Home Theater Projector Review

Black Level and Shadow Detail Performance

The Optoma HD25-LV projector’s black level performance is rather good at its price point.  I can’t think of better under $1500.

Oh, it’s still no match for excellent ultra high contrast projectors like the Epson Home Cinema 5020UB Panasonic PT-AE8000U, but it is close to the Acer H9500BD, which at $1599 has the best blacks (we’ve seen) for that price or less.

As an example, if comparing it with the BenQ W1080ST that I just previously reviewed, the Optoma HD25-LV was an easy winner.  Having said that, here’s our first image, a side by side with the HD25-LV on the left, the BenQ on the right.  Note that the W1080ST is a newer sibling of the BenQ W1070 which we also really liked.  Optoma on the left, BenQ on the right, the HD25-LV easily has blacker blacks:

Let’s start with a side by side image:  Optoma HD23 vs Optoma HD25-LV.

The BenQ is only slightly more overexposed – on a 0 to 255 scale white averages about 10 points higher on that scale.  In the dark area though, the BenQ’s measurments are between 2 and 3 times higher, so, white’s a touch brighter, blacks dramatically darker = Better black levels!

Click Image to Enlarge

Black Levels Comparison

Optoma HD25
Optoma HD23
Home-Cinema-5020
Optoma HD33
Acer H9500BD
Panasonic PT-AR100U
Mitsubishi HC4000
Vivitek H1080FD

 

 

The HD25-LV projector claims an impressive 20,000:1 contrast ratio for such a low cost projector. Black level performance is great for the $1300 price, even if a home entertainment projector with tons of lumens isn’t heading for a room with ideal conditions.  Epson’s Home Cinema 8350 and their 3020 should be close in blacks but not as good, although we haven’t had either around here in more than 6 months. Panasonic’s PT-AR100U competition would trail the Optoma by even more difference on blacks.

What’s interesting is that Optoma has accomplished this without a dynamic iris.  For years, many Optoma’s have been using lamp dimming which they call Dynamic Black. This projector does it pretty smoothly.  In almost all previous Optoma reviews I had to recommend giving up the blacks because the dimming action was sufficiently annoying.

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