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!
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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