Optoma HD25-LV Home Theater Projector Review

In this section, we consider the brightness (including measurements), sharpness, and other issues including image, light leakage, and audible noise of Optoma’s HD25-LV home projector.

Not a whole lot of surprises.  Although be sure to read the short section on image noise below.

Optoma HD25-LV Brightness

The HD25-LV is a very bright home theater /entertainment projector.  It claims a massive 3200 lumens, but don’t let that go to your head.  Typically we find that Optoma’s claims are a lot less “conservative” than most of their competitors.

On the other hand, we only care about what the projector’s brightness measures here, that’s what counts in the decision on whether it’s the right projector for you.  So, let’s just come to terms early on, that when we measured this projector, at its brightest, it was within a hundred lumens of 2000, not 3000.  Keep in mind we don’t go hunting every last lumen, we only care about useable ones.  Sometimes you can, for example, get another 10 or 15% more brightness by cranking up some controls. You end up with an unwatchable image, but it will measure brighter.

So, we can scold Optoma for their advanced “optimism” (or total lack of reality) but the bottom line is that roughly 2000 measured lumens is a lot of lumens, and makes this a projector that can tackle many family rooms and living rooms while providing a good picture.

Projector's Measurements

Cinema 1734 @ 6755
Bright 1794 @ 6667
Photo 1770 @ 7792
Reference 1378 @ 6578
User equals whichever mode you started from

What matters most is the projector’s actual abilities! Time to consider the Optoma HD25-LV projector’s measurements These were measured with the zoom lens at mid-point, so not as bright as if the projector lens was zoomed to its largest, brightest image (wide-angle):

Color Temp over IRE Range (Bright mode)

30 IRE 7033
50 IRE 6889
80 IRE 6733
100 IRE 6673

This is an unusual situation.  Mike points out that Bright mode is as good as any mode the projector offers.  I guess that’s not surprising as all the modes but Reference are similar in brightness.  In color temp Cinema, Bright and Reference are also similar with only Photo being a lot “cooler” – more blue.

Those numbers above, lumens and color temperatures, are all “right out of the box”, without any adjustments to settings like contrast or brightness, which can affect overall brightness.

Here’s what Bright mode looked like as far as color temperature across the brightness spectrum:

NOTE:  Every mode except Photo has similar grayscale balance, with green low and blue high throughout the IRE range. Mike noted this about Grayscale Calibration: Optoma usually has full grayscale calibration abilities in their projectors.  Not so with the HD25-LV.  Instead of having Gain and Offset RGB controls to cover both ends of the IRE range, there is a single trio of RGB controls (that act full range) under “White” in the “Color Settings” portion of the menu.  This can work if the RGB values are consistent throughout the range to begin with, but with the HD25-LV, they’re not.  Nonetheless, I was able to get a decent grayscale balance with an average Delta E of 1.8. So, what are the final brightness numbers?

Post Calibration: User "best" mode = 1497 lumens Bright "brightest" mode 1794 lumens

Due to the saving settings issue, if not using the ‘calibrated” user, then  the standard unadjusted Bright is the brightest with 300 extra lumens.

Effect of zoom on lumen output (Bright mode)

Zoom out 1915 (“wide-angle”) (placed at its closest to a screen)
Mid-zoom 1794
Zoom in 1638

That 1915 was the most lumens we could measure without hunting for more, which normally means (if more lumens are found) degrading the image quality, such as wiping out lots of highlight detail.

No surprises above. With a zoom lens with limited zoom (we don’t have a dramatic drop in brightness between wide and tele), and as you can see, the variation is only about 17%.  On projectors with 2:1 type zooms, the drop can be as much as 40%.  Of course, the trade-off is placement flexibility.

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