Optoma HD25-LV Home Theater Projector Review
The Optoma HD25-LV gets a new menu look, very different from previous projectors. Generally I like it. Of note, some of the main menus allow you to scroll down below the half dozen menu options to find more. There’s just a very small down arrow to clue you in. If I wasn’t frantically looking for the lamp power, (which you do have to scroll down to find), I might not have realized.
Below, is the Color Settings menu. What is interesting is that it has the six primary colors for adjusting the CMS, but also has White, which on most projectors is called Color Temp and adjusts the grayscale balance between R, G, and B.
And of course one of the individual CMS settings, (Red shown):
Brilliant Color I just want to note, is on the Advanced menu, and when selected you get a slider offering settings of 1 to 10.
I’m a big fan of having Edge Masking, something many projectors lack, instead offering only Overscan. Should you end up with a signal that has noise around the edges – tearing – often on TV sources, with Overscan, you chop off the outer edge and expand the 95% of the center to fill the screen. That gives up the precision sharpness of 1:1 pixel mapping (one pixel for each data point). Edge masking, instead, simply gets rid of those same pixels leaving the remaining, now slightly smaller image. Your screen isn’t filled, but the sharpness isn’t degraded.
The HD25-LV does not offer 2D to 3D conversion. I don’t consider that to be very significant, as I’ve rarely been pleased with anyone’s conversion. Still, some folks no doubt have fun with 2D to 3D conversion when they have it, especially with their own 2D home videos!
This is another good place to note that the HD25-LV projector has some impressive sound for a small projector. It sports a 16 watt stereo speaker system (with SRS Surround sound). OK a subwoofer would be nice, but if you must pump your sound out of a projector (perhaps taking out back for that summer movie night), this is about as much sound as you will find in projectors today.
Finally, hidden at the bottom of the Options menu – you have to scroll down to see this part of the menu, there’s the Lamp settings menu where you can choose between Full power and two eco modes.
That’s most of the major, and minor menus. If you must know more, download an HD25-LV user manual. Documentation is decent, not exceptional. It touches on every feature, but often lacks explanation as to what different settings affect, and how to use them effectively.
Optoma HD25-LV Remote Control
Click to Enlarge. So close
The HD25-LV remote control is well designed in terms of layout. In addition, its range seems very good, no problem with a 20 foot distance, including a bounce off of my screen, which is better than some others, and more than satisfactory. The actual IR beam seems a little less spread out, so if “bouncing” you do have to pay a little more attention as to where you are pointing it.
As to the layout itself: Power On and Off have separate buttons on the top row. But, you still have to press Off twice for shut down (a good thing).
Next come four aspect ratio buttons, in two rows, but the top of those two has a center button which lets you change lamp brightness.
Two rows of three have: Brightness, (preset) Mode, Contrast, on the first of those two. The second row has both Edge Masking, and the Overscan alternative. The center button is a Source Lock. The HD25-LV can search through all the inputs automatically, looking for live ones, or with Source locked, it will stay on the one you set it for.
That brings us to the Navigation area. Four arrow keys in a roundish shape, with a center locate Enter button. Menu is below to the left.
That leaves only the five bottom buttons which control sources. There’s two HDMIs Computer (or a second component), Component video and standard composite video. That’s all she”s got!
This remote control is extremely similar to past Optoma remotes. Thus, I must repeat my usual complaint:
The Optoma remote is backlit with bright blue LED light. It is almost blinding in a dark room. Definitely too bright. That said, as it turns out with this projector, due to the lack of a User savable setting, no one’s going to be tweaking image settings (at least not after they have a good set in the projector.)
Still a blue LED light of half or 1/3 the brightness would be better.
The Optoma HD25-LV’s remote is a very good one, other than being too bright. Button feel is respectable. As to the remote’s overzealous brightness, you can use the remote as a small flashlight – perhaps to pick out your next Blu-ray movie!
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