Optoma HD25-LV Home Theater Projector Review

Optoma HD25-LV - Review Summary

This summary of the Optoma HD25-LV, includes a list of this Optoma projector’s pros and cons.  First we will attempt to go over most of the points and info that are covered in depth within the many pages of this HD25-LV projector review.

Optoma HD25-LV Projector - The Bottom Line

Consider Optoma’s HD25-LV projector to be a very serious projector for your family room, living room, and other environments where room conditions are not ideal.  The projector has some real strengths allowing it to surpass the overall performance of most projectors at, or below its street price point of about $1300.

It is, of course a single chip DLP projector – that’s all Optoma makes.  They claim to sell more DLP projectors in North America than anyone else.  They aren’t the largest projector seller, but they are one of the biggest.

HD25-LV Brightness

Although the HD25-LV claims 3200 lumens, we measured just about 2000. I’m sure we could (as with most projectors) tweak settings to find a couple hundred more, but we prefer to stick with really watchable lumens.

At mid-point on the zoom lens, after calibration we counted 1497.  That would be more than 1600 at the wide-angle end of the lenses zoom.   Uncalibrated we measured 1797 lumens at mid-zoom, over 1900 at wide.  Even uncalibrated the Optoma has pretty decent color at its brightest.  That said, it improves significantly with adjustment.

That 1500 or 1800 lumens, folks, is a ton of bright, for viewing 2D, and a respectable amount for 3D.  There are a few brighter projectors around the price, such as the Consider that in a dedicated theater on a 110″ screen you only need about 500 lumens, you begin to understand that this projector can tackle some ambient light!  And does so well. If you were to put this projector in a dedicated theater, I would suggest calibrating it differently, likely with Brilliant Color at a low or off setting. But, really, this Optoma is still a better fit for a non-theater. You can check out how I set the room for the photo shoot, on the image quality page

Optoma HD25-LV 3D Projector

Now not everyone cares about 3D, but the HD25-LV has good 3D. And it supports all the major formats, including Blu-ray 3D (which requires HDMI 1.4).  Many lower cost projectors do not support it, although that’s definitely changing.  My problem was viewing it with the glasses I have here.  I will be expanding on my 3D experience over the first week after this has been published.  There is no 2D to 3D conversion, which isn’t much of a loss – I’m not a fan.

You can use standard (and more affordable) DLP-Link 3D glasses or opt for better RF ones, which require an optional RF emitter ($79).

Ease of Use:  This Optoma projector is easy to setup and operate.  The menus are pretty good as well. But there’s a catch which I’ve discussed elsewhere.  I repeat this here just as I repeat info on brightness, black levels, etc, which is to say,, “just in case” you missed it.  Afterall, this is the summary.

Here goes: As do most projectors, this one has multiple image modes, such as Bright, Cinema and Standard and User.  The idea is that you have different modes for different uses, the best example is having a “best” mode with best color, etc. for when you have control of room lighting, and have it minimal, and a different mode for, perhaps sports or Saturday Night Live with friends.  That means with some lights.

The issue here, is that if you improve the picture quality with a calibration or even more basic adjustments that becomes the User mode.  You want those settings to stay – saved.  With this projector, though, go to any other mode and make a single change and all your other settings are wiped out.

This is a survivable problem but a nuisance.  Just get one mode set up (which puts it in User), and stick with it.  Avoid other modes, or if you go to one, change nothing.   In any case, be sure to write down any settings you want to keep, just in case.  Good news, 3D settings don’t seem to affect 2D settings and vice versa.  Thus you can tweak 3D settings and still have your 2D settings intact when you go back to 2D.  Whew – that’s a small win for the consumer!

OK, that’s the inconvenient issue.  If you are happy with the simplicity of getting the picture looking really good, and stick with that, then this is a great projector.   If you never have adjusted your LCDTV, or at least not more than once, this Optoma a very good choice for your use.

I haven’t mentioned rainbow effect.  The HD25-LV seems to have a mid-speed color wheel.  I am definitely seeing less rainbows than the recent Acer and Viewsonic projectors here, (both are sub $1000).  Naturally, Optoma doesn’t seem to publish a spec.  I would figure 3X.  Anyone?  That’s right about what to expect in this price range.

It’s a small thing, but I appreciate that the HD25-LV remote control is backlit, unlit remotes are a minor nuisance in their own right, that this Optoma avoids.

Audio is about as good as you can expect on a projector, a stereo 16 watt system with SRS simulated surround sound.  Using the audio out / pass  through, you can feed sound to a powered sub woofer or other audio system.  That makes it great for moving around.  The sound will definitely handle your next outdoor movie night if that’s your thing.

On the Performance page I also discussed image noise of the HD25-LV which seems worse than most. The noise controls seemed to have little effect.  Will you notice it?  Perhaps, in closeups of face.  Will you care?  A serious enthusisast that likes sitting close, as I do, probably at least occasionally.  A casual watcher, hardly ever, if at all.

Again, if you are a really critcal viewer, and like to constantly play with your projector, better to look elsewhere.  If you just want to get it set up, and watch it, this Optoma is for you.

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