Optoma HD70 Home Theater Projector Review

The Optoma HD70, an entry level home theater projector produces surprisingly good colors “out of the box” without any adjustment. Although a basic calibration was done before these images were photographed, the changes brought about by the adjustments were very minor, mostly reducing reds slightly in the darker grayscale range.

Let’s start with handling of flesh (skin) tones. The HD70 did extremely well, as you can see from the first group of images below. For most images on this page, you can click on the image for a much larger version. A good number of the images found here, are also found on most other recent reviews. It will not always be exactly the same frame, but close enough that the color balance is the same.

All five images above were from standard DVD sources, the first two (Arwen and Gandalf) from Lord of the Rings, the next two (Leeloo, and Bruce Willis) from The Fifth Element, and the last one is Will Smith in I, Robot.

You should have the idea by now: Pretty impressive, especially for the least expensive 720p HD resolution home theater projector on the market!

The Optoma HD70 also does a respectable job on black levels. The next collection of images includes standard DVD and Hi-Def (HD-DVD) ones. The HD70′s black levels are not up to slightly higher end projectors like Mitsubishi’s well regarded HC3000, or, for that matter the lastest in LCD home theater projectors from Panasonic and Sanyo. Considering that it is 1/3 to half the price of those other projectors, and since the black levels are low enough to produce detailed images in dark areas, the HD70 gets high marks.

The image above, is from Starship Troopers, on standard DVD. Not only are blacks good, but colors are richly saturated and very dynamic.

Sin City is a movie that is generally very dark and often black and white or sepia and white with spot colors added for effect. These again, are standard DVD.

Note the shadow detail in the right side of Nancy’s face, I’ve seen more expensive projectors that tend to lose some of that, with the dark parts of her face coming out black.

This second image with Nancy dancing allows you to look at shadow detail in the bricks, beams, and pillars.

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