Posted on April 19, 2008 Art Feierman
Just what I’ve been looking for – another really bright low cost home theater projector!. There certainly aren’t too many out there, most notably, the Panasonic PT-AX200U (still the brightest in class), and the Epson Home Cinema 720, which is also very bright.
While both of these 3LCD projectors are at least as bright as the HD71, when in they are all in their brightest modes (Dynamic, etc.), the Optoma is the brightest of the 720p home theater projectors when comparing their best movie modes. Even the Panasonic, when using Vivid Cinema mode, (which sacrifices some “best” performance for extra lumens), offers just about the same as the Optoma HD71 projector. The HD71 is over 50% brighter, in best mode vs. best mode. The Epson doesn’t even come remotely close in brightness, in best mode.
Brightness, for many, is a key performance feature, especially those needing to deal with some ambient light, especially for those without the classic dedicated theater room. Brightness isn’t the only strength of the HD71. I found the HD71 to perform well in most areas, with weaknesses mostly limited to physical placement, since it is a typical DLP projector, with no lens shift, and a very limited zoom lens.
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