Optoma MovieTime DV10

Since this is an self contained home theater projector system (just add electricity and a wall or screen), and has built in speakers, I think Speakers are a good place to start.

Rocking the House - The Sound System

Optoma’s MovieTime DV10 projector has two built-in 5 watt speakers facing primarily to the sides, but also slightly to the rear. That makes sense as the projector sits fairly close to the screen. The first time I hooked up the MovieTime DV10 projector, it was in a large demo room. about 16×30. The sound was thin, and lacking in bass.

I was pleasantly surprised, however when I brought it home and placed it in my home theater room, still a fairly large room – 12×21, with a cathedral ceiling going up to 21 feet at the peak. This time I found the MovieTime projector to do a pretty acceptable job. Although I had to set the volumen near the top setting it provided a good amount of volume, enough for all but those that really want to rock the house.

Optoma offers an optional $199 subwoofer from D&K. In the large demo room it certainly helped, but that room was so large that I didn’t think the Optoma projector had enough volume to do a “loud” movie justice. The sub-woofer certainly added umph, but I still found it slightly lacking.

But, in my theater, the combination of the projector and the sub-woofer really did provide an acceptable audio solution. It won’t replace a true 5.1 (or higher) surround sound system costing $600 – $1000, but it’s got Game! I suspect that the vast majority of people who buy both the projector and subwoofer, will find the overall sound quality and volume to work for them. I watched part of The Italian Job, first without the sub-woofer, and found it performed acceptably, and when I added the sub-woofer, I was actually impressed. (I am an audiophile of sorts and have many thousands invested in the sound in my theater). Optoma’s solution won’t win awards for audiophile performance, but it does the job well with movies.

Caution, if you are an audiophile, or simply spend a lot of time watching Music videos and are real pickly, you will want a true surround sound system (or a killer stereo one), that costs far more than what Optoma provides in it’s box. Certainly a $300 A/V receiver and $700 worth of speakers would blow the MovieTime DV10 projector’s sound performance away. But a thousand spent on sound, would only leave a few hundred for a projector and DVD player, and that solution just doesn’t exist.

So for sound, we’ll say – good, for what it is, and if you have a smaller room – say 10 x 13 with a normal height ceiling – and opt for the sub-woofer too, you will be able to “rock the house”.

Portability

It sets up in your room, in just seconds. OK, it doesn’t run on batteries, and we probably couldn’t afford the batteries if it did. The system draws almost 300 watts, compared to a dozen or two for a boom box.

For setting up in a room just when you want to use it, and stuff it in a closet, though, its a great home theater system. Tomorrow your kids can use it in a bedroom or a different room. Put it in its soft, padded shoulder case, and you can take it on vacation, to a friends, or even run an extension card and show movies in the back yard (or on the outside of your garage door if it’s white).

This should appeal to a great many families, as a practical alternative to permanently ceiling mounting or shelf mounting a projector. Since the quality is excellent considering its price, you will have to figure out whether the MovieTime is best for you, or a traditional projector, plus separate DVD player and sound system.

Positioning the Projector

This Optoma projector has a huge amount of fixed lens shift. In fact, so much (I’ve never seen anything close), that you pretty much have to place the projector on the floor, or on a very low table (let’s say under 16 inches) to have the image fit a screen mounted at a normal to high location.

If you have an 8 foot ceiling and place the projector on a typical 30″ high table, you’ll probably have some of the image on the ceiling, not exactly desireable.

I don’t see this as a problem, in fact, it makes sense. You can probably always find some floor space for it and if needed prop it up an extra 8-10 inches or so, if needed.

There is a penalty, due to the drastic lens shift. The image is not straight all the way across the top. It bows slightly. That is, the image is slightly higher on the left and right corners and gently curves down toward the top center. The actually bowing is about 2 inches on a 100″ diagonal screen, so the border of the screen should hide this defect. Once you are watching a movie or TV, if your screen has a border, and you set it up right, most probably will not notice. For those of you who are videophile purists, you will be happier with a more expensive projector anyway, or a stand alone projector, like Optoma’s roughly $1000 H27 projector, mentioned in the Image Quality section.

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