Optoma MovieTime DV10

Optoma MovieTime DV10 - Image Quality

In once sense, Optoma’s MovieTime DV10 projector is the equivilent of a stereo boom box, or an all-in-one home theater in a box sound system, and if you think of it that way, you wouldn’t expect it to perform as well as “separate components”. Now, while there is plenty of compromise in terms of audio, compared to dropping $500 or a grand, or more on a 5.1 surround sound system, the projector and image quality aspects of the MovieTime projector, rival the best of the lower cost home theater projectors out there, including Optoma’s own highly regarded projectors.

Certainly, from a spec standpoint – 1000 lumens and a 4000:1 contrast ratio, you should expect great image quality, and the MovieTime DV10 projector won’t dissapoint. In fact, in addition to watching the MovieTime perform on many DVD’s including Lord of the Rings (LOTR) Fellowship of the Rings, Sin City (a great test of black levels and shadow detail), Men In Black II, The Italian Job, and Independence Day, I also watched live HDTV from cable, and Hi-Def off my D-VHS deck. In other words, I threw plenty of everything at it. I also quickly hooked it up to my laptop, however, the projector being WVGA resolution (854×480) its a bit low for viewing traditional XGA computer information 1024×768. As a result very small type was very difficult to read. However if you set your computer to lower resolution – say SVGA (800×600) the MovieTime’s performance was acceptable for surfing the internet, etc.

But you want to hear about picture quality on DVD and HD, so lets start with DVD. There’s something I really like about the quality of just about every Optoma home theater projector I have tested. The colors have excellent saturation and the MovieTime is no exception. The image above from The Italian Job, are vibrant, faithful, and realistic looking.

The MovieTime DV10 projector is also no slouch when it comes to natural looking fleshtones as seen on this shot of Gandalf from LOTR. A little more challenging is the image of Will Smith from Independence Day.

Optoma’s MovieTime projector handles daylight scenes effortlessly, as you will observe on these two shots – the first also from the Italian Job, and the second one from Independence Day. The projector handles the colors very well, with natural looking grass, the bright reds and blues of the cars, and even the sunlit concrete in the background. On the image below, the photo I captured is a bit off on the blues, but it looked right on, when viewing the projector. (My digital camera does have some limitations!)

The real challenge for projectors, however is how well they handle “black levels”. LCD, DLP (like the MovieTime), and D-ILA projectors, can’t produce a true black. Their best attempt gives you extremely dark grays, when black is called for. Contrast is normally the spec that gives you a heads up on how well a projector will do. The Optoma’s 4000:1 (using their “AI” circuitry to enhance contrast) is an extremely high spec, found on only a few projectors selling for less than $3000.

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