Optoma TX542 DLP Multimedia Projector Review

Optoma TX542 Projector - Brightness

The TX542 is rated at 2800 lumens.  The following measurements were taken with the lamp on its Bright setting.   In Bright display mode (the brightest), we measured 2282 lumens at mid-zoom range.  As you might expect from a 1.2X zoom, the output showed little variation throughout the zoom range.  At full wide zoom in Bright mode, we got 2378 lumens and at full telephoto zoom it was 2204 lumens.  All further measurements were taken at the mid-zoom point.  Using Presentation mode, the output dropped to 1727 lumens, which was matched in sRGB mode.  Movie mode, which provided the best contrast between dark and light scenes and color accuracy, came in at a decent 1307 lumens.  For the other modes: Blackboard came in at 2072 lumens.  The two User modes, which use Movie as a starting point, were at 1295 lumens.  Finally, the Classroom setting (which dropped the Brilliant Color setting from 10 to 5) brought up the rear at 924 lumens.  Overall, although the TX542 did not quite hit its target lumen rating, it provided plenty of brightness compared with the competition.

Dropping the lamp into Standard brightness mode only resulted in a drop of about 13%.  This is consistent with the fact that Standard lamp mode only draws 22 watts less than Bright mode.  This is much less of a drop than many projectors in this market.  With a rated lamp life of 5000 hours in Standard lamp mode, it should be a good choice for any user who does not need every bit of brightness.  It should be noted that adjusting Brilliant Color (BC) has a great affect on lumen output. Most modes use BC set at 10.  Turning down BC to 5 results in a 31% drop in output, which is pretty significant.  Turn BC down to 0 results in an additional drop of 31%, for a total of 62% from the “10” setting.  As reducing BC appeared to have a minimal effect on image quality, I’d expect most users to leave it set on 10.

Audible Noise

The Optoma TX542 has a lower noise level (31dB in Bright lamp mode) than most of the competition.  This noise level is comparable to home theater projectors in the TX542’s price range.  Consistent with the small drop in lumen output when going from Bright lamp to Standard lamp, the TX542’s noise level only dropped 2dB in Standard lamp mode.  Again, this is a more than acceptable level for a multimedia projector.  It was only a few years ago that many home theater projectors were noisier than this.  Combine this level of noise with the 10 watts of built-in speaker power and it’s unlikely that projector noise would ever be a problem.  At this noise level, the TX542 is even quiet enough for comfortable video (without audio) viewing.

Networking

Connecting the TX542 to a computer network via its RJ-45 jack permits remote management and web browser control of almost all of the projector’s settings.

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