Optoma TW610ST Projector - Image Quality
3-29-11 -Mike Rollett
Optoma TW610ST Color & Picture Quality
To begin, I started with my laptop connected via HDMI and fed the TW610ST its native resolution (1280 x 800). With this input and using the Presentation mode, the TW610ST provided a very nice, sharp image. Much like last year’s Optoma TX542, colors were well saturated and quite accurate. Switching to Bright mode, there was a greenish cast over the lighter parts (especially white) of the image. Reds were a little dark and the greens were too light. Movie mode displayed well balanced color and sRGB had the most depth (primarily due to it being the darkest mode). As the colors can be improved through the use of controls mentioned in the Setup and Menu section of this review, the green cast in Bright mode can be toned down. However, doing so will reduce your lumen output as well. As with the TX542, colors are still a bit short of what some of the better LCD projectors can produce, but the differences are very small in modes other than Bright.
Below, the Optoma TW610ST projector in Presentation mode.
Below, Bright mode.
Below, Movie mode.
Below, sRGB mode.
Photo presentations look very nice with the TW610ST, in either Presentation or Movie modes. If you need the extra brightness of Bright mode for a photo presentation, you can cut back on the Green Gain in the advanced color menu. Switching over to the TW610ST’s VGA input provided no noticeable changes in color reproduction.
It should be noted that typical of short throw projectors, brightness uniformity can be an issue as there is a noticeable drop in brightness (25-30%) from the center of the displayed image to the edges. This might cause a problem with darker presentation slides if there is detail throughout the image that needs to be visible. Standard text-based presentations should not be a problem however.
Optoma TW610ST Readability
The TW610ST provided a very sharp, clean image with any of our text-based source material. Our usual spreadsheet, which has a range of text sizes and colors, was easily readable for all color and size combinations (from 8 pt. to 36 pt. text and white text-on-black or yellow text-on-dark blue backgrounds). In particular, there was no image distortion even in the corners of the displayed image (see the four corner text picture). This is often a failing of short throw projectors and good sharpness across the image is an indication of a well designed and manufactured lens system.
Below, the Optoma TW610ST projector in Native Resolution.
Below, the Optoma TW610ST projector in 1280x1024 resolution.
Switching to higher resolutions and aspect ratios than its default 1280 x 800, the TW610ST came through with flying colors. We tried both 1680 x 1050 (higher resolution, but same aspect ratio), or 1280 x 1024 (higher resolution and different aspect ratio) resolutions and the TW610ST continued to display a sharp, clean image. Small (8 pt.) text remained quite readable and there was no color separation or overlap as can be found on some LCD projectors (mainly due to slight convergence issues inherent in a three-chip projector vs. a single chip DLP).
As we’ve noted in recent reviews, compression and scaling technology has gotten to the point where the display quality of non-standard resolutions and aspect ratios is nearly indistinguishable from the projector’s standard resolution. In this regard, the TW610ST is no exception. Again, this image sharpness with non-standard resolutions is well maintained across the image. Well done, Optoma.
Optoma TW610ST Video Quality
While the TW610ST is more likely to be used for still presentations rather than video, it accounted for itself quite nicely. I used the DVD playback from my laptop computer, connected via HDMI, to check out the video quality. As we noted with the TX542, the 3000:1 contrast ratio is a very good ratio for a projector this bright and is comparable to home theater projectors in this price range a few years ago. That being said, you’d likely only achieve that ratio in a light controlled environment and even then, probably only in sRGB mode. Of course, you’ve got almost 1300 lumens in sRGB mode, so that would likely be plenty for such a room. In a more normal environment (less than good light control) , Movie mode will provide a very good video experience while putting out over 2500 lumens.
When it comes to audio, the TW610ST has enough power (two 5-watt speakers) to create a usable volume level for most classrooms and even some conference rooms. In most cases, combined with the relatively low noise level of the projector, this negates the need for external, powered speakers.
Overall, the TW610ST is able to provide solid video reproduction in a variety of lighting conditions, while maintaining good color and is non-fatiguing.