Optoma TW610ST Projector - Physical Tour
3-29-11 -Mike Rollett
Unlike many multimedia projectors that come in a basic white case, the Optoma TW610ST has a sharp-looking gloss black case. The TW610ST has its lens offset to the right side of the projector when facing it. The convex lens sticks out from the front of the projector because the TW610ST does not project straight ahead, but rather upward diagonally from the projector, thus allowing it to be placed close to the screen. The protruding lens is somewhat more susceptible to accidental damage, so Optoma provides a lens cap (tethered to the projector) that is more substantial than usual. To the left of the lens is an IR receiving eye and a hot air exhaust port. As the TW610ST is completely dependent on placement to align its image with a screen, there are height adjustable screw feet in each of the four corners for adjusting the height and leveling the projector.
On top of the projector, right behind the lens, is a tabbed ring for focusing the image. Behind that, in the center, toward the rear, is a control panel including indicators for lamp status and temperature (if overheating). There are buttons for Power (with indicator light), Keystone correction (which also serve as menu navigation Up/Down buttons), Menu, Enter and Help. The Left/Right menu navigation buttons also function as Source and Re-sync respectively. A second IR receiving eye is also part of the panel.
On the right side (facing the front of the projector), is a built-in speaker followed by an air intake vent toward the rear. On the left side of the projector are both air exhaust and intake vents. Access to the lamp is on the bottom of the projector. While this necessitates removal of the projector if its ceiling mounted, this projector would typically be used on a table top, making this less of an issue.
Moving to the rear panel, there is a full array of inputs, including an HDMI input. Starting at the top left, there is a LAN jack for a network connection. Below that is the power cord jack. Moving across the top from left to right, there is a USB jack that, when connected to a computer, enables the projector’s remote to act as a mouse. This is followed by an HDMI input, a VGA output and two VGA inputs (that can also serve as a component video input). Next up are inputs for S-video and composite video, a microphone input and an RS-232C input for computer control of the projector. These are followed by stereo audio inputs that match up with the composite and S-video inputs and a single audio input jack for the VGA inputs. There is also an audio output jack, 12 volt output (to trigger an electric projection screen), second built-in speaker and a Kensington lock and security bar.
Optoma TW610ST Setup and Menu
Short throw projectors usually take more time to set up, primarily because the projector has to be positioned at both the correct height and distance from the screen (as there is no ability to manually zoom or shift the lens). The TW610ST is no exception in this regard, but it does have individual height adjustment at all four corners which makes the task a bit easier. Also, for the classroom, the TW610ST would be a good candidate for ceiling mounting, as it can be mounted very close to the screen, so setup time would not be an issue.
Once it’s positioned, bringing up the menu, the user can select the desired display mode and make the usual adjustments (contrast, brightness, color and tint) to the picture. There is also a choice of three different color temperatures. As we also noted last year with the Optoma TX542, the TW610ST offers grayscale calibration adjustments for red, green and blue. This level of control is unusual for multimedia projectors, especially in this price range. While this is not something that most users will be able to use properly (as it requires special calibration tools), these controls may come in handy to tone down the excessive green or blue that appear in whites when using the brightest mode.
There are also adjustments available for the projector’s secondary (cyan, magenta and yellow) colors, though these affect the projector’s full grayscale range from white to black. Brilliant color can also be adjusted in a range from 0 to 10. However, we would recommend that brilliant color is left at its default setting of 10 (Classroom uses a lower (5) brilliant color setting and sRGB uses none), as lower levels reduce the lumen output greatly.
Optoma TW610ST Remote Control
The TW610ST’s remote control is a small, black remote with charcoal gray buttons. Buttons are appropriately grouped and cover all the important functions without accessing them through the menu.
There is one oddity we noted when we reviewed the TX542 (which has a nearly identical remote) regarding the buttons that are used when the remote is used as a PC mouse (which are the most prominent buttons on the remote). These buttons only function for the PC mouse. Normally, these buttons would also control menu navigation, but that’s done with other buttons that have dual functions. This can be somewhat confusing to the first time user who would typically gravitate toward these mouse buttons for menu navigation.
In addition to the mouse navigational and left/right click buttons, there are buttons for image re-sync and freeze, AV mute, individual input switching, digital zoom and keystone correction. There are also buttons to control the volume of the projector’s 5-watt per channel built-in speakers.
The buttons are not backlit or even glow-in-the-dark, but that is standard for multimedia projectors, where backlighting can often be distracting.