Acer H7550ST Projector Review – Performance 1

ACER H7550ST PROJECTOR – PERFORMANCE:  Measured Brightness, Lens Positioning, Brilliant Color

H7550ST Brightness Measurements

H7550ST Brightness by Color Mode: Default Settings, Mid-Zoom
Bright Mode2264 Lumens (BC On), 672 (BC Off)
Standard Mode1641 Lumens (BC On), 640 (BC Off)
Movie Mode1279 Lumens (BC On), 553 (BC Off)
Dark Cinema Mode1292 Lumens (BC On), 637 (BC Off)
Game Mode1628 Lumens (BC On), 644 (BC Off)
Sport Mode1658 Lumens (BC On), 646 (BC Off)

It is worth mentioning, right off the bat, that this projector fell short of its 3,000 lumen claim. Its brightest mode was measured at 2,264 lumens. Most projectors measure between 5% and 20% below claim, with the Acer hovering around the 25% mark. That said, brightness on this projector is slightly disappointing, even with Brilliant Color turned on, and even more so with Brilliant Color turned off – but more on that feature later.

Granted, I had about 125 hours on the projector before I was able to get around to measuring, so there was likely another 100 or so lumens to be found when the lamp was new, but still – not so good. We don’t tweak projectors to squeeze every last lumen out either, because that degrades picture quality and we are simply not interested in that.

Now, even though these numbers are rather drastic, I still found this projector to be reasonably bright. Like I said, it can handle a fair amount of ambient light and still be watchable. It is obvious, though, that in the case of the H7550ST, Brilliant Color is the way to go.  BTW in the old days, we used to consider any projector that measured 1500+ lumens in a good looking mode to be a “veritable light canon.”  These days, though, the Acer’s 1500+ lumens in Standard make it closer in brightness to  some dedicated home theater projectors than some of the brighter “bright room projectors”

Affect of Zoom Lens on Brightness

The H7550ST has a 1.1:1 zoom lens, so the drop-off in brightness from the wide angle, mid-point, and full telephoto zoom is very minor. We’re talking definitely less than 10%. Visually, you can barely see it – if at all. In fact, it is hardly worth mentioning. If the room you are using the projector in has quite a lot of ambient light and you are having difficulty, it is best to keep the lens at wide angle, which requires a closer position in relation to the screen than the other zoom options. This will give you the brightest picture possible, even if it is only a couple lumens more.  When we have projectors with lots of zoom range (typically 1.4:1 or greater) we report on the lumens measured at zoom in, zoom out and mid-zoom positions on the lens.  (With a projector that has a 2:1 zoom, that difference can top 40%!)

H7550ST's Eco Mode and Brilliant Color's Affect on Brightness

There are two low power modes available on the H7550ST – Eco and ExtremeEco. ExtremeEco decreases power consumption – and brightness – by up to 70% after five minutes of inactivity. Eco mode, in the brightest mode (with Brilliant Color on), drops off brightness by about 25%. That’s not a lot considering there’s a 30% drop off in Bright mode between Brilliant Color on and being turned off.

So seriously – keep that Brilliant Color on if you want the brightest picture you can get on the H7550ST. I knew there was a significant difference with it on versus off just by looking at it, but the numbers in the chart at the top of this page don’t lie. It also affects the image in a number of other ways – like giving it more vibrant color that actually looks more life-like than it is without Brilliant Color.

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