Acer H7550ST Projector Review – Special Features

Acer H7550ST PROJECTOR – SPECIAL FEATURES:  Placement flexibility, Gaming/Input Lag, 3D Capabilities, Wireless Options, Speakers, Eco and ExtremeEco Modes

Acer H7550ST Placement Flexibility

As mentioned before, the Acer H7550ST has decent placement flexibility for a sub-$1000 short throw projector (MSRP is $999 but can be found for considerably less). The ability to ceiling mount the projector, and place it behind or in front of the screen allows for this projector to be used in a variety of locations and venues.

Most low-cost home entertainment projectors do not come equipped with lens shift, with a few exceptions. This is not one of them. The best you can do is use the adjustable foot located on the front of the projector, underneath. At first glance, one might not even notice the “PUSH” button that releases the foot, as was the case with myself. Only one of the two feet on the back is adjustable, and I’m struggling to find a logical reason for that.

The screen I have here is positioned so that a projector with a typical throw distance can be placed on the bookshelf, projecting over the couch. As a result, the screen is a few inches higher than the bottom of the H7550ST’s projected image, so that front adjustable foot proved to be useful. The image becomes warped like a trapezoid when the projector is tilted up, which is why Acer gave it such a wide range of Keystone Correction. For those of you who are new to the projector game, Keystone Correction is used to take that trapezoid-shaped image and warp it to be a perfect rectangle. Obviously, it is better to have the projector aimed at your screen so there is no need for Keystone, but it doesn’t distort the image in any truly noticeable way.

The manual 1.1:1 zoom lens is of the lowest for projectors of this price range – most will range between 1.1:1 and 1.3:1. I found the zoom acceptable for this throw range. My living room is long and skinny, which means there isn’t an abundance of room in between my couch and where the projector must sit. The projector sits a comfortable 4.5 feet back from my screen, at approximately mid-zoom, and fills the 92” screen beautifully.

Acer H7550ST As A Gaming Projector - Input Lag

Short throw and ultra-short throw projectors are favored by gamers, and as a gamer myself, I was naturally excited to try the H7550ST out. Overall, the Acer performed very well as a gaming projector. The input lag is 38.3 milliseconds, which is just 5.3 milliseconds shy of being considered “good.”  (Good being one frame behind on a 30fps game – 33.3ms.)

Input lag rated down in the 50ms range is acceptable for most gamers playing fast games with a lot of graphics, such as RPGs or FPS games. 33-36ms of input lag is considered good, 16-18 excellent, with 0 being a rare find in projectors. Note: 33-36ms input lag would be a 2-frame delay on a 60fps game (most games are 60fps) or, as mentioned, a 1 frame on a 30fps game. That hardly seems detectable, even to someone who has played the game a thousand times.  But for the serious high-speed gamer – and team playing, 0 ms is the goal, and some fast monitors deliver on that.

When testing the gameplay quality on the Acer H7550ST, I played a variety of RPG and FPS games. Horizon: Zero Dawn, Skyrim, GTA V, Titanfall 2, Borderlands and Star Wars Battlefront all played exceedingly well, although the sheer size of the image was overwhelming at first. When Darth Vader casually strolls into the battle at four feet tall to Force Choke you, you might feel a bit like falling over the back of your couch to get away.

Acer-H7550ST_Gameplay-Horizon-Zero-Dawn
Image of Horizon: Zero Dawn Playstation 4 gameplay projected by the Acer H7550ST.

I used Game Mode, which boosts the brightness and contrast so you can clearly see what is going on. This helps with dark scenes, such as the ones you might find in Skyrim when in a cave or underground fortress. What I liked most about playing games using the H7550ST projector was the brilliant color, brightness, and crispness of the picture. With game graphics being so realistic (have you seen the graphics on Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End?), you can truly tell the difference between the image quality of this projector and say, an HDTV.

Input lag, for me, was undetectable. I found that I was better at these games using this projector than when using HDTVs in the past, which I attribute to both the size of the screen and the clarity of the image (the pixels are harder to distinguish than with HDTVs). Like I said earlier, you can clearly see your enemies, and aiming becomes easier than ever. Though this wouldn’t typically be considered a “gaming projector,” all but the most serious of gamers would enjoy the gameplay experience of this projector.

Acer H7550ST 3D Capabilities

The Acer H7550ST has two types of 3D – true 3D and faux 3D. Faux 3D is simply 2D to 3D conversion, which takes your regular content and, with the use of the 3D glasses, displays it as 3D. It’s not the same as true 3D by any means, but is entertaining nonetheless. We tried it with Star Wars Battlefront, which looked awesome, albeit dizzying. The Playstation menu was certainly more interesting with 2D to 3D conversion. I doubt I would ever use it for serious TV or movie-watching, as the image is not nearly as clear as it is when viewing true 3D content.  However, 2D to 3D can definitely be fun watching “home movies” uploaded to the Acer.

The projector uses 3D DLP Link, allowing the Acer to be compatible with 3D DLP Link glasses. These glasses are generally better than the throw-away types you can get for cheap, and look cooler too. One pair of DLP Link Active Shutter 3D glasses is included with your purchase, and a second, third or fourth pair can be found online from several retailers, coming in at around $40. There are similar glasses that go for less or are bundled on Amazon, and if they are DLP Link Active Shutter 3D glasses, they are compatible.

3D eats up about ⅔ of the projector’s overall brightness, so 3D content tends to be a tad dim on most 100+ inch screens. Though I noticed a slight shift in the brilliance of the color, I found 3D on the Acer H7550ST to be entertaining and watchable. I don’t usually watch 3D content, but find it enjoyable when I do. Gravity, with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, was breathtaking, and far more intense in 3D than when watched in 2D. There’s nothing quite like watching one of your childhood nightmares take place in 3D – on a really large screen!

Acer H7550ST - Optional Wireless HDMI

Acer makes a WirelessHD Kit that sells for $199, which includes a transmitter that connects to the image source (BluRay player, internet player or game console) using HDMI, and a receiver that plugs into a HDMI port on the projector itself. Upon plugging in, the H7550ST replaces an HDMI option with a “WirelessHD” option within its source menu. WirelessHD integrates nicely with the projector and is user-friendly. The kit comes with a User Manual which makes the process easy and quick. I did like the flexibility it gave me in placing my PS4 away from the projector, as it alleviated some of the mess of cables I had going from under the table to the wall outlet.

Acer-WirelessHD-Kit

H7550ST Audio - Speakers and Customization

The H7550ST comes equipped with two 10 watt speakers which produce enough sound for watching HDTV and movies inside or out. The volume is easy to control via the right and left arrows on the remote or on top of the projector. There is a “volume boost” option in the menu that raises the volume by a couple decibels, which would be useful in an outdoor setting when using the onboard speakers.

The treble and bass can be adjusted slightly (-4/+4), but only when DTS is off. If you want to use your own speakers, the audio out port on the back of the Acer allows you to hook up some speakers or a receiver that can connect via an ⅛ inch audio jack. Using this projector with a surround sound audio system is doable, though perhaps a little awkward when it comes to the placement of the audio receiver and speakers.

Acer gives you another alternative as the H7550ST does work with Bluetooth speakers. It’s an option in the audio section of the source menu called “BT Speaker Connection.” I consider this a definite plus for those who have a powered Bluetooth speaker system in which case the Bluetooth technology would link the projector and the speakers. No wires, no problem.

Eco and ExtremeEco Modes

The H7550ST has three modes – full power, Eco, and ExtremeEco. Eco and ExtremeEco mode lowers power consumption, reduces noise and extends the lamp life of the projector. Standby power consumption reduces up to 70% when in Eco mode, and 90% in ExtremeEco. There is a definite drop off in brightness when in ExtremeEco, but that is to be expected.

Putting the projector in Eco mode is simple and can be done via the included remote control. Press the menu button, then the down arrow on the remote to switch to the Management menu, and press the right arrow on the remote to select this section. Change the Eco mode option to “on” and press the menu button to exit. If there was a flicker in the Eco and ExtremeEco modes, it went unnoticed by me. Whites did have a tendency to look a tad blown out in these lower power modes.

Hidden Chromecast Dongle

The H7550ST has a built-in wireless Chromecast dongle port. The cover is detachable, so you can access the port but also keep it hidden. For those of you who don’t know, Chromecast is Google’s streaming stick, similar to the Roku stick and Amazon Fire. Having the dongle hidden is a real plus, as this short throw projector will likely be in front of your couch and therefore could easily get knocked. If the streaming stick hanging out of a port on the back gets hit from the side, you could damage the port. If using Roku or Amazon Fire, just be careful when walking around the projector.

Acer-H7550ST_Comcast-Dongle

You May Also Like

News and Comments