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Acer PH530 Home Theater Projector Review

Posted on October 23, 2007 by Art Feierman

Specs Preview

Acer PH530 Specs
Price 1299
Technology DLP
Native Resolution 1280x720
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 1000
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.20:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 2000 hours full power
Weight 6 lbs
Warranty One Year Parts and Labor

Acer PH530 Projector Highlights

  • Currently the least expensive, by $75-$100, (current model) home theater projector (some discontinued models can be found for less)
  • Overall design, performance is typical for an entry level DLP HT projector
  • Very basic in terms of inputs
  • Build quality issues - not critical, little things, adjust the zoom projector, and you'll have to refocus the PH530 projector, remote is more of a business projector remote - not backlit...
  • Image quality not quite up to some of the competition (including sharpness), but no serious flaws
  • Lack of multiple user savable settings is inconvenient
  • 1 year warranty

Acer PH530 Home Theater Projector Review: Overview

A little background on this review before we get going. Normally I get review units directly from the manufacturer. But this time, one of the owners of an Acer PH530 had a call out on the forums, to see if any of us "professional" reviewers would be interested in reviewing his projector.

Well, since I hadn't been on the forums in a couple of months, I figured this was a sign, so I agreed to take a quick look. Since I already had the BenQ W500 here, and was expecting the new Panasonic PT-AX200U, I would have two other low cost 720p projectors to compare it against, even though they were both LCD projectors, whereas the Acer is DLP. I should also mention, that the Acer PH530 home theater projector's closest competition are two other DLP projectors, the Optoma HD70, and the Mitsubishi HC1500. Both also sell for less than $1000, although for roughly $75 - $250 more than the Acer, depending on where you shop.

Because this is the busiest time of my review year, and I'm squeezing the Acer PH530 into the lineup, this review won't be as long as the typical home theater projector review. I also took less photos as well. Still, you should all find it sufficiently detailed.

This is the first home theater projector I've reviewed from Acer, and my initial impression is that the PH530, which is, I better note, a 720p projector, seems to be more of an adaptation of a business projector, than a home theater projector from the ground up.

That said, the PH530 consistently did a respectable job. Its key strength, though, is not its picture quality, or its hardware, or its warranty. #1 is definitely its low price, which quite often, is below $700, and although I haven't found it, as low $600. I'm told that some have bought for $599.

Out of the box performance for "best mode" - Theater mode, was shifted too much to red, but was correctable. I will say, that the shift must be corrected, to obtain a really watchable image. There are some others which are very close to ideal, "out of the box" for those of you not wanting to fuss, but the PH530 isn't one of them.

OK, let's get this party rolling!

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