The result might be a sense of more depth to the image, but in reality, the 3LCD competition, which is at least as bright, has no shortage of pop to the image, in fact, slightly more. Consider the real trade-off to be a bit of sharpness favoring the likes of this Optoma, while the lowest cost Epson and Panasonic's produce at least the same brightness, but with better color.
As always, trade-offs. All considered, for the bucks, the Optoma does just fine, if only it's color was a little better on general HDTV viewing, it probably would contend for the best, overall, in the price range. Personally, I'm not satisfied enough with the color handling, but, I'm speaking as a real "enthusiast" who is rarely more than reasonably satisfied with projectors under $2000.
The Bottom Line on HDTV and Sports
Overall the HDTV image was clean, I noticed no tearing around the edges of the image. Better still, if there was some, this projector offers Edge Masking, rather than Overscan. That's a plus, because if there is some noise at the edges, I'd rather maintain the sharpness of 1:1 pixel mapping, than using compression techniques to expand all but the other edge to fill the screen.
That being a separate issue, the only two downsides to really report about HDTV and sports viewing, are a) the lack of CFI for smooth motion, a feature not to be found on any current competitors either, so a moot point, if shopping only in the sub-$1000 price range.
The other issue, of course, is the color accuracy. I really don't care too much about that for sports, but I did find some of that great Discovery HD and Travel HD type content to be enough off, color wise to disappoint an enthusiast like myself. None the less, the HD131Xe projector has some kick ass brightness, which is still the first key to enjoying HDTV and sports in rooms that are less than ideal.