Posted on December 5, 2018 By Nikki Zelinger
Optoma HD143X Home Theater Projector Review – Picture Quality: Out-of-the-Box Picture Quality, Skin Tones, HDTV and Sports, Gaming
A scene from Ready Player One, projected by the Optoma HD143X.
A scene from The Hunger Games, projected by the Optoma HD143X.
A scene from The Blacklist, projected by the Optoma HD143X.
A scene from Stranger Things, projected by the Optoma HD143X.
Color Mode: Cinema
Color Mode: Bright
Color Mode: Vivid
Color Mode: Reference
Color Mode: Gaming
I am so impressed by the out-of-the-box picture quality on the Optoma HD143X! Like, wow! For a projector with such a low list price, I was expecting to see the standard wine reds and mustard yellows characteristic of DLP projectors, but in Cinema Mode, everything looked pretty true to color. The HD143X’s color handling is just as good, if not better, than many of the 4K UHD DLP projectors on the market today, which list for about $1000 more. True, those 4K UHD projectors will have a sharper image, but this 1080p projector is truly sharp, with excellent color, and is perfect for a wide range of people who aren’t looking to venture into 4K just yet.
All modes actually have pretty great color. Bright Mode has noticeably strong greens and yellows, but even that mode looks good in the slider. In cases where the you need the most lumens to cut through ambient light, Bright will do the trick, and you’ll still have color that is “good enough” so as not to be distracting. Of all the modes, Cinema and Reference have the best color, though any mode you choose will have, at the very least, good color. It’ll most likely be a matter of preference and lighting confitions. I’ve included a series of photos from The Hunger Games at the end of this slider so that you can see the different colors of each mode, projecting the same image.
Regarding skin tones, I just have one word – wow! Again, truly excellent. Cinema Mode and Reference Mode make skin tones look absolutely natural. Many lower cost home entertainment projectors do a poor job on color, specifically skin tones like lips, rendering them a hot pink or some other unnatural-looking color. Not so on the Optoma HD143X! I cannot express in words how impressed I am that a $499 projector has such excellent color across the board. With this Optoma, you’ll enjoy movies, TV, sports, and video games with stellar color. I’ll talk about how this projector handles gaming in the last section of this page, and again on the Performance Page, but first…
The Optoma HD143X does such a great job on movies! I took photos of The Hunger Games and Ready Player One (my favorite), and both films looked excellent when projected by the HD143X. There’s just so much contrast! The color is helped along by the Dynamic Black Option, which I’ll talk about more on the next page. I shot all of the photos from Ready Player One with Dynamic Black On, and all of the photos from The Hunger Games with Dynamic Black Off. It does make quite the difference. Whether Dynamic Black is On or Off, however, the Optoma HD143X has some of the most natural looking color I’ve seen on a projector in this price range!
As for HDTV, the HD143X does not disappoint. The first image I saw being projected by the Optoma is the scene from The Blacklist where Raymond Reddington turns himself in to the FBI. I was astonished by the quality of the image – from the sharpness of the projector, being able to see the pores on his skin, and the crisp pinstripes on his shirt, to the natural look of his skin tone. I knew that this projector would exceed my expectations, and it has. Stranger Things also looked rather excellent, and I even watched some of my current TV shows I’m invested in like Pretty Little Liars (my mom got me hooked) and The Last Kingdom on Netflix.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey, projected by the Optoma HD143X.
The Optoma HD143X is for sure a gaming projector. Not only does it have Game Mode as one of the color modes (I shot the photos in the slider in Game Mode), but it also has a specific setting to lower the input lag of the projector. I’ll talk more about that on the Performance Page, but suffice it to say – if you’ve got game, so does the Optoma HD143X. I’ve beat all my other games except Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, so that’s the one I took photos of and tested with the HD143X for its review.
Game Mode looks good, but if this were my projector I’d probably do everything in Cinema Mode unless the situation called for a brighter mode. I tend to favor a more magenta hue in my color modes, and this projector’s Game Mode has a cooler tone to it. You can choose to play in any mode you like and still have the Enhanced Gaming setting turned on – mode does not affect this. So, it’ll just be a matter of preference when it comes to the color mode you choose for gaming. Now, onto Black Levels and Dark Shadow Detail!
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