Projector Reviews

Optoma HD143X Home Theater Projector Review – Summary

Optoma HD143X Home Theater Projector Review – Summary: Summary, The Competition, Pros, Cons

Summary

The Optoma HD143X is a 1080p (1920 x 1080) gaming and home entertainment projector claiming 3,000 lumens – it didn’t hit its claim, but instead came in at a respectable 2,464 lumens in Bright Mode when projecting at full wide angle (2,315). All other modes came in at around between 1,669 lumens and 889 lumens, with its best mode, Cinema, measuring at 1,191 lumens. The projector is suitable for your typical living room, family room, media room, or bedroom where there is at least some control over ambient light. If you can fully darken your room, do, unless you’re okay with using Bright Mode. This is a $499.99 DLP projector designed for gaming, with a low input lag!

The Optoma HD143X has an input lag of just 16.4ms! This is excellent, and is about as good as it gets with projectors! Acceptable lag times range from 16ms to 50ms, with 50ms or a little bit higher being acceptable to all but the most hardcore, high-speed gamers. 33ms to 40ms is pretty good, and with the Enhanced Gaming function turned off, the Optoma measured at just 33.1ms. So, even if the projector didn’t have the Enhanced Gaming setting, it would still have acceptable lag for most gamers. 33.1ms translates to just over one frame behind on a 30fps game, and 2 frames on a 60fps game. That’d be fine for most people, but if you’re a serious gamer, you’ll want to turn on Enhanced Gaming before starting up your gaming session to get that 16.4ms lag.

Optoma HD143X Inputs and Connectors

In addition to being ideal for gaming, the HD143X has some other special features of note. At under 7 lbs, it is extremely portable, and would easily fit in a backpack or a carry on. This is useful for bringing the big screen experience to a friend’s house or on vacation for casual gaming or binge-watching Netflix. It’s 3D ready, so you can watch 3D if you pick up couple pairs of DLP Link Active Shutter 3D Glasses, which can be found online for around $20 a pair. The projector has Dynamic Black, which gives this Optoma some of the best black levels around for the price.

The Optoma HD143X has the simplest of inputs and connectors, located on the back of the projector. Just a pair of HDMIs, a USB Type-B port, 3D-Sync, a 12-Volt Trigger for wired remote control, and an Audio Out for hooking up an external speaker system if you want to. The projector has its own 10-watt mono speaker, which is plenty loud, but has the stereotypical sound of an on-board speaker. That is, it is lacking in any real bass. I would suggest getting yourself a pair of stereo speakers or a home theater in a box so that you can get some truly excellent sound for watching movies.

The Competition

A quick note on the competition: I recently reviewed the ViewSonicPX706HD, a DLP gaming projector. Like the Optoma HD143X, it has an input lag of only 16.4ms, but it is priced at $785.99 versus the Optoma’s low $499.99. The ViewSonic is a brighter projector, measuring at 2,972 in its brightest mode, with around 2,000 lumens for modes with good color. So, if you’ve got a brighter room, you may want to consider the ViewSonic PX706HD over the Optoma HD143X.

The Optoma does have a louder speaker, better black levels and is 3D capable, but the ViewSonic has its own set of features: compatibility with PC, Mac, and smart devices, as well as PC-Free Presenting, which may be more useful to you than, say, having 3D, if you’re looking to also use your projector for business or education applications. Although, the ViewSonic does have 3D, too. If using for strictly home entertainment purposes, you may find that the HD143X serves your needs better than the ViewSonic, or that you just don’t need some of those extra features and would rather save a couple hundred.

Pros

  • $499.99 List Price
  • 3,000 Lumens Claim – Measured at 2,464 Lumens in Bright Mode, Wide Angle
  • DLP Technology
  • 1080p HD Resolution (1920×1080)
  • 23,000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • Lamp Life – Up to 15,000 Hours
  • 1:1 Zoom Lens
  • Dynamic Black – Excellent Black Levels for the Price!
  • ISF Calibration Modes
  • 3D Capable
  • MHL Port for Streaming
  • 10-Watt Mono Speaker
  • 1 Year Parts and Labor Warranty, 90-Days on the Lamp

Cons

  • Did not meet its 3,000 lumen claim
  • Not a lot of placement flexibility
  • Remote is not backlit (typical of this price point, but we can hope, can’t we?)

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