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Optoma HD23 Home Theater Projector Review

Posted on December 7, 2012 by Art Feierman
Check out this solid, sub-$1000 home entertainment projector. Of course you can place it in a home theater, but it is more intended for less well designed rooms. One thing that makes it interesting is how it is sold in the US. The best I can tell, Optoma's HD23 projector in the US, is only available at Best Buy stores, and I assume, their online as well.  In other words, it seems to be an exclusive deal.  It's sort of a shame.  It means Best Buy has a projector that many other dealers wish they too, could sell.

Specs Preview

Optoma HD23 Specs
Price 999
Technology DLP
Native Resolution 1920x1080
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2500
Contrast 5000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.2:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 3000 hours at full power, 4000 hours in eco mode - $249 replacement cost
Weight 6.4 lbs. (2.9 Kg)
Warranty 1 Year Parts and Labor (3 mo. on lamp)

Optoma HD23 Projector Highlights

  • Sub $1000 (tyically $999)
  • Very small (compact) for those not mounting, easy to move around and set up
  • Bright overall, with especially good looking brightest mode
  • Color performance is good, for the class, calibrates very well
  • Black level performance of a typical entry level DLP projector, which is fine for most, in a family room type environment
  • 3000/4000 lamp life - Low cost of operation with a better than average lamp life, and , though an occasional competitor is even better
  • Modest lens offset (works in more rooms)
  • Reasonably attractive for when the lights are on.

Optoma HD23 Projector Overview

The Optoma HD23 physically looks good - well more, cute. It seems more finished and has a better mechanical feel than most of the competition around its price, which is to say that many others feel a bit clunky, or flimsy.  Not so the HD23.

Some folks will ceiling mount this projector, many others will set it up on a table part or full time.  Some may use it in multiple locations  ("Dad, can I watch with my friends in the spare room?"), including taking it outside for those evening movie or cartoon festivals.

This is a 2D projector.  If you are looking for an Optoma that also supports 3D, then you'll be wanting the more expensive HD33 which we reviewed last year, and is still current.  Figure about $400 - $500 more for that projector.  That more expensive Optoma is also brighter in 2D, should you need more of a light canon.

The HD23 is a single chip DLP projector that's reasonably bright. That is to say, its "best mode", is well, brighter than average.  Even in its brightest mode, while also brighter than average, it does not come close to some of the brightest out there.  Pretty bright?  Yes!  Light Canon?  No!

Translating that into something useful to help you make a decision, in a living room or family room (not dark walls or ceiling) running at night or with reasonably good lighting control (limited light coming in from the outside, and less hitting the screen), you should be able to have a screen 110" diagonal or even push to 120" diagonal, depending on how good.  That assumes a well matched screen for the room, which is very important.  You have more to spare with a 100 inch diagonal or smaller screen.

In other words, brightness wise, very respectable.

As you will read further in, in more detail, this is also a projector with impressively good picture quality.

Below, from the movie Red.  (no Chinatown in NYC isn't this yellow, call it "the director's intent", a tricked out postcard look.

Next are a few highlights, the basic specs, and then few special features covered below.  Then we'll look at the projector itself, then image quality, performance and more.

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