Optoma HD23 Projector: HDTV and Sports Viewing
To the right, are two images that should the back light sources. To get an idea of how bright, the recessed ceiling lights are 65 watt equivalent LEDs. The other room has a giant skylight in it. There is one shutter on the window to the right of the screen. Blinds open about 1/3 of the way. Light on the back of the chairs is a good indication of the actual brightness. The room still looks pretty dark, but for the screen, but that's due to all flat black and dark navy blue surfaces - classic "cave".
Almost any mode will do for sports viewing. I'd skip Photo though unless you need high contrast to cut through ambient light, and use Cinema or Bright. Save the less bright User or Reference modes for more critical viewing.
Sports (mostly football) looked really good. The overall image not only looks nice and sharp, but the colors are all pretty believable. You might want to dial back the color saturation a little, unless you have some ambient light you are cutting through.
All the images below were taken using Cinema mode, non-football images were taken with about 1/2 to 2/3rds of the ambient light levels used for the football shots. Room shots show how it looked for football images.
Team uniforms looked good, as did the skin tones as you can see. The default Cinema mode is a little cool - more blue - less red, but that should not be a problem at all. Even if a balanced 6500K is technically ideal, I've often felt 7000 - 7500K is easier for sports viewing. It's not surprising that most "Living Room" or similar brighter modes tend to be cool.
You might consider Photo mode if you are dealing with lots of ambient light. It's definitely more contrasty. In a good light controlled room, it's going to be just a little over the top for HDTV viewing, but it may be a great choice under poorer circumstances. Photo is also the coolest mode, where white measures in way up around 9000K.
Optoma HD23 Projector: Bottom Line on HDTV Sports
Go for it. It's a good sharp picture with good color and 1100+ lumens for really good looking sports viewing. Switching to some of my other favorite things, such as music videos, they too looked great.