Projector Reviews

Optoma HD25-LV Projector – Image Quality 4

Optoma HD25-LV - Overall Color & Picture Quality

While post calibration the color could still be better, the HD25-LV projector certainly does a rather good job that should make most folks extremely happy.  There’s a tendency to strong reds showing up in skin tones (notably on darker scenes) but post calibration it’s rather minimal.   Overall, watching the HD25-LV extensively with Mike’s settings, has me most pleased with this projector’s picture quality.  True, black levels can always be better, but this projector is one of the best at blacks among those projctors near, but both above and below the $1000 price point.

But do remember that there’s a big difference between out of the box, which has greater issues, and what can be done with the proper settings put in to the HD25-LV projector. Also, important to remember that basically this is a single mode projector due to the user memory issue described elsewhere. It’s not pracitcal to have several different settings for different content and room conditions, if you want to avoid some frustration.

Optoma HD25-LV Projector: HDTV and Sports Viewing

Light canon!   1500 calibrated lumens is a healthy amount especially for a “calibrated” picture.  Other projectors can easily best the maximum lumens, but this guy puts a much better than average, bright picture very suitable for lots of sports, or your fav HDTV shows, be they Vampires, HGTV or Discovery HD.

The Optoma HD25-LV can cut through a healthy amount of ambient light, and still do a very respectable job!

The two images to the right show how the theater was lighted for the HDTV image shoot.  (The movies shoot is done with the room darkened).  This was a gray day, no sun, so the skylight just outside the door isn’t obvious.  Thanks to the gray day, the shutters on the windows were basically fully open, instead of partially shut for these shots.

All the images below were taken using User mode, in this case our “best” mode, fully calibrated.  We did not use a separate brightest mode, which would have been just 20% brighter, and because of the User settings issue discussed several places in this review.

This next image is a full screen image of the scene you see in the photo above, so that you can assess some of the “damage” from the ambient light, which is to say, “not much”, still showing good contrast and decent blacks.

Here’s a “PS” for you.  If you look carefully at the left frame of the image above, right behind the CBS reporter to the left, you can just make out another woman (dark haired) just below the reporter’s hair.  That would be one of the DC news interns, from the “Running of the Interns” as they call it when interns run the Supreme Court decisions outside to the awaiting news teams.  I only mention this since that just partially visible face is that of Lisa, my daughter, who is a CBS News intern this summer, and was involved in the “run” when they announced the gay marriage decisions.  (Cool, good job Lisa!)  Lisa is also the person who handles all our social media, processes all these photos, and does some day to day webwork projects.   She does keep busy!

But enough of the “news” let’s talk about how this Optoma HD25-LV handles sports and other HDTV content.

We’ll start with watching DirecTV’s Gamemix for NFL.  My house is where my friends all come for football, because much of the time this is how we watch it.  This is one reason why projectors “rule”.  With an eight game, Gamemix, on my 124″ widescreen, each of the games is larger than a 32″ LCDTV, that is, you can see the action.  Try that on a 50″ LCDTV, or a 70″ for that matter.   Fantasy Football players rejoice!  Oh, and note that the colors look real good!

But man cannot live on Football alone:

As mentioned on the first page, the HD25-LV does not offer any creative frame interpolation (“smooth motion”).  That’s almost always a plus for sports viewing, but also a feature most of us sports fans could live happily ever after, even without having it.

Optoma HD25-LV Projector: Bottom Line on HDTV Sports

Go for it.  It’s a good sharp picture with good color and 1500 calibrated lumens for really good looking sports viewing.   Not just sports though, animation, even Colbert looks good.  The only issue through all of the HDTV viewing is that occasionally skin tones in particular are a bit too red.  But it is slight after Mike’s calibration.  It’s also likely not going to be noticed at all if there’s ambient light present.

An image from the last summer Olympics on NBC.  Nice vibrant colors, even without the room being darkened much at all.