Further down on the list of images is the $2600 Epson with exceptional blacks, note how incredibly overxposed the starship looks there.
Top under $3000 projector for blacks – Epson HC5020 UB projector (compared to these others, the starship is a lot brighter, and the lettterbox at least as dark). And that’s not mentioning the obviously greater “pop” to the image. No contest – at all, but then it’s 2x the price.
Here’s the Optoma HD33, Optoma’s first lower cost 3D projector with 1080p resolution. It’s definitely not up to the HD25-LV’s abilities:
Acer H9500BD: (Best black levels we’ve seen that sells for well under $2000) The Acer is just a touch less overexposed, but the blacks there are very black (I should have overxposed the Acer image a little more). The Acer looks like better blacks, but at least the HD25-LV is giving it a game, something few others can do. BTW, the Acer has the same no savable User mode issue – another “rough around the edges.”
Panasonic PT-AR100U – (Panasonic’s $1199 light canon of a 2D projector) Blacks are not going to match the HD25-LV. Definitely less pop, but still a bit above the most entry level.
Mitsubishi HC4000. This projector always had pretty decent blacks considering it has no form of dynamic iris or dynamic lamp dimming:
Vivitek H1080FD ($899): Blacks here are coming up a bit short compared with the HD25-LV projector.
Overall, the Optoma HD25-LV’s black levels are definitely above entry level. While I don’t think it quite makes it to what we call “ultra-high contrast” around here, I’ll concede that it’s close. You might find other reasons for not buying this projector, but for the price, black level performance is not one of those reasons.
Optoma HD23 - Note that the HD23 might just reveal a touch more dark shadow detail (lower left, above the tracks, and in the woods), but has far less pop to dark scenes like this, compared with the HD25-LV projector. Attribute that to the '25's superior blacks.