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Optoma HD70 Home Theater Projector Review: Summary, Pros, Cons

Posted on October 14, 2006 by Art Feierman

The Optoma HD70, with its list price of only $999, is (I'll say it again) the least expensive 720p home theater projector on the market. It is definitely a bargain. If your budget is limited to no more than $1000 for a home theater projector, and it works (placement wise) in your room, go out and buy one. Your best alternative under $1000, in my opinion is InFocus's IN72, which beats out the Optoma in black levels by a rather significant margin. The tradeoff, though, is that the IN72 is only a 480p projector - it can't match the resolution, and its pixels are appriately more visible from the same distance from the screen. My own thoughts are, that the HD70 will be preferred by most, except for those truly into the ultimate black levels, and the extra shadow detail such a projector can provide.

If you have extra budget, definitely consider the Mitsubishi HD1000U, with a very slight edge in sharpness (very slight), and more more significantly, a noticeable jump in brightness in best mode, even though they are about the same brightness in their brightest modes. Besides the higher cost of the Mitsubishi, it also only offers a one year warranty vs. the two year warranty on the HD70. Overall, I found watching the HD70 to be most enjoyable, despite being spoiled by my BenQ PE8720, almost four times the price. (The BenQ is brighter in best modes, and significantly sharper, plus has dramatically blacker blacks, but then, if you are looking at the HD70, the BenQ isn't even close to your budget.

When it comes to the need for brightness, if you do need a real light cannon, look to Panasonic's PT-AX100U, it can't be matched lumen for lumen. If the HD70's level of brightness should be sufficient for you, but sharpness is your "thing" consider the new Sanyo PLV-Z5!

That gives you a few alternatives if your budget is as large as about $1800, but again, I stress, the HD70 is one great value for its price!

Here's how the Optoma HD70 stacks up - good and bad - overall

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