Posted on November 14, 2006 By Art Feierman
Finally, our HD70 review. We had hoped to get our hands on one a bit sooner, as it has been shipping for almost two months. The Optoma HD70 is a breakthrough home theater projector – the first true HD (720p) projector to sport a list price of under $1000 ($999 of course)!
That means that it competes directly against several 480p home theater projectors (although most now sell for under $800). Of course $999 is the MSRP (and also MAP – minimum advertised price), so no doubt there is some slight discounting below the $999 price. There is competition though for a couple to a few hundred more, from some other 720p projectors. Notably the recently reviewed Mitsubishi HD1000U – similar in many ways, and also Sanyo’s very highly regarded PLV-Z4. Unlike most other companies, who kill off one model when its replacement starts shipping, Sanyo traditionally keeps “last year’s” projector in the lineup, at a lower cost. Neither the Mitsubishi which has a $1499 MAP, but comes with a free spare lamp (list price $395), to lower its effective net cost. Of course, those of you who don’t have the extra cash around, and need to keep the expenditure under $1000, will still find the Mitsubishi – with spare lamp, and the Sanyo, to be a few hundred dollars more, out of pocket.
Click to Enlarge.So close
Based on extensive viewing of the HD70, it is, overall, a really nice projector. From a technical standpoint, there are 480p projectors (and 720p models) that can outperform it in terms of black levels and shadow details. When it comes to the trade-offs though, we believe the HD70 will be a best choice for a majority of potential buyers on a tight budget. The bottom line, is that 720p for under $1000 is a dramatic price performance breakthrough. That alone is sufficient to impress us, and we are pleased to bestow our Hot Product Award to the Optoma HD70. That said, the Optoma HD70 has a number of other things going for it, in addition to its great price!
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