Optoma MovieTime DV10 – General Performance – 4

Projector Styling

It sure doesn’t look like anything else out there. It looks more like a spacey boom box. Done mostly in white, with black accents, and lots of curves and angles, it is not surprising that it has already picked up a couple of awards for innovation, including at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. Like the experience in general, the MovieTime’s looks are fun!

Construction

The MovieTime feels much like a nice boom box, in terms of construction. There’s a lot in it for its 7.8 pounds and that means lots of lightweight plastic. My one complaint is around the lens. The small zoom lever for the lens, and its assembly, are apparently not well designed. If you adjust the zoom, the lens goes out of focus. Of course, once you set up the projector it takes only a second or two to adjust the zoom and refocus, but it is a minor nuisance, and I would hope Optoma will improve this while the product is still manufactured. It’s more a case of it just feeling cheap than any lost performance.

Adjustable Feet

I touched on this earlier. The front foot has lots of adjustment range, and is controlled by a bar on the bottom front. Only one of the two rear feet is adjustable, and this I found to be unfortunate. If you are placing the MovieTime DV10 projector on a table more than a foot or so off the floor, you may have to put something under the two rear feet. I think Optoma

All-in-One Projectors - Comments

To my knowledge, there are only 3 units so far. In addition to the Optoma MovieTime DV10, which I saw (a prototype) for the first time at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) back in Jan ’05, there is also one from HP, (also shown there) and Radio Shack. Now first of all, I have never seen the Radio Shack projector, nor know anything about it, except that there is a rumor (take that for what its worth), that it hasn’t been selling well.

The HP, however, I have seen briefly. There are a number of differences between the HP and the Optoma MovieTime. Two are of significant differences. First, the HP has a small subwoofer built in (or at least their prototype at CES did). A great idea, but to be built in, it really has to be pretty small, and whether it can do a serious job would be questionable.

The other major difference is that HP chose to go with the old 4:3 aspect ratio, of standard TV and Video tapes, instead of 16:9 favored by DVD and HDTV. This, I see as a major design flaw in a projector that has a DVD player built in. On traditional DVD’s (2.35:1 movie ratio), that means that about 50% of the screen is black – 25% each letter boxed at the top and bottom, instead of 10% at top and bottom for a 16:9 projector like the MovieTime. The bottom line, the HP is inherently a dinasour – out of the box, unless your primary use is projecting games, and regular TV. There’s a reason why when you walk into a Best Buy, all the plasmas, and virtually all LCDTV’s and big screen TV’s are 16:9. It’s the future, and I can’t see buying something that is inherently almost obsolete.

That said, I can’t imagine what other advantages the HP could have to make it a viable alternative.

Projector Cables

Of course you won’t need a cable to hook it up to a DVD player, since one is built in. If you opt for their optional Sub-woofer, you’ll have the cable you need for that, as well.

You will, most likely, want to also be able to watch TV and maybe a VCR with the MovieTime. The MovieTime does come with a composite video and stereo audio cables, to connect to the VCR, or you could use them with your cable or satellite box (but you don’t want to, believe me.). With cable or satellite box, you will want to take advantage of the component video output (separate Red, Green and Blue cables), for the highest quality picture. For this you will need a component video cable. Remember you are likely to need a 10 foot or longer component cable to stretch from the Movietime to the cable/satellite box. The cable you need will have 3 RCA jacks on each end. The MovieTime DV10 projector, does not have an input for those three, but instead provides a small adapter. Plug the three RCA’s into the adapter, which fits into the computer input on the projector.

You don’t have to do it that way, you could instead order a cable with the 3 RCA’s on one end, and an HD15 (computer) connector on the other. In that case, you don’t need the adapter. Most Optoma MovieTime dealers will be able to provide the regular component cable in most lengths. Finding the 3 RCA to computer cable may be a bit tougher, so why bother.

Depending on where you are placing the MovieTime, you might also need a three prong extension cord. And it never hurts to use a power strip to protect against power surges.

Have a big sound sound system already, and want to play the DVD’s sound through it? You can run a (digital) optical cable from the MovieTime projector to your surround sound system (if its old, make sure it has optical input). Again, figure out how much cable length you need. The Optical cable will move full 5.1 surround sound to your home theater audio system.

OK, time to review the warranty, and then summarize the review for you.

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