Projector Reviews

Optoma ProScene ZU660 Projector Review – Picture Quality

Optoma ProScene ZU660 Projector Review – Picture Quality: Color Modes, Video Image Quality, Text and Presentation Quality

Color Modes

The Optoma ProScene ZU660 has six color modes: Bright, Presentation, Movie, sRGB, Blending, and DICOM SIM. Bright Mode has strong greens and yellows, wine reds, and mustard yellows. The strong greens and yellows are typical of a brightest mode, while wine reds and mustard yellows are commonly found on DLP projectors.

Color improves on Presentation Mode, with more magenta being added, so skin tones look much better than those in Bright Mode. Still strong on the greens and yellows, with blues suffering slightly – becoming more turquoise in color – but overall, there’s a great improvement in this mode. Quite suitable for presentations and websites.

Movie Mode and sRGB Mode, the two “best modes,” are similar in color. Both greatly improve on Presentation’s color, with skin tones looking rather excellent, thanks to added red and magenta. I did notice on the photos taken in these two modes that the color wheel’s reds are impossible to tell apart. This is no home theater projector, however, so I wouldn’t count that as a negative against the ZU660.

The next mode, called Blending, is just ugly. It’s greener than Bright. It is the second brightest mode, and used for Image Stacking. If you want better color, you can use the projector’s CMS and HSG Color Matching to compensate. Though, I favor Bright Mode over this one. The final mode is called DICOM SIM. and is used for viewing high-contrast films like x-rays, such as in higher education medical classrooms and lecture halls.

Video Image Quality

Video image quality is excellent. While Movie Mode is still a little green, it is much more natural looking than Presentation, so I used it for taking photos of Journey to Space and Bill Nye Saves The World. You could easily use sRGB for natural looking color on videos as well. The ProScene ZU660 produces a sharp image with pretty good color – I generally prefer the color on 3LCD projectors, but this DLP is more than suitable for business and education applications. Skin tones even look rather decent, even though there is a slight favoring toward that green that I mentioned. Nice job, Optoma!

Text and Presentation Quality

While testing the Optoma ProScene ZU660 for text readability, I found that fonts of all styles and sizes were readable from the back of the room. Projecting a 92” image, even 8pt font was readable from 12 feet back. That’s as far back as I can go before hitting the wall – my living room is oddly shaped. It’s rectangular – long and skinny. I think that tiny text would be readable from a few to several feet back before needing to squint. Though, it’s unlikely that you will run into any content with such a small size font.

12-point font is, of course, even more visible than that 8-point. You’ll run into that more on websites and Word documents being projected, and maybe some infographics will have font that small. Presentations and even text or subtitles on educational films will tend to be much larger. In any case – nicely sharp text, very readable in all sizes, colors, and styles. I generally like the way that laser based projectors perform in terms of their text readability, and the ZU660 is no exception. Add to that its WUXGA resolution and you have a winning combination for text and presentations.