Projector Reviews

Best in Class – Under $1000 Value Home Entertainment: Optoma HD143X/HD243X


The Optoma HD143X and the newer HD243X are 1080p DLP projectors with a street price of $499 ($449 for the older model). Both fall into the category of bright room projectors, and are incredible for gaming – but we’ll get into that in a moment. The pair has won the honor of our Best in Class – Value Home Entertainment Award in this year’s report.

Optoma HD143X/HD243X Overview

The value proposition of the Optoma HD143X and HD243X projectors is undeniable. With a sub-$500 price point, high lumen claim, and a host of features, these two projectors really can’t be beat in terms of value when placed against the other projectors in this category. The HD143X has 3,000 claimed lumens, and the HD243X has 300 more, making these projectors some to consider when your room has little to no control over ambient light.

Gamers rejoice – these models have the lowest input lag measurement found on projectors: 16ms. That’s about as good as it gets when it comes to projector gaming. For anything less, you’d have to invest in a high-performance monitor, and then – the trade-off is a much smaller screen size. 16ms is suitable for even those hard-core, competitive gamers and professional Twitch streamers.

2019-2020 Home Theater Report Best Value Home Entertainment Under $1000 Award

I had reviewed the Optoma HD143X last year, right around the time I reviewed another gaming projector from ViewSonic – the PX706HD. Both projectors measured the same when it came to input lag, though I felt the picture quality and black level performance of the HD143X blew the ViewSonic’s right out of the water.

This is due to the fact that Optoma is known for having good to excellent out of the box color, as well as one particular feature that is present on both the Optoma HD143X and the Optoma HD243X: Dynamic Black. Dynamic Black mimics the function of a dynamic iris to produce deeper blacks, thereby improving black level performance.

Optoma HD143X Ready Player One

The projector modulates the brightness of the lamp so that during dark scenes, the lamp is dimmed, and during bright scenes, the lamp is brightened. This isn’t as smooth or effective as a dynamic iris (which would’ve significantly raised the price!) but it does translate to deeper blacks, resulting in better-than-entry-level black level performance.

These projectors are 3D capable, so if you’re into watching 3D content – the HD143X and HD243X have got you covered. They have an RGBCYW color wheel, which allows for a broader reproduction of the color spectrum – and the W, which stands for white, lets the projector produce more white lumens, resulting in a brighter picture. There are also a few modes specifically for calibration, so while the projectors do produce a great image, you can definitely improve it to your fancy.

The Bottom Line

The Optoma HD143X and Optoma HD243X, priced at $449 and $499 respectively, represent a trend of low-cost home entertainment projectors that are capable of handling movies, sports, and video games in a variety of environments. This projector will be at home in a bright room, living room, media room, or even dedicated home theater/cave.

Though there are plenty of projectors better suited to a home theater environment, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that competes with this price. For those who are interested in purchasing a projector for gaming, these models are two to consider – again, because of that price point.

Get the Optoma HD143X on Amazon!

Get the Optoma HD243X on Amazon!

Optoma HD143X/HD243X Reviews