41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Size Name: 500 Lumen
::::.. I've been waiting for a decent led powered portable projector for a long long time. In the past the specs and performance of a led powered projectors were downright toyish. 30 - 50 lumens were way too dim, resolution was a new low, and the best connection you got was so 80's s-video. In the age of 1080p, over few thousand lumens, hdmi, HDTV, up conversion, and every other bragging gimmick the past "pico" led powered projectors ended up in gizmo crazys trophy stash, quickly forgotten, and I could see why...
::::.. Well this projector will change all that... There are other led powered projectors out there, some cost over $8000 that are focused on home theater, and there are comparable portable projectors like the LG HX350T (Only 300 lumen - 1024 x 768 not even a true 720p), The NEC NP-L50W which has the same specs as the Optima, but costs over $750 and gets complaints on focusing issues, there is the ViewSonic PLED-W200 which is only 200 lumens,. The only one comparable to this projector is the ViewSonic PLED-W500 which is little more expensive. There are handful of others that won't get your attention as the ones that I've mentioned.
Most of them have some onboard memory for storing images, music, office files, and videos, and some have usb connection. I won't get into that because these are just added bonuses in which there was a small budget in developing, so the performance is very low at best (even dedicated media players have playback issues). Same goes for internal speaker which is ridiculously low and cheap!
::::.. Let's talk about this projector. This unit comes with all the connecting cables, but not the HDMI cable. HDMI connection is full sized, so you don't need a adapter. There is a VGA connection, S-video, full sized HDMI, mini USB, full size USB, full size SD, standard rca video and AV-in (3.5mm headphone type which feeds standard RCA video and analog audio). The unit comes is a really nice carrying bag, with front and internal pockets for all cables. The unit lacks lens cap which is odd knowing that it will be handled quite often. Built quality is really solid, all buttons are placed around some black brushed aluminum top, and have a good click feel.
There are tri rubber feet, front one can be raised, others are stationary. Focus ring is a little stiff causing you to play around little more..
::::.. Video, reason you buy a projector is for viewing things, not audio, or file storage, and you know better that for presentations you use a tablet or a laptop. Video on this thing is amazing! 500 lumens may seem tiny compared to a 2000 lumen projector, but this is a led light source. Colors are more vibrant, white is more white, and dlp helps to keep pixels unnoticeable, and blacks black. With any projector if you introduce some ambient light into the viewing room you end up with diluted image; black become grays, and dynamics go down significantly. Believe-you-me this projector copes very well with some intruded light. If you keep the image around 100" or lower the image is just right, it is sharp, saturated, good contrast ratio, and bright. Anything over that size will diminish sharpness , and black become gray. It will blow away LCD tvs, and plasmas due to the size of the image, yet keeping things crisp, and vibrant, of course in a well controlled lighting environment . I wish this unit had better blacks, but with tweaking its pretty decent... There are few image presets like PC, theater, user, vibrant. Pretty good starter presets, but NEVER assume they are the best presets! There are so many variables, image can always be improved, in my case a huge deal! Settings are limited, contrast, brightness, hue, sharpness and wall type. Wall type are presets made for different surfaces you can project your image on, It is really handy !
::::.. Unit comes with a small remote that has all functions. Had no issues beaming the remote signal to the unit from both the front and the back.
::::.. This unit runs very cool, fan noise is not that noticeable, very impressive. It amazes me that this little guy produces such gigantic bright image. I think that alone is stunning!
Startup and shutdown is quick. On my tests startup took 6 seconds, shutdown around 11 seconds.
::::.. This unit has a 60hz processing, and any other 90% of all the LCD, dlp, led, plasma tvs on the market. Yes newest models have 120, 240hz processing, but no one is amazed by them!
::::.. Led projector is Eco friendly in many ways! It consumes less power then conventional light source ( this unit consumes less power then a typical 40" LCD tv, yet produces over 100" image!), and the materials that are being used to make led is less abrasive on the enviroment using less energy to produce them, and less chemicals. It also outlasts typical projector light bulb by thousands of times! Typical projectors bulb lasts 2000hrs that declines in performance, led bulb 20,000hrs! It is THE main reason why the industry is switching to this technology.
So what and where can you use this unit for? Great for presentations, enough brightness for lit rooms, easy to read text, portable and light.
::::.. But this unit shines in home theater settings! 780p is stunning in a dark room with good projector screen with a good grain ratio. More importantly it can be used as your main tv for everyday, not worrying about bulb life or daytime situation.. Its fast enough for gaming, you will never look back again playing your favorite game on a 100" screen, it is amazing!!!!!!! No doubt this unit is a game changer, a new benchmark on portable led based projectors. It can only get better from here..........
+ Brightness (500 lumens)
+ Led bulb/life (20,000 hours)
+ True 720p (1280x800)
+ Built quality, solid feel (hard plastic, some brushed aluminum)
+ Image quality ( solid vibrant colors, sharp, good blacks, good video response)
+ Portable (comes with great carrying bag with pockets for all cables)
+ Handels intrusive light very well (can be used for main tv with daytime light)
+ Cool operation, low fan noise
+ Variarity of connections (full HDMI, VGA, S-video, RCA video, AV 3.5mm video audio, mini USB, full USB, full SD)
- No lens cap
- Focus ring tight feel
- Room for improvement of black level
- Room for improvement of video processing (60hz)
- Limited video controls (brightness, contrast, focus, sharpness..)
- Limited media playback
- Speaker is a joke....
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Size Name: 500 Lumen
UPDATE: January 29, 2012; I have posted a youtube video showing the focus at startup. As you'll see, it isn't that bad. It is slightly fuzzy but still readable and the videos don't seem to be affected (although I'm sure they are, if you look hard enough). With the price of this projector, the longevity of the lamp, and the quality of the picture, a 10 minute period at the start shouldn't be a huge problem for anyone. But to each his own. I still stand by my five star rating. I will update again if I come across something else. Good Luck!!!!
UPDATE: March 26, 2012; I continue to add videos to youtube. (optoma ml500 user review) I am 100% sure the focus at startup is because of the room temperature. Now that I am in warmer weather, the focus is clearing up in about 2 minutes. Once in the winter, I had the wood stove pretty hot, which made the livingroom warmer than normal and the projector started up completely in focus. So once spring and summer temps are up, there won't be a focusing period. One other small issue I have noticed is that the projector seems to need a system reset every 120 hours or so. I have over 800 hours now and it still works and looks great. However, every 120 hours or so it will shut down. I have to unplug it for about a minute. Then I plug it back in and it goes back to normal. Everything is still great quality. For picture quality and performance I still stand behind my 5 star rating. But because of needing a type of reset I would bring it down to 4 1/2 stars. This could just be my projector. I will update again. If you have questions, be sure to ask. It is amazing as I am writing this review on my 100" screen, sitting comfortably on my couch. :)
Update: May 6, 2012 Everything is still great. I have over 1200 hours now. Still shuts off every 120 hours (approximate). Quality is still great. Crisp picture from corner to corner. I have noticed that with Blu-ray the image is the best this projector will put out. So, if you have a Blu-ray setup, your movie nights will be outstanding with this projector. HDMI is the best input to use, VGA is very good as well. You will notice with the RCA video cable that the image looks very much like standard definition (which it is). But it still looks great. Let me know if you have questions or would like to see a certain video.
Update: November 17, 2012 I am at around 3000 hours now. I am still very happy with this projector. I can confirm, without a doubt, that the focus issue is related to the environmental temperature. Now that its winter again, if I don't keep the room temp up, there is a warm up, focusing period. The projector still requires a restart about every 120 hours. Very odd, but it works. Playing Black Ops is just amazing, movies are crazy good, and regular tv viewing is extremely inviting. I have had a couple of my family and friends buy a similar setup to mine cuz they are as impressedd as I am. It is very cheap when you compare to other projectors with the same specs. I now have about 9 videos on YouTube in response to requests. So, if you have a question or something you want to see, just let me know.
I can't say enough about this projector. The picture quality is awesome! The colors are outstanding, the clarity is stunning and it is very bright. Whoever is saying it isn't bright enough during the day is either watching it outside in direct sunlight, or with no roof on their house. I keep mine on eco mode because this projector is bright enough to do it. We watch at all hours of the day, keep our two windows open AND have lights on and can still see the picture very clearly. One downfall of having more light in the room is the black levels are sacrificed. If you can't watch a tv with bad black levels during lighted conditions then this should only be for your theater room. But this is more than adequate at allowing you to watch tv in the daytime. You'll be able to read everything on the screen and see all the detail.
I've seen some complaints about fan noise, and this is NOT a problem. Who watches tv with the volume all the way down anyway. Even with the projector volume on low I can't tell its running.
I spent way too many hours researching this. But I am not one to waste my money so I wanted to make sure I would be pleased. And I couldn't be happier. If you are close to deciding on this, just do it. You will be impressed. The speaker does a good job, the fan noise is not an issue, the picture quality is amazing, it is very portable (although i'll probably leave mine mounted), and the rated hours of the led's are impressive.
For the money, this is the best projector you will buy. I am coming from a 57" sony HD tv and I won't ever get another tv after this purchase. I will however buy a 1080p LED projector when it gets into my price range.
Let me sum it up for you; PS3 games are out of this world, movies are like being at a theater, surfing the internet is crazy awesome on a 100" screen.
-very nice at 100"
-fan noise is not an issue
-way too many positives to mention
-there is an initial focusing period of about 5 to 10 minutes, not so bad you can't watch tv. Not bad at all. But if you want to surf the net, you'll want to wait for it to completely focus first. This isn't an issue for me because I have mine on most of the time. Who flips the tv on 30 seconds before they want to watch the most important thing they will ever see? AND you'll still be able to see it AND read it.
I have posted four youtube videos and will post more if you have a question or want to see something. Just ask!
You won't be disappointed!