361 of 371 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I recently purchased this projector as a replacement for my near-vintage Sharp XV101TU, whose bulb decided to blow out on me. In the process of shopping for a replacement projector (or trying to decide whether to just replace the bulb - nothing but love for my 25 lbs projector from the early 90's..) the Optoma PT100 caught my eye.
I admit my main draw to this projector was the price - which was less than a mere bulb for your average projector - and the fact that THIS bulb would never need to be replaced, as it was powered by LEDs. I dove headlong into purchasing the projector knowing full well LEDs couldn't replace the luminescence of a metal-halide bulb, but the lure of never having to shell out $300 every year or two couldn't be denied, and I was willing to take a chance on the 50(!!) lumen output.
Now here, we get to one of the main points I uncovered from doing projector research: ALWAYS be extremely wary of no-name projectors. You probably already knew that, but pay particular attention to the "brightness" department. Many list their brightness as 400lm, or sometimes even 1000+ lumens, or worse yet, not at all. This isn't very scientific, to be sure, but if in doubt, try and see if you can find a Youtube video or the like demonstrating the projector. After seeing various nameless LED Chinese projectors on Youtube and comparing them to legit 1000 lumen projectors, it seems pretty obvious their brightness stats are a little inflated (not to mention, if the typical Samsung or LG LED projector projects at 200lm... you gotta wonder). I say this because I noticed that with a 50 lumen output, this projector really seems to be a lame duck when considering no-name eBay projectors have an alleged 1200 lumens for the same price. But I can assure you, no-name projectors almost never live up to their descriptions, so do your homework! Better go with a lower lumen projector from a reputable manufacturer than a knock-off claiming a million lumens, in my opinion.
That said, 50 lumens is no sunbeam of light, but I currently have it set about 14 feet away and for watching a movie at night, the 80+ inch image is awesome. Of course, you do want to be conscious of what you will typically be using the projector for before you purchase. Yes, the ability to be satisfied with a given brightness is subjective, but only to a point. If your primary purpose for getting a projector is watching Dark Knight over and over again, 50 lm will inarguably be a little dark for your needs (pun intended) - most LED projectors probably will be. For your average movie or Wii game, however, this projector performs brilliantly. Keep in mind though, nighttime use - or with a good set of blackout curtains. If you're looking at daytime gaming... again, add blackout curtains to your financial calculations (or start moving your gaming chairs to the basement). On the positive side, the projector is extremely portable, so if you have a room that's naturally darker than others, it's easy to move.
A note about screen size: like many inexpensive projectors, there is a fixed throw ratio - in other words, for you camera savvy folk, no zoom lens - the screen size is in direct proportion to how far the projector is placed from the screen/wall.
Many of you probably have concerns about the resolution - I certainly did. Yes, 480 is pretty old-school tech, no getting around that - the projector IS $199. Keep in mind though, that it is 480p (all LCDs, DLPs, and Plasmas, to my knowledge, are progressive scan), so it's a squeak better than standard definition (I believe it's formally called "enhanced definition"). Additionally, to offset what many might consider to be low res for today's standards, the projector's native resolution is 854x480 pixels, which amounts to widescreen plus (a native DVD film resolution is 720x480, widescreen format is 704x480, and 4:3 format is 640x480). What this means, at the end of the day, is that if you watch a widescreen DVD, the image doesn't have to be shrunk down to fit or cropped, like it might otherwise have to be on a projector with a native 4:3 aspect ratio (i.e. 640x480). Also with regard to image quality, 3LED DLP is known to have nice vivid color and as far as I'm concerned, it does.
Unfortunately, there is no remote for this thing - all adjustments are made with buttons on the body itself.
Speaking of body, the build quality is excellent considering the price tag - nice solid plastic housing; a possibly random aside: when I first took it out of the box, I thought it very much resembled the look and feel of a typical wall-powered radio alarm clock, both in size and weight (and color). It is a bit lighter than one would expect from a projector, even one of this size. Is it as tank-like as my old Sharp? Definitely not, but no modern projector really is. Will it stand up to a fair amount of abuse from an average child? I imagine so.
Adjustments in height are made easy with an odd spring-loaded front leg that pops out with the push of a button on the side, and one of the rear legs can be adjusted to level the image. Keep in mind, there is no keystone, so set it in a good spot where you won't have to tilt it too much.
A little annoyance on this projector is the lack of connections. While on the one hand, it keeps the projector simple, as I'm sure was the intention, it also means you need additional cables if you want something better than the yellow-plug composite video. Granted, it's a fairly easy and inexpensive endeavor to acquire a component > 15-pin RGB cable (or s-video > 15-pin if you like), but it would have been helpful had they included a little adapter dongle or something of the sort.
Bottom line, if you know what you're getting, this projector will not disappoint. Don't be discouraged by the name "PlayTime" - it is actually a very capable little machine. If you go in expecting it to be one of those you've seen in your giant lecture halls or rich friend's home theatre, your expectations will probably be let down. If, on the other hand, you're looking for an inexpensive alternative to a humongous screen TV that uses less power and is much more portable, this is an excellent projector.
80 of 82 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I liked this projector for playing games and watching movies in a very dark room with an image size of about 40 inches. There's a bit of lag on the refresh, but games that don't have a lot of full-screen quick motion should play just fine. This will also do a rear-projection setup too! It has a very low power requirement, about 1.5 watt @ 120VAC (mine worked at 78VAC for hours, no problems!)and it's pretty quiet. Not very good for use as a presentation projector. Better overall, than I though it would be. Could replace a tv that's smaller than 25 inches. It would also be an okay display solution for someone deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Features that I liked:
You can switch between inputs without unplugging anything. There's an option to flip the image horizontally (for rear projection) and vertically (for upside down mounting). It's pretty quiet and only draws ~1.5 watts at 120 volts. Indecently, the power in my building was regularly dropping down to about 78 volts AC for hours at a time and it still worked just fine. The power supply is very small, just a bit bigger than a small Snickers bar. There's an option for wide or standard screen mode.
Features that I felt were useless, or gave false hope:
There's a brightness adjustment that really only changes the color temp. They're not labeled warm, cool and other, but that's what they really are. The manual focus is easy to adjust. I have better than 20/20 vision uncorrected and I found that the upper left corner was never in focus with the rest of the screen, annoying. When using it with my little HP mini 210 the colors were always over saturated, the brightness options didn't help.
Short falls (cons):
This projector isn't bright by any means (when projecting onto a thick white cotton sheet), unless you'r projecting a 25 inch or smaller image you're going to need a darkened room. Anything over 40 inches and your room needs to be almost completely black. At that size though the standard definition image shows individual pixels.
It's a pretty quiet projector that draws very little power, you might even be able to hook this up to a portable power supply. The manual focus ring is easy to use and get the image focused for your eyes. The front foot adjusts hight easily. All of the connections are made at the rear of the unit. It's smaller than I thought it was going to be, and lighter.
Mine came with a 3ft (not sure, I never unraveled it) male to male RCA video and stereo cable. A ~1.5 watt (at 120 VAC) power adapter. And instructions. There was no VGA cable or any other cables included.
My impressions on using it:
I had mine set up to make about a 40 inch image onto a thick white sheet.
I used it with my Nintendo Wii in widescreen mode and standard definition. The first game I played was Link's Crossbow Trainer, it worked very well. Although I felt that there was a very slight lag in the video it worked well for that game. I managed to get platinum ranking on every level in the first few days of playing it. That game requires quick responses and there's moderate speed to most of the on-screen motion. The second game I played was Red Steel 2. It was very difficult to play this game. On easy I wasn't kicking butt like I was on my tv. There was a loss of detail and the quick motion in this game blurred very badly. Games that have lots of full screen motion will be made harder by this projector's slow refresh rate.
I also used this with my HP Mini 210 netbook. The experience here was worse but better too. This is when I found that no matter how I adjusted the focus the upper left corner was never going to be sharp with the rest of the screen. The colors were also over saturated, no matter what brightness mode I used. I could also make out all of the pixels, in the areas that were focused. It did, however, work very well for playing videos in full screen mode. I just had to adjust Windows Media Player's colors to make it look more lifelike. I forgot we were watching movies on a projector with a sheet. It was completely dark in the room though.
After nearly a year of ownership:
I've used it to play Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Wii Sports. It's okay for LoZ, but works great for Wii Sports and other very cartoon-like games. I wouldn't expect it to work well playing my Xbox 360 games, especially any of the Halo series or Forza. It has a few focus issues though. I can never get the whole picture to focus and it needs to be adjusted once it warms up (or you turn it back on after it cools). I've been using it in Afghanistan this past year. My roommates and I watch AFN on it in several times a day.
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
PT100 PlayTime Projector - lightweight fun
I highly recommend the PT100 LED projector as an extremely portable supplemental
display for kids and the family.
The PlayTime projector has an extremely straight forward design - a couple video inputs,
front drop down foot for adjusting the projection angle, screw down rear foot for leveling
the image, focus ring and control panel buttons.
The control panel includes seven buttons - power, volume +/-, source, menu, and left/
right arrows for scrolling through the menu. The menu features adjustments for aspect
ratio, brightness, language preference, source selection and image orientation.
This less than 2 pound projector can be connected to a variety of AV sources through the
composite video input, to computers using the VGA input and to audio using RCA jacks.
Included in the carton is the projector, a power cable, RCA cables for L/R audio and
composite video, user guide and a 90 day warranty card.
The projector is bright enough to display an acceptable 30" diagonal image in rooms
with the lights on and a 60" diagonal image with the lights off. When you turn off the
lights the image looks great, not high resolution, but more than acceptable for kid friendly
movies and basic video games. I estimate the projector needs to be about 5 feet from a
wall to display a 30" diagonal wide-screen image and about 10 feet back to project a 60"
diagonal wide screen image.
The projector can run for hours and generates very little heat so you don't have to worry
about burning fingers or melting table tops. The LED PT100 reminds me of a flash light
that can be turned on and off at random without worrying about burning out a costly
The PT100 won't replace your television or large screen projector but your kids will
enjoy impromptu movie and video game nights on the wall or ceiling of their choice.