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Optoma HD20

Updated on February 8, 2016

At one time not so long ago projectors used to cost thousands of dollars and only the well off could afford one. Now you can buy one for less than $1,000. In the past low cost projectors lacked the quality of picture and it wasn’t very good. Pictures were very grainy and not at all sharp.Luckily high definition technology came along and Optoma were the first company to offer digital projectors at prices which the middle market could afford. With other companies also offering projectors at the low end of the market it’s now literally raining projectors at the moment.

The Optoma HD20 is good looking; it has a gloss-white finish and it has a low-noise fan on normal bulb mode. The 4000 hours lamp life on economic is greater then most projectors! The Optoma is good enough to use in bright mode or to use with lights turned on in the room. In the dark, it looks simply fantastic

All 1080p content looks very good. Particularly Blue-rays played from a PS3 (or other blue-ray players) look awesome. You will be amazed at the details and you will notice things that you didn’t pick up in the cinema. Yes blue-ray content is amazing to see with this projector. You will find it very hard to believe you can buy this for under $1000. 

Video games look absolutely fantastic and it very works well with PS3 and 360 consoles. It’s recommended to use a fixed or retractable screen, between 7ft and 10ft in diameter for the best results. It’s not wise to use a wall because you won’t get as decent a picture.

With this projector you can turn on the full-range of the colour spectrum on the PS3 as it gives you better blacks and whites this way. If you put this projector on the bright pre-set setting (not high lamp mode) then you can blind yourself by the whites this thing is capable of giving off in the dark. Bright setting should really only be used when you have a lot of ambient light to struggle with. Otherwise the cinema or reference is probably best. 

Everything you find on current HDTV's seems to be a setting you can change on the Optoma HD20 projector. The cinema mode is about perfect for use in dark environments where you can shut off all the lights and enjoy a movie. Sharpness is used differently on this projector then it is on many HDTV's. On this projector the default value is 7 and if you lower it you are actually softening the picture and going negative with the sharpness effect. The sweet spot is actually 10. At the value of 10 you get extremely sharp, crisp looking text on all games and the picture looks better at that setting then at the default of 7. Anything below 7 would turn too soft and look indistinct.

The Optoma features automatic shut-off which you can adjust. By default it is turned off. This feature will automatically turn off the projector after no signal is detected for the amount of minutes you set.

There is no auto-focus on the Optoma HD20 and it would have been a nice option. It's not so important if you have this projector mounted and don’t have to keep moving it. You can leave it at the right place, and it should be fine.

The Optoma weighs just 6.4lbs and is not especially portable being about the size and weight of a last generation VHS player. If you set up the projector on a coffee table about 10 feet from the screen, the picture quality is superb. If you connect to your pc’s DVD player you also are able to watch YouTube through the internet or any other video site you fancy. Oh and don’t forget to connect the speakers and subwoofers so that you can have a true home theatre.


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