News related articles focused on topics such as projectors for business, home theater, display technology, image calibration techniques, other industry news from top manufacturers, and exclusive special offers only on ProjectorPeople.com.
We recently received a shipment of Optoma HD20 projectors. We’re blogging this just to let you know since we’ve had some folks that were surprised to know we had it in stock already.
If you aren’t familiar with the Optoma HD20, it’s one of a few new $999 1080p home theater projectors available this year. It’s been very popular because it uses DLP technology, and offers true HD1080p for super cheap. And since it’s a projector, you can also have a very big image (as big as 300-inches in a space with controlled lighting) in a portable box.
[ Click here for the most current inventory status and pricing information : Optoma HD20 ]
Are you ready for a quick look at the Vivitek H1080FD?
Vivitek representative Jeff Miller was here at ProjectorPeople.com last week to show us the new $999 1080p home theater projector. We had him do a quick video for you so you can see it in action, and get a run down on the features. Here’s the video :
Video Timeline : Vivitek H1080FD
0:00 – 0:22 : Introduction to Vivitek
0:22 – 1:10 : Overview of the Vivitek H1080FD features and inputs
1:40 – 2:40 : Inputs panel, speaker
2:45 – 3:00 : Side panel, cooling
3:10 – 4:00 : Video “Fifth Element” in lights on environment (full lumen mode – 1800 lumens)
4:00 – 4:30 : Projector in “movie mode” with some ambient light – lights dimmed.
4:30 – 5:00 : Projector in “movie mode” with lights off. (5000:1 contrast ratio)
5:05 – end : Sign off
We hope to have this projector in soon. Estimate at the time of this post is early November 2009. But please check the Projector People website for current pricing and availability on the Vivitek H1080FD.
We need to start this article with a caveat. Typically we don’t do head-to-head video comparisons like we are doing here, for multiple reasons. For example, the camera used to shoot the demo may impact the image in a way that that does not match our experience in person. If the recording camera locks in on one image, it can make a brighter projector look dimmer than a dimmer projector, or it can give the appearance of improved contrast when it does not appear that way in person.
That said, we still wanted to provide video that would help users determine if the new 1080p true HD $999 projectors or the current best selling projectors are a better fit for their needs. So, below is an atypical video head-to-head comparison of the new Optoma HD20 projector and the Epson Home Cinema 6500 UB projector which is meant to provide a broader overview of the two categories of home theater projection – new entry level DLP, and high end LCD.
Please Note : You will see some artifacts from the compression of the video that are not caused by either projector. Particularly when our narrator passes in front of the screen, or when the image is moving quickly. These artifcats were not present before compression. If you are interested in a higher quality version of this video, leave a comment below.
Quick Video Log
0:08 – 1:50 : Product overviews / specification comparison
Product manager Rodney Laney goes over the basics, from lumens and contrast to features of these two units.
1:53 – 2:25 : Contrast comparison
Note the more visible gray on the ‘black bars’ and in the space scene in the projector on the left. This is to be expected since the projector on the right has a significantly higher contrast ratio. The difference was a bit more obvious in person.
2:30 – 3:30 : Zoom lenses compared
No surprise here, there is very little zoom on the Optoma, and a nice 2x zoom on the Epson. Most of our high end projectors feature either manual, or power 2x zoom.
3:32 – 4:20 : Lens shift demonstrated
No surprise here either, there is no lens shift on the new entry level DLP projectors. This helps keep the chassis smaller and the cost down, but it also makes installation more challenging. If you plan to use your projector in multiple locations, lens shift and zoom can save a lot of frustration.
4:20 – 5:01 : 60hz vs. 120hz
The most dramatic difference between the two images was due to the video processing capabilities. The 120hz Epson simply out performs for video quality (as does the Panasonic PT-AE3000U and Sanyo PLV-Z3000). The video, upon close inspection, can pick up the difference in clarity. But in person it is dramatic. It is as if the actors are being filmed on stage. They appear to be live in front of you. It’s almost holideck-ish! Some also describe it as a 3-D quality.
So What’s the Word?
If you are looking to step up to 1080p home theater projector but have a limited budget, $999 will get you a true HD 1080p 300-inch image, with very good black levels, more portability, and a somewhat minimal feature set. If you are looking to upgrade to true HD with a crisp – almost stage like – image, more installation flexibility with 2x zoom and lens shift, then the high end LCD home theater projectors will be the way to go.
High End LCD Home Theater Projectors * Prices may change, please click through for current pricing and rebates.
If you have more questions about the differences between these products, pricing questions, or any other projector related needs, leave a comment, send an email to webmaster(at)projectorpeople.com, or gives us a call at 1-888-248-0675. Thanks for reading!
We’ve been getting lots of questions about when the new $999 projectors will be in stock here at ProjectorPeople.com. Here’s a very quick review of when we expect to receive our first/next shipment* of three new sub-$1000 1080ps from BenQ, Optoma, and Vivitek. (Updated October 5th, 2009)
Scene from Wall-E on the new Optoma HD20 projector.
One of our Projector Experts took the new Optoma HD20 home for a trial run. The setup was not fancy. Rich just used his existing home theater’s pulldown gray screen and played a few Blu Ray movies for the wife and kids. Below are a few photos he took to share with you and some thoughts from Rich on the performance of the new $999 HD projector.
Rich says :
I took home the HD20 last night for a test run. We watched the 5th Element on Blu-ray. Wow! This thing is crisp! Very Sharp. Colors look decent, flesh tones are nice. I found the Cinema setting with Graphic gamma setting the best black levels and color combination. With the lamp on econo mode it’s almost silent and the black levels improve.
Good flesh tones on the Optoma HD20. You see freckles and subtle changes in skin color.
More flesh tones. 🙂 But a nice rich black with some visible details on the neck.
Red can sometimes be a problem for a DLP projector, but this is a natural red and pink. Also a lot of detail in color. BrilliantColor seems to work well on this projector.
Rich says :
The menu is very limited and I couldn’t find a way to save different presets. It’s not in the same league as the $2000-$3000 units. But for $999 it’s actually a great bang for the buck. Oh and you must get a Blu-ray player!
Optoma HD20 Quick Specs
Here are the manufacturer specifications for the HD20. It’s just the basics. Click here for more specs.
Resolution: HD (1920 x 1080)
Display Type: DLP
Brightness: 1700 lumens
Warranty: 1 year
Lamp Life: 3000 hours
The HD20 can produce an image of up to 300-inches and comes with a backlit IR remote control. It is one of the first true HD 1080p projectors to be released at a very aggressive $999 price point.
Want Your Own Optoma HD20?
You know we’ve got ’em. You can find more information about the new Optoma HD20 here, including the full specs, some pictures of the product, and manufacturers data sheet.