projectors

Optoma HD20 DLP Projector Review

There's plenty to be excited about in the Optoma HD20. It's a 1080p projector for under a thousand dollars.

May 06, 2011
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Throw

The throw is the distance between the projector and the screen. The Optoma HD20 requires more distance than many of the projectors we've reviewed. Fortunately, the Optoma HD20 has a 1.2x zoom lens that increases the overall flexibility. All the details are in the chart below.

Screen Brightness

The sad fact is that the Optoma HD20 is not the brightest projector, and the bigger the screen you're throwing a picture on to, the dimmer that light gets. All projectors suffer from this problem, but the Optoma HD20 is dim from the outset, so it gets to be problematic on really large screens. Basically, don't plan on using this TV in a sunny room, or even a room with lights on, especially if the screen is larger than 80-100 inches.

As you can see in this next chart, the relationship between ambient light and screen size does not need a lot of room for flexibility. The Optoma HD20 is designed for dedicated, dark home theaters.

ambient-light.jpg

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Screen Materials

In a pinch, people sometimes point projectors at any flat surface. To test its flexibility in this regard, we project onto four different surfaces. White board, beige walls, and even green chalkboard are suitable surfaces. You'll lose some color accuracy, but you can definitely make out fine details and read text.

Optical Issues

The Optoma HD20 has a manual focus ring, which feels extremely cheap but gets the job done with reasonable satisfaction. Don't get too close to the screen, though, because you'll definitely see some fuzziness.

Video Processing

The Optoma HD20 has a small selection of video processing features.

Formats

The Optoma HD20 has a native 1920 x 1080 (1080P) resolution. That's about as good as you can get for an affordable home theater projector. So many projectors that categorize themselves as "home theater" fall short of 1080p and must downscale 1920 x 1080 content to fit. The Optoma HD20 can, of course, handle all lesser resolutions.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Tour & Design
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Accuracy
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Calibration
  8. Connectivity & Media
  9. Power, Noise & Heat
  10. Optoma HD66 Comparison
  11. Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 705HD Comparison
  12. Canon REALiS SX7 Mark II Comparison
  13. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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