Optoma HD25 and HD25-LV Entry Level 3D Projectors Reviewed

Discussion in 'Projectors & Screens' started by admin, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    This pair of entry level projectors offers pretty compelling picture quality for around $1000. But it doesn't come with 3D glasses or RF emitter, has no vertical lens shift, and a limited 1.5-1.8 throw distance.

    After watching/reading the review...(giving you some time here).... Would you lean towards one of these units, BenQ's W1070, or stick with a solid 2D offering like the Epson 8350?


    [​IMG]

    Read the Optoma HD25 and HD25-LV Projectors Review
  2. Fowl Audioholic

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    Two days and not a single comment on this review wow!!
    Fowl,
  3. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

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    I hadn't had a chance to look at it, but I almost always have something to say about reviews... not always pleasant.

    I struggle with the projector reviews that AH puts out. They are 'thin' to put it mildly, and this one is no exception.

    From what I've read the Optoma offers both DLP Link and RF options for 3D for those who do like it. So, while no glasses are included, the inexpensive DLP Link options out there can be had for about $100 for 3 or 4 pairs of glasses, or a more expensive, and consistent solution can be had with Optoma's RF solution.

    On that note... Any good reviewer should leave their very strong opinions of 3D at the door, and get some 3D glasses and see how the projector delivers, so... you know... it can be reviewed. I don't use 3D in my home, but I have nothing specific against it, and I certainly wouldn't think that flaming 3D is appropriate in a review of a projector which frankly has only gotten better because of the 3D market.

    Now, the 25 and the 25LV are generally considered very similar, due to their feature set and build quality, but the image put up by both is pretty different. The 25LV seems to be placed in the market as a family room projector. Far more similar to the W1070 from BenQ. Lots of brightness, and a calibrated brightness level which is far higher than the Optoma 25. The Optoma 25 is designed as the home theater model with better black level performance.

    While the rest may be close to the same between them, the obvious questions come up about how they actually do compare to the BenQ W1070. This may not be something which a single reviewer can answer, but it should be pointed out that the major manufacturers have really stepped up their game in terms of quality, brightness, features, and affordability. DLP still has a huge lack of serious lens shift and zoom range in their projectors across the board on the low end. This is a striking issue when compared to the several year old Epson 8350 which includes a 2x zoom lens and a huge amount of lens shift in a projector of similar price. So, a real headache is the lack of lens shift which makes high shelf placement impossible, and tight zoom range which makes back of room installation very difficult. I hold this as big black marks against DLP as a technology in general.

    Still, if the projector works in your room, and the locked offset works for your specific setup, then it comes down to brightness and overall image quality. While the initial thought is to jump at the higher brightness, the reality may be that it isn't necessary, you can save a few hundred bucks on the 25 over the 25LV, and you may really appreciate the added black levels of the lesser expensive model.

    I personally went with the W1070 earlier this year and am filling a 161" diagonal screen with it... in low brightness/theater mode and it is still very bright. So, the thought of using something as, or even brighter, on a 100" screen seems like it is almost ridiculous if I were in a somewhat dedicated space. Throw the W1070 or the 25LV into a 'media room' in the basement with good light control, on a 100" or smaller screen and the projectors are brighter than they would ever need to be. Yes, you could turn some lights on, but that still devastates the image and reduces contrast below 50:1 almost always. So, any quality viewing requires lights out, and that means on a halfway decent space, the brighter model is going to be to much.

    In a non-dedicated space, or a really large screen, the 25LV would be a great go-to projector, but it does require a lot of forethought on placement as the range is very limited and the offset may really make things difficult.
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  4. Fowl Audioholic

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    While these projectors received a fairly good review, I bought myself a BenQW1070 last Friday. I am well pleased to say the least :)
    Fowl,
  5. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

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    I think that BenQ has been doing more to step up their game then Optoma has. The inclusion of the W1070 and W1080ST models which are basically identical models with very unique shorter throw around $1,000 and the W7000 at closer to $2,000 with longer zoom range and full lens shift satisfies a range of projectors for home theater which Optoma just misses. Not that Optoma hasn't delivered nicely for the past few years and DLP projectors have certainly done wonders with brightness in recent years and in delivering a entry level product which hasn't been matched by LCD to this point...

    But, I wonder if Epson/Panasonic is going to respond this year with a update to their product lineup which finally replaced the aging 8350/AR100 models with a 3D version with lens shift which falls in the $1,300 or so price category. I know that's still one of the reasons the 8350 sells so well. It offers an insane level of installation flexibility for a price that is far more reasonable than other projectors and does so while still delivering an excellent 2D image. If they were to add 3D to that projector, and do nothing else, I think it would be back at the top as one of the most popular projectors out there. From the Projector Central list, it remains as the ONLY 2D projector on the top ten list for home theater and by far the oldest release date model (2010 release).

    On the other hand, if we see a new version from BenQ of the W7000 with a $1,500 or so price point that includes the lens zoom range and lens shift of that model, then they could really dig in as the go-to projector for home theater.

    I just haven't seen this level of effort from Optoma in recent years and they kind of replace one model for the next without much more effort to go along with it.
  6. pnutbutter81 Enthusiast

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    What ever happened to ratings with the different categories?
  7. Fowl Audioholic

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    Hey BMXTRIX,

    Any suggestions on color calibration for the BenqW1070?
    Fowl,
  8. mychaelp Enthusiast

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    based on the comparison here Best Home Theater Projector - BenQ W1070 Review between the W1070 and the HD25 I'd go with the W1070. I checked out both (at two different locations though) and preferred the color saturation of the BenQ. The comparison seems to indicate a higher contrast ratio with the HD25 but I didn't notice it in the viewing room. I currently own an HD65 and love it. But in the beginning had issues and Optoma took 2 tries over 6 months to fix it. They ended up extending my warranty to help me out, but it was no fun not having my theater going. Now to get some more work so i can upgrade to 1080P!

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