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6/10

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Optoma GameTime GT3000 Projector - Optoma GameTime GT3000

With HD out of the picture, then, it remains to be seen how the GT3000 holds up with the Wii console that is really the only thing we could bring ourselves to seriously contemplate using it with.

First impressions are pretty solid, actually. There's certainly plenty of brightness and rich colour saturation in the image - perfect for bringing all those cartoony, OTT colourful graphics Nintendo loves so much bursting off your screen or, more likely, wall. It's this brightness in particular that marks the GT3000 out within the context of its extraordinarily cheap end of the market.

The console's pictures look decently sharp and clean too - provided, that is, you've done as we suggested earlier and bagged a component to-VGA adaptor so that you can enjoy the Wii's vastly superior 480p output.

I realise even as I write that there will be some people - including Optoma, probably - that'll think I still don't ‘get' the GT3000. That all this talk of component video, progressive scan and, god forbid, picture quality is taking the whole thing far too seriously. But heck, people, this thing does still cost the best part of £350 all in, and however great value that might look on paper, it's still surely a lot of money for many people to consider spending in these hard times. So the GT3000 has got to be more than just functional, right?
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Anyway, getting back to being serious whether you like it or not, another plus of the GT3000 is that I didn't feel at all troubled by response time issues. In other words, there didn't seem to be any serious trouble with image lag creeping in between the Wii source and the final image appearing on my screen.

I was also impressed with the level of black level response in the GT3000's pictures. The blackness of outer space in Super Mario Galaxy is rendered with much more depth and naturalism than you could possibly hope to find with any LCD projector at this sort of price point.

I also have to point out to anyone who hasn't tried it the simple, childish but ridiculously fun impact of being able to wield your Wiimote while playing games in front a screen that shows stuff in games so that they look pretty much as large as you are. As a basic example of what I mean, with Wii Sports, when you're bowling you feel as if you really are chucking the ball down a genuine, life-sized bowling alley. The extra sense of immersion this creates, in conjunction with the fact that you're going through a normal bowling motion, is really quite uncanny.

There are, though, inevitably some downsides to the GT3000's performance. The worst of these, predictably, is the rainbow effect. This finds really bright parts of the image - of which there are many when playing your average Nintendo game! - appearing with subliminal flickering red, green and blue stripes over them.

This is a problem common to some extent to nearly all single-chip DLP projectors, but it seems slightly more pronounced than usual on the GT3000 - probably on account of the projector's extreme brightness and likely pretty underwhelming colour wheel specification. It might be because of this colour wheel, too, that motion can look slightly blurry when playing some of the more fast-paced Wii games.

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