Our review sample was supplied by Projector Planet
If more proof were needed that 3D is already a mass market AV format, then here it is today in the form of the Acer H5360BD. For what we have here is a 3D-Ready projector that costs just £530. And no, we haven’t missed a zero off the price.
What’s more, this price gets you built-in AV 3D. There’s no need for either an external transmitter or the Optoma 3D-XL external conversion box. Just attach your Sky 3D box or 3D Blu-ray player, and voila: you’ll be able to watch 3D from the H5360BD. It even has an HDMI v1.4a port (rather than a v1.3a) for seamless handshaking with 3D Blu-ray players. Which kind of makes you chuckle when you think that Digital Projection’s £90,000 Titan 3D projector didn’t even have an HDMI on it.
Your £530 doesn’t get you a particularly large chunk of AV ‘real estate’, if that bothers you. The H5360BD’s rather utilitarian-style, white-finished chassis is really quite tiny considering that, as well as its integrated 3D capabilities, it can pump out a startlingly high maximum brightness of 2500 ANSI Lumens. But its smallness will appeal, of course, to the casual ‘put it in a cupboard when you’re not using it’ market, at which it’s surely aimed.
The potent brightness noted back there should prove pretty handy in combatting the inevitable dimming effect you get when using the active shutter glasses associated with DLP-Link 3D technology. For yes, the H5360BD is a DLP-Link 3D projector rather than a full HD one.
If you’re not familiar with the difference, as simply as possible it means that the H5360BD embeds two 50 or 60Hz 3D frames (one for each eye) into a 100 or 120Hz frame rate, but is restricted to an HD Ready (720p) resolution rather than the full 1920x1080 resolution supported by 3D projectors like the JVC X3 and Sony HW30.
Resolution obsessives will immediately baulk at not being able to see their beloved 3D Blu-rays at their maximum resolution. And actually, they won’t be able to watch 2D Blu-rays at maximum resolution either, as the H5360BD’s native pixel resolution is 1280x720. But again, for the casual market we suspect that ‘only’ having an HD Ready resolution seems like a pretty darned reasonable trade off for that £530 price.
Delving deeper into the H5360BD’s spec list we find that, surprisingly, it employs one of Texas Instruments’s Dark Chip 3 DLP systems rather than the older DC2 model commonly deployed in ultra-cheap single-chip DLP projectors. It also enjoys (deep breath): a contrast ratio of 3200:1; a 6-segment colour wheel; an ‘auto off’ mode if the projector doesn’t detect an input for five minutes; a five-year warranty on the DLP chip; and a one-year warranty on the lamp - the latter of which comes without an hour limit. This is all very respectable indeed for such a preposterously cheap projector.
There’s lots to explore in the projector’s onscreen menus, too. For starters, there’s a helpful series of themed picture presets, including Dark Cinema, Movie, Game and Sports modes. In further recognition of the casual circumstances the H5360BD is likely to be used in, you can even tell it what coloured walls you have (assuming you haven’t coughed up for a screen) from a selection of five core tones.