Review Price £500.00
The H6510BD is a full HD DLP projector targeted at the home cinema market that can be yours for just £500. So presumably it comes with some pretty serious performance strings attached, right? In actual fact, it's a very neat little performer for such a small price, making it a good choice for anyone looking for cinema setup on a shoestring budget.
The H6510BD fits the budget projector ‘look’ with its size and shape, which are small and straightforwardly rectangular respectively. Its small lens, too, smacks more of building to a price than an obsession with performance.
However, its glossy white finish and robust build quality both feel like they belong to a projector worth much more than £500. The projector ships with a free carry bag too, so it should be able to withstand a fair bit of carting about to friends’ houses or putting in and out of cupboards.
Connections comprise two HDMIs, a component video input, a D-Sub PC port, and a USB port. The HDMIs are capable of handling full HD 3D feeds as well as the 2D HD signals you might expect. You don’t get any free 3D glasses, but that’s fair enough for the H6510BD’s price. If you want to make use of the H6510BD’s 3D talents, you’re looking at between £60 and £70 for each pair of active shutter glasses.
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The optical engine inside the H6510BD is a DLP type, using a full HD chipset and claiming strikingly high brightness and contrast ratio figures of 3000 Lumens and 10,000:1 respectively. This brightness figure raises hopes that the H6510BD might be usable in ambient light – an often helpful ability in many normal households – while the contrast figure raises hopes that the projector will also deliver a respectable, movie-friendly black level response when watched in a blacked out room.
It’s pleasing to discover, moreover, that despite being able to run so brightly the H6510BD’s lamp is rated to last between 4000 and 7000 hours – very decent figures by non-LED standards - depending on what light output setting you’ve selected.
It’s pretty much de rigueur these days for ultra-cheap ‘convenience’ projectors like the H6510BD to carry built-in speakers, and this Acer continues the trend. There’s only a single 2W speaker, though, so don’t start dreaming that the H6510BD’s audio will be in any way an adequate replacement for a separate audio system. The built-in sound is merely a convenience tool, for those occasions where no external speakers are available.
Adjusting the size and focus of the H6510BD’s image is no more difficult than adjusting simple rings around the lens. Though it must be said the range of optical zoom on offer is pretty limited, so you may well also find yourself moving the projector’s physical position around if you’re trying to get the perfect image size for a screen rather than a wall.
You can also angle the image up using a screw down leg at the centre of the bottom front edge – though this doesn’t make for as stable a result as having screw down legs at either side would have done. Plus just angling the picture upwards causes the image to look trapezoidal rather than rectangular in shape, and as such is certainly no replacement for a proper optical vertical image shifting system. Still, no other sub-£500 projector has optical image shifting either, so it’s unfair to expect it on the H6510BD.
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You can straighten the edges of the H6510BD’s images using a provided keystone correction system, but this is never an ideal solution as it essentially requires the projector to digitally distort the pixel structure of the incoming source – something that feels especially unfortunate when you’re dealing with a full HD projector that would support direct pixel mapping of an HD source.
The H6510B fully understands that it could be used in some pretty makeshift settings given its focus on value. So it provides a series of ‘wall colour’ options, which the projector can compensate for by adjusting its colour tones to compensate.
Other features of note include a startlingly detailed and comprehensive colour management system; a Dynamic Black processor that continually assesses images and adjusts pictures settings to enhance dark image content; DLP’s Brilliant Colour system for upping colour saturations; a white peaking adjustment for fine-tuning the image’s dynamic range; noise reduction routines; and a selection of gamma presets.
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