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Optoma GameTime GT7000 DLP Projector - Optoma GameTime GT7000
As you'd hope of what's designed to be very much a ‘casual' machine aimed at casual users, the GT-7000 is a doddle to set up. Simple zoom and focus rings sort out image size and sharpness, while there are menu options for shifting the image a respectable distance sideways or vertically, and a vertical keystone adjustment for straightening the edges of the picture if you've got the projector sat above or below the centre of your screen.
If you want to go more in-depth with your set up than this, though, you can. Other options in the menus include overscan adjustment, EdgeMask adjustment, a number of themed picture presets, various Degamma settings (which really are well worth experimenting with), and even the facility to tweak the gain and bias of the picture's red, green and blue elements.
Remarkably for such a cheap projector, the GT-7000 includes Texas Instruments' BrilliantColor and Tru-Vivid processing systems, designed to make colours look more intense.
However, to be honest the first thing I did as I set about actually testing the GT-7000 was turn BrilliantColor right down to its two or three level (out of 10). For if you leave it any higher than that it tends to make pictures look distractingly grainy and ‘forced'. Also, I personally wouldn't recommend that you use the TruVivid setting at all, for while it can enhance the vibrancy of richly coloured objects, it can make skin tones look distinctly odd. Not for the first time I'm left feeling that features like TruVivid and BrilliantColor should be left for really high-end projectors better-equipped to get the best from them.
Another provocative setting is the Gamma preset control. For fiddling around with this can have a huge impact on the general flavour of the final picture being shown, and as a result it's a feature you would be well-advised to revisit regularly, depending on whether you're watching a film or TV show or, of course, playing a game.
Provided you take these reasonably basic precautions, though, the GT-7000 can actually produce some startlingly good pictures for such a crazily cheap projector.
Black levels, in particular, are a revelation, making the endlessly dark corners of Dead Space on the Xbox 360 look spine-chillingly black and believable, and helping to create a good sense of scale. In other words, the GT-7000's black levels create a sense of you ‘being there' far more successfully any other sub-£800 projector I've ever seen - including the GT-3000. Clearly this is an extremely important strength for a projector focussed on gamers.
I was also pleased with the sharpness of the GT-7000's pictures. Extremely textured graphics like those of Gears of War 2 genuinely look HD, with decent sharpness, solid detailing, and less signs of scaling ‘softness' than we found with the non-HD Ready GT-3000. The GT-7000's extra resolution also helps it produce colour blends with more subtlety, so that there's less of the striping effect witnessed with the GT-3000.
Although not as bright on paper as the GT-3000, for me the GT-7000's pictures are actually considerably more dynamic thanks to the vastly improved black level response. So much so that crucially the GT-7000 proves to be a perfectly capable projector for Blu-ray movies as well as games, making its GameTime name actually feel unnecessarily limiting.