The HD25’s 3D pictures are generally nicely done. Particularly impressive is the lack of crosstalk ghosting noise – a benefit of DLP’s fast response time versus rival projector technologies. Colours are also reasonably vivid and acceptably natural once you tone them down from their OTT presets, and motion is handled impressively well, with neither severe judder nor picture artefacts.
High definition 3D Blu-rays don’t look as detailed or crisp as they generally do on more expensive 3D projectors, but the lack of crosstalk and a decent sense of contrast during dark scenes ensure that 3D images still enjoy a solid sense of space and depth.
Our first HD25 test sample (we ended up having two for reasons we're about to explain!) let its 3D side down with a couple of irritating glitches, though. First of all, every time we powered the projector down the 3D mode switched back to ‘DLP Link’, rather than staying in the correct VESA 3D mode. And secondly, sometimes when we fired the projector up straight into 3D mode, images were troubled every few seconds by a sudden ‘flash‘ of static – the sort of thing we might expect to see with a loose HDMI, except that our HDMI wasn't loose, and the problem was never repeated in 2D mode.
Upon reporting these issues to Optoma, they alerted us to a new firmware upgrade that had just become available for the HD25 that addresses these issues. And on being sent a second, updated model, lo and behold the VESA 3D setting remained selected after power down, and the static flash problem only happened once in 15 3D restarts – and even then it disappeared after a couple of moments' playback.
We mention all this since there appear to be some HD25s already in circulation that haven't received the firmware update, so if you happen to have one of these, we recommend getting in touch with Optoma so that the update can be applied to your projector.
Wrapping up our tests with the speakers inside the HD25, they sound better than most, keeping dialogue clear and creating a soundstage that certainly expands beyond the projector’s physical boundaries. However, for us the way the sound produced by the projector is coming from a position far detached from the pictures it’s supposed to be accompanying is a pretty major problem...
Almost inevitably, given its low price, the HD25 isn’t perfect. Its minor rainbow effect and running noise issues might be an issue for some people, especially if they have to sit close to their screen and/or the projector. Overall, though, the HD25 remains comfortably talented and well-featured enough to make its £800 price tag look great value.