Optoma ThemeScene HD20 DLP Projector - Optoma ThemeScene HD20

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Optoma ThemeScene HD20 DLP Projector

Summary

Our Score:

9

Next on our tick list is how pleasingly little the HD20 is affected by a couple of traditional DLP problems: the rainbow effect, and motion fizzing.

Regarding the rainbow effect (which finds stripes of pure red, green and blue flitting about in your peripheral vision), while the HD20 certainly isn't immune to it, it's much less overt and distracting than it was on the Vivitek H1080FD we looked at recently.

Some people are, we know, more susceptible to seeing the rainbow effect than others. But I'd say that you'd have to be really very susceptible to it for it to become a real, regular problem on the HD20.

As for motion fizzing, where camera pans and objects - especially people - crossing the screen can cause some quite aggressive dot crawl noise, I only spotted this happening to any distracting extent four or five momentary times during the numerous hours I spent watching the HD20. Not bad when I've seen other budget DLP models suffer with this problem nearly continually.

The only definite performance weakness to report, in fact, is that the projector - hardly surprisingly, it has to be said - is very prone to judder when showing rapid motion or camera pans in a way more expensive projectors like Sony's VPL-HW15 usually are not.

Verdict

If you've read the main review carefully, you'll have noticed that pretty much every time I've praised the HD20, it's been along the lines of it being better than expected for its money, rather than suggesting that it represents the last word in projection excellence.

I want this to be totally clear, because I don't want die-hard AV aficionados to think the HD20 is so good it makes redundant the idea of spending more money (if you've got it) to get something better.

Having cleared that up, though, there's simply no denying that the HD20 shifts the goalposts of what I'd considered possible on a £900 DLP projector, and in doing so opens the quality big screen home cinema door to a whole new budget market. And that's enough in itself to make the HD20 thoroughly deserving of a Recommended badge.

Matt G Baish

October 7, 2009, 3:09 pm

I got mine about two weeks ago but only got around to installing the screen etc last weekend (what with my pesky sister's wedding getting in the way - bah!). But it was worth the wait - awesome! Yeah its not perfect - but I for one am done with spending multiple 1000s on Av gear. But for £900 plus about 75pence per movie (based on useful lamp life) this is a must buy for anyone who has dreamt of having a `proper` cinema :) Now just need to get a Bluray player so I can watch some more up-to-date HiDef stuff (only my poor old Tosh HD-DVD to play with at the mo).

mobies

October 7, 2009, 4:01 pm

Was'nt the infocus x10 the first full HD DLP for less than a grand?

Keithe6e

October 7, 2009, 6:24 pm

Budget PJ's is certainly something Optoma are good at. I've had my Optima HD65 for about 18 months now, only cost about £430 from Dixons. Not a 1080p, but still produces great images. Now looking on EBay looks like I could sell it for more than I bought if for.. :), so the question is would the Extra resolution be worth an extra £500, I beleive both of these are Darkchip 2, so I assume blacks would be about the same.

betelgeus

October 7, 2009, 9:04 pm

this seems to be exactly the same as the hd200x which sells for £799 on amazon and play saving an extra £100.

Matt G Baish

October 7, 2009, 10:00 pm

@ betelgeus In the UK the HD20 has a 3 yr ThemeScene warranty where the 200X has a 1yr. The HD20 is white the HD200x is black, the HD20 has a 500:1CR and 1700Lumen where the HD200X has 350:1CR and 1500Lumen.

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