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Optoma Themescene HD200x review

Kat Orphanides
30 Jan 2010
Optoma Themescene HD200x
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
799
inc VAT

Rich colour and a phenomenally low price makes this 1080p projector a great deal, if you can cope with the DLP rainbow effect.

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Specifications

1,920x1,080 resolution, 1,500 ANSI lumens, 97x324x234mm, 2.9kg

Optoma's Themescene HD200x is one of the cheapest 1080p projectors around. The benefit of the extra detail this provides is clearly visible in side-by-side comparisons with a 720p projector: fine droplets of water on a flower and the pitting in a piece of rock were beautifully sharp.

The HD200x has all the usual video inputs (composite, component, VGA and two HDMI ports) and a range of default colour settings. We found the Cinema and Reference settings most pleasing for watching films. Cinema has intense but very well balanced colour, while Reference mode produces slightly muted colours for a more natural effect. The intensity of Bright mode is best if you want to connect the projector to a PC.

DLP projectors generally have excellent contrast and dark tone reproduction, so we were surprised to find that scenes that should have had a deep black background were instead a little greyish in most modes. Raising the contrast and lowering the brightness made for darker blacks and brighter highlights, but we were unable to make black areas look dark enough without seriously affecting colour reproduction.

Another issue is the HD200x's tendency to suffer from the DLP rainbow effect when it displays black and white content. This was visible on everything from on-screen icons from our Blu-ray player to black and white film sequences. Although these issues compromise the projector, we were generally impressed by its Full HD detail and beautiful colour reproduction.

The menu system is clearly designed and easy to navigate. The Image menu allows you to choose and tweak any of the default modes by changing colour, contrast and brightness settings. Changes are immediately applied to whichever mode you start with, rather than being saved as a separate user-defined mode.

The Display menu allows you to correct problems with projection angle and visual distortion. Another option allows you to switch aspect ratio - this is also easy to do using buttons on the remote control. The remote control lights up every time you touch a button. This is handy, although it was rather dazzling to look at once our eyes had become accustomed to darkness. The projector runs very quietly, with the exception of a brief intensive cooling period when you switch it off.

Running costs are quite cheap compared to other 1080p projectors. A new bulb will cost around £216 and last for 3,000 hours (7p per minute) in normal mode and 4,000 hours (5p per minute) in economy mode.

The HD200x is a good budget projector. It's not without its flaws, especially when compared to other, more expensive, 1080p projectors. It's prone to the DLP rainbow effect when displaying black and white images and deep tones aren't quite as dark as we'd like. However, its colour reproduction is both rich and well balanced, which is enough to compensate for most of its other failings, particularly when gaming or watching sports footage. If you're a serious Film Noir fan or an enthusiast of dark cinematography though, the DLP rainbow effect could detract from your viewing pleasure.

Details

Price£799
Detailswww.optoma.co.uk
Rating****

Specifications

Projector technologyDLP
Lamp brightness1,500 ANSI lumens
Lamp life3,000
Lamp life in economy mode4,000
Contrast ratio3,500:1 (350:1 ANSI)

Picture

Native resolution1,920x1,080
Max compressed resolution1,920x1,080
Aspect ratio16:9
Other aspect ratios4:3, letterbox, input source native
Max diagonal at 7ft70in
Throw ratio1.5:1 to 1.8:1
Optical zoom1.2x
Projection distance1.49 to 9.96m
Mirror imageyes
Invert imageyes
Lens shift horizontalN/A
Lens shift verticalN/A
HD Readyyes
Special view modesCinema, Bright, Photo, Reference, Custom

Inputs/Outputs

VGA inputyes
DVI inputNo
Sound inputsnone
Composite inputyes
S-video inputno
HDMI inputyes
PAL supportyes
SECAM supportyes
NTSC supportyes
Audio outputnone
Video outputnone
Others inputs/outputssecond HDMI input, mini-USB service port

Other

Noise (in normal use)29dB(A)
Size97x324x234mm
Weight2.9kg
Internal speakersnone
Extrasremote, power cable
Remote special featuresnone
Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on230W

Lamp

Lamp cost (inc VAT)£216
Lamp supplierwww.filron.com
Lamp cost per hour of use£0.07
Lamp cost per hour of use (economy)£0.05

Buying Information

Price£799
Supplierhttp://www.projectorpoint.co.uk
Detailswww.optoma.co.uk

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