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Acer H9500BD review

Katharine Byrne
4 May 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,300
inc VAT

High quality 2D and 3D video quality and it's great to see lens shift, but the lamp life is a little disappointing

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Specifications

1,920x1,080 resolution, 2,000 ANSI lumens, 130x398x310mm, 7.2kg

Although it has a mid-range price, the H9500BD is Acer's top-end projector, complete with several high-end features we wouldn't expect to find, particularly on a Full HD (1,920x1,080) DLP model, including lens shift.

Although you don't get as much control as with an LCD projector, Acer's lens shift gives you enough vertical and horizontal correction for most rooms, so you can get a square picture without having to resort to digital keystone correction.

Acer H9500BD

It’s quite a sizeable projector, so it’s best mounted to the ceiling or installed on a shelf, but Acer’s odd decision to include a carry case in the box implies it’s also meant to be moved from room to room. This goes against our expectations for a projector that costs more than £1,000, as anything over this price is generally designed to be a more serious home cinema unit rather than a portable entertainment system. Still, we appreciate the option to it heave to and fro between rooms, as there’s plenty to like about this projector.

Setup was very simple thanks to its wide range of connections. It not only has two HDMI and VGA inputs, but there’s also a dual-link DVI-D input, component and S-video inputs, and a VGA output. Acer hasn’t included any speakers with this model, so you’ll have to use a home cinema system for audio.

Acer H9500BD

As it’s a DLP projector, there’s the downside of having to contend with a slight rainbow effect, but we found we barely noticed it. In fact, it's only really in high contrast scenes that it's particularly noticeable.

The H9500BD has seven preset picture modes ranging from Standard, Movie, Dark Cinema, Game, Sports, Bright, and Presentation. We were a little disappointed that none of them can be customised, and any changes to the brightness, contrast, colour temperature, gamma, saturation, tint, sharpness or individual colour management settings will send you straight to its customisable User mode.

Acer H9500BD

This doesn’t offer much opportunity for fine-tuning the projector to get the best image, but we were pleased to see that the AcuMotion settings could still be used regardless of which mode we chose. This is Acer’s version of frame interpolation, which adds in extra frames to help video appear smoother, and we were very impressed with it when we turned it on.

It’s almost a little too slick for watching films with, but it was particularly adept at handling fast, jerky, camera movements. We did see some very minor halo effects when it was turned on, but this was only noticeable up close and certainly won’t make too much of a difference to the overall picture quality if you’re sitting far away.

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