Conference Room Projector
August 3, 2010
If you need a projector for a large conference room, lecture hall, or small auditorium, and want one bright enough to let you leave the lights on, the Optoma TW775 can easily fill the bill. Built around a DLP engine with a WXGA (1280 x 800) native resolution, it's rated at 4500 lumens and delivers a measured brightness close to the rating.
The TW775 is highly flexible, with lots of connection options and a choice of three lenses, depending on whether you need a short, standard, or long throw. It's even 3D-ready, a feature that Optoma doesn't tout, but may come in handy as 3D content becomes more common. At $2,999 street for the projector itself and $499 (standard throw), $1,499 (long throw), or $1,999 (short throw) for the lenses -- a total of $3,498 to $4,998 -- it's a potentially good fit for a variety of large venues.
Near excellent image quality for data. Data image quality on the TW775 was just short of excellent, with only minor issues. Yellow was a little mustard colored, which is common in DLP projectors, but colors were generally attractive, fully saturated, and vibrant. Similarly, white text on a black background was almost impossible to read at the small sizes that might show up in, say, a spreadsheet. However, black text on a white background was easily readable at the same sizes, and, of course, black on white is what you're most likely to use.
Data images were excellent in almost every other way, from edge to edge sharp focus, to absolutely neutral grays at all shades from white to black, to showing little to no pixel jitter with an analog VGA connection even on images designed to bring out pixel jitter. For photos (as well as video), the image was visibly lacking in contrast, even with theater dark lighting, but that's not surprising, since Optoma claims only a 1500:1 contrast ratio. It's fair to say that the colors don't pop, but they're in within a reasonable range of reality, and the projector did a good job retaining detail in both dark and light areas as well as otherwise avoiding any notable problems.
Better than par video quality. Image quality for video was above par for a data projector, at least when using an HDMI cable and setting the source for 1080p to upconvert standard DVDs. As with photos, the projector did a good job retaining detail in dark areas, and even in scenes that are prone to showing posterization (with shading changing suddenly where it should change gradually) it showed only the slightest touch of a problem. You'll want to stay with 1080p input for video, however. Composite video is never recommended if you want the best picture quality, and it is particularly true of this model.