Interactive Short Throw Projector
March 27, 2012
Obvious rainbow artifacts for video. Rainbow artifacts are always a potential issue for single-chip DLP projectors. Some people see them more easily than others. With the TW610STi they show up often enough in video that anyone who is sensitive to the effect may well consider them annoying.
Auto-iris lag. The TW610STi's Image AI setting for lamp brightness serves works like an auto-iris to make dark images darker. This works well enough for data images, but is best turned off for video, since there's an annoying lag between changing a scene and the projector changing brightness.
Unfortunately, the feature also seems to kick in spontaneously when it's off. In my tests, when I showed a particularly dark screen and changed the preset from Bright to Movie and back to Bright, the lamp switched from Bright mode to Std, and stayed there when I moved back to a brighter screen. This is likely due to a glitch in firmware, so Optoma may be able to fix it. I also saw another odd behavior apparently due to firmware, with the projector sometimes turning on in grayscale mode, a choice that doesn't exist in the menu system. Changing to a different preset and then back turns the color back on, however, so it's not much of an issue.
Limited 3D. The TW610STi's 3D works directly only with computers, although it will also work with video converters that convert 1080p Blu-ray 3D to 720p 3D. Its real limitation, however, is the need to buy enough pairs of DLP-Link glasses (at $70 or more per pair) for your audience. That said, 3D is potentially useful, and the TW610STi is one of the few 3D-ready interactive projectors that lets you turn on interactive and 3D modes at the same time.
The TW610STi shares some of its strengths with every other short throw projector built around TI's approach to interactive technology. However, it's one of the few with 1280x800 resolution, and it's one of the brightest in the batch.
More significantly, the TW610STi does an unusually good job of delivering on its promises. In particular, it loses very little brightness when you turn on interactive mode, eco mode, or both, making it far more capable than most interactive projectors of standing up to ambient light.
The projector also earns lots of points for its data image quality, with extra points thrown in for video and audio quality. And add still more for such niceties as mouse control through the remote and the ability to turn on both 3D and interactive mode at the same time. All this helps make the TW610STi a more than appealing choice, and one that should wind up high on your short list.