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Acer H9500BD Projector Acer H9500BD
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Street Price: n/a
3D: Full HD 3D
Weight: 15.9 lbs
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Color Wheel:3x speed
Color Wheel:6 segments
Lens:1.5x manual
Lens Shift:H + V
Lamp Life:2,000 Hrs
2,500 (eco)
Lamp Cost:n/a
Warranty:1 year
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, Component, VGA In (x2), DVI, HDMI 1.4a (x2), USB, RS232, 12-Volt Trigger
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/24, 576i, 576p

Acer H9500BD
1080p 3D Home Theater Projector

Bill Livolsi, February 27, 2012

H9500BD versus Optoma HD33

Both the Acer H9500BD and the Optoma HD33 cost less than $2000, and both are full HD 3D compatible. Both use DLP imaging engines. Despite all these similarities, the two projectors do have some salient differences. Rather than spend a lot of time going through lists of features and functions, let's talk about image quality.

In 2D, the Optoma's main advantages are color and natural appearance. The HD33 has more accurate, more vibrant color than the H9500BD, which is no mean feat as the H9500BD has solid color to begin with. More important is the smooth, natural, film-like quality of the HD33's image, which makes the H9500BD look slightly artificial in comparison. The H9500BD is brighter than the HD33, though not by much. The H9500BD also appears higher in contrast, with slightly better dynamic range in most scenes.

In 3D, it's a different story. The HD33 has deeper black and better color than the H9500BD, though it is a subtle difference even under the best of circumstances. However, the HD33 also has visible crosstalk, while the H9500BD has none at all. That's saying a lot; when the HD33 came out we praised it for its lack of crosstalk and clean 3D image. None of that has changed, it's just that the H9500BD is incrementally better in these areas. Both the HD33 and the H9500BD outclass the similarly-priced Epson Home Cinema 3010 when it comes to 3D image quality, as well.

When it comes to 3D brightness, the issue is not settled until we do a little bit of math. The H9500BD is brighter than the HD33 in 2D, but both projectors have dedicated 3D image modes that you must use, so that brightness advantage doesn't necessarily translate. As mentioned previously, the H9500BD's 3D mode measures a measly 689 lumens as opposed to the 909 lumens it puts out in our preferred 2D viewing mode. Meanwhile, the HD33 does not lose any brightness at all, still cranking out over 800 lumens in 3D. The HD33's glasses also transmit 32% of the image's brightness compared to 30% for the H9500BD.

The end result (drumroll please) is this: at the end of the day, the HD33 is ever so slightly brighter in 3D than the H9500BD, at 260 lumens versus 210 lumens apparent brightness, as seen through 3D glasses. On a 100" diagonal 1.0 gain screen, that puts the HD33 at 9 fL versus the H9500BD's 7 fL. A small difference, to be sure, but an appreciable one nonetheless. Then again, the HD33 has crosstalk, and the H9500BD doesn't.

One other point: the HD33 has a six-segment, 6x-speed color wheel, while the H9500BD has a 4x-speed wheel. If you are one of the unlucky few who is hypersensitive to rainbows and still sees them on a 4x-speed wheel, you have my condolences.

Review Contents: The Viewing Experience Key Features Performance Limitations
  Shootout vs HD33 Conclusion

Reader Comments(12 comments)

Posted Dec 28, 2013 4:33 PM

By Ethen F.

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I'm haveing the same issuer with the 2d to 3d conversion not working as well. Did you manage to find a fix for it?

Posted Apr 14, 2013 9:22 AM

By Dave

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What 3D Blu-ray player was used for testing? I cannot get my Panasonic DMP-BDT220 to work at all - in 2D or 3D. I tried many setting changes on both the projector and player with no luck. Older 2D Blu-ray player works fine.

Posted May 28, 2012 3:08 PM

By jack benson

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good for movies?? or is there better

Posted Apr 24, 2012 9:36 AM

By Don J

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I second the concerns of the previous post. Also I'm worried about quality control and reliability -my first unit arrived DOA. Waiting for its replacement to arrive. Check the AVS forum owner's thread for a full discussion of these known issues. Acer is aware of the owner's thread and really needs to step up and resolve this.

Posted Apr 20, 2012 12:16 PM

By Brandon

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Everyone should be aware of 3 issues with the H9500BD: it has some softness over HDMI (no softness over VGA), it has a tearing bug when watching 3D content in Side-by-Side (SBS) format (used in some video games), and it has very high lag in 3D mode (OK for movies, bad for games). The first 2 issues, and maybe the third, could probably be fixed in firmware but Acer has not been cooperating with owners who have tried to raise this issue. In contrast, BENQ was very responsive to W7000 owners who reported the exact same HDMI softness bug, and they fixed it in a firmware update. The H9500BD could be a fantastic product with improved sales if Acer would show better support and fix these outstanding bugs/issues. [edited]

Posted Apr 3, 2012 5:09 AM

By Remmy

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It would be good if you could include info about the possibility of convergence offset (aka depth offset, or relative eye offset) for 3D content. The Acer H9500BD does not seem to have that. Actually all dlp projectors, i have looked at recently, don't seem to have it. It's pretty much a deal breaker for me.

Posted Mar 21, 2012 8:43 AM

By Kslope

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Thanks a lot Bill. I agree with Kent, in my case the specs I value most are: Minimum (I mean zero) ghosting and ability to do 1080p@60Hz@3D. These 2 parameters are fundamental for gaming, the resolution for obvious reasons and the ghosting as it is much more visible than in the movies because the content cannot be optimized to lower the ghosting (as it is dynamically generated) I come from a Dual 1080p polarized 3D setup which made 1080p@60Hz@3D and had some ghosting to an Acer H5360BD which does just 720p@60Hz@3D with almost zero ghosting, definitely a huge improvement. In my experience with the Acer H5360BD the ghosting is caused by the glasses (I have owned 4 models with different degrees of ghosting. Also in some areas of the glasses the ghosting is zero and in other is visible, so clearly the projector itself has zero ghosting). I would greatly appreciate if you reviewed different glasses models and inform us about the glasses performance itself.

Posted Mar 15, 2012 7:21 AM

By Kent

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Thanks! I have a Mitsubishi projector that’s 4+ years old and ~14000 hrs its performance and reliability have been amazing. (A pipe in the upstairs bathroom broke and water filled it for at least an hour and it survived!!). But that being said I am going to upgrade to the Panasonic primary because of its quick response time (brightness being the second consideration). I realize gamers are only a small portion of the projector market but for us gamming performance is top consideration when buying a new projector. It would be interesting to do a poll of PC readers to see what specs are the most important to them when selecting a new projector.

Posted Mar 13, 2012 4:13 PM

By Bill Livolsi

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Sorry folks - we measured frame delay at 2.5 frames in Game mode and mentioned it in Projector News, but never actually put it in the review. My fault.

Posted Mar 4, 2012 9:35 PM

By miahallen

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@ Kent, I agree fully....whats up PC? You said all future reviews would include this information?!?

@ Kslope, DVI must be "dual-link" to support the bandwidth needed for 1080p120 or 1080p60 3D....and it does appear that the H9500BD is dual link. So I agree fully, PC we need an answer on this please :)

Posted Mar 2, 2012 12:26 PM

By Kent

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I agree with Kslope, please post the lag times for gaming. Gaming is the main reason for my family owning a projector, movies and sports are just an added bonus. Thank you for your article on lag times you posted on Jan 31st, Keep it up!!

Posted Feb 28, 2012 10:09 AM

By Kslope

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Could you please review the gaming capabilities of the H9500BD?, I’d say that the gaming community is mainly interested in the possibility of gaming at 1080p@60Hz@3D. This could be possible through the DVI-I or VGA inputs (maybe through a future firmware update?). If this is not achievable with this projector I am really interested in knowing when this milestone will be achieved by the industry (at an affordable price).

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