3D Home Video Projector
May 14, 2013
Rainbows. The H5370BD uses a 2X-speed RGBCMY color wheel. As a result, if you are sensitive to rainbow artifacts you are probably going to see them in spades on the H5370BD. If you aren't sure whether or not you are sensitive to DLP rainbows, here's how you can figure it out. Order the H5370BD from a vendor with a generous return policy, then pop in a Blu-ray copy of either The Dark Knight or Quantum of Solace. Both movies have bright highlights moving quickly against dark backgrounds, which tend to induce rainbows more often than other types of content. If you see flashes of color where they shouldn't be, you're seeing the rainbow effect. If you see it only occasionally it may not be worth worrying about. If you see them frequently they will drive you nuts with distraction and you will want a different projector.
Placement flexibility. The extensive lens adjustment controls found on home theater projectors are pricey, so they tend not to be found on low-cost projectors. The H5370BD has a basic 1.1:1 manual zoom lens with no lens shift. That means you'll have to be careful about mounting the projector, as there's not a lot of wiggle room to work with. This is another reason why table placement is a good choice for the H5370BD, as you can move it around easily to square it up with the screen. A ceiling mount requires precision and care.
Locked presets. Like many inexpensive projectors, the H5370BD's pre-calibrated image modes are locked to the factory settings. If you make any significant adjustments, the projector kicks you over to the single "User" memory setting. The same goes for color temperature. If you want to fine-tune grayscale tracking, you'll have to use the User CT setting as the defaults (unhelpfully named CT1, CT2, and CT3) are not adjustable. This also means that you cannot have a "Day" setting and a "Night" setting, for example, which would be useful on a projector meant for occasional ambient light use.
Quirky HDMI pairing. Several times over the course of our testing, our H5370BD would simply refuse to recognize our Blu-ray player or other HDMI device. When this happened, the projector's Re-Sync button did not do anything, and we instead had to power cycle both the projector and the HDMI source device until they recognized each other once again. This may not occur with all HDMI devices, but there's no way to tell until you test them and find out for yourself. The glitch occurred most often when switching inputs after the projector had already been running for some time, rather than on a cold start.
Fan cycling. Occasionally, the H5370BD's fan will kick into high gear and start making much more noise. While the normal fan noise is quite low and drowned out by the projector's small speaker, the high-power fan is much louder. Our test room was maintained at 75 degrees fahrenheit (which, for Las Vegas in the summertime, is quite cool) throughout the test, and fan cycling tended to occur after the projector had been running for an hour or two, indicating that the problem is likely heat-related. This quirk will be most noticeable if you use the H5370BD in a long-run application such as video gaming or television viewing.