HOME > Road Test: Optoma EH515
August 10, 2016,
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What the Optoma EH515 gives you
Optoma EH515 Rear Panel
Connection Panel Inputs:
PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES. All the ports are on the back panel along with the power connector and Kensington lock slot, which are on the lower left corner as viewed from behind. The controls are also on the back, centered between the left and right sides, with the security bar running along the bottom of the back. The exhaust vents cover most of the right side panel. The intake vents cover most of the left panel. The horizontal lens shift control is near the front of the left panel just behind the lens. The vertical lens shift control is on the top panel, also just behind the lens.
Our Lab Tests: What the Meters Say
BRIGHTNESS. ANSI lumen measurements on the Optoma EH515 were as follows.:
LOW LAMP MODE. Eco mode is about 75% as bright as Bright mode, making it easily bright enough for many large rooms. It also increases lamp life from 3000 hours to 4000. In addition, Power mode offers 6 wattage settings from 280 watts, which essentially matches Eco mode, to 365 watts, essentially matching Bright mode.
PRESENTATION OPTIMIZED LUMENS. If you need the EH515's full brightness for a very large screen or high ambient light, the color in Bright mode is well within an acceptable range. However, Presentation mode offers the best compromise between brightness and color quality, and can be adjusted to give even better color while still delivering 2327 lumens.
VIDEO OPTIMIZED LUMENS. The best choice we found for video quality was sRGB mode with some settings adjustments that hardly affected brightness at all, dropping it to 1581 lumens.
ZOOM LENS EFFECT. The 1.8x zoom lens curtails light significantly at its full telephoto setting. It measured 3190 lumens at the telephoto end, or a 38% drop from its 5141 lumens at the wide angle setting.
BRIGHTNESS UNIFORMITY. The measured 77% uniformity is more than acceptable, with the variation in brightness effectively hidden by any image that breaks up the field of view.
INPUT LAG. Our test unit measured 50 ms input lag.
What it sounds like
ON-BOARD AUDIO. The stereo audio system's two 10-watt speakers offer better quality than most projectors and easily high enough volume for a mid-size to large room.
FAN NOISE. Optoma rates the EH515's fan noise at 31 dB in Bright lamp mode and 28 dB in Eco mode. It shouldn't be a problem in either case. It takes the form of a low-level hum that's easily audible from 15 feet away in Bright mode, but not particularly intrusive even from 10 feet. In Eco mode, I didn't find it annoying even from 5 feet.
Optoma recommends using High Altitude mode at 5,000 feet and above or 77 degrees and above. With it on, there's no apparent difference between Bright and Eco modes. In either case, it's easy to hear from 40 feet, and loud enough to be distracting if you're much closer. If you need to use High Altitude mode, consider putting the projector behind a false wall to help deaden the sound.
Setting it up
THROW DISTANCE. The 1.8x zoom offers excellent setup flexibility, letting the EH515 throw a 150" diagonal 16:9 image from anywhere between 13 and almost 24 feet. See the Projection Calculator to find the range for the image size you want.
Lens Shift. At the extreme bottom of the vertical shift range, the bottom of the image is at the centerline of the lens. At the top of the range, the bottom of the image is 30% of the image height above the centerline. The horizontal shift varies from 10% left and right of the middle position to less than 1% left and right, depending on the vertical shift setting.
If you need to tilt or swivel the projector, you can manually adjust both vertical and horizontal keystone distortion by up to 30 degrees. You can also set the projector for automatic vertical keystone distortion and can individually adjust each corner.
Priced at just $1999, the compact, 13-pound, Optoma EH515 is a very cost-effective solution for medium to large-venue applications that need HD data presentations or displays. It's also a strong candidate for venues--like museums for example--that need large enough displays to require multiple projectors with overlapping images at resolutions of 1920x1080 per projector. You'll need external hardware or software to blend the edges from one projector to the next, but the option to change power settings in six steps will help match brightness between projectors.
Along with high brightness and excellent image quality, the EH515 is strong on setup flexibility. The 1.8x zoom and moderate H+V lens shift help make setup quick and easy, and the four-corner adjustment helps square off the image even with uneven or curved walls. It also lets you match image position from multiple projectors to stack images on screen for higher brightness.
Overall, the EH515's combination of features add up to an impressive level of capability for the price, and helps make the EH515 an excellent option for large conference rooms, houses of worship, and higher-education lecture halls.
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