Optoma GameTime GT720:
a perfect projector for the
Playstation 3 or Xbox 360
July 22, 2010
What's the only thing better than playing your favorite video games in stunning high definition? How about playing them in stunning high definition on a massive, wall-filling screen? The Optoma GameTime GT720 is a companion projector for the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 gaming consoles, bringing you everything you need to turn your game console into a bright, high-resolution, dynamic mobile party starter. It's not a perfect product; placement can be difficult and the 3D capability is deceptive. But when you want a big HD picture on the wall for an evening of gaming with your friends, and don't want to break the bank to get it, the GT720 is the way to go. Street prices begin at $799.
Image quality. The GT720 puts up a great looking picture. The image is plenty bright, so ambient light is not much of a concern. If you don't have light shining directly on the screen, you should be fine. Contrast is impressive as well, giving the image a very three-dimensional appearance. Since the PS3 outputs in standard HD formats like 1280x720 and 1920x1080, you will see some slight black bars on the top and bottom of the picture; the GT720 is a 1280x800 projector. But the end result is still a big beautiful HD picture.
Light output. At 2500 lumens, the GT720 promises to be very bright indeed. Our test sample measured 2233 lumens in its brightest mode, or 89% of the stated specification. Now, that's fantastic if you want to put up a 100" or 120" screen in ambient light, or even a 150" screen in the dark. But what if you're not aiming quite so large and need to reduce light output? Low lamp mode drops lumen output by 9% in all modes and also increases lamp life. Cinema mode improves the appearance of mid tones and color accuracy, and comes out at 1165 lumens in high lamp mode. For something between those two, Game mode has better color saturation and dynamic range than Bright mode does while still cranking out 1977 lumens.
Contrast. When a projector is meant to be used in ambient light, the contrast specification tells you almost nothing. The GT720 looks great in some ambient light, producing a picture with good dynamic range. Shadow detail is clearly visible, and blacks are solid without crushing detail in the shadows. Highlights can appear a touch overdriven with BrilliantColor turned all the way up, but even that only occurs in certain scenes with a lot of detail in very bright highlights. Even without any adjustment, the GT720 has a balanced, high-contrast picture that seems to pop off the screen.