Optoma HD25 Home Theater Projector Review
June 6, 2013,
Optoma HD25 vs BenQ W1070
The HD25's nearest competitor in terms of both price and features is the BenQ W1070, a $1000 DLP 1080p projector with full HD 3D capabilities. Our BenQ W1070 review revealed its brilliant, sharp, well-balanced home theater image, making it an excellent match for the HD25.
The problem in comparing these two projectors is how similar they are. Given a sufficiently darkened room and good source material, the HD25 and W1070 appear to be mostly the same when it comes to picture quality. Both projectors produce natural, well-balanced images with plenty of color saturation and shadow detail. Given this similarity, most people will have to decide between the projectors based on feature set, not image quality.
Light output. In Cinema mode, the two projectors produce the same amount of light. The HD25 at 1146 lumens is roughly equal to the W1070 at 1220 lumens, as the human eye cannot detect minor brightness differences without a head to head comparison. The W1070 does have Dynamic mode, which at 1554 lumens is brighter than any of the HD25's image modes and particularly useful for living room use. However, even that lumen difference is fairly minor.
Contrast. The two projectors are exceptionally similar when it comes to contrast. Both have so-so black levels and very accurate default gamma curves, so shadow detail is maintained without any loss. The HD25 has DynamicBlack, but the contrast improvement granted by this feature is minimal when it is present at all. It is impossible to select between the two projectors on this basis alone.
Color. The HD25 has more accurate color out of the box; it measures 6400K across the grayscale to the W1070's 6800K. Both projectors can be calibrated to 6500K with very little effort on the part of the user, so final calibrated color is excellent on both models. However, the W1070 has full RGB gain/bias controls, something the HD25 lacks. Both projectors have full color management systems.
Sharpness. Both the HD25 and the W1070 are single-chip 1080p projectors without detail enhancement systems. Once sharpness is set correctly (which can be done easily without any special equipment), they appear identical.
Input lag. At 17ms of input lag, the HD25 is half a frame faster than the W1070 at 24ms.
3D. While both projectors offer full HD 3D, the HD25 has the option to use either DLP Link or RF-sync 3D glasses.
Placement flexibility. With a 1.3:1 zoom lens and a small amount of vertical lens shift, the W1070 is easier to install for most people than the HD25 (which has a 1.2:1 lens and no shift).
Lamp life. Both projectors' lamps are rated for 3,500 hours at full power or 6,000 hours in Eco mode.
Warranty. Both projectors have one-year limited warranties.
Sound. The HD25's speakers are 10W stereo (5W+5W, not 10W per channel) to the W1070's 10W mono. While the presence of sound at all is a bonus, stereo sound is useful for people who plan to make extensive use of the feature.
The Optoma HD25 is a great little projector. Its bright, sparkling HD image is perfect for home theater, and its bargain price of $949 makes it an exceptional value. While the HD25 has some flaws, those flaws are all related to usability, not image quality. The menu system can be complicated at times, and the lack of multiple User modes limits the HD25's calibration potential. Overall, though, the HD25 is a strong projector for entry-level home theater with potential for portable use as well.
Competition in the HD25's market segment is particularly fierce this year, with projectors like the BenQ W1070 providing stiff competition. The two projectors are more alike than they are different; however, the HD25 is a better projector for those users primarily concerned with 3D viewing (thanks to RF glasses), portable use (due to the HD25's better onboard speakers), or gaming (thanks to less input lag). On the other hand, the W1070's better placement flexibility will appeal to many potential buyers. Whichever projector you choose, the end result is a beautiful home theater image at a bargain price.
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