Optoma TW610ST Widescreen
Short Throw Projector Review
Usable, but unimpressive, video quality. As with most data projectors we review, the TW610ST doesn't handle video very well overall. It maintains shadow detail better than most data projectors, but I saw some posterization (sudden changes in shading that should change gradually) in faces on demanding scenes that tend to cause posterization.
Obvious rainbow artifacts for video. Most inexpensive, commercial/business class DLP projectors can produce rainbow artifacts, with light areas breaking up into little red, green, and blue rainbows when you shift your gaze or an object moves on screen. These artifacts tend to show up more often when viewing full motion video rather than static images. Some people see them more easily than others.
When viewing video on the TW610ST, they showed up often enough so that anyone who's sensitive to them will likely find them annoying. That alone makes the TW610ST best reserved for only short video clips if you use video at all.
Auto-Iris lag. The TW610ST doesn't have an actual auto iris, but it uses an electronic equivalent to get the same effect, making dark images darker and bright images brighter. Unfortunately, as with many mechanical auto-irises, Optoma's electronic equivalent has a noticeable lag between the image appearing on screen and the system adjusting to the new brightness level. Some people may find this annoying, although it isn't much of a problem since you can disable it. It is on by default for both data and video, but you can go into the menus to turn it off.
Limited 3D. The TW610ST is 3D ready, which could become useful as more 3D material becomes available. On the other hand, as with most 3D-ready projectors today, the TW610ST's 3D is highly limited.
One drawback is that you need enough pairs of DLP-Link glasses (currently $70 each) for your audience, which could be a significant investment. And since the glasses need batteries, if you have an audience of, say, 20 students in classroom, replacing batteries could become something of a chore. Being 3D ready could help protect the TW610ST from becoming obsolete, but as a practical matter you may or may not ever actually use the projector for 3D.
As a data projector, the Optoma TW610ST offers lots of strengths and no important weaknesses. Its balance of brightness, brightness uniformity, good data image quality, good connectivity, and better than usual warranty far outweigh issues like the auto-iris lag that you can easily eliminate by turning the feature off. Even the video quality is good enough for the kind of short video clips you're likely to use a data projector for. If you're reviewing current options for a bright, short throw, 1280x800 data projector, the TW610ST belongs on your short list.
|Review Contents:||Introduction and Advantages||Additional Advantages||Limitations and Conclusion|