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Acer H5380BD
720p DLP Projector Review

Review Contents
Best Home Theater Projector
Ease of Use
Intended Use:
DIY Home Theater
Acer H5380BD Projector Acer H5380BD
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Street Price: n/a
3D: PC 3D Ready
Weight: 5.5 lbs
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Lens:1.1x manual
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:5,000 Hrs
10,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:n/a
Warranty:1 year
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, VGA Out, VGA In (x2), HDMI, Audio Out, Audio In (x2), USB, RS232
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 576i, 576p

When it comes to high-quality inexpensive projectors, few companies can touch Acer. The PC giant has been releasing home theater and home entertainment projectors that strike a great price-performance balance, and their products have received a lot of attention from budget-conscious consumers.

Acer's latest projector, the H5380BD, is another winner. Built for home entertainment, the H5380BD's native 720p resolution makes it an inexpensive way to bring 3D into the home. With 3000 lumens of brightness, a small form factor and light weight, an estimated 5,000 hour lamp life, and a built-in two-watt speaker, the H5380BD is a powerful, portable projector for film, video, gaming, and more. And at only $549 MSRP, it's also quite the bargain.

The Viewing Experience

With its tiny form factor and bargain-basement price, it's not surprising that the H5380BD does not have a lot of bells and whistles. What it does have, however, is a solid image. The default Standard mode is intensely bright, making it an obvious choice for living room use. On the other hand, the H5380BD's Movie mode is a better choice for home theater, where ambient light is controlled and light output requirements are less severe. Both Standard and Movie mode have smooth, consistent color; Standard mode is a touch bluer across the grayscale, but this can be useful in a room with yellowish ambient light.

The H5380BD has full HDMI 1.4 3D compatibility, so feel free to use it with any modern 3D sources you'd like, be they Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, or game consoles. 3D image quality is solid despite the downscaling (remember, the H5380BD is not native 1080p), and provides a great way to introduce 3D into the home without breaking the bank.

Setup and Configuration

The H5380BD is ideal for tabletop placement. It has a mild upward throw offset of 13% (so the bottom edge of the image is 13% of the image heigh above the center of the lens), a short zoom range (1.1:1), a small footprint, and it weighs very little. It also includes a small 2W onboard speaker, for those times when you don't have a better sound system available.

Despite being an inexpensive machine, the projector includes some nice touches. When you open the menu without an input signal present, the H5380BD displays a 16:9 geometry test pattern in the background to assist with placement and aiming of the projector. A side-mounted connection panel helps to manage cables by keeping your coffee table clear. Since the audience is likely seated behind the projector, it makes sense not to send all of the cables back in that direction. While the H5380BD only has one HDMI port, that port is MHL-enabled.

Standard mode pushes out just under 1400 lumens on our test sample, so it can be used even in a room with significant ambient light. Using an 80" diagonal image, Standard mode produced a bright, high-contrast image despite significant ambient room lighting.

Since the projector has such a limited zoom range, placement is highly dependent on what size image you want. The 80" diagonal image discussed above can be projected from 9' to 9'10", for example.

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Key Features
Review Contents: Viewing Experience and Setup Key Features Performance Limitations

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Comments (12) Post a Comment
zach Posted May 6, 2014 11:06 AM PST
what kind of 3d glasses do i need for this ?
Vit Adamek Posted May 7, 2014 7:57 AM PST
DLP lin glasses. The best value and working great are these - SainSonic Zodiac 96-144Hz 3D DLP-Link Ready Active Glasses. Find them on ebay etc.
Jimmy O. Posted May 27, 2014 2:54 PM PST
I just fired up this projector last night. I have got to say that the black levels have been disappointing me. Images which contain darker colors seem to have all their detail washed out. Lighter colors show up beautifully however. Could this just be a fluke with my particular projector?
Bill Livolsi Posted May 29, 2014 11:53 AM PST
Jimmy -- it could be a fluke. It could also be that you expected more than the projector is capable of delivering. What are you comparing it against?
Jimmy O. Posted May 30, 2014 1:39 PM PST
Hi Bill. I'm comparing it to the Acer H5360BD which extremely impressed me. I've been playing around with the settings and after disabling dynamic black and slightly increasing the brightness the projector seems to display darker images much more accurately. I'm also beginning to think the light grey wall that I'm projecting onto is detracting from the image. The projector is now displaying the image I was hoping it would out of the box. I'm mostly just surprised that the dynamic black setting, which is turned on by default, washed out darker images so drastically in specific scenes.
Max Posted Jun 23, 2014 7:45 PM PST
Hi. How is it compared to the older H5370BD? Is it better or, as they push its brightness, image more looks washed out than in the older one? I would like also to know if they changed the colour segment size of this projector to make it look brighter, because this could have changed the image quality
Tiffany Posted Oct 27, 2014 5:00 AM PST
Hello my boyfriend has an Infocus 350 that has stopped working. He is looking to replace it and I was wondering will this be a good replacement as well as upgrade. Also per his specific instructions it has to be able to connect to his Xfinity Cable. Can anyone tell me if this projector do this?
Dan Posted Nov 28, 2014 8:52 AM PST
Has anyone connected the Roku Stick, would the Mini USB port on the projector power the stick with a Mini USB to USB adaptor? I bought this projector based on various reviews including the above and it has delivered as expected. great picture and I always use with a degree of ambient light. I would like a few more settings to play with the picture but i can get pretty close to perfect as is. very impressed, glad i didn't buy a 1080p TV!
todd Posted Jan 12, 2015 4:17 PM PST
This was our first projector for our DIY media room in the basement. We use a roku stick and love it. But we can't figure out how to get the auto off to turn off, given the roku screensaver.
Logan B. Posted Oct 4, 2015 8:23 PM PST
There seems to be some confusion between the description and the specs. Specs says that it's 3D ready and the description says "The H5380BD has full HDMI 1.4 3D compatibility, so feel free to use it with any modern 3D sources you'd like, be they Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, or game consoles." Which is correct?
Andrew Posted Mar 22, 2016 6:34 PM PST
Looking for the best picture quality on the h5380bd. I would prefer to use the user setting but can't seem to adjust to best result. Every eye is different but looking for some help on the best results.
WKA Posted Jun 7, 2016 9:23 AM PST
Projector was great for about 2 years. Then: something on the motherboard died, and now it powers off after just 1 hour of use. The repair cost is as much as a new projector. ACER customer service is truly the worst - took several days to get someone on the phone, and then she just gave me the option to pay $250 to have it "serviced out of warranty" (this is the starting fee - not the repair fee) - and gave me phone numbers of three "parts suppliers" that don't supply projector parts. Local repair shop could not get parts for this model, and told me it would cost as much to repair as to replace. Looking now for a company that actually stands by its products, offers real customer service. My advice: get the extended warranty if you plan to risk $$ on this projector.

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