720p DLP Projector Review
Light output. The H5380BD's brighest mode, called Bright, measured 2113 lumens on our test sample. Bright mode has a definite greenish tint, but it is useful when you need maximum light output and aren't too picky about color balance.
Standard mode is our go-to mode for film and video in ambient light. At 1397 lumens, Standard mode has a slight blue tint, but produces a respectable black level and does a good job rendering shadow detail even in the darkest areas of the image.
Movie mode, at 1201 lumens, has a more neutral appearance than Standard mode, with higher color saturation and a grayscale that is closer to the cinema-ideal 6500K. If you can spare the additional lumens, Movie mode is a good choice for film and video. Dark Cinema, at 1108 lumens, is useful if you need to cut light output further.
The H5380BD also has a Game mode, but at 1420 lumens it is similar to Standard mode with a slightly higher black level.
Any of the H5380BD's image modes can be reduced in brightness by engaging Eco lamp mode. Eco mode cuts lamp power by 27%, bringing Standard mode to 1159 lumens and Movie mode to 997 lumens.
Contrast. The H5380BD has a number of preset gamma selections, and most of them are useful. The 1.8 and 2.0 settings raise black level and deep shadow detail into the dark gray range, but they can be useful when a lot of ambient light is washing out your viewing area and detail is being lost. The 2.2 setting is a good all-around setting for film and video, as it preserves shadow detail but also offers better black performance than 1.8 and 2.0. The "2.2 S-Curve" setting deepens black level and "punches up" the picture, but in doing so some shadow detail is lost. The same is true of the 2.4 setting.
The H5380BD has a "Dynamic Black" control, but it boosted highlights rather than deepening shadows. We left it turned off, as highlights are already quite bright.
Color. The H5380BD's color performance is already quite respectable as soon as you take it out of the box. In Standard and Movie modes, color is balanced and well-saturated, though highlights are a touch too bright at times.
The H5380BD has three preset color temperature settings: CT-1 is used in Movie mode and is the warmest preset. CT-2 is used in Standard and Game modes and gives the picture a slightly blue cast, putting it around 7000-7200K. CT-3 is very blue. There's also a User setting, which is the only one that can be adjusted.
Sharpness and Detail. Since the H5380BD is a 720p projector and the most common content available today is 1080p, chances are that you'll end up feeding the projector some higher-resolution content at some point. The H5380BD does an admirable job of compressing 1080p content to fit its native 720p pixel matrix without smudging away all of the image's fine detail, though some is necessarily lost.
Input lag. In all of the H5380BD's image modes, input lag measured 33 milliseconds, which works out to two frames of a 60 fps signal. While the projector does have a Game mode, it did not improve input lag.
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