Optoma HD30

Optoma HD30
Optoma HD30

£999
In stock

Product description:
The Optoma HD30 is a sub-£1k 1080p home-entertainment projector that delivers an astonishing picture for the price.

Optoma HD30 –
by Binh Phan Duc,
April 19, 2014

4/
5stars

The Optoma HD30 is a sub-£1k 1080p home-entertainment projector that delivers an astonishing picture for the price.

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The Optoma HD30 is a sub-£1k 1080p home-entertainment projector that delivers an astonishing picture for the price.
The white cabinet with silver-grey trim is swish enough for coffee table use, and if you want to mount it on the ceiling, its compact dimensions won’t draw too much attention.Optoma HD30

Out of the packing box, setup is simple. The projector offers both horizontal and vertical image shift options to best align it with a free space on your wall, plus vertical keystone correction.
With a throw of 3.3- to 4.3m, you’ll get a large 100- to 120in diagonal image. A quick tweak on the manual-focus ring and you’re all done; if you need to navigate the menus, they’re relatively intuitive.
connections include two HDMI inputs, composite video, Pc VGA and analogue audio. There’s also VGA out/monitor loop-through and RS232 control.
Dynamic range is quoted with a punchy 25,000:1 contrast ratio.
In our tests, it showed convincing blacks with plenty of shadow. The projector employs a Darkchip3 DLP device beneath its bonnet, which is a familiar budget component.
colour performance is candy rich, thanks to TI’s Brilliantcolor processing. This boosts primary hues and looks great with garish games and animation. If it’s all too lurid, there are a range of RGB calibration options that should make it possible to tailor images to taste.
Presets have most content types ticked – cinema, Reference, Photo, Bright and User. There’s no high framerate interpolation, but panning judder is negligible, so 1080/24 Blu-ray discs look extremely filmic.
Not only does the HD30 suit moody movies, it also looks sensational with the latest games consoles. The amount of detail to be seen in Killzone Shadow Fall on the PS4 is positively mesmerising.
What’s particularly impressive, though, is the lack of overt rainbow fringing in the HD30’s picture.
created by DLP’s colour wheel, this multi-coloured flashing artefact can be particularly irritating to those sensitive to it; however, here it seemed virtually nonexistent. This gives the projector a definite edge over key DLP rival, the BenQ W1300.
Brightness is rated at 1600 ANSI lumens. While you can get away with gaming and TV viewing in partial ambient light, the Optoma HD30 offers the most contrast in full- blackout conditions.
The HD30 is 3D-capable and comes with two pairs of Active Shutter 3D glasses. A sync emitter (provided) has to be plugged into the projector for these to work. The stereoscopic performance of the HD30 can be considered immersive, with tangible image depth and few obvious crosstalk artefacts.
The Optoma can, however, prove exasperating in daily use. Slow to respond, it will routinely display an egg-timer graphic when asked to do something. Simply swapping inputs causes the projector to ponder the meaning of life before it locks on to an input.
As you might expect of a multimedia projector, there’s a built-in sound system, but it makes for uncomfortable listening.

The provision of SRS Wow audio processing doesn’t help. The latter elevates dialogue, but makes the HD30 even more sonically fatiguing.
The HD30 is relatively quiet in use, though. The lamp-conserving Eco mode lowers fan noise to around 26dB. Lamp life in this configuration is listed at 6000 hours.

Verdict

Overall, the HD30 should be considered good value if you want a full-HD model that punches visually above its weight.

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