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Topic: Optoma HD25e Followup
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Joined: May 29, 2008
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UPDATE 7/23/2016:
Our two HD25e projectors are still going strong on the original lamps, but one had a luminance (black & white brightness) flicker at the top-left (ceiling mounted). This differs from the color flickering we've seen described elsewhere, and that we've not experienced with either of our projectors. We took it apart and did a very thorough cleaning (even inside the light engine), and the problem was solved. If you have a similar problem or would like to take apart an HD25e or any of the many similar models, you might find our detailed writeup helpful:
https://ja4u.net/optoma-hd25e-projector-disassembly-cleaning/

Aug 9, 2013:
Because it's a very new model and I haven't seen much by way of reviews yet, I'm sharing my experiences with the Optoma HD25e after a week of use. I posted an Opinion the day it arrived, and have now experimented a bit. I don't see a way to edit, update or comment on that Opinion (I'd now up it to 5 stars on Ease of Use & Reliability, based on this week of use and my prior experience with an Optoma projector). I'm sharing my discoveries here in the hope it may be helpful to others considering this low-cost option for a bright projector that provides both a good low-end HD home theater with native 3D and an amazingly great TV.

I have a light weight unpainted 93" (48" x 80") screen cut from art supply store white 1/2" foam board that I framed with Home Depot unpainted metal drywall edge for a total cost of less than $50. It's hung with the bottom at 45" above the floor and the top tilted slightly downward (7" out from the wall). The projector is 11'-1" from the screen and 80" above the floor, which puts it about in the middle of the zoom range and makes it about 8" lower than my previous projectors. In this configuration (haven't tried others) the image geometry is within 1/4" with no keystone or other correction. I notice that the image offset adjustment simply crops the projected image, so it's only useful for wide-screen content and not anything that uses the full native vertical image height.

I use it only in Eco lamp mode. The projector is only audible with no audio while sitting with my head 3' below and 1' behind it, in Reference Mode which has been fine for all types of viewing with no further adjustments. The only audible sound is a steady low-pitched fan noise. For normal viewing, it's inaudible.

The menu includes two Test Patterns: White, and Grid. White shows the gamma to be a bit green on my unpainted screen, though it looks fine with content and seems to switch into Bright Mode for the pattern which of course has the worst gamma settings (which begs the question of what purpose this pattern offers - presumably to check the screen). Grid (white lines on black) reveals the geometry to be very nearly perfect, but the focus to be a little soft in places and oddly some indications of mis-convergence along the bottom. The overall effect isn't blurry at all, but though fine details like hair are clear the image isn't optimally crisp. I doubt most people could tell the difference from a high-end projector on anything but very good 1080p content.

Since I use it primarily as our main TV with ample ambient room light, I'd been leaving it in 768 (1280x768) computer resolution. I was surprised when watching movie content in a darkened room that the shadow detail wasn't very good even after considerable tweaking in User Mode. When I switched it to 1080p it became a fairly good Home Theater, with balanced colors and good shadow detail in the un-adjusted Reference Mode setting. At 1080p it's also still a great ambient light TV in Reference Mode. In 720p resolution it's also much better than in 768, apparently due to pixel remapping in the non-HD computer setting.

In the Options/Image/Advanced/ColorSettings menu there are separate slider settings (+/- 50) on Hue, Saturation and Gain for Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow; plus R, G, B for White. As noted in reviews for the older HD25 models, this projector has the very annoying habit of wiping out all your User Mode settings if you change even one thing in any of the factory Modes (Cinema, Reference, Photo, and Bright). It will save your settings if you only make changes in User Mode. Lacking a setup DVD and being satisfied with the performance, the only Mode I've needed in HD resolutions is Reference so it hasn't been a problem for me thus far. If I did need User Mode, I'd certainly take notes on my settings so they could be reproduced with less hassle if I forgot and changed something in another Mode. I like the gamma in Reference better than in Cinema, and the use of "Dynamic Black" in Cinema Mode makes for more noticeable fan noise.

My main use for a projector is as a giant-screen TV, driven by a Mac Mini with free broadcast HDTV from an EyeTV tuner. Secondarily, we have DVD parties once or twice weekly inviting guests who suffer at home with regular 50" TVs. The other thing we do occasionally is "slide shows" of our aerial photos from flights around the continent. Having been impressed with 1080p broadcast HDTV, I'm buying a BluRay player this week and will report back once I've checked out 3D with $20 Sainsonic Rainbow active 144hz glasses.

Both we and our guests have commented on how remarkable the HD25e picture is in our living room with low ambient light. Our prior projectors weren't this good in total darkness, and this one's still superior even with our 2-bulb indirect ceiling light 100W halogens at half brightness setting on the dimmer. That's enough light to read comfortably in the light reflected from the ceiling. On any of our source types the shadow detail is better than either of our prior projectors were in total darkness, whites don't wash out, and the gamma & color balance is better on the factory Reference Mode setting than the prior projectors after considerable tweaking in total darkness for each source type.

This is the first low-end projector I've had that didn't need some fine tuning to work well for all my uses, and I'd recommend it to anyone not looking for ultra-sharp top of the line Home Theater. An exceptional performer for $900.

The attached photo (OptomaHD25e-OTA.jpg Over The Air 1080p broadcast) is from a Nikon D5100 on non-flash Auto setting. Though the focus doesn't show the sharpness of the projected image, it does give an impression of the color and shadow/highlight detail.
[Edited by SantaBarbarian on Jul 23, 2016 at 1:41 AM]

Attachments:

Over The Air 1080p broadcast

1024 × 572 pixels (100.12 KB)