This new model is a follow-up to the favorite HD26 and will come in below the HD28DSE projector that Brian Kahn reviewed for all of us this past year. The HD27 omits the DARBEE Visual Presence technology within the HD28DSE; it posesses higher brightness rating of 3,200 lumens but less overall contrast ratio rating of 25,000:1 (the HD28DSE is listed at 3,000 lumens and a 30,000:1 contrast ratio).
The HD27 supports 3D playback and works together with either DLP Link or VESA glasses, although no glasses are contained in the package. The projector lacks some features within step-up models, such as a frame interpolation/smoothing mode and a car iris to automatically adapt the light output to match this content being displayed.
How does this little $649 projector measure? Let’s dig in and discover.
The HD27 is a reasonably petite projector, measuring 11.73 by 3.7 by 9 inches and weighing just 5.2 pounds. It includes a basic square condition with a good glossy white finish, an integral 10-watt speaker, and a side-oriented lens with a manual focus ring around it. That is a bulb-based projector that runs on the 195-watt lamp rated between 5,000 and 8,000 hours, according to which lamp mode you utilize.
The bond panel includes two HDMI 1.4 inputs, among which supports MHL to hook up a streaming stick or compatible tablet. Optoma hasn’t included any analog video connections like component or composite video. The only other connections certainly are a 3.5mm audio tracks output, a 3D sync port for VESA, a 12-volt trigger (no RS-232), and a sort A USB port that may supply capacity to a linked peripheral just like a wireless HDMI receiver.
Like many budget projectors, especially in the DLP category, the HD27 doesn’t give a large amount of lens adjustment to assist in setup. It includes a limited zoom of just one 1.1x (controlled with a slider at the top panel) and a throw ratio of just one 1.48 to at least one 1.62:1. There is no horizontal or vertical lens shifting, only a trio of adjustable feet to improve the physical height of the projector and +/-40-degree vertical keystone correction. Keystone correction might help remove the trapezoidal condition that comes whenever a projector is set too much or low in regards to the screen; however, the more you utilize it, the less detailed the image becomes. I’ve a 100-inch drop-down screen, and I had to put the projector 11 feet away to fill the screen. I only had about one foot of flexibility, predicated on that 1.1x zoom. I attempted different stands and end tables to discover a height that didn’t require the utilization of keystone correction; I settled on a stand that was 26.5 inches tall.
The supplied IR remote is fully backlit (and quite bright!), and it includes dedicated buttons for the many inputs and picture adjustments.
The HD27 offers various picture adjustments, including: six picture modes (Cinema, Vivid, Game, Reference, Bright, and User); four color-temperature presets (warm, standard cool, and cold) and RGB gain/bias controls; a seven-point color management system with hue, saturation, and gain adjustments for each and every color (including white); seven gamma presets; Optoma’s 10-step BrilliantColor adjustment; Dynamic Black (on/off); and two lamp modes (Eco and Bright). The HD27 can be an ISF-certified projector, so an ISF calibrator will come in and setup ISF Day and ISF Night picture modes. This projector is missing some picture adjustments entirely on costlier models, including noise reduction, a frame interpolation mode to lessen judder in film sources, and an programmed or manual iris tool to more precisely control the light output.
The aspect-ratio options are Auto, Native, 16:9, 4:3, and LBX (letterbox zoom). And in addition at this price, there is no anamorphic mode to support an anamorphic lens and remove black bars from 2.35:1 films.
The HD27 has some helpful power adjustments, prefer to the ability to permit power-on signal sensing, set a sleep timer, set a car off (in five-minute increments from 0 to 180 minutes), permit quick resume, and turn the USB power on / off.
My sources because of this review were a Dish Network Hopper 3 HD DVR and an Oppo UDP-203 universal disc player (set to 1080p output, since this 1080p projector will not accept a 4K signal).
Because of technical difficulties, I wasn’t in a position to measure and calibrate this projector before end of my review session (as the Measurements section on Page Two for the results). Therefore, I spent nearly all my time watching HDTV, Blu-ray, and DVD content as the HD27 renders it before calibration–which was probably fortuitous, considering that many people searching for a $599 projector aren’t likely to pay another $300-plus to own it professionally calibrated. I did so make basic adjustments to the brightness, contrast, color, tint, etc. by using a Video Essentials disc, but I didn’t go in to the advanced menu to tweak color and white balance.
The HD27 generates adequate brightness. When I finally could measure it, I came across the brightest picture mode to be, and in addition, the Bright mode, which measured about 60 foot-lamberts on my 100-inch-diagonal 1.1-gain screen. The Vivid mode, meanwhile, measured about 36 ft-L. In lots of displays, the Vivid picture mode can often be the one you need to avoid; it’s usually very bright but also highly inaccurate. Regarding the HD27, though, I actually found the Vivid mode to look somewhat more accurate and natural out from the box, especially with skintones, compared to the Bright mode. So, Vivid may be the mode I opted to use for my daytime viewing of HDTV shows and sports, and the essential thing I did was test out the BrillantColor control. BrilliantColor enhances image brightness and color; the bigger the quantity, the brighter the image and the more saturated the colour … at the trouble of accuracy. I settled on a BrilliantColor number of five (out of 10) for bright-room viewing, which in the Vivid mode allowed for an extremely bright image but kept the colors from looking too exaggerated.
In this configuration, the HD27 was bright enough to make a highly saturated image with bright content like sports and sitcoms–even when I opened the window treatments in the rear of the area. Opening the blinds in leading of the area, closest to the screen, did cause the picture to look beaten up; however, that’s really as a result of my matte-white screen material. Mate this model with a value-oriented ambient-light-rejecting screen (possibly the Visual Apex Fixed Frame Pro Grey 5D screen that Not long ago i reviewed), and you ought to get positive results for daytime sports watching or other high-ambient-light viewing situations.
Next it had been time for a few movie watching during the night. Because of this, I switched to the Reference picture mode, which Optoma describes such as this: “This mode is supposed to replicate as close as possible the image what sort of movie director intended. Color, color temperature, brightness, contrast and gamma settings are configured to standard reference levels.” The Reference mode measured 25 ft-L of brightness at its default. Again, I was happy with the natural-looking skintones and color, even before calibration. With Blu-ray movies, the HD27’s image constantly looked a lttle bit crisper and sharper than my reference 1080p projector, the Epson Home Cinema 5020UB LCD projector.
To judge black level and black detail, I did so some direct A/B comparisons with the Epson 5020UB. Epson’s UB (Ultra Black) projectors are created to provide best black level performance in the business’s traditional LCD repertoire, and they are also the best priced–roughly 3 to 5 times the cost of the HD27, according to the model. So, it had been no surprise if you ask me that the 5020UB produced noticeably deeper blacks and had more precise black-detail reproduction in my own demo scenes from The Bourne Supremacy (chapter one), Gravity (chapter three), and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (chapter three). What did surprise me, however, was that the difference in black level wasn’t practically as dramatic as I’ve seen with other value-oriented entertainment models. The HD27 actually held its and produced a reasonably well-saturated image with these dark movie scenes–but only WHEN I enabled the Dynamic Black function, which dynamically adjusts the lamp brightness to match this content onscreen. Usually I avoid this sort of feature since it creates an evident and unnatural shifting of light levels; however, Optoma’s Dynamic Black worked effectively here. I did so not see a large amount of evident brightness fluctuations, but I did so visit a clear improvement in black level and contrast. When the function was switched off, the HD27’s image looked totally flat and beaten up in my own darkest demo scenes, and I possibly could barely make out the fine black details in the backdrop. When I turned it on, the blackness of space in the Gravity scene looked darker as the stars retained a good level of brightness, resulting in solid sense of image contrast. Likewise, the fine black details in the backgrounds of the Bourne Supremacy and Rogue Nation scenes, that have been lost before, were now visible.
In the processing department, the HD27 properly detected the film cadence on my HQV Benchmark DVD, and it cleanly rendered my real-world 480i tests from the Gladiator and Bourne Identity DVDs. However, it failed the video cadence and all of the assorted cadences on the 480i HQV disc. The same was true with the 1080i tests on the Spears & Munsil 2nd Edition Benchmark Blu-ray disc; the projector effectively handled basic 3:2 film detection, nonetheless it failed almost all of the video-based and assorted cadences. So, overall, I’d label its processing as solid however, not great. As I mentioned earlier, there is no noise reduction, but I didn’t feel it had been needed, because the picture generally looked smooth and clean.