Optoma HD27 Review: Great Cinematic Experience from the Comfort of your Home
If a stringent budget is hampering your ability to have a big screen entertainment system in your home, then the Optoma HD27 is what you need. It is a budget-friendly alternative to the high end projectors that will cost you an arm and leg to own one. This 1080p single-chip DLP projector produces bright crystal clear images like the highly rated projectors and at a fraction of their price. The fact that the HD27 is very simple to use makes it the perfect entry level projector when you are making the transition from TV to the cinematic experience of a projector.
The Optoma HD27 is designed primarily to cater to the home entertainment market niche. So, if you are into large screen 3D gaming, movies, and sports, then this projector will provide the home entertainment experience you seek. You can also connect it to your smartphone and use the large screen to stream videos, play games or share digital media content with family and friends. It is worth noting however that it is a long throw projector, which means that it can only work in large rooms. Therefore, if you have a small room, then this projector is not the right choice for you.
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- Resolution: 1080p, Full HD – 1920 x 1080
- Brightness: 3200 ANSI Lumens
- Contrast: 25,000: 1
- Maximum Lamp Life: 8000 Hours
- Throw Ratio: 1.48 – 1.62: 1
- Speaker: 10 Watts
- Weight: 2.38kg
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9, Native, 4:3, Auto
- Screen Size Projection: 27.88”- 305.3” (0.71 – 7.75)
- Displayable Colours: 1073.4 Million
- Noise Level: 26dB
- Maximum Projection Distance: 10m
- Dimensions: 11.7 x 3.7 x 9 inches
Small, compact alluring design
Measuring just 11.7 by 3.7 by 9 inches and weighing around 5.2 pounds, the HD27 is a relatively small projector. Owing to its lightweight and compact design, it can be easily carried to any destination without a fuss. Have a night out with friends? Why not carry the HD27 for a perfect night of large screen entertainment?
It is also very easy to store, since it can basically fit in any cupboard or socks drawer. In addition, it has a white glossy finish with grated plastic at the front that gives it an alluring appearance, which will blend in well with any type of décor in your living room.
Crystal clear visuals
This projector utilizes the single DMD-Chip DLP, which displays images at full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080. The Full HD 1080p produces very sharp, detailed and crystal clear images, without the need to downscale or compress the screen size.
Although it does not support 4K signals, it still has a relatively high contrast ratio of 25,000:1 and a maximum screen size projection of up to 305.3”. Therefore, this DLP projector is still perfect when it comes to watching movies, playing games, viewing photos and even perusing through documents.
This is very rare for projectors within this price range, which makes the HD27 far above its peers. It can also work at a safe distance of up to 32 feet, which makes it very convenient in a large room as you can just place it at the back and not worry about interferences or accidents.
Multiple connection ports
With this projector, you can kiss all analog connections goodbye. The digital connection ports include two HDMI input ports, one supports MHL connectivity that allows you to connect to a compatible smartphone or streaming stick. Another connection is a 3.5mm audio output that allows you to connect an external audio device to capture all the great sound effects in movies and games for the ultimate experience.
Then, there is a 3D sync VESA port that allows you to use 3D glasses. It also includes a USB port that supplies power to a wireless WHD200 HDMI receiver, which takes away the need of purchasing long cables. With the WHD200 receiver, you can basically connect digital set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, AV receivers and game consoles without the extra cables, which is both cost efficient and convenient. Lastly, the HD27 comes with the 12-volt trigger that allows you to control a motorized screen.
REC.709 Colour Spectrum
Now this is definitely the highlight of this projector. Utilizing a 6 speed colour wheel, it produces a wide range of stunning colours, which is almost identical to the REC.709 colour spectrum. REC.709 is basically the international standard for HDTV viewing. Most of the projectors in this price range do not even come close to the REC.709 colour spectrum.
Therefore, with the HD27 you will enjoy virtual reality broadcasting, which is as close to real images as possible. In addition, this projector also offers a wide range of colour settings to help you get the best output. They include: 4 colour temperature settings- warm, cool, cold and standard; RGB gain or bias settings; 7 level colour management system for saturation, hue and gain adjustments for all colours, including white; 7 gamma controls; Dynamic Black, which is turned either on or off; and lastly, Optoma’s 10-step Brilliant Colour adjustment.
Long throw ratio
The Optoma HD27 is a long throw projector with a throw ratio of 1.48 – 1.62: 1, which works perfectly in a large room. In addition, it has Focus and Zoom functions, which are adjusted manually via easily accessible knobs on top of the lens for more clarity. The maximum zoom level is only 1.1x, which is a bit low. However, it also includes various aspect-ratio options that will fit well with your screen size. You may opt for either Auto, Native, 16:9, 4:3 or LBX (letterbox zoom). The lens is also cleverly inserted inside the chassis to prevent it from getting damaged during transportation.
There is a catch to this however, the lens cannot be shifted vertically or horizontally, which can pose a problem when trying to find the right angle to project on to the screen. To rectify this drawback, it comes with three adjustable feet that you can manually adjust with a screw to raise the height of the projector. It also includes vertical keystone correction at +/- 40 degrees, which helps eliminate the trapezoidal shape that occurs when the projector is either kept too low or high in relation to the screen.
3200 ANSI lumens of brightness
At 3200 ANSI lumens, this projector produces a good amount of brightness. It boasts of six picture modes that work hand in hand with the high level of brightness: Cinema, Game, Reference, User, Vivid and Bright. There isn’t much difference between them and they all work well with the right colour settings. For instance, the Bright mode works exceptionally well in darkness; while the Vivid mode is the best mode for brightly lit rooms.
With the Vivid mode, you can still watch your favourite show even when there is some light in the room. In fact, the HD27 will still produce bright and highly saturated images during the day with window blinds open, without exaggerating the colour schemes. It is also an ISF certified projector, which means that it can be set up to ISF Day or ISF Night picture modes for the perfect picture output.
Remote controlled operation
The HD27 comes with a well-designed remote controller with a lightweight ergonomic design that fits well in the hand and is very easy to handle. It also has an aesthetic design with backlit bright blue lit buttons, which illuminate in the dark to prevent you from straining. The projector is fully operated by the remote controller and you can easily toggle from one mode to the other without the need to go to the projector itself.
For instance, you may switch from the Blu-Ray to the gaming console with just a simple press of a button. This is very convenient and stress-free, especially during movie marathons when you are too lazy to get up from your warm and comfy seat. What happens however when you misplace the remote controller? Don’t worry, the Optoma HD27 has got you covered. Nicely placed on top of the machine are access controls that you may use instead of the remote control.
This projector also supports 3D playback from any 3D source, including new generation game consoles and 3D Blu-ray players. The 3D function works well and you will be able to reap the benefits of watching movies and playing games through the 3D playback. However, you have to invest in DLP Link and VESA glasses, as they are not included in the packaging. It also features the 144Hz rapid fresh rate that provides smooth and flicker-free images, which is very convenient when watching 3D movies for a long time.
Extended lamp life
The Optoma HD27 is among the few projectors in that price range with a long lamp life. It is estimated to be around 8,000 hours, which according to the manufacturer’s estimation will last you at least 10 years if you watch one 2-hour movie every single day. It is worth noting however that the lamp life is just an estimation and the lamp may outlive or fail to reach the postulated period.
The HD27 lamp supports two lamp modes, Eco and Bright. With the Eco mode, you are more likely to increase the lifespan of the lamp than with the Bright mode. Even with the Bright mode, the HD27 lamp will still outlive most of its peers. This is very convenient and economical, as you will be able to cut down on replacement costs.
Built-in 10W mono speaker
You can also enjoy the convenience of a built-in 10W Mono Speaker. The sound is loud enough to fill the room, but unfortunately it is not of the best quality. You may want to purchase a better audio output device to full enjoy your home theatre experience. However, it is all a matter of preference. Some people can work with the 10W speaker without the need for an external speaker.
Personally, I found the speaker a bit irritating and could not sit through it. The speaker is definitely the biggest drawback of this projector, but it does not in any way affect how I feel about it. It still is a great projector, but definitely needs improvement in that area. Fortunately, it also includes a 3.5mm audio port for an external speaker, which I very much encourage you to fully take advantage of.
MHL v1.2 connectivity
One of the best features of the Optoma HD27 is that it supports both android and apple smartphones and tablets. With just a single cable, you can convert the HD27 into a smart display for your smartphone. You can therefore stream videos, play games and even share photos on the large screen. How cool and convenient is that?
- High quality pictures with high contrast and rich colours
- Bright enough for illuminated rooms and daylight viewing
- Vertical keystone correction
- Full HD
- 3D capabilities, supports DLP-Link and VESA glasses
- 8,000 hours of lamp life
- Smartphone connectivity
- Great for movie watching and playing games
- Limited zoom capability at 1.1x
- Lacks lens shifting
- Low quality built-in speaker
- The fan can be noisy
- Limited black level
- Remote control has to be pointed at the projector (no bounce back effect from the screen), making it hard to configure
This projector will set you back an extra $100, but the BenQ HT2050A projector performs at equal footing as the Optoma HD27. Apart from the fact that this projector is a short throw projector, it is very similar to the HD27 in all aspects. It also includes a 6 speed RGBRGB colour wheel with REC.709 colour accuracy, 2 HDMI ports, built-in 10W MaxxAudio speakers, 1.3x zoom, 2D keystone correction and 3D capabilities. When it comes to picture output, the HD27 pales in comparison, despite the fact that the HT2050A registers lower brightness level at just 2200 lumens. With Full HD resolution of 1080p, it produces superior colour calibration with very accurate skin tones.
The HT2050 does not suffer from washing out effect or over reddening, which is very common in HD27. Where the HT2050 excels most above the HD27 (and most of its peers) is its black levels. It produces the darkest and truest blacks, which makes its images more vibrant with brilliant colours. The Optoma HD27 has poor black levels and even with Dynamic Black features, its blacks are not as visible as HT2050A’s blacks. The BenQ HT2050A is also among the few projectors in this price range with a lens shift feature that allows you to move the image up and down, without image distortion. It can also project up to 100” from just 8 feet away.
The HD27 is modelled in the same fashion as the Optoma HD146X. Aside from minor differences, the two projectors are basically one and the same. The HD146X also features a maximum display resolution of 1920 x 1080 with a maximum throw distance of 32 feet and maximum screen size projection of 305.3”. However, it has a lower contrast ratio of 23,000: 1 compared to HD27’s 25,000: 1. Its brightness level is also a bit lower at 3000 lumens compared to HD27’s 3200 lumens.
It should be noted however that these differences are quite negligible and you may not be able to tell the difference between the two. Both the Optoma HD146X and HD27 are similarly priced.
The Optoma HD26 is also similar to the HD27 in all aspects. The only difference is that it has a slightly lower lamp life at 6,500 hours compared to HD27’s 8,000 hours.
The Optoma HD27 is a great projector that you should definitely check out. It performs beyond expectations and you will be surprised by how cheap it is priced, due to its high performance. So, instead of going for the overpriced high-end projectors, we would recommend you go for the HD27. You will still enjoy the same level of brightness, high resolution and a wide range of colours for a fraction of the price.
It also has its own weaknesses, but if I were you I wouldn’t delve much on the negatives. They are not ‘fatal’ to warrant so much attention from you. In fact, you can easily rectify the problems. For instance, to rectify its inability to render perfect blacks, you can use a high quality grey projector screen. This will fix most of its deep black rendering problems.
It is a budget friendly choice that we highly recommend. Trust us, you will get more than you pay for.