It’s hard to please everyone when it comes to a home entertainment system. The needs of a theater aficionado aren’t necessarily the same as those looking for a great home gaming experience. Fortunately, there are projectors out there that can do both, and do them well. No matter what your focus may be, The Optoma HD39Darbee can probably make it happen for you.

After all, the Optoma brand is known for its great features and versatility; the HD39Darbee only cements that reputation. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to upgrade your basic set-up, let’s take a look and see if this is the project for you.

Is the Optoma HD39Darbee For You?

Whether you want to catch the newest home release of your favorite film franchise, queue up for the next Destiny match, or simply enjoy the big game, the Optoma HD39Darbee can give you a great experience. If you’re looking to dip your toes into a home theater system, this one is one of the top picks for a quality starter projector. It’s a step up from the most basic entry-level projectors while still sticking with a selling price point (consistently coming in at under $1,000).

This projector is best utilized for home use. As we’ll get into later, this isn’t a projector you’ll want to carry around for business presentations or mobile viewings. However, if you’re looking for home entertainment, this is a versatile and affordable option. It has all the elements you’ll need for a solid home theater.

Still, gaming is where this projector truly shines. It has a host of features designed to make your game experience better than ever. In gaming mode, the HD39Darbee features a 16.0 ms input response time. This is the fastest on the market at the time of writing and is just about as close to a traditional gaming monitor that you can get with a short-range projector. Combined with the DarbeeVision technology, you aren’t going to get a crisper or more responsive experience for this price point.

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Top Features

When it comes to features, this projector won’t disappoint. Compared to the Optoma HD27, there are massive improvements without adding too much onto the price. It also packs some added features that you won’t find in similar concurrent models!

Features & Specs at a Glance 

  • Crisp 2080p Resolution 
  • Amazing Image Quality: DarbeeVision Technology! 
  • Gamers Choice: 16.0ms input lag 
  • 3,500 Lumens 
  • 32,000:1 Contrast Ratio 
  • Lamp Life (Hrs) 4000 / 10000 / 15000 
  • Dual HDMI & plenty of connectors 
  • Wireless Capabilities 
  • Full 3D Support 
  • Dimensions: 315 x 224 x 114 mm (WxHxD) 
  • Lightweight: 2.81 kg (6.2lbs) 
  • Large Image: Up to 300 inches 
  • Integrated 10w speakers 
  • Affordable: Under $1000 

DarbeeVision

The integrated Darbee Visual Presence technology is a major selling point for this projector. Darbee technology takes the flat 2D image that we’re so accustomed to seeing on the big screen and – with their highly specialized algorithm that analyzes the image – adds detail based on the 3D version of it. This process creates depth, color, and an overall more accurate version for our brain. In short, it creates a killer image that brings the scene to life. The final effect doesn’t mimic 3D technology so much as it does add depth, clarity, and realism. It really does create a fantastic, immersive viewing experience.

Honestly, DarbeeVision gives 4K a run for its money (without the same expense). You might wonder if you need the upgrade after experiencing how vivid your image can get.

Full HD

The Optoma HD39Darbee offers Full HD 1080p widescreen resolution. This makes the image crisp, sharp, and detailed which definitely enhances your viewing experience. It also helps that this projector can throw an image up to 300 inches! Given that most flat screens reach 70”, there’s nothing like this view on a standard television.

With 35000 lumens and accurate REC.709 colors, you will be hard-pressed to find another image that looks this good on a short throw projector of this size. With the extensive customizable settings, you’ll be able to personalize your viewing experience to suit your screen and your surroundings.

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Robust Connectivity

This device has robust connectivity. You can connect it to gaming consoles (your Nintendo Switch or PS4 will thank you, trust us!), media centers, PCs, and Macs with ease. The full list of connectors are as follows:

  • Dual HDMI 1.4a (3D Support) connectors 
  • 3.5mm Audio Out (L/R) 
  • USB-A power (1A) 
  • Mini USB 
  • 12V Trigger 
  • 3D Port Sync 

It also has wireless capability, making it easier than ever to connect your devices to the best viewing experience possible!

Gaming Mode

We said it already but the gaming mode on this projector is a definite winner. With the ridiculous level of connectivity and the Darbee technology, you’d think that might be enough to entice even the most skeptical gamers. However, it’s the response time in gaming mode where this machine really shines.

The 16.0ms input response means there’s no delay in your gaming experience. The picture you see on your screen is the same as the game you’re playing. No more frustrating lost kills or failed timing puzzles. This is the most accurate image you’ll see outside of a dedicated (and expensive) gaming monitor.

Brightness

With the right set-up, the HD39Darbee image just pops! At night, it’s incredibly bright and unbelievably clear. If you’re able to control ambient light, you’ve got yourself a visual powerhouse. At full brightness, you’ll get about 4000 hours of lamp life (which is the equivalent of watching two hours every day for the next four years). That’s not too bad!

Integrated Sound

The HD39 comes with integrated 10w speakers. This was designed to take in mind the probability that, if you’re looking for a solid home projector system, you’re likely to want your own (more robust) surround sound system to go with it. However, this doesn’t mean that the speakers are lacking. They can work fine in a basic setup scenario.

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Pros

Here are some of the strengths of the Optoma HD39Darbee:

Vertical Lens Shift

The HD39Darbee projector comes with a number of set-up options, making it easier to line up the image with your screen. The +17% Lens Shift adds a lot of flexibility in your installation, especially if you are going for a ceiling mount scenario. The modest zoom 1.6 zoom doesn’t hurt. Both of these features are going to make a big difference during set up.

Wireless Capability

This is such a bonus when it comes to installation! The ability to wireless connect to your devices makes this projector incredibly versatile for both gaming or general usage. This also opens up a broader world of streaming options for your entertainment. You can connect your Apple TV, Chromecast, or ROKU wirelessly to the HD39Darbee projector without a hassle, giving you freedom in your viewing experience.

The Price Point

When it comes to home projectors, anyone can tell you that the price point can be a huge determining factor for even the most meticulous consumer. It’s easy to spend thousands on a device that has all the bells and whistles you want. With a little research, however, you can find most of those features on a much more affordable projector (leaving you to invest more in our screen or sound system).

For a short throw 1080p projector, the Optoma HD39Darbee just the perfect price for some excellent features. It’s been consistently voted among the best projectors for under $1000 across the web by projector enthusiasts and voted among the best gaming projectors despite the price point. The price ranges from around $650-800 on most online retailers, depending on the sale you manage to catch.

In all, you can’t overlook what a great deal this is, even at full price!

Cons

There’s no such thing as the perfect projector. Even the best deals have their drawbacks that should be considered before making a purchase. The Optoma HD39Darbee is no exception. So, let’s take a look at the cons for this particular device.

Light Limitations

The black level for this projector is limited. If you aren’t able to limit the light source of a room, you may have difficulty catching all the details of darker scenes or navigate darker areas of the latest Call of Duty map as well. However, this is a common issue in projectors and the right light control in the room can easily remedy the problem. Just avoid large amounts of ambient light while viewing.

Noise

This projector is louder many than comparative models in other brands. When operating in full brightness mode, you will get some background noise (generally around 29.0 decibels) which may not be ideal for some spaces. This can lead to an annoyance during quiet parts of a film or crucial moments in a game. We don’t think it’s an egregious amount of noise, but it comes down to personal preference.

Permanence

This projector is designed for permanent mounting. With the throw range optimized at around ten feet, you’ll probably want to attach it to the ceiling or wall in your media or living room. This does make it less than ideal for travel purposes. If you’re looking for a more mobile setup, the HD39Darbee may not be for you.

Alternatives

If you’re interested in a projector with similar specs to the HD39Darbee but looking for something more portable, the Optoma GT1080Darbee projector might be just what you’re looking for. This is an ultra short throw projector designed to be placed around 3 feet from your screen. It’s great for smaller spaces like a coffee table (if you only want to bring it out occasionally) or a smaller room. It’s also an easier projector to use for travel, as it can be set up quickly and without fuss. It has most of the same features, including that 16ms response time for gaming and the same Darbee Vision technology that makes the HD39Darbee so appealing.

Another wallet-friendly option for a home projector is the Epson Home Cinema 2150 (read full review here). It clocks in at about the same price point but doesn’t quite have the same response time for gaming (at about 29.2 ms). However, it does have many of the same features – like the wireless capabilities, full HD, and the same 1080p resolution. It also has the added bonus of streaming capabilities! Overall, it’s a great choice if you’re in the market for a home theater experience over gaming and looking for a mid-range projector.

Conclusion

Overall, the Optoma HD39Darbee projector is an excellent choice for anyone interested in upgrading from a basic projector setup to a ceiling-mounted system with more features and pretty epic visuals. It’s also a great starter projector for a permanent media room installation, especially if you’re on a budget.

If you’re curious about Darbee Visual Technology and are interested in its benefits over the pricier 4K options, we highly recommend checking out this projector. On that note, it’s comparable to 4K projectors at a similar (or higher) price point! It’s also a great option for gamers; the 16ms input response coupled with the adaptable connectivity options (including wireless!) really make it appealing for console and PC gamers alike.

The Optoma HD39Darbee proves that you don’t have to spend thousands (or tens of thousands) in order to get a truly great viewing experience in your home. This versatile, budget-friendly projector won’t disappoint no matter what your needs are!

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