We’re reaching the time when Projectors will start replacing Television Sets. Until very recently they where either not bright enough, not clear enough, or lacking in sound quality. Lately though, we’ve seen a host of Projectors come onto the market that offer features just as good as Television Sets, and with their larger screens these new arrivals are making TV’s look very expensive indeed. Optoma claimed the HD142X to be one such model. They designed it to offer all the features you’d get in a modern TV, but does that mean you should throw your TV out? Read on, to find out.
- Nice looking Design
- Full 3D
- 144MHZ Frame Rate
- 23000-1 Contrast Ratio
- Full HD
- 10 Watt Speakers
- MHL Connection
- Slight fan noise
- Rainbow effect due to a DLP lamp (common error)
Size and Design:
If you’ve seen a picture of the Optoma HD142X you may have noticed that it looks rather like the 141X. You’re right, and this is because the 142X is an update on the previous model so they stayed with roughly the same design. You get the same large Vents and large Lens coming out of the front. Connections are well placed around the back. So, the only difference structurally is the size. The Optoma HD142X is smaller so it’s more compact and portable. Its weight is 5.5 pounds and its measurements are 9 inches, by 11.7 inches, by 3.7 inches. If you thought your previous projector was too big to take anywhere, then this would be ideal. Overall it’s a nice design that doesn’t jump out at you as a majorly cool futuristic type of device, but it looks pretty good.
As far a portability goes, it’s much better than any TV, because you can take the Optoma 142X out with you very easily to view in another location. So, after looking at the design I moved onto the set-up. One of the other issues that has contributed to projection technology not eradicating TV usage, is set-up time. You can get a Super-Portable which will turn on and immediately throw up images, but the images tend to be of medium quality. Or you can get something like the Optoma 142X, which has great images, but every time you disconnect to move to another location you’ll spend 20 minutes setting it up. A TV Set is infinitely harder to transport but you can just switch it on. So is it worth the time?
Well, the 142X contains some amazing features like Full 3D. What if I told you that the Full 3D here is better than the Full 3D on other models? Isn’t all Full 3D 1080p the same? Not really and I was determined in this Optoma HD142X review to clear this up. 3D quality depends on Frame Rate. Frame Rate is the speed at which your device can decode and display images sent to it from a 3D source. 3D sources like your Blu-Ray Player, your Games console, or your Cable Box. On many Projectors and 3D TV sets you’ll sit there with your 3D glasses and think you’re watching 3D. But because your Frame Rate isn’t high enough you’re actually watching images slightly below 3D quality. The Optoma HD142X has a 144MHZ Frame Rate. This is Movie Theatre standard rate so it’ll transfer images easily and of the quality you’ll see at the cinema.
There’s also Full HD 1080p images and you might have seen in some other reviews the term sRGB. What does this mean? sRGB was a standard of excellence created by HP and Microsoft. Without going into the boring technological details, it means the color range of this Projector is extremely high so you’ll be seeing more detailed images than is usual on 1080p systems. They have combined this standard with BrilliantColor processing technology, that brings colors onto the screen with great vibrancy. Other systems have BrilliantColor but few meet the sRGB standard so I have no complaint about the images, because they’ll out-perform any TV and almost any other projector on the market.
The screen reaches a maximum of 305 inches which is a major selling point of Projectors. Large screens however require lots light, otherwise they become harder to see than regular TV’s. The Optoma HD142X has 3000 Lumens of Brightness which means you can get maximum image quality with the curtains open on cloudy days and in average sunshine. But, you’ll need the curtains drawn on sunny days to maintain this quality. So, you should keep your TV for times when you don’t want to shut the curtains. This said, 3000 Lumens is better than most Projectors, although if you are interested in more brightness then there are some available at reasonable prices with 3500-4000 Lumens. I can’t guarantee the images will be as good as this though.
They’ve put in a 10 Watt sound system too. These 10 Watt output systems have been the major leap forward in projection technology recently and are at last enabling them to match TV sound. Still, most projectors don’t have 10 Watts, and if you want movie sound to go with those theatrical images, then you need it. The other great leap forward has been MHL connections. Most mobile devices like Tablets and Phones are connectable via an MHL cable. So, this enables you to connect these up to the Optoma HD142X to view Netflix, YouTube, and other platforms, direct to your Projector.
While I’d have liked to see a shorter Set-up time this only comes into play if you’re moving to other locations like a friends house or work. And, it is still only 20 minutes. But when you get the best 3D Frame-Rate on the market, and exquisite 2D images with BrilliantColor and sRGB, I guess if you did need to move the system to another location the wait time would feel more like excitement than frustration. While the Lumens could have been greater than 3000, a quick fix for this is to shut the curtains. With the 10 Watt Speaker System and MHL to go with the cinema quality images, the advantages vastly outweigh the disadvantages. So, don’t get rid of your TV, but for 305 inch viewing of images in extreme clarity beyond anything you’ve seen n a TV Set, get the Optoma HD142X.