Optoma promised a few surprises in the HD37 projector; some things we perhaps wouldn’t expect for the price. They also promised it would be a genuine all-in-one, great for games and movies, both in 2D and 3D. I was curious to see how they’d achieve this, as games require low lag times and brightness, which is usually sacrificed for the resolution needed to show films in HD clarity. While most projectors do one or the other, very few play games and movies to equal perfection. Read all about what I discovered in my Optoma HD37 review.
Main Features of the Optoma HD37:
The HD37 has a native resolution of 1920×1080 and a large number of viewing modes such as 720p, 1090p and 1080i. It’s full HD and 3D, taking shutter type 3D glasses, and has HDMI/MHL connections. The brightness is 2600 lumens, with a 20,000.1 contrast ratio and the power is 310 Watts. The Optoma HD37 accommodates a voltage of 100v-240v, while the lamp life is 3000 hours in full power mode and 7000 hours in ECO mode. It has a display of 2cm DLP, a zoom capacitity of 150.1, manual focus, vertical keystone, and 10.0 W Mono speakers.
- Two HDMI MHL connections. Some projectors only have one
- Full HD 1080P or 1080i
- 20,000.1 is a huge contrast ratio and complements the HD technology
- 3D projection capabilities
- Very good built-in speakers
- Low lag for gameplay
- Occasional rainbow images on older movies. rainbow images are colours which appear in the corner of the screen.
- The fan is a little loud
- Lens shift ratio could be larger
Size and Design:
The measurements are pretty standard for modern portable projectors at 29cm length, 26cm width with a depth of 12cm. So, it can be picked up with ease and taken away to wherever one may wish to use it. The weight of 3.3kg is on the light side of the industry average for portable projectors, so Optoma have done a good job there. The design has a classic feel to it, with an excellent job done on the finish.
A good projector is one that you can take out of the box, flip the switch, load up some entertainment and see a perfect picture straight away. The Optoma HD37 passed this test, but most projectors these days do. It’s when one delves deeper that some of the flaws are found, so I decided to jump right in and test the gaming capabilities. What I found was astonishing; the lag was 33 milliseconds all the way up to 70 frames per second, making the HD37 just about the fastest projector on the market. At these levels, games are an absolute dream, especially action games focused on reaction time. I started thinking that the surprise Optoma promised was one huge spectacular surprise, made even more so, when one considers the low lag is combined with full HD and 3D viewing.
Here’s the bad news; the brightness is only 2600 lumens, which is less than that of other projectors on the market, but it does offer day or night viewing modes, somewhat making up for this. The result is brightness enough for viewing even in a light room, so 2600 lumens doesn’t lessen overall performance. For example I watched a movie using day mode, in bright sunlight and the picture was perfect.
The performance displaying movies was just as good as for games in terms of picture quality and Optoma achieved this by a little piece of genius. They used pure motion technology in their core processor which reduces the lag for gaming, and is very common in advanced gaming projectors. Then they used a glass lens, with an incredibly high tension. All this produces supreme images, vivid in detail and highly noticeable compared to other HD projectors. What you in fact have is a cinema inside the living room, and one you don’t have to pay out for, every time you watch. This was surprise number two and I think it’s the future of projection.
Another great thing about the lens tension is that it enables position to be held over a long period of time. Anyone who has owned a DLP projector will have experienced loss of focus from time to time. This is because the lens was at normal tension and this will not be experienced with the Optoma HD37.
The fan, as I’ve mentioned is a little loud, but hardly a problem when your watching a movie or playing a game. If you pause the projector to make a cup of coffee, you’ll hear a faint buzz. The speakers are a big improvement on Optoma’s earlier models, and will solve a huge problem for many people. Purchasers of projectors often feel compelled to buy a speaker set to make up for the projectors lack of sound quality, but the Optoma HD37, comes with built-in speakers that complement, rather than let down the HD technology.
The third surprise was the price; it’s not thousands, which many would have expected for the advanced technology inside this projector. Trust me, you’ve never played video games until you’ve played them on this, and the glass lens creates a picture for movies few will have seen before. How much perfection is worth depends on the person, but this is definitely perfection. HD, 3D, pure motion, 150.1 zoom, 20,000.1 contrast ratio; it’s hard to believe they fit it all in such a small box.