Optoma HD142X Projector
When you start looking for a projector and realize how expensive and complicated they are, you might head for the hills. Most inexpensive projectors are made by fairly new companies and lack durability. Meanwhile, well-known projector brands push specs you've never heard of before.
Optoma makes good projectors for a variety of uses and managed to create a high quality model for less than $600. We recommend the HD142XX projector because it's simple to set up and produces some of the best images at this price point.
What Kind of Bulb Does It Use?
The Optoma HD142X uses an ultra high performance lamp (UHP) that lasts for up to 8,000 hours. UHP lamps require a brief cool down period after you turn them off before you can turn them back on again. You can buy a replacement lamp for $179.
This projector displays full HD (1080p) content and is 3D ready. Many competitors at this price point or lower tend to only reach 720p.
The combination of 3000 lumens, a high contrast ratio, and a Rec. 709 HD calibration yields distinct, bright images.
Many users found this projector easy to set up. The combination of a simple menu and a few ports makes this a great introduction for people who aren't too familiar with the capabilities of a projector.
The projector comes with a backlit remote. The cheaper projectors get, the less this key feature shows up. Since you'll be in a very dark environment, it's nice to get a little light where you need it most.
It has an input lag of 33ms that drops to 17ms in Game mode. Audio and video should sync seamlessly, and gamers will enjoy a highly responsive display.
What Could Be Better
In order to get a 100 inch screen, the projector needs to be at least 12 feet away from the screen. If you have a smaller room, you'll have to settle for a smaller screen size.
The projector only has two HDMI ports (one is MHL-ready which is great for streaming sticks and phones), one USB port, an analog audio jack, and a 12V jack for screen connection. Anyone looking to connect a set top box or analog media devices would need to acquire an adapter.
There's no lens shift to allow for placement anywhere other than dead center of a screen or wall. Though the keystone correction adds some flexibility to the projector's placement, lens shift could add this value without the digital compression of the image.
Warranty and Customer Service
Optoma's customer service team is well-reviewed and helpful. This projector is covered under a one-year limited warranty while the lamp is under a 90-day warranty. You can get a refund for this projector under Amazon and Best Buy's return policies.