Effective 3D projector system for a reasonable price, let down by poor glasses
Optoma has slashed the price of 3D home cinema with the launch of the world’s first 3D projection adaptor, the 3D-XL, and a range of affordable, compatible home cinema projectors (we used the HD67N). You can now create a big screen 3D cinema for a package price of less than £800. Incredible but true.
The HD67N is a diminutive single chip DLP projector, designed with the gamer or casual big-screen movie fan in mind. The £500 price point reflects the fact that it’s a 720p model, rather than Full HD, but the specification and build are both above average. There’s an integrated 2W speaker which does the job if you’re setting up for a quick gaming session, but fidelity is on par with a portable radio.
2D picture performance is fine for the money. We were impressed both by the amount of detail retained during motion and the smoothness of its 120Hz image. Colour performance is excellent, but black levels are average. The limited resolution means that Blu-ray images lose a little bite, but DVD material is sharp, there’s some rainbow colour fringing, a common complaint with single chip DLP models.
The 3D-XL is an unglamorous looking box which takes the feed from your 3D source (be it Blu-ray player, Sky+HD box or PS3) via HDMI and then routes it on to the PJ. The projector doesn’t need a dedicated sync transmitter. Instead picture sync data is sandwiched between the left/right frames, bounced off the screen and then picked up by a receiver that glistens on the bridge of the nose of the supplied 3D spectacles. The system is called DLP Link.
Optoma HD67N: 3D performance
3D from this budget duo is actually very good. There’s a tangible sense of depth in the picture. Crosstalk is not an issue, even classic problem sequences, such as the church steeple in Monsters Vs Aliens, are clean. Unfortunately, we found that the glasses frequently lose sync; you only have to glance away from the image for a second or two. This trait would wreck a 3D gaming party. We also found the glasses to be a terrible fit, falling from the faces of all who tried them.
Overall, we liked both the HD67N as a budget projector proposition and the upgrade option provided by the 3D-XL adapter. However, the DLP Link system is too unstable to get a wholehearted recommendation and the supplied Optoma glasses are poor. The 3D-XL adaptor is also compatible with NVIDIA’s 3D glasses and sync emitter, which may well prove to be a better partnership.
Optoma HD67N price: £500 + 3D-XL Link 3D Adaptor - £280, link Optoma
Optoma HD67N launch date: Out now