If value is as important to you as picture quality, the 720p Optoma HD66 digital home-theater projector is an easy choice. Blacks, while not the deepest around, are still pretty good, and colors are excellent, with reviewers calling them well saturated and accurate -- especially after some user adjustments.
The HD66 is marketed as a 3D projector, but that's a little misleading, some reviewers say. The ability to watch in 3D is limited to computer games -- not Blu-ray Discs or other programming sources -- and it requires the addition of a fairly powerful computer. The limited zoom range and lack of any lens shift can make finding a suitable location for the projector a bit of a challenge. The HD66 is a DLP projector, and those few people who can see that technology's rainbow effect might be bothered by the artifact.can display an image in full 1080p resolution and produce blacks that are markedly deeper for an even more cinematic picture.
If you can spend more, the Optoma HD20 (*Est. $1,000) can display an image in full 1080p resolution and produce blacks that are markedly deeper for a more cinematic picture. If you can spend only a little more, the Epson MegaPlex MG-850HD (*Est. $700) throws in an iDevice dock and a 10-watt-per-channel stereo sound system. That LCD projector is also easier to set up in a room, puts out enough light that it is a comfortable performer even in living rooms and family rooms, and has no issues with DLP rainbows
ProjectorCentral.com and Audioholics.com are among those that have reported on the Optoma HD66. User reviews can be found at Amazon.com and in a fairly long thread at AVSForum.com.
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Reviews at ProjectorCentral.com are detailed and complete. Reviewer Bill Livolsi says he likes the value of the Optoma HD66. A little tweaking yields a dynamic picture that's perfect for movies.
Review: Optoma HD66 720p DLP Home Theater Projector, Bill Livolsi, Feb. 3, 2010
Though Tom Andry says some fiddling might be needed to get the best picture quality, the Optoma HD66 "is a great entry-level" projector. He does say that marketing the HD66 as a 3D projector can be misleading.
Review: Optoma HD66 DLP 3D Projector Review, Tom Andry, July 7, 2010
About 135 owners report on the Optoma HD66. The majority of them are pleased, but 3D features and support come in for some complaints. Altogether, the HD66 earns a composite rating of 44 out of 5 stars.
Review: Optoma HD66 3D Projector, Contributors to Amazon.com
AVSForum.com is a user-to-user discussion site. The thread dedicated to the Optoma HD66 has more than 1,280 posts and counting, with opinions, questions, answers and photos. Though many topics are discussed, 3D operation is a focal point for many.
Review: Optoma HD66 - First 3D Home Theatre/Gaming Projector, Contributors to AVSForum.com