After the third bulb went on my Hitachi projector I had enough. I really wanted a "home theater" LED projector for around a grand. No one makes one currently (I've read the threads and debates about this). I really did not want to do the bulb thing anymore, I wanted LED, yet I wanted to keep my 85" diagonal screen.
...so, I decided to take my chance on the Optoma ML500. I did a lot or research here and elsewhere and the Optoma ML 500 seemed like the best choice currenlty, especially out of the "triplets" that share this LED platform (Acer and Vivitek being the other two).
Now, I know its only 720p and only a presentation portable, and only has 500 lumens. Obviously its not meant to be a home theater projector and won't compare to them side by side. However, my previous Hitachi LCD was also a presentation projector, but with as many adjustments it had and with a gray screen (helping the contrast), it looked excellent in my home theater So having said that, after a week, here are my thoughts so far on the ML500 as a monitor for movies and HD cable.
Plenty bright in a darker room
Good contrast and shadow detail (especially with my Behr Silverscreen painted screen that is probably -.7)
Good bright colors
Easy to adjust
Tiny little thing, low power consumption, runs cool
my first DLP and no rainbows
The elephant in the room: NO ZOOM
unlike others have reported, Most of my color/video settings stay except for "overscan" Overscan turns itself back on and has to be shut off each time you turn on the unit.
Fan is slightly loud, but not as bad as others have reported
because its tiny and has tiny little screw holes, and no zoom, very difficult to ceiling mount (I haven't yet, just have it sitting on a tripod now.)
was flaky a couple of times initially locating my HDMI signal, but not finds it right away now.
Its only been a week, and I bought it at a local "BB" big box store on sale for $549, so I could return it, but for now my trial continues. I think at this point I'm going to keep it. Overall, for the price of a 40"-46" cheaper TV you can have a decent 80"-90" image
I'll post my color settings and any further observations later.
Anyone else using this or want to add anything?